Manchester United will be able to call upon the services of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo when they take on Newcastle United next weekend.
The Red Devils will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten start to the new campaign when Steve Bruce’s charges visit Old Trafford next Saturday, and Ronaldo’s availability should certainly aid them in their mission to do just that.
After picking up a yellow card for removing his shirt while celebrating his record-breaking winner in Portugal’s 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in midweek, the 36-year-old is suspended for his nation’s encounter with Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
As a result, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos released the player on Thursday in order to help him accelerate his move to United, freeing him up to return to England earlier than initially expected.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side applied for an “elite sport exemption” on Ronaldo’s behalf but the government rejected it, according to The Times, so he will have to isolate for five days and return a negative virus test before being allowed out of quarantine.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was greeted by former team-mate turned technical director Darren Fletcher at Manchester Airport on Friday, allowing him plenty of time to train with his new team-mates before their next fixture.
News that Ronaldo should be available to face Newcastle for his second Old Trafford debut will leave Solskjaer feeling absolutely delighted.
Despite United picking up seven points from a possible nine in the opening weeks of the new Premier League season, the addition of a legendary striker who has scored 674 clubs goals in 895 appearances will always be welcomed.
Solskjaer’s biggest decision may be who partners Ronaldo in attack. Mason Greenwood has done a fabulous job leading the line so far, scoring three goals in as many top-flight games, so he’s likely to keep his place in the starting XI.
That could see Jadon Sancho sacrificed after his underwhelming performance against Wolves last time out, although he’ll be hoping to bounce back with a positive display next time out.