Sunday 19 November 2017

Nemanja Vidic a shock absence from Manchester United's pre-season tour

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will miss the team's pre-season tour of south-east Asia. Photo: PA
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will miss the team's pre-season tour of south-east Asia. Photo: PA

Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic is a surprise absentee from the club's pre-season touring squad.

As anticipated, Robin van Persie and David de Gea both miss Saturday's opener in Bangkok after being given additional time off following their summer international commitments, although they are due to join up in Sydney.

And, just as David Moyes predicted, injury victims Chris Smalling (foot), Ashley Young (ankle) and Nani (broken nose) were also missing due to injury.

However, Vidic's non-appearance was not expected and there was no immediate explanation from the club.

There was no hint of any problem on Friday when Vidic attended the official unveiling of David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor.

And while his absence may be connected to the treatment received by the Serbian on the chronic knee injury that ruled him out for virtually 12 months, any fresh problem would be a concern.

In addition to Van Persie and De Gea, Shinji Kagawa will also be a late arrival, linking up with his team-mates in Japan on July 21 after a rest following his country's Confederations Cup campaign.

If past experience is any guide, Moyes and his players can expect to be greeted by swarms of fans when they arrive at their hotel in Bangkok tomorrow.

United's encounter with Singha All Stars is a sell-out, underlining the love of football, and the Red Devils in particular, in south east Asia.

With so many senior players missing, Moyes has drafted defender Michael Keane, plus midfielders Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj into his squad.

Also selected is new-boy Wilfried Zaha, who only began training on Monday following his European Under-21 campaign with England.

"He has only been with us for two days but I will take him away, see how he goes and have a look," said Moyes of the player who was signed from Crystal Palace last January, then immediately loaned back.

"This club has a great record of putting young players in the team. Hopefully Wilfried can be one of them."

Wayne Rooney will also be there, although it appears there have been no further developments on his future, with Moyes virtually repeating what he said at Old Trafford on Friday, when he insisted the 27-year-old would not be sold without confirming that is the striker's wish.

"The club have already stated Wayne is not for sale," said Moyes.

"I have met Wayne two, three, four times. A lot has been said about myself and Wayne over the years but we have a really good relationship. He came to my house, I have been to his recently to have a chat. Also he is here every day.

"I will say he is training great. They are telling me it is the best shape they have seen him in for a long time.

"From that point of view I am taking it as a positive and I am going to try and get the best Wayne Rooney I possibly can."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport