Manchester United have confirmed that new striker Edinson Cavani will miss this weekend’s Premier League clash against Newcastle as he is required to quarantine, following his move to England.
Cavani joined the Premier League side on deadline day last Monday as a free agent, but only arrived in Manchester to complete the deal the day before. Under UK restrictions, new arrivals from non-exempt countries must quarantine for 14 days in an effort to reduce the risk of aiding the spread of coronavirus.
United were hopeful that the extensive testing programme in place across the Premier League combined with the exemption afforded to elite athletes would allow Cavani to play this weekend, but the government’s restrictions are only eased in the event of a team operating within a bubble when travelling abroad, such as when on international duty or in a continental competition.
It means that Cavani will not be eligible to leave his quarantine location until Monday, ruling him out of Saturday’s evening encounter at St James’ Park, leaving United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer limited on options due to Anthony Martial’s unavailability.
The French striker was sent off in the humiliating 6-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur before the international break for lashing out at Erik Lamela, which earned himself a three-game ban for violent conduct that leaves Solskjaer without his first-choice forward for the games against Newcastle, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Both Cavani and Martial will be available for the midweek clash with Paris Saint-Germain though, with the former free to leave quarantine for Tuesday’s Champions League group stage match against his former club and the latter only banned from Premier League games.
Solskjaer will have to select from Marcus Rashford, Odion Ighalo, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James for his front three against Newcastle, or consider a change in formation that could be on the cards regardless, following the ease with which they were dismantled by Spurs two weeks’ ago.
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