National News


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he may not allow Bruno Fernandes to travel overseas for Portugal’s matches during the international break if the midfielder is required to quarantine on his return to England.

Fernandes could face 10 days in isolation on his return from international duty because Portugal falls under the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 travel “red list”.

The world football governing body Fifa has said clubs can refuse to release players if they are required to quarantine for more than five days on their return.

The manager said the club has not sat down to make a proper decision on the issue but it will not make sense if a team loses a player for 10 days isolation,

Solskjaer argued that the club  pays the player and Fifa have given the rule that they don’t have to be released, so it is going to be a tough decision to let  Fernandez play while the club suffers.

Portugal are scheduled to face Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg on March 24, 27 and 30 respectively in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

After the encounters Fernandes could miss United’s Premier League home game against Brighton & Hove Albion on April 3 and away game at Tottenham Hotspur on April 10 if he has to isolate for 10 days on returning from Portugal.

Earlier, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp echoed Solskjaer’s thoughts, with the Merseyside club likely to lose Brazilian players Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino and Portugal forward Diogo Jota for the same reason.

“I understand the needs of the different FAs but this is a time where we cannot make everyone happy and we have to admit the players are paid by the clubs so it means we have to be first priority”, Klopp said.

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