Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani is expected back in England on Thursday but could see his return to training delayed by quarantine rules.
The veteran striker has been granted an extended holiday after his partner gave birth to his fourth child earlier this summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to give Cavani as much time as possible to be with his family.
After new signing Jadon Sancho linked up with the squad on Monday, Cavani is now the only United player yet to return, and Jonathan Shrager believes the Uruguay international is scheduled to head back to England on Thursday.
What is less clear, however, is when Cavani will be allowed to return to training. He is currently waiting to see whether he will have to quarantine upon his arrival in England. Uruguay is on the UK’s red list, which normally means anyone travelling from there would have to undergo a ten-day isolation period in a specialised hotel.
Not only would that mean Cavani would miss the season opener against Leeds on Saturday, but his involvement in the next game against Southampton on August 22 would also be in doubt.
Cavani’s likely absence will leave Solskjaer with a decision to make. With Marcus Rashford out while he recovers from shoulder surgery, the boss will have to decide whether to stick with Anthony Martial or give young Mason Greenwood a shot in a more central role.
With Sancho brought in specifically to address a weakness on the right wing, Greenwood stands to see most of his minutes in the striker role in which he made his name in the academy, so this may be the ideal chance for the 19-year-old to stake his claim for regular game time.
Apart from Cavani and Rashford, Solskjaer has a relatively strong squad to select from, with left-back Alex Telles the only other absence from training. The Brazilian picked up an ankle injury in July and remains sidelined for the time being.
One welcome return has been that of right-back Diogo Dalot, who is understood to have impressed Solskjaer in pre-season and is now in with a genuine shout of remaining with the squad for the upcoming season.
United had been chasing Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier, but with the Spanish side refusing to budge from their asking price, the Red Devils are prepared to give Dalot the chance to compete with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.