Breaking: Ronaldo returns to Manchester United squad ahead Europa clash, Varane out

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Manchester United’s squad for Thursday’s Europa League game against Sheriff Tiraspol, but Raphael Varane has been ruled out until the World Cup.

Ronaldo took part in United training on Tuesday for the first time since being dropped for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The 37-year-old was punished by Ten Hag for refusing to be brought on as a late substitute in last week’s 2-0 home win over Tottenham and for leaving Old Trafford early.

However, Ronaldo and Ten Hag have since been in constant dialogue and the United boss says the Portugal captain will be available to face Moldovan side Sheriff.

“Yes, Cristiano will be in the squad on Thursday,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference.

However, Ten Hag also revealed Varane will be out for the foreseeable future after suffering a reported knee injury against Chelsea at the weekend.

The United defender departed that game early and in tears after stretching awkwardly while attempting to challenge Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Ten Hag revealed the France international will not feature for United before the World Cup – which begins on November 20 – but thinks he can still compete in the tournament.

In addition to Ronaldo’s return, captain Harry Maguire, midfielder Donny van de Beek and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also back in United’s squad.

Ten Hag added: “Harry, Donny and Aaron are all in training and preparing for Thursday’s game.

“After training [on Wednesday] I will make a decision.”

Maguire, who has been out with a muscle injury, started the first two matches of Ten Hag’s reign but poor form and subsequent enforced absence have seen him feature just three further times for United.

That has provided a headache for both the Dutchman and England boss Gareth Southgate, who names his World Cup squad in a fortnight’s time.

A point against Sheriff at Old Trafford would be enough for United to qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa League.

However, United will be keen on a victory to keep the pressure on Group E leaders Real Sociedad ahead of the final matchday on November 3. That’s because if they finish second, they will compete in a play-off round against a third-placed Champions League side.

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