United linked left back stretchered off in Brazil

Fabio Coentrao Portugal

It was one of a series of blows for the fancied Europeans, as they lost 4-0 to a Thomas Muller inspired Germany.

Portugal got their World Cup campaign off to the worst possible start in against Germany in Salvador.

And for one player heavily linked with Manchester United in recent months, it may already be over.

Not only did Portugal get hammered 4-0 by Jogi Low's impressive side, they will also have to contend with suspensions and injuries for the rest of the tournament.

Hugo Almeida was withdrawn midway through the first half with a leg injury, while Real Madrid duo Pepe and Fabio Coentrao left the pitch for differing reason.

Pepe was given a straight red card for an elbow and then headbutt on another United target, hat trick scorer Thomas Muller, while Coentrao was stretchered off with what looked like a serious thigh injury, leaving the field in tears.

He has been ruled out for at least 10 days according to media sources, but may not play again unless Paulo Bento's side reach the next round.

The left-back came very close to moving to Old Trafford last season, only seeing his loan deal collapse at the last minute of 2013's summer transfer window.

Coentrao made just 20 appearances for the Champions League winners over the season, but saw his contract extended given strong performances in the latter half of the season.

United are still looking for reinforcements at left-back, though Patrice Evra's own contract extension provides some security ahead of an expected move for Southampton's Luke Shaw. Given the near £30 million fee Shaw is rumoured to be transferring for, it is possible the Reds could make a renewed attempt to sign Portugal's first choice fullback, even if he was to miss the rest of the World Cup.

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