Manchester United look set to be forced into keeping defender Harry Maguire after Raphael Varane picked up a potential injury against Nottingham Forest.
Erik ten Hag's side managed to fightback from 2-0 down to over come Nottingham Forest, winning 3-2 at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes. However, at half-time, Varane was replaced by Victor Lindelof, sparking concern he may have picked up an injury during the opening 45 minutes of action.
Speaking after the win over Nottingham Forest, United boss Erik ten Hag said: "He [Varane] had [injury] complaints.
"So we didn't want to risk him. We know we have Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, good replacements. So we don't take the risk, but what the complaint is and if it is really bad, we don't know. We have to wait."
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Should Varane have picked up an injury, that will almost certainly mean Maguire staying at Old Trafford. The England international looked set to be moving to West Ham this summer but a reluctance from the Red Devils to let Maguire go without adequate cover scuppered his move.
Behind Varane and Lisandro Martinez, United have just Lindelof, Maguire and Eric Bailly, who will almost certainly be departing Old Trafford before the transfer window closes.
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With Maguire comfortable playing on the left-hand side of defence, that would make him cover for Martinez while Lindelof serves as cover for Varane. Had Luke Shaw not recently picked up an option, then he too could have been fielded at centre-back on the left side like he did at times last season.
While it's hard to feel too sorry for a multi-millionaire, it does feel as though Maguire has been harshly treated by United this summer. Stripped of the captaincy by Ten Hag, Maguire thought he had found his route to regular first team football secured, only to find his path blocked by the Red Devils.
With under a week left of the transfer window, Manchester United face a balancing act when it comes to potential incoming and outgoing players. They look thin in midfield after Mason Mount's injury, but most likely won't be able to bring in a big name to help bulk up their engine room unless they sell a player or two.
Additionally, the club are placing a lot of faith in striker Rasmus Hojlund too. Arriving at the club with an injury, the Danish forward inked a five-year £72million deal back in July. Last term for Atalanta, he scored just nine goals in 32 appearances, hardly eye-catching numbers given the fee they paid.
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