Edinson Cavani was not among the Manchester United team to fly out to Paris on Monday afternoon for their Champions League group stage clash with Paris Saint-Germain. It is unclear whether or not he has travelled to the French capital alone but he was not with the rest of his team-mates at Manchester Airport. United captain Harry Maguire was also absent from the travelling contingent to face PSG on Tuesday night (8pm kick-off).
Uruguayan striker Cavani was signed on transfer deadline day earlier this month but has yet to make his debut after a mandatory two-week quarantine following his arrival in the UK.
He trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Sunday ahead of Tuesday’s clash with PSG, United’s first group stage game of the season.
The trip to Paris would have seen Cavani take on his former club, with the 33-year-old PSG’s all-time record goalscorer with 200 strikes.
He left on a free transfer in the summer before putting pen to paper to move to Old Trafford. But it now looks as though, for unknown reasons, his debut will be delayed.
Cavani has not played a competitive match since March 11 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be easing him back in.
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Manchester Evening News say that United staff weren’t expecting the South American frontman to arrive at Manchester Airport for the short flight across the English channel on Monday.
The 18-year-old, signed from Penarol for around £8million, will hope to make his first United appearance at the Parc des Princes.
Another new addition – left-back Alex Telles – is also in the squad with United able to make five substitutions in the Champions League, unlike in the Premier League.
The Portuguese defender was an unused substitute in the win over the Magpies and is another, alongside Pellistri, who could make his debut.
Elsewhere, United have added teenage goalkeeper Ondrej Mastny to their Champions League B list with Sergio Romero’s time at the club all but over.
Having submitted a 25-man ‘A list’, clubs can submit a ‘B list’ no later than 24 hours before a European tie.
Players included must be born on, or after, January 1 1999 and have been eligible to play for their parent club for an uninterrupted period of two years since their 15th birthday.
With Romero having not returned to United since being denied a summer exit, 18-year-old Mastny is now the club’s third-choice shot-stopper while United have also added Brandon Williams, Teden Mengi and Mason Greenwood to their B list.
Solskjaer has already been away to PSG as United manager, celebrating perhaps his finest hour so far as Red Devils boss in March 2019.
Going to Paris trailing 2-0 from the first leg of their last 16 clash, United won 3-1 in the reverse fixture to progress to the quarter-finals.
Marcus Rashford’s 94th-minute penalty, awarded via VAR decision, sealed a dramatic late triumph at the home of the Parisians.
United consequently became the first team ever in Champions League and European Cup history to overcome a 2-0 or greater home deficit from the first leg, at the 107th attempt.
Solskjaer will hope for a similar performance as his side look to lay down a marker in Group H, which also features RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.
Meanwhile, speaking before the absence of Cavani, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel spoke at length about the striker’s talents.
“He was the best scorer and he wrote part of our club’s history,” said Tuchel. “He’s definitely a great player but it’s not a story about PSG against Edi or vice versa.
“We’ll definitely be on the watch, it’s hard to defend against him, he can make the difference and we’ll be prepared for him.
“United have got a great personality, like many of the biggest players. It’s the same with Edi, he’s very polite, almost a bit shy, and a hard, hard worker.
“He’ll be in there every training session until last minute, every match until the last second, so you can totally rely on him
“He’s living for goals, living for scoring, and when he scores he has so much confidence and is one of the great No.9s in world football. That’s clear.
“If you play for so long in a club like ours and have a connection with the fans, it’s clear you have character and deserve this appreciation.
“Hopefully he’ll show that, not tomorrow, but from Wednesday onwards, to convince all of you. Tomorrow it’s not necessary to prove me right!”
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