Manchester United have confirmed Raphael Varane will be out for "a few weeks" with a groin injury sustained in the Nations Cup final.
With Harry Maguire also absent with a calf injury manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is without his two first-choice centre-backs for a tricky run of matches
Varane, a PS34m ($A63 m) summer signing from Real Madrid, sustained the problem in the first half of France's victory over Spain on Sunday.
United face Leicester City at the weekend followed by further Premier League matches against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City, intercut with home-and-away Champions League group ties against Atalanta.
Solskjaer's remaining options are Victor Lindelof and either Eric Bailly, whose one appearance this season came in the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham last month, or Phil Jones, who has not played since January 2020 due to a knee injury, but was in the squad for the Hammers game.
The United manager could also utilise midfielder Scott McTominay at centre-back, a role he has performed for Scotland, or opt to switch to a back three and move Luke Shaw into a more central position.
Australian Associated Press