Manchester United could be forced to tackle the end of their season without young winger Alejandro Garnacho if Argentina are awarded the rights to host this summer’s Under-20 World Cup.
Argentina did not qualify for the tournament, which will be held in May and was originally due to be hosted by Indonesia, but FIFA confirmed that there would be a change of hosts after the island of Bali refused to welcome the Israeli team.
A new host will soon be chosen and reports have suggested that Argentina is the only country that has submitted a bid.
“There are other countries that have also announced interest, but as a candidate, with government guarantees and other details, Argentina is the first and we will decide in two or three days,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.
If Argentina were to win the hosting rights then La Albiceleste would also be expected to be re-entered in the tournament and this could have ramifications for United.
Argentina would likely call up Garnacho for the tournament, which starts on May 20, and FIFA rules would prevent United from blocking his departure, as clubs are not allowed to turn down invitations to major tournaments such as the World Cup.
The 18-year-old is currently sidelined with an ankle injury, but reports in Argentina believe he would be fit enough to play in the tournament if called up.
If called up, Garnacho would miss United’s final two Premier League games of the season, against Bournemouth and Fulham, and would also be out for the Europa League and FA Cup finals. The first one is scheduled for May 31st, the second one a few days later on June 3rd.