Man Utd and top-flight rivals charter flight in bid to bring stars back to UK

A host of top Premier League sides have clubbed together and chartered a private jet in a desperate bid to ensure their South American stars are back for this weekend's games.

Rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have joined forces for an aircraft costing six figures to ensure their international players return in time, according to The Mail.

Nine top-flight stars from Brazil and Uruguay will jump on a plane immediately after their crucial World Cup qualifier in Manaus, scheduled to take place on Friday at 1:30am UK time.

Leeds ace Raphinha is also expected to fly back along with City's Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, United's Edinson Cavani and Fred and Liverpool duo Alisson and Fabinho.

Veteran Chelsea defender Thiago Silva and Douglas Luiz are also part of the returning contingent, who could be split into two groups based on where their clubs are playing in the UK on Saturday.

Spurs, meanwhile, look set to fly their quartet – Argentina pair Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, Colombia's Davinson Sanchez and Brazil defender Emerson Royal – also by private jet.

How many South American stars do you think will feature this weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Once players return to England, clubs face big decisions over whether their stars are deemed fit enough to take part in the weekend's fixtures.

Liverpool have the shortest turnaround of all the Premier League sides, with only a 35-hour gap between Brazil's qualifier against Uruguay and their Saturday match at Watford.

The Reds were even refused a request to get the game moved to an evening kick-off to allow their players extra time to recuperate following the international break.

Unlike the previous round of World Cup qualifiers, South American stars are available to play for their clubs straight away thanks to a change in the government's quarantine guidelines.

Prior to the latest international break, it was confirmed that players would be allowed to travel to red list countries if they are fully vaccinated, then would have to quarantine in "bespoke facilities" for 10 days upon their return to the UK.

As part of the new agreement they will be allowed out to train and play, while those who have travelled to countries no longer on the red list will have no restrictions on their movement and can stay at home.

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