A bizarre row over a tattoo has ended on-loan Manchester United right-back Guillermo Varela's hopes of featuring for Eintracht Frankfurt in this weekend's DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund in Berlin and wrecked any chance of the player securing an extension to his season-long stint at the Commerzbank-Arena.
According to an official statement released by the Bundesliga outfit on Wednesday (24 May), Varela got a tattoo against the wishes of head coach Niko Kovac earlier this week. It is now said to require treatment having become inflamed and the 24-year-old has since been suspended by Eintracht with immediate effect for "grossly negligent behaviour".
Former German international Fredi Bobic, who currently serves as the club's management board member in charge of sports, revealed that Die Adler had already considered extending his stay beyond the summer but would no longer entertain the possibility.
After making his senior United debut in December 2015 and appearing 11 times in total under Louis van Gaal, former Penarol defender Varela, who was the first signing of David Moyes' ill-fated spell in charge at Old Trafford, spent a season on loan at Real Madrid Castilla. He joined Eintracht last July as the first casualty of Jose Mourinho's reign.
His spell in Germany has been plagued by injury problems. Varela damaged ankle ligaments on his third appearance against SV Darmstadt in September and subsequently missed five months of action after undergoing surgery. He later underwent another procedure to remove the screw from his left ankle.
Despite being limited to just 10 appearances across all competitions, Varela had signalled a desire to prolong his association with Eintracht after clearly taking to life in Frankfurt. Speaking earlier this month, he said: "I want to stay here, so if the club wants it, it is an option."
Barring a late change of heart, Varela will now return to England when his loan expires at the end of June. Last summer, he featured as a substitute in Jose Mourinho's first match in charge of United in a pre-season friendly at Wigan Athletic before being omitted from the squad that travelled to China.
"I talked to Jose Mourinho and we talked about my future and what would be best for me," Varela told the Manchester Evening News in March. "He was very sincere towards me. He told me my playing time would be little so my decision was that I preferred to go. A player needs to play and this is what I'm looking for and this is what I sought here in Frankfurt."