The timing of Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea in October has left Jose Mourinho hot under the collar and he is to appeal for a rescheduling, according to a report.
United’s fixtures for the 2016/17 season were announced last month, but The Times claim in an exclusive that Mourinho wants his return to Chelsea in October ‘postponed’ – with United facing the prospect of a Europa League tie the Thursday before.
Mourinho is said to be ‘unhappy’ with the scheduling, with the game at Stamford Bridge likely to take place on Sunday, October 23, less than 72 hours after they take part in European competition.
Matt Hughes writes that Mourinho ‘regards his first return to Stamford Bridge since being sacked by the club for the second time last year as the most important match of United’s season at this stage,’ and so the Portuguese wishes to have time to ‘fully prepare his players’.
Mourinho ‘has complained to the hierarchy at United’, and wants them to ‘petition the Premier League to reschedule the match’.
United are believed to be resigned to the prospect of playing on October 23, as any rescheduling of the match would have to be requested by both clubs. Chelsea have no intention of granting their rivals’ wishes.
Although the exact date for the fixture has not been set as it is expected to be moved when the next televised games are announced, the match is expected to take place on the Sunday. Mourinho wants to move the game to the following Monday, but that would not be possible as it clashes with League Cup fixtures.
The United manager feels such a short turnaround from European excursions – with Chelsea having a full week to prepare for games – is ‘insufficient for a game of such magnitude’. The club, however, are not even expected to approach the Premier League in an attempt to reschedule the game, according to Hughes.