Jose Mourinho believes Alexis Sanchez is unlikely to play again for Manchester United in 2018.
We confirmed last night that the Chilean forward sustained a hamstring injury in training on Thursday, a problem which the boss has now described as
“important” and he fears our no.7 won’t be available for action until the New Year.
Speaking to MUTV’s Stewart Gardner before his pre-match press conference, Mourinho said:
“The first thing I can say is that in every other club when a player is not playing it’s a simple manager’s decision.
“In our club, when a player doesn’t play, it’s always [reported that it's] because the player isn’t behaving and has disciplinary issues. Of course that’s not the case again.
“He has an important injury. I don’t want to risk by saying for how long [he will be out] but from the top of my experience, I would say he’s not playing [again] this year.”
Alexis appeared as a substitute in the recent league games against Manchester City and Crystal Palace and last started for United in the impressive 2-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League.
ANY OTHER TEAM NEWS?
The boss also confirmed that summer signing Diogo Dalot is ready to make his Premier League debut for United against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday (kick-off 17:30 GMT).
The Reds are set to be without the injured Victor Lindelof again, with Mourinho confirming after Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over Young Boys that the Swedish centre-back is likely to be out for around three weeks after sustaining a hamstring problem towards the end of the draw against Palace. Fellow defenders Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian also missed the midweek match against Young Boys through injury.
Luke Shaw could feature against his former club on Saturday, after missing last weekend’s goalless draw against Crystal Palace due to a one-match ban for accumulating five yellow cards in the Premier League.
HOW ARE SOUTHAMPTON SHAPING UP?
Former United striker and current Saints boss Mark Hughes confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Thursday that on-loan Liverpool striker Danny Ings is ruled out for the third successive game with a hamstring injury.
He also said that left-back Ryan Bertrand is doubtful as he has been struggling with a back problem, while forward Shane Long is set to be absent again with an ankle complaint.