Manchester United defender Eric Bailly could miss up to a month of the Premier League season after helping Ivory Coast qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The tournament kicks off on January 14 and runs to to February 5, but Bailly is likely to fly out a few days in advance to begin his preparations with the squad.
Jose Mourinho will have to be without the centre-back against Liverpool at home, January 14, Stoke away, January 21 and Hull City Home, January 31.
Should Man United progress to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup, they will have to negotiate at least one leg without Bailly.
Bailly started his country’s qualifier against Sierra Leone on Saturday and the 1-1 dray was enough to secure qualification for the finals.
He signed from Villarreal in June as a relatively unknown talent, but has made his mark on the side and successfully cemented his place in the first-team.
It’s a shame to know we’ll be without him this season as he always plays a big role for Man United and has been named man of the match in the Community Shield against Leicester and again on his Premier League debut at Bournemouth.