Mourinho has 'a feeling' Ibrahimovic will be back in 2017

A host of injury problems have put paid to the promising start the 22-year-old made to his career at United following his move from Southampton in 2014, and he has yet to re-establish himself after initially breaking his leg against PSV Eindhoven two seasons ago.

Ibrahimovic has been out since April after suffering a knee ligament tear but is back under the supervision of United's medical team at Carrington.

Both have documented their recovery on social media, but Mourinho was only able - or willing - to offer a timescale on Ibrahimovic.

Said Mourinho: "I knew how good the goalkeeper was, I told the players that".

"Zlatan is here, he's working here, he's under our control".

"He's working as you would expect - so, so, so hard".

"Let him take his time and be back when everybody feels is the right moment".

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"Do I think he will be back in 2017?"

The United boss confirmed the knee injury sustained by Marcus Rashford during the 1-0 win over Benfica on Wednesday would not rule him out of contention for this weekend, with the same group of players at his disposal. "Yes, I do. But it's just a feeling".

Phil Jones is also set for a recall after not being risked against Benfica but Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo remain unavailable while Luke Shaw hasn't been included in the squad.

"Without any pressure, we knew the goal would arrive", Mourinho said after the Benfica game which was settled by a awful error by the Portuguese side's 18-year-old keeper.

"Every team in the Premier League is good and thinks they can win every match against every opponent". Marouane Fellaini has gone from not near the team to one of their most important players when he's fit and healthy. I never felt we could concede a goal and were solid defensively.

"The way we think is the best way to do it is to speak always about opportunities for others, trust for others and believe in others".

"It's just the way we try to do it and, yes, in answer to your question, obviously nobody is back from injury, but once more we go what we have and what we have is good".

  • Regina Holmes