Victor Valdes has lost the race to be fit in time to make his Manchester United debut against Arsenal this weekend, reports ESPN.
Although not technically a Manchester United player, it is widely assumed that Louis van Gaal will offer Valdes a short-term deal once he returns to full fitness following a knee injury. Valdes is currently a free agent but has been training with the Red Devils squad at Carrington for the best part of the last month.
With David de Gea set to miss the trip to the Emirates Stadium with a dislocated finger, there was hope that Manchester United would be able to call upon Valdes to make a shock debut. However, ESPN sources claim Valdes is still not ready to return to action.
That means responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Anders Lindegaard despite the fact he has not played a game for Manchester United this season. De Gea has been Van Gaal's only ever present and has been one of few players to come out of the opening games of the Premier League season with any credit.
Valdes, 32, had raised hopes that he could be available for the crunch tie against Arsenal after tweeting that he was almost ready to return. But having sustained cruciate ligament damage, the road to recovery is much longer than some had suspected.
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Manchester United would be able to sign Valdes outside of the transfer window but would need special permission from the Premier League to be able to add him to their squad before January.
Should De Gea's injury, sustained in training with the Spanish national team, keep him out for a considerable amount of time, it could force Van Gaal to appeal for such dispensation.
Some outlets reported that the injury could keep him out for as long as four weeks, making him a definite absentee for the Arsenal game and leaving him doubtful for the Liverpool game in December.