Following his side’s thrilling 7-6 penalty shootout victory over Brighton, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag has indicated that he expects to have Raphael Varane fit and available for the FA Cup final against Manchester City. The trusty Frenchman has been out since the 2-2 Europa League tie with Sevilla when he was forced off with a troubling ankle injury.
Varane’s season was first thought to be gone due to the magnitude of the swelling, but it appears the former Real Madrid center-back might still give United a massive boost before the end of the season by establishing his fitness.
Ten Hag, who is overjoyed, has already told talkSPORT that he hopes Varane will be available to play City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday, June 3.
According to reports, Varane might be out for up to six weeks due to the ailment, which means he could play a role in United’s Wembley clash at the end of the domestic season once the Premier League season is through.
The Red Devils still have eight Premier League games to play until the end of the season, but it appears unlikely Varane will be back before then.
Lisandro Martinez, who has forged an eye-catching connection with Varane at the heart of the defense, will also be out for the remainder of the season, but, more importantly, he will be unavailable for the FA Cup final due to a fractured metatarsal.
Varane is now being closely examined by United’s medical staff, and he will be evaluated on a regular basis in the coming weeks as United fights for a top-four finish.
Ten Hag could potentially complete his first season at Old Trafford with two big titles, and United is also on track to return to the Champions League following a year in the Europa League.
United had to fight hard for their triumph over Brighton at Wembley, having failed to score in 120 minutes of grueling action.
Brighton had some chances of their own, and David de Gea had to be at his best to keep the Seagulls at bay.
Solly March’s spot-kick well beyond the crossbar eventually secured the Red Devils’ place in the final.
Victor Lindelof then stepped up to the plate and confidently blasted his penalty home to clinch another trip to Wembley for the traveling United fans.
Captain Harry Maguire, who served a one-match suspension against Albion, will also be eligible for the final.
Ten Hag is now looking forward to the season finale against City, but first, he wants to see some consistency from his team after a shaky run of play.
“It’s going to be a great final, but first we have to focus on other things.” “It’s critical to qualify for the Champions League next season,” Ten Hag remarked of the enticing game with Manchester City.
“We have two more performances on Thursday and Sunday.” We’ve proven that so many times this season. It demonstrates the team’s character and ambition.”
United will now travel to Tottenham on Thursday in an attempt to edge closer to a top-four finish.
Spurs are currently wounded animals after being savagely ripped apart by Newcastle on Tyneside earlier on Sunday afternoon, with the Magpies winning 6-1.