Antony could return to Manchester United squad despite assault investigations

The winger could be selected by Erik ten Hag to face Galatasaray in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Monday 02 October 2023 12:44 BST
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Antony is in contention to make his comeback for Manchester United against Galatasaray after a leave of absence following accusations he assaulted three women.

United announced on Friday that the winger would return to training and manager Erik ten Hag is thinking about picking the £86m signing for Tuesday’s Champions League game.

He said: “Antony will be in consideration but yesterday [Sunday] was his first day back in team training, final training and then we make the decision. So he is under consideration.”

Ten Hag brushed aside concerns that selecting the Brazil international could send the wrong message to victims of domestic abuse.

Antony has spoken to police in both Sao Paulo and Manchester after allegations were levelled, including that he tried to throw his former partner Gabriella Cavallin out of a moving car and that he punched and headbutted her.

The United manager added: “He cooperated fully and he came out and he is not charged.”

Antony has not played for United since the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in August and the club put him on a leave of absence after Cavallin gave an interview with the Brazilian outlet UOL.

Ten Hag has confirmed that Lisandro Martinez will undergo a second operation on his injured foot. The centre-back will be out until December as United will also face the Turkish champions without the injured Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Sergio Reguilon and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Ten Hag also believes Marcus Rashford will start scoring soon. The forward, who got 30 goals last season, has only scored one so far this but the Dutchman is encouraged that he is having chances.

He explained: “The facts are he is not scoring in this moment, but he had opportunities. He had five or six against Brighton and if he works hard, if he invests, every day and goes with the right focus and if the team around him supply and help him and support him with movement then it will come.

“Marcus Rashford is a player who is capable of scoring goals in every game and when he comes in the right spot, he will score.”

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