Ibrahimovic edging closer to a return
Jose Mourinho has told MUTV that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is now training with Manchester United's first team again, as he nears a return to competitive football.
Last week, the manager had confirmed that long-term absentees Zlatan and Eric Bailly were taking part in on-pitch training, but away from the rest of their first-team colleagues.
Speaking to MUTV at the Aon Training Complex on Friday, Mourinho revealed there were
“no fresh injuries” following the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last weekend.
Shortly afterwards, the manager confirmed in his press conference that Daley Blind will also be absent again when United travel to St. James' Park to face Newcastle United on Sunday (kick-off 14:15 GMT).
“The squad is good, everything is fine,” the boss said. Eric Bailly and Daley Blind are the two players that are out. Zlatan started training with the team two days ago, so two days with the group and improving. We are fine.
Ibrahimovic last featured for the Reds in the Boxing Day clash against Burnley at Old Trafford, but was substituted at half-time, while Blind hasn't played since January's Emirates FA Cup win over Derby County due to a minor injury.
Bailly has been out since November and Marouane Fellaini is sidelined after undergoing surgery on a knee injury sustained in the recent 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. The Belgian midfielder is expected to return in six to eight weeks.
United are aiming to consolidate second place in the table this weekend but Mourinho was reminded he has never won a Premier League game at St. James' Park as a manager.
“That is true,” the boss told reporters.
“Honestly I've always felt beautiful matches but difficult matches [there]. I like the stadium, I like the atmosphere. They are a good, enthusiastic crowd.
”I like to go there but I couldn't win. I lost and I drew a few times - I hope the result on Sunday is different. But [Rafael] Benitez knows how to get points, so I think it's going to be difficult.