Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has suggested Luke Shaw could be handed a rare chance to impress against CSKA Moscow – and has provided an update on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fitness.
Ibrahimovic was left out of United’s matchday squad that beat Arsenal on Saturday evening and will also be overlooked for the club’s final Champions League group game against the Russian outfit on Tuesday evening.
The Swede has made four substitute appearances since his earlier-than-expected return from knee ligament damage but is being treated with kid gloves ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City.
Mourinho confirmed it was a conditioning issue rather than a fresh injury which kept the striker out at the Emirates and he will give Ibrahimovic every chance of being ready to face Pep Guardiola and company.
“Zlatan is not injured. He will be out again for on Tuesday, but I believe he will be back to normal work after CSKA,” said Mourinho.
“Zlatan needs some time of very hard work on the muscular area that supports the knee that had the problem. When the time for that hard work comes, the fatigue comes. To work really hard for a certain period of time, he cannot play these days.
“He is on his cycle of work divided between the gym and the pitch.”
The CSKA match will also see Shaw return to the matchday squad.
The England international has been restricted to just 48 minutes this season amid rumours he is on his way out of Old Trafford, but could make a rare European outing this week.
“I have to think. I am going to make a few, but not too many, changes,” Mourinho added.
“We didn’t qualify yet, we didn’t finish first in the group yet, there are other clubs also involved in qualification and I need to keep a certain balance in the team .
“But when we speak about Luke Shaw, he’s working to have an opportunity and sooner or later that opportunity will arrive because he deserves that opportunity.
“He is selected for tomorrow for sure….to start or be on the bench, I cannot answer.”
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