Mourinho offers to move United malcontents
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he will listen to offers for unhappy players like Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin in next month’s transfer window.
Dutch winger Depay and French midfielder Schneiderlin, both signed in 2015 by Louis van Gaal, have been the biggest losers of Mourinho’s first half-season in charge at Old Trafford.
Mourinho said he would not stand in either players’ way if they asked to leave.
“I am always open to listen to offers for every player,” Mourinho said ahead of his side’s trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday.
“More than listen to offers, I am always ready to listen to the players themselves.
“So any player who knocks on my door and is not happy and wants to move, when the offers are correct, I will never stop a player from leaving, even if it is to a rival.
“When Juan Mata left Chelsea to come to Manchester United (in January 2014), no problem at all. In my mentality, no problem at all. I am always open.”
Schneiderlin, who signed from Southampton for a reported $31.7 million, is yet to start a league game this season.
The 27-year-old has played only 86 minutes of domestic first-team soccer — 73 of which came in a League Cup tie against third-tier Northampton Town.
Depay, bought for around $32 million from PSV Eindhoven, has played 134 minutes in all competitions.
The winger’s one start was also in that Northampton cup match, ending after 55 minutes.
Everton has been linked with Depay as it seeks a replacement for Yannick Bolasie after he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. The Toffees are also said to be interested in Schneiderlin.
“What I can say is that I am happy with the squad I have,” Mourinho added.
“I would like my squad to be my squad until the end of the season and I am not going to any player to say, ‘You are going to leave because I am not happy, because I don’t want to have you.’
“I am happy with the players I have, even with players that are not having many opportunities to play.”
Mourinho said players outside the first-team frame need only look at defender Phil Jones, who has capitalized on injuries to Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling to reestablish himself at centerback.
“From my point of view, I am happy to keep everyone and everyone will have a chance,” said Mourinho, whose team is sixth in the Premier League table.
“Sometimes the chance is there, you get it like Jones. Unexpectedly, you have Bailly out, Smalling out, everybody out and comes the game against Swansea and Jones is in and he is still there.”
Mourinho is conscious of the heavy schedule his team faces over the second half of the campaign as it continues its runs in the League Cup and Europa League.
United could play as many as 65 games this season and Mourinho explained that is one of the reasons behind his apparent U-turn over veteran German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The 32-year-old appeared to be on his way out of Old Trafford, but has recently returned to the first team lineup and made a substitute appearance in the recent League Cup triumph over West Ham.
Now, Mourinho expects Schweinsteiger to remain with United in the new year.
“I do,” said the Portuguese. “Unless again the player knocks on our door with a future that he wants to grab with both hands.
“Then I never stop players doing what they want if — I repeat, if — the conditions are right for the club.”
Jose Mourinho reacts after his Manchester United team beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in their English Premier League match at Old Trafford on Sunday.