Maguire guessing game continues
Harry Maguire is still a hot topic for conversation among Manchester United fans as kick-off in the Europa League final against Villarreal approaches.
The captain damaged ankle ligaments against Aston Villa and missed the end of the Premier League season, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitting he was pessimistic over the centre-back's chances of leading the side out in Poland.
Nevertheless, the manager has always pledged to give the England international every chance of taking his place in the line-up and he travelled to Gdansk on Monday afternoon as part of the 26-man squad.
Final prep walk and talk pic.twitter.com/GkA3ZhF4Vu— Mike Phelan (@Mike_Phelan_1) May 26, 2021
Harry looked pretty dejected as he watched from the bench during the open training session on Tuesday, before making his way down the tunnel without doing any work-out whatsoever.
Hence, the prospects looked slim for the commanding defender but some eagle-eyed fans spotted him in conversation with the boss in a picture posted by assistant manager Mike Phelan on social media, covering the final preparation work on Wednesday morning.
This fuelled optimism in some quarters that he could yet make a miraculous recovery.
We will only find out when the teamsheets are handed in ahead of the 20:00 BST kick-off, but England coach Gareth Southgate was asked for his insight into the situation after naming the defensive stalwart in his provisional squad for Euro 2020.
The Three Lions manager explained that United, quite rightly, were focusing on the final and not in a position to share the latest information on the injury.
"Harry might play in the final or he might be out for two months," he said. "I just don't know.
Maguire watches training at Gdansk Stadium
Listen in as Mark Sullivan and Ben Thornley discuss the sight of Harry Maguire watching our session in Poland...
“We had an initial assessment, which was positive in terms of the tournament [Euro 2020], but there was always a little bit more swelling and further investigation needed. When you've got a European final and information for the opposition is so tight, and things do leak, I understand why clubs want to keep their cards close to their chest.
“It's made it a little bit more difficult for us but I don't have a problem with Manchester United at all. I totally understand it."
If Maguire does miss out on playing against Villarreal, he is certain to still be a positive influence around the camp in supporting the team. His next aim would then be to prove his fitness in order to keep his place in the England squad for the summer's big tournament.