Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd handed massive lift ahead of Everton trip as first-hand scouting mission set to take place

Man Utd stars Casemiro, Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford

Man Utd stars Casemiro, Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford

Rasmus Hojlund has not been ruled out of Manchester United’s Premier League game at Everton on Sunday, but Christian Eriksen will play no part.

United boss Erik ten Hag has issued an injury update on the Denmark pair, who missed out for their country during the international break.

Hojlund (muscle strain) and Eriksen (knee) both sustained injuries in United’s previous top-flight fixture, a 1-0 home win against Luton on November 11.

Ten Hag told United’s official website: “Christian will take a little bit longer. It will take some weeks until he will return.

“Rasmus Hojlund, not too bad. Everton will be a close finish, but we’re working on that.

“We’re not sure if he can make that but, hopefully, in the next week, he will return to the squad.”

Both players were withdrawn in the closing stages against Luton. United initially confirmed Eriksen would be out for a month, while Hojlund was hoping to return before the end of November.

Should Hojlund fail a fitness test before Sunday’s game at Everton, he could make a timely return to action in next Tuesday’s Champions’ League fixture against Galatasaray in Istanbul.

Fellow forward Marcus Rashford will miss that must-win group game through suspension following his red card in the recent defeat in Copenhagen.

United have also confirmed that Ten Hag will serve a touchline ban at Everton this weekend having accumulated three yellow cards.

DON’T MISSThe 10 most valuable players at Manchester United: Fernandes takes second spot, Hojlund on the rise

Man Utd to keep close eye on Branthwaite

Sunday’s game will also give United a first-hand chance to watch how well January target Jarrad Branthwaite goes against their attack.

The Toffees centre-back has emerged as a major target for the Red Devils in the new year, as Ten Hag looks to bolster his squad.

Plans will be put in place in 2024 to begin an overhaul of United’s back line and reports around the club dictate that these plans are already underway.

We have previously told how Jean-Clair Todibo from Nice is an important target for United, while Goncalo Inacio of Sporting Lisbon and Antonio Silva of Benfica are also players of interest to the current recruitment staff.

It is important to note these are situations that may yet change as we get closer to the new year though, as United make changes within the club hierarchy, but sources are indicating that outside of those foreign targets Everton’s Branthwaite is a player that has very much caught the eye.

READ MORETop source drops worrying Ratcliffe takeover update Man Utd fans will hate