Man Utd boss Ten Hag coy on Varane ‘rumours’; confirms Shaw ‘will be in the squad’ against Everton

Jason Soutar
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag gives instructions to a drenched Luke Shaw.
Erik ten Hag gives instructions to a drenched Luke Shaw.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said Andre Onana and Luke Shaw are fit to face Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Onana did not feature in Cameroon’s second game in the international break after picking up a knock but is fit to face the Toffees – who were recently handed a 10-point deduction for breaking the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

Shaw, meanwhile, has not featured for United since the defeat at Tottenham on August 19.

While both players will be in the squad for the trip to Goodison Park, Ten Hag says a decision on Rasmus Hojlund will be made on Saturday.

“Andre is okay,” the Dutch manager said in a press conference. “He stepped in training today, he’s good.

“Rasmus: still is a close finish. He’s training, he finished outside, making very good steps and we have to wait until tomorrow and we will make a final decision.

“Luke Shaw will be available for Sunday, he will be in the squad. To Jonny: he’s on the way back, he’s not ready for Everton, he will not take long.

“You can mention many things – physical, technical ability, it’s clear. Long time this season we didn’t have a left full-back. Very happy he is back. He will help us be more stable.”

Ten Hag expects a “mad” Everton side to give them a tough game on Sunday after their points deduction plummeted them down to 19th in the Premier League table.

“It’s always about us,” he said. “I can see the opposition, I can see they are mad. Finally, it’s about us.

“If they are mad, that’s their fuel, we have to match those standards. If we match the standards we have a very good chance to win the game.

“I don’t know the details about [the points deduction], I don’t have an opinion. I can imagine Everton fans are very mad. We can do nothing about it. We have to match their standards.”

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“We go in a week, very condensed, we play three games in six days,” Ten Hag noted. “As a squad, we have to deal with that.

“Of course, we have a plan, a strategy for it, we make the players aware and they have to take responsibility for it but especially it’s about cooperation.”

United have started the season poorly but are only seven points behind Manchester City in first. Technically, they are the most in-form team in the Premier League with four wins from their last five league encounters.

“We go into a massive month, we are looking really forward and confident, in the Premier League, everyone is winning from everyone, there are no easy games for no one, every team will drop points, but the last five games,” Ten Hag said.

“We won four and that gives us confidence in the next games.”

He added: “Definitely, we have seen a turning point, we have seen how we deal with certain situations that we build on a certain foundation and now we have to build on.”

On the lack of goals in his side, Ten Hag said: “I am confident we will get a point. Our players are able to score goals; they have shown it already. [Marcus Rashford] Rashy last season, Hojlund in the Champions League.

“Our players are capable; there will be a point when it comes. They have to step up, but our players have the ability to score goals.”

There have been reports that Ten Hag’s relationship with French defender Raphael Varane has ‘practically broken down’ but the Dutchman insists he is a “very important player”.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. “It’s rumours. Very important player, but there’s internal competition and there should be at a top club, as we are.

“And when you decide on two players who do brilliant – Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire – you also have to make a choice for that position.”

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