Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been dealt a blow after learning that injury-jinxed French striker Louis Saha will not return to action until November at the earliest.
The 28-year-old has had a knee operation in the United States that will rule him out of action for six months.
A succession of injuries have restricted Saha to only 66 starts for United since his £12.9million transfer from Fulham in January 2004 and he was only able to make two Premiership starts in the second half of the campaign just ended.
He had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, but his agent Ranko Stojic told the Manchester Evening News: "Louis has had surgery in America and he won't be on the field now for a few months.
"There is no question that he will be changing clubs. He's been unlucky and it is very important now that he gets back to 100 per cent fitness.
"I don't know when he will be able to start training again but he is looking at being back around November or December. But it is going to be a while."
Saha had been linked with moves to Lyon and Tottenham before his latest injury setback.