José Mourinho has left Wayne Rooney out of Manchester United’s UEFA Europa League trip to FC Rostov.
Winning the Europa League carries the prize of Champions League football next season, with United having advanced to the last 16 and a trip to the shores of Lake Nero.
But with top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic now banned for three games for “violent conduct” following a clash with Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings on Saturday, Mourinho needs a fit striker for the Premier League run-in. According to The Times, the Europa League is now a priority for the Portuguese boss but United confirmed Tuesday that Rooney is not part of the squad traveling to Russia for Thursday’s game.
Rooney, 31, has lost his first-team place in Mourinho’s first season in charge at Old Trafford. He has been linked with a transfer to the Chinese Super League and Everton, his boyhood club.Try Newsweek: Subscription offers