Man United open talks over Jose Mourinho's first summer signing

The Uruguayan worldwide had been on Jose Mourinho's radar during the start of the campaign while there were thoughts over a potential move in the winter as well.

It comes at the worst possible time for manager Jose Mourinho with a packed fixture list with nine games in April alone, beginning with a Premier League game against West Brom.

Smalling recused himself from the England squad with a leg injury following the Three Lions' exhibition match in Germany last week, while Jones injured a toe in training.

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has joined defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on the sidelines after having surgery on a groin injury, the club said on Friday.

Michael Keane of England in action during the Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 World Cup Qualifier between England and Lithuania at Wembley Stadium on March 26, 2017 in London, England.

"On top of that the matches are not really big matches so I am not a big fan".

United will also be without Paul Pogba for Saturday's game against West Brom, as confirmed by Mourinho, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera are unavailable through suspension. "That's the way we have to think, we can not be here crying or speaking about the players that are not available to play", the Portuguese said. "Being a Manchester United player, I don't know how many people have that possibility but I am a Man United player, people wanted me here, I chose the club, I chose the best English club, that's the way it works".

Mourinho went on to say United's many global stars will put them at a disadvantage for Sunday's match against West Brom.

"If you compare our situation with our opponents, West Bromwich Albion, only one player on worldwide duty", he added.

While Mourinho is hoping to keep Ibrahimovic, he will hold no grudges if the 35-year-old opts to depart as the wait for the striker to decide whether to take up his option for a further season goes on.

The Red Devils could face a tricky path to securing automatic Champions League qualification finish via their league position this season - they are now in fifth, four points behind Liverpool with five of their 11 remaining fixtures against clubs in the top seven.

  • Julie Sanders