Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will be without three key first-team players for the club's forthcoming pre-season tour of the United States, due to commitments that Angel di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia have with their respective countries ahead of this summer's Copa America.
The Argentine duo and Ecuador international are all set to feature at the South American tournament in Chile which will make them unavailable to travel with the Red Devils squad in July.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Van Gaal has already informed the trio - who cost Manchester United a combined £91.7 million in transfer fees - that they will not be expected to return to England as soon as their participation in the competition is over, providing them with an opportunity to rest and recuperate ahead of what is sure to be another gruelling 2015/16 campaign.
That decision means Di Maria, Rojo - a £16m signing from Sporting Lisbon last summer - and Valencia could miss the Premier League giants' entire pre-season schedule, which would then surely place huge doubts over their availability for selection in the opening few competitive games.
United normally play a showpiece friendly at Old Trafford after returning from their tour, but don't expect to see any of the Copa America competitors turning out as they take a well-earned break.
That could give opportunity to some of the new players that Van Gaal is expected to recruit over the summer, with Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne likely to challenge Valencia for his starting spot in the team next season.
The former Wigan Athletic man has been a regular fixture in the starting XI since moving to the Theatre of Dreams in a £16 million deal in 2009, but his place could be under threat from next season onwards.
Meanwhile, Mats Hummels' prospective arrival from Borussia Dortmund will also increase competition for places for Rojo at the heart of defence, while Di Maria is already walking a tightrope following a hugely underwhelming debut campaign with the club.
The former Real Madrid winger arrived with a glowing reputation as one of the finest players in world football, but he's struggled to live up to his billing and justify the British record £59.7 million price-tag that came with his high-profile transfer last summer.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Louis van Gaal is taking the right approach giving Di Maria, Rojo and Valencia time off after the Copa America? Or should they be made to rejoin the Red Devils squad at the earliest opportunity? Share your thoughts below...
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