Covid leaves Bruno Fernandes in ‘last-minute race’ to face Atlético Madrid | Manchester United


Bruno Fernandes is in a “last-minute race” to be fit for Manchester United’s last-16 second leg against Atlético Madrid at Old Trafford on Tuesday after contracting Covid-19. The illness ruled the Portuguese midfielder out of Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham.

Fernandes is United’s second-highest scorer with nine goals in all competitions. Ralf Rangnick is unsure if the 27-year-old can face Atlético, in a tie poised at 1-1. Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are also doubts owing to injury.

“I don’t know,” the interim manager said of Fernandes. “With Scotty, I hope so but he had some muscular problems with his calf. That’s why we decided not to play him [against Spurs], because Scotty, quite like Fred, is only valuable if he can perform with 100% of his physical capacity.

“Luke hopefully will be back in training Monday and Bruno we will have to wait and see until Tuesday. This will probably be a last-minute race with him – due to Covid.”

As for Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the second hat-trick of his United career against Spurs, Rangnick talked up his positive influence on the team. “He can be a leader with a performance like that,” he said. “This is what I have been telling him since I arrived, that with this kind of performance he can be one of the engines of the team, but we have quite a few other players who can do the same, including Fred, Harry [Maguire], Rapha [Varane], Victor [Lindelöf], whoever. Even Edi [Cavani], when he came on, the last 10 or 15 minutes showed how important and what kind of role he can still play. I wish him to be available until the end of the season.”

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Rangnick joked about the recent 4-1 loss at Manchester City when asked if United can win the Champions League. “This is what I like about this club. Sunday – I almost felt like we were at a funeral, that it was already dead and the end of the decade or whatever. I felt like it’s the worst team I ever coached. And after the 3-2 win against Tottenham we’re discussing our chances to win the Champions League.

“Ask me that question should we reach the final of the Champions League, then you can ask me that question again. Right now I don’t really think it makes sense.”



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