Cheick Tiote will be left playing catch up with his fitness ahead of the new season – after being denied entry to the USA.
Tiote was left behind on Tyneside because of what head coach Steve McClaren – who has lost Sylvain Marveaux for up to six weeks – has described as “visa complications”.
Asked why Tiote wasn’t in his squad, McClaren said: “Visa complications.
“We tried to get him over here, but the visa was difficult. It was too short a time. He’s training back home.”
United take on Mexican side Club Atlas at Miller Park, Milwaukee in the early hours of tomorrow morning (2am kick-off BST).
It is problematic getting a visa to work in the USA if you have had a crimincal conviction.
Tiote – who played for McClaren at FC Twente – was given 180 hours community service and a seven-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, in October 2013 after admitting possession of a fake driving licence.
Yohan Cabaye, Joey Barton and Nile Ranger were denied entry to the USA for Newcastle’s last tour to the country four years ago.
Cabaye was refused a visa because of a disputed dental bill, while Barton and Ranger were blocked from travelling because of previous criminal convictions.
McClaren spoke highly of Tiote after his appointment last month, but the 29-year-old’s future seemingly lies away from St James’s Park after two indifferent years on Tyneside.
Locomotiv Moscow were interested in the Ivory Coast international last summer.
Meanwhile, midfielder Marveaux – who spent last season on loan at Guingamp – has had a hernia operation.
The 29-year-old is facing “four to six” weeks on the sidelines, according to McClaren, who yesterday held a Press conference with Jack Colback and Club Atlas coach Gustavo Matsas.
On the game, McClaren said: “We know it’s going to be a very difficult game.
“They finished fourth in their league, and when you play any Mexican team it’s very tough. They are difficult opponents.”