Manchester United were put through their paces before their Europa League clash with Omonia Nicosia and a few clues were dropped throughout their open training session
Manchester United are aiming to bounce back from their Manchester derby humiliation as they turn their attentions to their Europa League commitments.
The Red Devils travel to Cyprus to take on Omonia Nicosia after a win and a defeat in their opening two group games. Ahead of the match in the Mediterranean, Dutch schemer Erik ten Hag has been putting his squad through its paces as he attempts to get the side back on track.
Without further ado, here are a few things Mirror Football noticed from United’s open training session ahead of the trip to Cyprus, including a message from Cristiano Ronaldo and a potential major transfer hint
Ronaldo in good spirits
The images of Ronaldo marooned on the United bench at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon are among the notorious pictures of what was a forgettable derby for the Red Devils. As the goals continued to flow for the hosts, Ronaldo cut a hugely disappointed figure as he slumped into his chair and put his head in his hands.
However, the Portuguese forward appears to have found renewed vigour over the past few days and was in very good spirits ahead of the clash with Omonia. He was pictured smiling and openly joking with his Red Devils’ teammates throughout the latest session in what is a huge contrast to his mood only a few days ago.
After nutmegging summer arrival Lisandro Martinez, the striker proceeded to hail his bit of skill and joked with the Argentine international. Having opened his goalscoring account against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League last time out, Ronaldo will hope to keep up his good mood with another productive outing on Thursday.
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Varane nowhere to be seen
Whilst the scoreline against Manchester City was damaging, the heavy defeat was also detrimental for the fitness of the squad. French centre-back Raphael Varane was withdrawn through injury at the Etihad Stadium and will not be fit enough to play a role in midweek. The former Real Madrid man was a notable absence from United training ahead of the game, with Ten Hag confirming that he was ruled out, although the Dutchman is hopeful of a return sooner rather than later.
Van De Beek absent amid transfer talk
Another intriguing absentee from the latest session was Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek. The former Ajax man was expected to be handed a chance in the United side this season after he was reunited with Ten Hag.
That has not transpired, though, as he has played a total of just 19 minutes. He was left out of the squad entirely for the Manchester derby and looks highly unlikely to play a role against Omonia, having not featured in training.
Interestingly enough, Van de Beek has been linked with a move to Leicester in January. Whilst his absence is also down to injury and it is potentially too early to consider it transfer-related, it is certainly one to keep an eye on over the coming months.
Youngsters get chance to impress
With a number of major absentees, Ten Hag has been forced to supplement his squad with a few Red Devils youngsters. 18-year-old Norwegian midfielder Isak Hansen-Aaroen was pictured playing a full role in United’s session having starred for the club’s Under-23s this season. 17-year-old Poland youth international Max Oyedele was also handed the opportunity to impress.