Mourinho says Rooney to start in FA Cup; gives transfer update

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Jose Mourinho has confirmed that captain Wayne Rooney will start against Reading in the FA Cup third round at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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Rooney, 31, hasn’t played for United since Dec. 17 and has been out with an injured thigh.

United will also hand a start to goalkeeper Sergio Romero as they face second-tier Reading who are impressing in the Championship under manager Jaap Stam, a former star central defender for the Red Devils during their treble-winning season in 1998-99.

Mourinho also gave an update on Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay, as both players look set to leave in January but no bids have yet been accepted by United.

“I will allow them to leave if the right offer comes,” Mourinho said. “I don’t think about them as options. Normally they would be selected tomorrow but they aren’t. A couple of weeks ago I thought it was 100% they would go, now 0& (because no bid good enough).”

So, both Schneiderlin and Memphis won’t feature against Reading but Bastian Schweinsteiger could as the German midfielder has played his way back in to Mourinho’s plans despite links with a move to Major League Soccer. Interesting.

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Mourinho confirmed he wants permanent deals for both Schneiderlin and Memphis, with Everton said to be interested in both players and West Bromwich Albion also haggling over the price for Schneiderlin.

If either player leaves it won’t leave a big hole in United’s team and if anything it will help Mourinho not only trim his squad numbers but also his wage bill as bigger targets such as Antoine Griezmann and James Rodriguez are lined up for the summer transfer window.