Manchester United will have to navigate a Europa League play-off against Barcelona to reach the round of 16 after the draw for the first part of the knockout stage was made on Monday.
After finishing behind Real Sociedad in their Europa League group, Manchester United were not able to advance directly to the round of 16. Instead, they knew they would have to face one of the eight sides who finished third in their Champions League groups to get there.
Some tricky ties were possible, and the one that Manchester United have been given is against another La Liga outfit – Barcelona. They finished behind Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in their Champions League group.
It will be the first meeting between the two sides since 2019, when Barcelona beat United in the Champions League quarter-final.
The game could represent a return to Old Trafford for Memphis Depay, while long-term United target Frenkie de Jong should be on show against Erik ten Hag’s side.
The first leg will take place on February 16, before the return fixture seven days later.
Elsewhere in the draw, the competition’s most successful club, Sevilla, are up against PSV Eindhoven, Jose Mourinho’s Roma will face RB Salzburg, and their fellow Serie A side Juventus will have to take on Nantes.
The other English side left in the competition, Arsenal, went straight through to the round of 16 and so will find out their next Europa League opponents after the conclusion of this play-off round.
Europa League draw in full
Barcelona v Manchester United
Juventus v Nantes
Sporting v Midtjylland
Shakhtar Donetsk v Rennes
Ajax v Union Berlin
Bayer Leverkusen v Monaco
Sevilla v PSV Eindhoven
RB Salzburg v AS Roma