Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has suggested scrapping the League Cup to ease fixture congestion in English football.
The domestic schedule is coming under huge pressure, with the impact of the Omicron variant of coronavirus sweeping through dressing rooms and forcing postponements throughout the country.
Manchester United, themselves, have not played since December 11 due to their own COVID-19 outbreak and had Premier League games against Brentford and Brighton postponed.
They are set to return to action at Newcastle United on Monday and interim boss Rangnick said: “It is a big tradition in England to play on Boxing Day or the 27th, even on the 30th or the 2nd of January.
“I think we should stick to and respect this tradition, but there might be two other issues that have been discussed in the past.
“England is the only country in the top five leagues in Europe that plays two Cup competitions.
“In France, they abolished the second one a year or two ago. So, we are the only country who plays two Cup competitions.
“This is something we could once again speak about and discuss.
“I know the League Cup is still kept for the third and fourth division teams to improve the financial situations of those clubs.
“But if we speak about a tight calendar and having to play too many games, this is something to discuss.”
Rangnick welcomed the decision taken on Monday to scrap FA Cup third and fourth round replays.
Ties will now be played to a conclusion at the first attempt, with extra time and penalty kicks if required.
However, the Football Association (FA), which scrapped replays for the whole of last season’s competition, intends to restore them next year.
On the scrapping of FA Cup replays, Rangnick said: “This is a good idea.
“In Cup competitions in other countries, you play extra time and penalty kicks. You have replays, those are topics you could speak about.”