Manchester United manager Solskjaer could exclude Bruno Fernandes from his international duties

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is weighing the possibility of preventing Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes from traveling with Portugal during the international break due to the COVID-19 quarantine.

Portugal is scheduled to play three World Cup qualifiers this month: at home against Azerbaijan (March 24), away from Serbia (March 27) and on the road against Luxembourg (March 30).

Linking with Portugal would mean that Fernandes would be subject to a 10-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel upon his return to the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It would also leave Solskjaer without the services of Fernandes against Brighton and Hove Albion (April 3) and Tottenham (April 10).

When asked about the situation following Wednesday’s goalless draw at Crystal Palace, United manager Solskjaer told reporters: “We haven’t sat down and made a proper decision, but it doesn’t make sense if you lose your player for 10 days of isolation.

“We are the ones who pay the players, from what I understand, that [being allowed to ban players travelling] is the rule.

“FIFA has given the rule that they do not have to be released, so it is going to be a difficult decision to make them let them play in countries on the red list.”

“I want Bruno to be ready for Brighton and I hope we go through Europe and against Tottenham after that break, of course we are.”

United achieved their third straight goalless draw in all competitions after firing another blank shot at Palace in midweek.

Solskjaer’s hesitant United produced another toothless display at Selhurst Park, where the Red Devils slipped 14 points adrift from runaway leader Manchester City before Sunday’s derby.

United recorded their sixth Premier League goalless draw of the season, the most teams in a club campaign, alongside 2004-05 and 2016-17.

The Premier League giants have also drawn three straight 0-0 matches in all competitions for the first time since October 2015 with Louis van Gaal.

“Of course we are not happy when you don’t create enough chances to win a match,” Solskjaer said. Of course, it has been a goalless week, and sometimes three games sounds a lot without scoring.

“It wasn’t considered either, but a week in a season like this sometimes is… yeah, you just don’t reach the form that you normally had, that you’ve been in for many, many months, so it’s a bit worrying. Of course it is.

“But I know that guys are given everything. And that’s what happens with that we play every three days, and I know they gave everything they have, so attitude and approach that I’m very happy with the quality. We need to get back to what we know we can do. “

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