Kobbie Mainoo blow complicates Scott McTominay exit as Manchester United close in on Rasmus Hojlund

Kobbie Mainoo looked set to be a big part of Erik ten Hag's plans this coming season

Kobbie Mainoo looked set to be a big part of Erik ten Hag’s plans this coming season – Getty Images/Matthew Peters

Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has been ruled out for the first part of next season in a bitter cruel setback that could have implications for the future of Scott McTominay.

Mainoo has flown home from United’s pre-season tour of the US after suffering a serious ankle injury during a collision in the 2-0 defeat by Real Madrid in Houston in the early hours on Thursday.

Rodrygo landed on Mainoo’s ankle after the Real forward had lost his balance following a foul by Casemiro and been sent flying into the young United midfielder.

Mainoo, 18, will undergo further tests in the coming days before a decision is taken on how best to treat the injury.

But the early suggestions are he is facing around two months on the sidelines although that could change. United confirmed in a statement that Mainoo is expected to be ruled out “for the first part” of the new season.

It is a bitter blow for Mainoo, who had looked set to play a clear part of Erik ten Hag’s first team plans after starting the friendlies against both Arsenal and Real ahead of more senior midfielders.

Kobbie Mainoo - Kobbie Mainoo blow complicates Scott McTominay exit as Manchester United close in on Rasmus Hojlund

Kobbie Mainoo had impressed on Manchester United’s pre-season tour before injury against Real Madrid – Getty Images/Matthew Peters

United plan to sell Fred, who is not on the tour for personal reasons, and Donny van de Beek but Mainoo’s injury may force a rethink on McTominay, who is wanted by West Ham.

Ten Hag has been open to selling McTominay if a bid of around £45 million came in but the loss of Mainoo plus the prospect of multiple sales could leave the United manager short in midfield and he will have a decision to make now on whether he can realistically lose the Scotland international.

Ten Hag is interested in Sofyan Amrabat but a move for the Fiorentina and Morocco midfielder would be more likely if McTominay is sold.

United could still raise considerable funds from the sale of other players before the window closes but Mainoo’s injury has potentially thrown a spanner in the works around the midfield.

Mainoo’s United team-mates have rallied around the youngster. Captain Bruno Fernandes, fellow midfielders Casemiro, Fred and Van de Beek, wingers Alejandro Garnacho and Antony and defender Lisandro Martinez all posted messages of support on Instagram. Mainoo wrote: “I’ll be back stronger and in no time. Thanks for your messages of support.”

United’s more immediate transfer priority is to wrap up a deal with Atalanta for Rasmus Hojlund. The Denmark striker was left out of the squad that is playing Bournemouth on Saturday in order to avoid any risk of injury complicating discussions as the two clubs look to reach a compromise on the fee and its structure.

Ten Hag hopes to have Hojlund in before the start of the new Premier League season, with United due to face Wolves on August 14.

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