Follow Us:

Wayne Rooney not fit for Anderlecht clash, says Jose Mourinho

The United captain, however, could return for Sunday's EPL clash with Chelsea.

SNS | New Delhi |

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Wayne Rooney is unavailable for their UEFA Europa League clash against Belgian side Anderlecht, according to a statement on the club website (www.manutd.com).

Rooney has missed the Red Devils’ last two games and was not in the squad that travelled to Belgium for Thursday’s quarter-final first leg at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

Mourinho didn't rule the 31-year-old out of contention for Sunday’s English Premier League encounter with Chelsea, telling reporters at the pre-match press conference: "He is not happy with his condition. He’s trying to work, which he does, but he’s not confident, he’s not happy. 

"He has bad feelings with his ankle and he’s not ready to play. Let’s see for the weekend, let’s see for next week. We don’t have many players and need everyone to try to be available. For tomorrow, no.”

Right-back Antonio Valencia has also been absent for the last two games but trained on Wednesday morning, with the boss having earlier confirmed that he expected the Ecuadorian to return against Anderlecht.

Meanwhile, midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Eric Bailly are a booking away from a European suspension.

Mourinho wants to take a good result back to Old Trafford for next week's second leg but is mindful of Anderlecht's qualities.

"They are a good team and have a certain way of playing, adapted to the qualities of their players," he said. They play well, press well and have talented players. I think we have to play at our best level,” the Portuguese stressed.

"We have that second leg as a possible protection, but tomorrow it’s important to play well – if we don’t we put ourselves in a difficult situation. When a team arrives at this stage of the competition, everyone feels it’s possible [to win it]. The motivation is high for everyone."

Mourinho insisted that United are still contending on two fronts, for Champions League qualification but feels his side can go all the way in Europe. 

"We still have two open doors and my feeling is that we are really going to fight in both competitions," he said. "Honestly, I have a special feeling with the Europa League; it’s a competition we can win.”

"It can give us the same as the top four, which is to play Champions League, but it can give us a title. But we are going to give everything, domestically and in Europe, to reach the Champions League."