Edinson Cavani has not travelled with the Manchester United squad for Saturday's meeting with Newcastle United, increasing the chances of a start for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Like most of the South Americans in the Premier League, Cavani stayed at home during the international break after Uruguay agreed to withdraw his call-up because of United's quarantine concerns.
He was free to feature against Newcastle and had been expected to play some part in the game, but according to the Manchester Evening News, he has not even made the squad.
For reasons as yet unknown, Cavani did not join the rest of his squad at the Lowry Hotel before the game, meaning there is one less player for Ronaldo to compete with for a start in attack.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does still have Anthony Martial and the in-form Mason Greenwood competing for minutes in the central striker role, but Ronaldo now appears one step closer to earning his first start in his second stint with the Red Devils.
Elsewhere, Fred has also been cleared to feature in the game after the Brazilian FA agreed to withdraw their complaints towards his failure to report for international duty.
United blocked Fred from flying out to South America amid concerns he would have to quarantine for ten days upon his return, prompting the Brazilian FA to call for five-day bans for all the players who failed to report for duty.
Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus,Chelsea's Thiago Silva and Leeds' Raphinha were among those facing suspensions, only for FIFA to eventually confirm the players were free to feature.
Fred will likely start the game as Scott McTominay is out with a groin injury, so expect to see him alongside Paul Pogba at the base of United's midfield.