Manchester United are sweating on the availability of 11 senior players ahead of their Premier League opener on Saturday, according to a report.
United face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in a delayed start to their top-flight campaign. The Red Devils’ late start comes after their run to the Europa League semi-finals in August.
Despite the extra time, though, the Manchester Evening News reports that it has not helped ease United’s fitness concerns.
Six players only returned to training on Monday. Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Fred and Nemanja Matic, therefore, have little preparation under their belts.
Bruno Fernandes, meanwhile, has not fared much better. The Portuguese midfielder only came back last weekend.
And while Mason Greenwood has enjoyed significantly more preparation, the controversy he created while with England has set him back.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate dropped the striker after a breach of Covid-19 protocols, which meant he missed out on a potential debut and crucial match minutes.
However, United have asked him to train alone at Carrington due to safety regulations. And that will have reduced his ability to perform training drills with his teammates.
Meanwhile, Axel Tuanzebe remains out of contention as he recovers from a long-term injury. Phil Jones is also a doubt, but he will return this month.
As for those who could feature, Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw are the only three who look guaranteed to start, the newspaper adds.
Indeed, the trio all played in United’s final pre-season friendly against Aston Villa last weekend.
VAN DE BEEK ALSO IN CONTENTION FOR MAN UTD DEBUT
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hand new signing Donny van de Beek his Premier League debut on Saturday.
However, the manager will balance that decision based on the fitness of the likes of Pogba and Fernandes.
Off the pitch, United remain active in the transfer market but look likely to have opted against signing a left-back target.
Real Madrid’s Sergio Reguilon is reportedly edging closer to a move to Tottenham.