MANCHESTER UNITED

Solskjaer hopeful on Maguire's chances of returning for Europa League final

Manchester United look set to be without Harry Maguire in their remaining league games, and he remains doubtful for the Europa League final.

Maguire a doubt for Europa League final but Solskjaer hopeful after confirming ligament damage

Harry Maguire could miss the Europa League final after Manchester United confirmed he suffered ankle ligament damage against Aston Villa, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful he will be able to face Villarreal.

The England centre-back was visibly hurt following a challenge with Anwar El Ghazi in Sunday's 1-3 comeback win and had to be replaced by Eric Bailly after 78 minutes. Solskjaer was unclear how long United would be without Maguire initially, suggesting there was a chance he could be fit for Tuesday's visit of Leicester City before also acknowledging his season may be over.

Maguire recovering

He was able to offer a little more clarity on Tuesday, with Maguire left out of the squad to face his former club, revealing there has been ligament damage rather than a fracture. A statement on the United website said that "he could also be absent for the remaining league fixtures", while also stating he faces a "race against time" to be fit for the Europa League final on 26 May.

Solskjaer stressed he remains optimistic, though he could not be certain that Maguire will feature in Gdansk. Speaking to MUTV ahead of the clash with Leicester, the manager said: "He's obviously had the scans and the good news is there is no fracture. [There's] ligament damage but hopefully we will see him again this season. Hopefully, he'll be ready for the final."

Maguire had previously played every minute in the Premier League since joining from Leicester prior to his withdrawal on Sunday. His run of 71 games in succession put him tied with only Gary Pallister for an outfield United player in the competition – with the ex-Red Devils defender coincidentally also seeing his streak ended by injury at Villa Park in the 1995-96 season.