by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal hasn’t ruled out the return of Phil Jones, Victor Valdes and Luke Shaw for Manchester United’s matchday squad to face Newcastle today but aired on the side of caution when discussing the trio.

All three players were left out of United’s game against Sunderland last weekend as Valdes and Shaw suffered minor injury setbacks while Jones was struck down by a bout of illness.

Although van Gaal indirectly confirmed all three were available by revealing Robin van Persie is United’s only injured player, he stopped short of saying any would return to the squad.

When questioned about the fitness of Shaw, Valdes and Jones, van Gaal said: “It is difficult to say as, in every training session, you can be injured or the fatigue specialist can say he is not fit enough to play a game.

“And then I have to decide not to use that player. So it’s always difficult to say but the only injured player is van Persie.

“It is too quick to say anything about that [a length of absence for the striker].”

Of the three, Shaw is who van Gaal will want back in his starting XI as soon as possible but the return of Jones is also important for giving United some options in defence as well.

As for Valdes, he won’t be getting near the first-team any time soon unless David de Gea suffers an injury, so his absence won’t have much of an effect on the squad overall if he does need a bit longer to recover.

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