HARRY MAGUIRE was granted special permission to take a break in Portugal this week to “clear his head”.
Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag was delighted his injured defender could be flown to the Quinta do Lagofor golf resort while his team-mates struggled in the Europa League.
Maguire’s sunshine break with family members has been sanctioned to help him “clear his head” while he recovers from an injury sustained on duty in England.
Ten Hag is desperate for the under-fire centre-back to regain his long-lost form after a string of poor performances for club and country.
The ruthless Dutchman has previously insisted that all injured players in the squad stay at the club’s training ground in Carrington while they recover.
A source said: “Erik has high standards that everyone has to live up to. He expects all injured players to stay in the group.
“He believes they should function as one – hurt or not.
“But in Harry’s case, he felt there were exceptional circumstances. He wanted him to have a mental break from the pressure he’s under.
“He’s gone away with his family and Erik hopes that puts him in a better place to recover from an injury and find his form again.”
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Maguire will miss Sunday’s game against Everton at Goodison Park as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
Ten Hag has repeatedly backed the skipper after a string of flops.
And after Maguire’s miserable England performance in the 3-3 draw with Germany, Ten Hag insisted: “I have to support him, but I support him because I believe in him.
“I can see the qualities and even after he wasn’t in the team he’s been training really well and more importantly the quality was really there.
“You see his career, almost 50 caps for England, for Leicester and Man United – he’s playing really well, what you see is great potential.
“And then it’s about him. The players in the dressing room, the coaches, the manager believe in him.
“I told him that, I’m sure he can do it and he’ll turn it around, I’m sure of that.”
But his absence from Cyprus has created further divisions in the dressing room.
It comes after United’s devastating 6-3 derby win over Manchester City last weekend exposed the ongoing problems at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag called the players for an analysis of their performance on Monday, but passions “boiled over” during the “open and heated” heart-to-heart battle.
New boy Lisandro Martinez, 24, and midfielder Scott McTominay, 25, are said to be among the more vocal United players.
A source said: “Ten Hag asked each player individually to explain their mistakes to each other.
“Some players blamed others for not marking, which led to heated arguments.
“One player told another to focus on his own damn game.
“Everything has been smoothed out, but tensions are high. Ten Hag actively promoted it.
“He told them he wanted to see that level of passion on the field, not after the game was over.”
A United source said: “Erik wants them to get angry. It was open and heated and he wants to see that.
“You’d be surprised if he hadn’t encouraged it. He wants them to have that fighting spirit.”
A United spokesman said: “Harry was given permission to travel to Portugal to continue his rehabilitation while the rest of the squad was in Cyprus so he could benefit from the same warm weather conditions.
“Harry has been accompanied by a MU physiotherapist and has worked hard on his recovery.
“He will return to Carrington on Sunday.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6399648/harry-maguire-holiday-man-utd-row-ten-hag/ Harry Maguire granted Portugal special leave as Ten Hag exempts Man Utd star from strict injury rules to ‘clear his head’