Manchester United expect Edinson Cavani to miss the Premier League trip to Newcastle after the international break as he in self-isolation after his arrival in the UK.
The news will come as a blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who will be without Anthony Martial for the game at St James’ Park on Saturday, October 17, as he begins a three-man game for the red card he received in the defeat to Tottenham at the weekend.
It also means Cavani will not be able to train with his new teammates when they return from international duty next week and he will only link up with the squad just before they travel to Paris for the start of the Champions League group stage.
Cavani arrived in Manchester on Sunday to undergo his medical ahead of completing his move to the club on deadline day, but he is now self-isolating for 14 days as per government guidelines.
There are exemptions for elite sportspeople who arrive in the country from an existing bubble, but Cavani hasn’t trained with Paris Saint-Germain since the Ligue 1 season was suspended in March.
While United are in touch with the government and the Premier League to clarify the exact guidelines for their new arrival, the 33-year-old is in quarantine at the moment, with his final day in self-isolation expected to be the day after the trip to Newcastle, unless United are informed otherwise.
That means he could make his debut against former club Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League the following Tuesday (October 20), with United confident he will be available and will have entered the first-team bubble in time to travel.
The country is currently on the UK’s quarantine list but United’s squad will be protected from that by the fact they in an elite athlete bubble.
It’s expected that Cavani will have to return a negative COVID-19 test at the end of his period of self-isolation to enter United’s bubble before the squad fly to Paris.
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United’s reliance on Cavani will not be as acute for the trip to the Parc des Princes, with Martial available for that fixture. The France forward will miss Premier League games against Newcastle, Chelsea and Arsenal as a result of his red card for striking Erik Lamela during the 6-1 defeat to Spurs.
Cavani hasn’t played since PSG’s 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on March 11. The French domestic season didn’t resume amid the coronavirus pandemic and with his contract expiring at the end of June the forward didn’t return to training ahead of PSG’s domestic cup finals at the end of July and their Champions League campaign in August.
While Cavani has kept himself fit and has been given a fitness programme to follow during his self-isolation, the fact he won’t be able to join up with his United teammates for training until after the Newcastle game means he is likely to need his fitness and match sharpness building up.
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