International

Mourinho: Rooney 'not confident' about his fitness

2017-04-13 10:36
Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Wayne Rooney has been left out of Manchester United's squad for the first-leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against Anderlecht on Thursday, with manager Jose Mourinho saying the forward is "not confident" about his fitness.

Rooney, who is United's club captain and all-time leading goalscorer, has only been a bit-part for the Red Devils this season with injuries and illness curtailing his appearances.

There has been speculation that the 31-year-old Rooney will leave Old Trafford at the end of this campaign and with him missing an important part of the closing stages this term as the club chase a top four finish in the league and a continental trophy those noises will grow louder.

When asked about Rooney at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Mourinho told reporters: "He's not confident, he's not happy, he has bad feelings with his ankle and is not ready to play.

"Let's see for the weekend or for the next week.

"We don't have many players. We need everyone with the minimum of conditions to play - to try and be available - but for tomorrow, no."

Meanwhile United play-maker Henrikh Mkhitaryan says they cannot afford to underestimate Belgian giants Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-finals.

With the Premier League title out of touch for Jose Mourinho's side, and with their form in the top flight all over the place, winning the Europa League represents possibly their last chance to qualify for the Champions League.

And, having reached that stage with Borussia Dortmund last season, Mkhitaryan said winning their competition ranked high up on his list of priorities.

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