ERIC BAILLY has flown back to Manchester United from the Ivory Coast and is in contention for the game against Burnley.
The Red Devils had allowed the defender to join his country”s African Cup of Nations preparatons early.
Eric Bailly is on contention for Manchester United’s game against Burnley
But, after United’s disappointing 1-1 draw with strugglers Newcastle on Monday, Bailly, 27, has now been ordered back to the UK.
And, after Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane looked shaky at St James’ Park, he could be plunged straight back into action in Thursday’s Old Trafford clash.
On Monday, Varane was caught out for the goal scored by Allan Saint-Maximin, and his fellow centre-half Maguire looked off the pace throughout.
And it would be no surprise to see boss Ralf Rangnick drop either Maguire or Varane after their laboured showing.
Speaking after the draw, Maguire says an enforced 16-day Covid break may have led to lost points.
The England international said: “No 16-day break in the middle of a football season is going to help you.
“The training ground has been shut and half the lads playing today are recovering from the virus, so of course it’s not going to help us.
“We’ve had people with symptoms, people without symptoms, it’s been a real mixed bag for everyone at the football club and it’s been a tough time.
“But you can’t make excuses for sloppy passes and the opportunities that we had, especially in the first half.
“We’ve got to stay on the ball, we’ve got to stay active and we’ve got to play the ball in their half and we didn’t manage to do that.
“You can look at that and ask whether the last 16 days had a big impact on that because it looked like we ran out of steam out there.
“A point in the end is a fair result, but it’s a result that we’re disappointed with.”
It was a lacklustre performance from Man Utd on Monday night and the players were slammed again by club legend Gary Neville.
Harry Maguire suggested some of the players were lethargic against Newcastle
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