Erik ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo

Erik ten Hag confirms Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Man Utd squad but Raphael Varane is out until the World Cup

Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Manchester United’s squad for Thursday’s Europa League game against Sheriff Tiraspol, but Raphael Varane is ruled out until the World Cup.

Ronaldo attended United training on Tuesday for the first time since being dropped for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The 37-year-old was punished by Ten Hag for refusing to be a late substitute in last week’s 2-0 home win against Tottenham and for leaving Old Trafford early.

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Manchester United’s matchday squad for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Sheriff Tiraspol

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Ronaldo and Harry Maguire trained for Manchester United on Wednesday ahead of their Europa League game against Sheriff Tiraspol

But Ronaldo and Ten Hag have since been in constant dialogue and the United boss says the Portugal captain will be available to face Moldovan side Sheriff.

“Yes, Cristiano will be in the squad on Thursday,” Ten Hag said in his pre-match press conference.

“I think we said everything and answered all the questions. He was out for one game and now he is back in the squad as usual.

“It’s done. He’s back. Let’s focus on the game.”

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On Saturday, Roy Keane clashed with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Gary Neville over Ronaldo’s situation at Manchester United

Ten Hag: Varane out to the WC

But Ten Hag also revealed that Varane will be out for the foreseeable future after suffering a reported knee injury against Chelsea at the weekend.

The United defender left that game early and in tears after stretching awkwardly as he tried to challenge Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Ten Hag confirmed that Manchester United full-back Raphael Varane has been ruled out until the World Cup

Ten Hag revealed that the France international will not play for United before the World Cup – which starts on November 20 – but believes he can still compete in the tournament.

“Raphael Varane is not in the squad,” said Ten Hag. “He will definitely be out until the World Cup.

“He will not play in this block for Manchester United. I think he can play in the World Cup, but we have to see how it develops and how his rehab develops.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s Premier League draw with Chelsea

Man Utd game Varane will miss out

October 27: Sheriff Tiraspol (H) – kick-off 20.00

October 30: West Ham (H) – kick-off 16.15, live on Sky Sports

November 3: Real Sociedad (A) – kick-off 17.45

November 6: Aston Villa (A) – kick-off 2 p.m

November 10: Aston Villa (H) – kick-off 20:00, live on Sky Sports

November 13: Fulham (A) – kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports

In addition to Ronaldo’s return, captain Harry Maguire, midfielder Donny van de Beek and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also back in United’s squad. Forward Anthony Martial remains on the sidelines.

Ten Hag added: “Harry, Donny and Aaron are all in training and preparing for Thursday’s game.

“After workout [on Wednesday] I will make a decision.”

Maguire, who has been out with a muscle problem, started the first two games of the Ten Hag’s reign but poor form and subsequent enforced absences have seen him make just three more appearances for United.

It has caused headaches for both the Dutchman and England boss Gareth Southgate, who names his World Cup squad in two weeks’ time.

Gareth Southgate backed Harry Maguire after the defender made two errors in England's 3-3 draw with Germany
Harry Maguire suffered a muscle injury during England’s 3-3 draw with Germany in September

“He will always play an important role,” Ten Hag said of Maguire. “He got hurt.

“I’m glad he’s on his way back so now he’s got to get back into the games.

“I understand the interest (about his playing time in England) but we are looking specifically at Manchester United.

“We have to get the right results and performances, so that’s the main goal I have.”

What do Man Utd need to qualify?

A point against Sheriff at Old Trafford would be enough for United to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

However, United will be hungry for a win to keep the pressure on Group E leaders Real Sociedad ahead of the final matchday on November 3. That’s because if they finish second, they will compete in a play-off round against a third-placed Champions League side.

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Christian Eriksen says there is more to come from Manchester United

What next for Man Utd?

Sunday, October 30 at 3 p.m

Kick-off 16:15

After Thursday’s match against Sheriff Tiraspol, Manchester United return to Premier League action Super Sunday when they welcome West Ham to Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports; (kick-off 16.15).

United’s final game in the Europa League group stage sees them travel to Real Sociedad on November 3 (kick-off 5.45 p.m.).

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