United 'do not want to release Garnacho' for upcoming U20 World Cup

Manchester United ‘do not want to release Alejandro Garnacho’ for the upcoming Under 20 World Cup in his native Argentina, with Erik ten Hag keen to hang on to the highly-rated winger as he returns from an ankle injury

  • Alejandro Garnacho has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Manchester United 
  • He picked up an ankle injury in March but appears to be close to a return 
  • United ‘do not want’ the 18-year-old to play at the upcoming Under 20 World Cup

Manchester United are keen to prevent Alejandro Garnacho from playing in the upcoming Under 20 World Cup in his native Argentina, reports from the country have said.

The 18-year-old has been a revelation when fit this season and picked up four goals in 29 appearances, but has not played since March after picking up an ankle injury.

Garnacho recently shared an Instagram post suggesting he is close to full fitness again, but Erik ten Hag now seems concerned he may leave the club once more to play for his country.

According to Argentinian journalist Gaston Edul, United do not want their young winger to feature in the World Cup, while Argentina Under 20 coach, and Barcelona legend, Javier Mascherano is doing ‘everything possible’ to include Garnacho in the squad.

If he did take part in the tournament, which starts on May 20, the winger would miss United’s final two Premier League games, as well as the FA Cup and Europa League finals should they qualify.

Argentinian winger Alejandro Garnacho has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Man United

He has been unavailable since March with an ankle injury picked up against Southampton

The Red Devils are currently struggling with something of an injury crisis after losing the likes of Marcus Rashford, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. They will be unwilling to lose another first team player this season if they can possibly avoid it.

For Argentina Under 20s, who only qualified for the tournament as stand-in hosts after it was taken away from Indonesia, Garnacho could be a vital presence.

He has scored four goals in five appearances for Mascherano’s side, and was named in a preliminary squad that also included the likes of Man City midfielder Maximo Perrone.

The Under 20 boss, who played 145 times for Argentina alongside fruitful spells at Liverpool and Barca, has long been a fan of Garnacho. 

Erik ten Hag wants to ‘keep the winger for the rest of the season’, while Argentina Under 20 boss Javier Mascherano is keen to take him to the upcoming World Cup

‘Alejandro is a great player, with a lot of potential to continue growing,’ he said last June. ‘It is clear that by playing in the club he plays for, and above all the importance his club gives him for the future, will depend on him for what he is capable of.’ 

If United do hang on to the winger for the rest of the season, he could help them edge towards an unlikely treble.

Having already secured the League Cup, they are still fighting in the Europa League and FA Cup and have recovered from a wobble in their Premier League form.

Ten Hag’s side will next be in action on Thursday as they look to move past Sevilla in the Europa League quarter final after drawing the first leg 2-2. 

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