French defender Raphael Varane will not play for Manchester United until after the World Cup, his manager Erik ten Hag said on Wednesday, adding that striker Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in the Europa League match against him Sheriff Tiraspol.
The central Varane, 29, injured an ankle in the second half of the game against Chelsea (1-1) and went to the Stamford Bridge locker room with a disgusted face.
Ten Hag confirmed that 2018 world champion Varane will miss United’s remaining six games before the mid-season break, but did not rule him out for the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 tournament in Qatar.
“Rapha Varane is not in the squad,” Ten Hag told reporters before the Sheriff visits Old Trafford on Thursday. “He will be out, probably until the World Cup, so he will not play in this stretch (of games) with United.”
“I think so (he will be fit for the World Cup), but the prognosis is that we have to wait. We have to see how it evolves, how the rehabilitation will develop,” he added.
Ronaldo trained on the sidelines of the team late last week and was left out of the squad for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea after being ruled out for refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur in their previous game.
The 37-year-old rejoined the group on Tuesday, providing a welcome boost to United’s attack because Anthony Martial is still sidelined after missing his last four games with a back problem.
“Cristiano will be in the team tomorrow,” said Ten Hag. “It wasn’t difficult. We said everything and answered all the questions last week. So he was out for one game and now he’s back in the squad like always.”
United is second in Group E with nine points, three less than leaders Real Sociedad, while Sheriff is third with three points with two games to go.