Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho confirmed Wayne Rooney will be in Manchester United’s League Cup Final squad against Southampton after the club’s record goal scorer declared he will remain at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.
United manager Mourinho was impressed with the way England forward Rooney handled rumours of a possible lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.
And, after revealing that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss Sunday’s Wembley showpiece due to an injury suffered at Saint Etienne in midweek, Mourinho opened the door for Rooney to play against Southampton.
“Yes,” said Mourinho when asked on Friday if Rooney is in the Wembley squad. “I think he did, in the right moment, in the best moment, he did his declaration, his statement.
“I told you at my last press conference that the questions you are asking me were questions for him. Only he could answer the questions and he did it exactly in the right moment.
“Your question is the last question about Wayne Rooney and should be the last until the end of the season. He says he stays and helps the team to fight for the trophies.
“I said already I will be happy if that’s the decision so yes it’s fine. He is training with the team.
“He was not selected for St-Etienne because he was not ready to play, but he was ready to have one more important training session. And now, today, he is involved in the game.”
Mourinho also spoke passionately about the extraordinary sacking of Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who left the club on Thursday less than a year after leading them to the title.
– Beautiful history –
Mourinho posted a message of support on his Instagram account and arrived at the press conference wearing the initials ‘CR’ of his sacked colleague on his shirt.
“My comment about Claudio is my shirt with his name,” he said. “It is my little homage to somebody that wrote the most beautiful history of the Premier League.
“Somebody that probably deserves the Leicester stadium to be named ‘Claudio Ranieri’ – and he is sacked.
“So I think Leicester made history two years in a row. One year because they did the most beautiful thing in the Premier League and one of the most beautiful stories in football history.
“And now they are also in the highlights with the decision that I think has everyone in football united because it is something very, very difficult to accept.