Manchester United: Raphael Varane is absent for training ahead of Liverpool pre-season clash

Raphael Varane is absent for Man United’s training session today, while Harry Maguire works out alone – as Erik ten Hag is given an early defensive issue ahead of their first game of pre-season against Liverpool tomorrow

  • Raphael Varane missed Manchester United’s open training session on Monday
  • The 29-year-old centre back did train earlier in the day at the STB Academy
  • Harry Maguire trained away from the United squad at the Rajamangala Stadium
  • United face Liverpool in their first game of pre-season at that venue on Tuesday¬†

Manchester United‘s new manager Erik ten Hag‘s first look at his squad in a match environment could be hindered by the absence of centre-back duo Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire.

United are in Thailand currently ahead of their first pre-season game against Liverpool on Tuesday.

The Red Devils held two sessions on Monday with the first at the STB Academy before moving on to the Rajamangala Stadium, the venue for the friendly, with Varane missing entirely from the latter one.

Raphael Varane missed Manchester United's opening training session on Monday in Thailand

Raphael Varane missed Manchester United’s opening training session on Monday in Thailand

Harry Maguire did not taking part in training too - instead working out away from the squad

Harry Maguire did not taking part in training too – instead working out away from the squad

They could now miss Erik ten Hag's (centre) first pre-season game vs Liverpool on Tuesday

They could now miss Erik ten Hag’s (centre) first pre-season game vs Liverpool on Tuesday

The 29-year-old did train with the team on Monday morning but was absent for the open session which was conducted in front of a few thousand fans.

Ten Hag’s problems were compounded with Maguire not taking part in team training too.

Unlike Varane, the captain was present at the Rajamangala Stadium but trained away from the rest of the squad.

The session itself saw Ten Hag put his players through their paces with running drills and then some ballwork. The latter included rondos before attacking and defensive patterns were set and then a small-sided match.

With United facing Liverpool on Tuesday, it is unclear if the Dutchman will be able to call upon either Varane of Maguire for it.

If that is the case then Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe – the only three other centre backs who trained with the group on Monday – are probably set for extended minutes against the Reds.

Speaking earlier on Monday, Ten Hag confirmed that Maguire will remain as United captain.

Maguire’s position as skipper was thrown into doubt after the England defender lost form and his place in the team last season.

Ten Hag was also less than emphatic in his support of Maguire staying as captain at his unveiling in May, but the United boss confirmed his decision ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Liverpool in Bangkok.

‘Harry Maguire is our captain,’ said Ten Hag. ‘I have to get to know all the players, but he’s an established captain and he’s achieved a lot of success.’

The news is a welcome boost for Maguire in the wake of a difficult season and with United chasing a new centre back after tabling an improved offer of £43million for Lisandro Martinez of Ajax.

Ten Hag is looking forward to pitting himself against Jurgen Klopp – describing Tuesday’s match as ‘exciting’.

‘Playing against Liverpool is always exciting,’ said Ten Hag. ‘It’s a big game, we are looking forward and it’s a really good test for us.

‘The standard of Manchester United is to win every game so we will start with that in mind and be determined. We are happy to play this game in Bangkok for many, many fans.

‘We just started, some players only one week. Now we have to construct a team and a way of playing. We are really short in pre-season but, of course, we have to develop a lot more.’

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