(Reuters) – Alexis Sanchez is ready to return for Manchester United but Marouane Fellaini has been ruled out with what caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described as a “long-term” calf injury.
Chilean forward Sanchez missed the 1-0 Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend with a hamstring problem but returned to training this week ahead of Saturday’s clash against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford.
“Alexis has trained all week so hopefully he will come through the session today and be available,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday.
“Fellaini is the long-term one. He will be at least three or four weeks.”
British media reported United are willing to let Fellaini leave for the right price in the January transfer window, despite the 31-year-old signing a new two-year deal at the start of the season.
The Belgian has made just two appearances off the bench in Solskjaer’s six-game winning start at United, yet the Norwegian coach believes the player can have an important role under him.
“There’s X-factor in different players and we all know Felli’s X-factor,” he said.
“He has got a calf injury… but he’ll be working hard to get back in when all the big games are coming as well.”
Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December and has made the most successful start by any manager in the club’s history, winning his first six games in all competitions.
United have managed to trim the gap to the top four in the league from 11 points to six and the manager now wants his team to guard against complacency.
“You cannot be too confident, it’s complacency, it’s the other side of it,” he said.
“I want players to be confident but not complacent and not take their foot off the pedal because that’s a big difference for me. Take people on, running, passing forward, getting the crowd with them, because that’s what it’s about.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)