Mourinho aims dig at journalist as Alexis and Lingard return for Man Utd

The Red Devils boss was in a jovial mood as he revealed team news for Saturday’s Premier League match against Bournemouth

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Jose Mourinho has confirmed Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard are fit to return for Manchester United – while also taking a swipe at a journalist who allegedly leaked his team for recent matches.

Sanchez has missed United’s last two matches with a groin injury while Lingard hasn’t featured since the Carabao Cup defeat to Derby County in September with a similar problem.

However, both players have taken part in full training this week and are in contention for Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.

The game the Vitality Stadium has come too soon, though, for Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot as United aim to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since they beat Watford and Young Boys in mid-September. 

“Ask Samuel,” was Mourinho’s response when asked to give his team news at Friday’s press conference, in reference to Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst, who correctly reported that Romelu Lukaku would be dropped for Sunday’s win over Everton.

“We work tactically, we improve some fitness levels,” he continued. “We improve some of the players that were almost there but not there – Lingard, Alexis – these kind of players, that were already available but not yet at a good level.

“Dalot and Fellaini are still out. The only one that went one step behind was Antonio Valencia with some problem in his knee. But Lingard and Alexis, now I can say ‘ready.’”

Speaking of Valencia, Mourinho joked about a video published by the Ecuadorian on social media this week showing him training in the gym at Carrington.

“I watched something funny in his Instagram where he says ‘work, work, work,’ in the gym,” said Mourinho. “He should say ‘work, work, work, alone because I am injured and cannot train with the team’.

“He couldn’t train with the team so I think it looked like he was working really, really hard and he was but without the ball and without the team so tomorrow you can imagine he is not selected because he is not ready.”

United head into their trip to the Vitality Stadium sat eighth in the Premier League table – two places below Bournemouth in sixth.