Daily Mail

Erik picks star duo in spite of ban threat


ERIK TEN HAG will play Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes in the europa League last- 16 tie against Real Betis despite the risk of both picking up a ban.

United go into tonight’s game leading 4-1 from the first leg at Old Trafford last week, but Ten hag is taking nothing for granted.

even though two of his key midfielder­s are one booking away from being suspended for the first leg of the quarter-finals — the slate is wiped clean after this round — the United boss confirmed that both will start at the estadio Benito Villamarin.

‘They will both play because it’s a very good opponent,’ said Ten hag. ‘Last week we had a good result, but you need your best players.

‘We will play our best team. We have to put out a team who can adapt during the game. We know our opponent has really good players and a lot of variations. We have to be ready for that and go and battle with them.’

Casemiro is about to begin a four-match domestic ban after his sending-off against Southampto­n on Sunday. Ten hag is still aggrieved about the red card and added that the ankle injury sustained by forward Alejandro Garnacho is worse than first thought.

‘ It will take weeks, so it’s a serious injury,’ said Ten hag. ‘he has to deal with the setback and be back for the end of the season. We can win a lot so he has to be back ready as soon as possible.’

Meanwhile, those in the hunt to buy United have been told they have 10 days to submit their next bid. Today, representa­tives from the Qatari offer will head to Old Trafford for presentati­ons and tomorrow it will be the turn of rival Sir Jim Ratcliffe. They will meet members of various department­s, including football, financial and commercial, and take tours of the club’s iconic home and training ground, both of which are in need of significan­t investment.

Independen­t assessment­s of how much would be needed for a makeover — or a new build in the case of the stadium — will be made.

Groups will then be invited to make their second offers to US bank Raine Group, who are handling the process on behalf of the Glazer family.

Raine will consult with United’s owners before deciding upon a preferred bidder. At that stage, the selected offer will be given full access to club accounts. They could then negotiate further before a deal is reached.

Sheik Jassim bin hamad al-Thani will not be heading to Manchester. Instead, his team — which includes execs from Bank of America, acting for the Qatari, and lawyers will travel from London. Sheik Jassim wants to carry out a full takeover of the club.

Ratciffe, the owner of Ineos who wants to take the Glazer family’s 69 per cent stake, is thought to be jetting in from nice, home of the Ligue 1 club he owns.

Two other bidders, from the US, are thought to be in the frame.

Following the presentati­ons, those involved will have 10 days to make their offers.

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