Jose Mourinho says he has no intention of letting Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney or Ashley Young leave this season.
The 31-year-old’s Old Trafford future has long been under scrutiny and intensified after he became the club’s all-time top scorer earlier in the month.
Rooney has been widely linked with a move to China, potentially before their transfer window shuts at the end of February.
However, Mourinho says Rooney will be remaining at United for the rest of the campaign, as will Ashley Young having admitted at the weekend that the winger could leave.
“(Young) is staying,” he said. “Definitely stays, he is selected for tomorrow. It’s finished, he stays with me until the end of the season.”
Asked if Rooney would see out the season as well, Mourinho said: “Yeah. We don’t have players in, we don’t have players out.
“We lost two players from the squad. You can say Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin did not play a lot, but the reality is they played some matches and when they played, other people didn’t. And when they played, others were rested.
“When Schneiderlin played against Feyenoord, played against Northampton, played against Fenerbahce, in these days it meant that Paul Pogba or (Michael) Carrick or (Ander) Herrera didn’t play.
“So you lose players, sometimes it does not look important because they were not first-choice players, but in the end they’re important.
“And if somebody is going to have a very difficult season (in terms of a busy schedule), I hope that’s us and we’re in the cup competitions.
“We have Manchester City match postponed, we have Blackburn match and if we win we will have another match to be postponed.
“We are in the Europa competition with more matches, so our situation is really difficult. We lost two players, we cannot lose more.”
Mourinho confirmed there will be no business at United before the transfer deadline shuts on Tuesday evening.
But plans are afoot ahead of the summer as the Portuguese looks to bolster a squad that welcomed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly in his first transfer window.
Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has been widely linked with a summer move to Old Trafford, so too Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, as United look to build on the current squad.
“In our case, we are more focused on the summer period,” Mourinho said. “I like my players, so nothing for me. I know what I want.
“I always think every week, the more I know my players, the more I know my team, the more I know the competition, because it’s a competition I know really well, but it’s a competition that is in permanent evolution.
“I know what I want, yeah. I know what I want. But the market closes today, so there is no point, especially for me, to speak about the next transfer window when we have so many matches to play, so many competitions to fight for and so many good players to work with.
“So if you ask me do I know what I want for the next transfer window? Yes, I know. Is it possible to get? I try always to be realistic.
“I remember many years ago when I was asking for a second goalkeeper, the technical director gave me a list of possible second goalkeepers and the first choice was (Gianluigi) Buffon to be my second goalkeeper.
“I’m always realistic, I always try to give options that are gettable, but we’ll have time to speak about it in the summer.”
Mourinho’s main focus now is on beating Hull on Wednesday as the sides do battle for the second time in a week.
Marco Silva’s men surprisingly won the EFL Cup semi-final second leg at the KCOM Stadium – a 2-1 loss that did not prevent United reaching the final but ended their 17-match unbeaten run, despite Mourinho, incensed by the officials, saying it ended 1-1.
“The last time we played them, even a defeat would have been a good result,” Mourinho, who can welcome back Eric Bailly, said. “Even to lose the match by one goal difference would give us a final.
“And tomorrow only three points is a good result for us so if we don’t win it’s really bad because we need to win matches. That’s a big difference, we need to win the match.
“We always play a full strength team, depending on the way you look at it.
“But normally we always try to have always a strong team, but of course we had some players that didn’t play the last match.
“Some players with a lot of matches already, players like (Antonio) Valencia, Pogba, Ibrahimovic, didn’t play (against Wigan). They will play tomorrow.”