Jose Mourinho has stated that Wayne Rooney could be available for Manchester United’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht on Thursday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Rooney has not played for United since last appearing in a 0-0 home draw against West Brom in early April following a foot injury.
During his pre-match press conference on Wednesday ahead of the reverse fixture against Anderlecht, Mourinho said: “He’s (Rooney) working, he’s improving and, if in this session the answer is positive, I will select him to be on the bench tomorrow.
“His experience, his know-how of this knock-out phase – I think he’s a player that can be useful tomorrow. He can help us.”
Mourinho then gave update on other injury news.
“No injuries from the (Chelsea) game, but also no-one recovered. Mata, Jones, Smalling – they are still out. Wayne is the only one that is possible, but I cannot confirm now,” he added.
Mourinho insisted that United will go out for an outright win despite needing just a goalless draw to advance as the first leg in Brussels ended 1-1.
“The first thing is to have the motivation high,” he said. “At a club like United, when you start the Europa League, you don’t have the motivation high, but that’s September.
“At this stage, you have high motivation. We showed in Brussels that we are a strong team, but you have to equalise the motivational levels [shown against Chelsea], that’s the most important thing.
“First of all, if you don’t concede, you go through, and that’s important for us to know. At the same time, Anderlecht know that if they don’t score, they’re out. Let’s see what happens. We play at home and I know our record there in the Premier League is not the best, but in the Europa League we’ve won every match at home. Are we going to play for a 0-0? No.”
When asked about Anthony Martial, who has struggled this season, Mourinho said: “Do I think Anthony is a player with great potential? Yes. Do I think he can play successfully for me? Yes. But he needs to give me things that I like very much.”
On the final of the Europa League being played in Stockholm, Sweden, home country of star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mourinho said: “I don’t think about it, I just think about Manchester United.
“I think it would be the perfect finale for us. It would be the perfect end to the season for us, a difficult season with lots of matches. I think for Zlatan it would be fantastic to play the final in his country, it would be perfect, it would be beautiful – no more than that.”