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When are Manchester United World Cup players back? Status of returning stars for Carabao Cup, Premier League

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With the 2022 FIFA World Cup now completed, the focus turns back to club action. Premier League teams like Manchester United are gearing back up for domestic and continental play, which will begin soon.

Man United boss Erik ten Hag spent the World Cup preparing for this competitive return by conducting training with the players in his squad who were not away on World Cup duty. They remained fit by taking part in friendlies against Spanish clubs Cadiz and Real Betis, both of which Man United lost.

Now, the Red Devils will be hoping to get their World Cup participants back in short order. Some were given extra time to recover before returning following early exits, while others went the distance in the knockout stage and only recently completed their World Cup journeys.

Here are the latest updates for the likes of Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), Raphael Varane (France), Lisandro Martinez (Argentina), and others plotting a return to the Red Devils squad.

MORE: Manchester United players who received contract extensions

Here is the full list of players who traveled to Qatar with their national teams in order of when they were knocked out: 

  • Nov. 30: Christian Eriksen (Denmark)
  • Dec. 2: Facundo Pellistri (Uruguay)
  • Dec. 9: Tyrell Malacia (Netherlands)
  • Dec. 9: Fred (Brazil)
  • Dec. 9: Casemiro (Brazil)
  • Dec. 9: Antony (Brazil)
  • Dec. 10: Bruno Fernandes (Portugal)
  • Dec. 10: Diogo Dalot (Portugal)
  • Dec. 10: Harry Maguire (England)
  • Dec. 10: Marcus Rashford (England)
  • Dec. 10: Luke Shaw (England)
  • Dec. 18: Raphael Varane (France)
  • Dec. 18: Lisandro Martinez (Argentina)

When does Manchester United play next?

Manchester United return to competitive action against Burnley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, December 21 at 8 p.m. GMT (3 p.m. ET).

Reports in England state that Erik ten Hag will name a “strong team” for that match, although who exactly will be in that squad remains unclear.

They then turn around to make their Premier League return on Tuesday, December 27 against Nottingham Forest.

MORE: Full list of Premier League players called up to the World Cup

Which Man United players have returned from World Cup?

According to reports, many of the England players are back in training, including Harry MaguireLuke Shaw, and Marcus Rashford.

England exited the World Cup in heartbreaking fashion, falling to France 2-1 in the quarterfinals thanks to a missed penalty from Harry Kane. That happened on December 10, affording those players time to take a breather after wrapping up participation in the tournament.

Portugal, meanwhile, were also knocked out in the quarterfinals on December 10, meaning Bruno Fernandes has returned, as has Netherlands full-back Tyrell Malacia who departed Qatar with the rest of his Oranje teammates on December 9 after their quarterfinal defeat to eventual champions Argentina.

Which Man United players have not returned from World Cup?

Full-back Diogo Dalot has not yet returned to training following Portugal’s departure from the World Cup. He was forced off early in the quarterfinal defeat to Morocco, although there is little reported information regarding his injury.

France defender Raphael Varane, meanwhile, reached the final with Les Bleus on December 18. Varane started every single match except the opener against Australia, playing nearly every minute of every game after.

The Manchester Evening News reports that despite Varane looking unfit by the end of the final against Argentina, he was not injured, and he will reportedly return for the match against Wolves on New Year’s Eve.

Manchester United will also be missing Varane’s centre-back partner Lisandro Martinez who emerged from the World Cup victorious with Argentina. Martinez took a back seat to defensive stars Nicolas Otamendi and Cristian Romero during the tournament, but he will still need time to reintegrate with the Man United squad after returning home to Argentina to celebrate their triumph. Martinez will reportedly return to Man United around the same time as Varane.

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Where does Cristiano Ronaldo go after World Cup?

Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer a part of the Man United squad after he was released while on World Cup duty.

The two sides agreed to mutually part ways, with Ronaldo’s contract at Man United voided, allowing him to become a free agent and seek a new team.

There are reports of a gargantuan contract offer from Saudi Arabia club Al-Nassr that would make Ronaldo the highest paid player in the world by a massive margin, but to this point he has not signed on the dotted line. There are few other clubs reportedly interested in his services.


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