MANCHESTER UNITED could be left without Alejandro Garnacho for the final few games of the season.
That is because the Argentine, 18, is set to be called up by his country for the U20 World Cup.
The tournament begins on May 20, meaning he would miss the Red Devils’ Premier League matches against Bournemouth and Fulham.
He would also be absent for the FA Cup final if Man Utd come through Brighton at Wembley on Sunday.
Fifa rules state that clubs are “obliged to release their registered players to representative teams of the country for which the player is eligible to play on the basis of his nationality if they are called by the association concerned”.
Football’s governing body also outline that “any agreement between a player and a club to the contrary is prohibited”.
However, these rules are not compulsory for tournaments that take place during a domestic season.
And according to The Telegraph, he will fly over to England next week to try and convince United to release Garnacho.
This is not the first time the teenager has been at the centre of controversy in recent months.
When he was not selected for the World Cup in Qatar, Mascherano was forced to defend Garnacho amid reports he had been omitted due to attitude problems.
Mascherano said: “The first time [Lionel] Scaloni [Argentina manager] brought him in March, and then when we went to Toulon, he behaved spectacularly.
“Garnacho is a respectful boy. He formed a very nice bond with the boys who play in Argentina even though he didn’t really know them.
“I really don’t know why they say what they say, but with us he had a behaviour and predisposition that was 10 out of 10.
“Obviously Garnacho is a great player. There is a reason he is playing for Manchester United at the age of 18.”
Garnacho has contributed four goals and five assists in 32 games for Man Utd this season.