Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By SA­MUEL LUCKHURST


JOSE Mourinho has called Wayne Rooney a ‘real leg­end’ as the for­mer United striker pre­pares to make his Old Traf­ford re­turn to­mor­row.

The Reds’ all-time record goalscorer called time on his 13-year United ca­reer this sum­mer to re-join his boy­hood club Ever­ton.

Mourinho ex­pects the Old Traf­ford faith­ful to give the 31-year-old a warm wel­come ahead of the match against Ron­ald Koe­man’s side, but hopes sup­port­ers put that good will on hold dur­ing the match.

“I think that he will get the wel­come that he de­serves,” the Por­tuguese said.

“I think some­times in this coun­try the word ‘leg­end’ comes too eas­ily. That’s not his case, he’s a real leg­end of the club.

“The num­ber of ap­pear­ances, the num­ber of goals, the num­ber of tro­phies – I think clearly he’s one of the most im­por­tant play­ers in the his­tory of Manch­ester United.

“And I think the sta­dium will show him that re­spect that he de­serves, I hope be­fore the match and af­ter the match, not dur­ing the match.”

Romelu Lukaku made the op­po­site move to Rooney in the sum­mer and the £75m hit­man has net­ted six goals in as many games for his new side.

“Clearly he is a player who has adapted to the Pre­mier League, with good friends al­ready in this dress­ing room, with an easy in­te­gra­tion in our group and the way the team is try­ing to play also has a good re­la­tion with his qual­i­ties as a player,” Mourinho added. “So I think he came in the right mo­ment in his ca­reer.”

JOSE Mourinho has urged United sup­port­ers to give Wayne Rooney a warm wel­come on the striker’s re­turn to Old Traf­ford with Ever­ton to­mor­row.

The for­mer Reds and Eng­land skip­per is back at United for the first time since he re­turned to Good­i­son Park in the sum­mer, and Mourinho says the striker de­serves to be re­garded as a club leg­end.

“I think that he will get the wel­come he de­serves,” Mourinho said.

“I think some­times the word leg­end in this coun­try comes too easy, that’s not his case, he’s a real leg­end, the num­ber of goals, the num­ber of tro­phies, he’s clearly one of the most im­por­tant play­ers in the his­tory of Manch­ester United and I think the sta­dium will show him that re­spect he de­serves.

“I hope be­fore the match and af­ter the match, not dur­ing the match.

“He’s a leg­end of this club, he de­serves to be wel­comed that way but dur­ing the match he’s an Ever­ton player that wants to win the match.”

The United boss also re­vealed that Luke Shaw has re­cov­ered from in­jury and his re­turn to the first-team could de­pend on form fol­low­ing his come­back for the re­serves.

The left-back has started the last three matches for the sec­ond string against Le­ices­ter, Tot­ten­ham and Ar­se­nal and could fig­ure again in their trip to Chelsea on Mon­day night.

The 22-year-old has not played for the first-team since he in­jured his foot in the draw with Swansea on April 30 but made a suc­cess­ful come­back last month and is train­ing with his se­nior team-mates.

How­ever, Shaw was not in­cluded in the squad for Tues­day night’s Cham­pi­ons League visit of Basel.

“Luke Shaw is not in­jured any­more so it is a ques­tion of form,” Mourinho said.

“It’s a ques­tion of op­tion but he is not in­jured, he’s re­cov­ered from his in­jury.”

Mourinho was also asked about Mar­cos Rojo’s re­cov­ery from rup­tur­ing his an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ments five months ago. The Ar­gen­tinian fea­tured in United’s open train­ing ses­sion ahead of the Basel tie and could re­turn be­fore the end of the year.

“Mar­cos Rojo is still in the tim­ings af­ter such an im­por­tant in­jury,” Mourinho added.

“Ev­ery­thing went re­ally well, but he is not even train­ing with the group in a nor­mal ses­sion, he’s just do­ing parts of it.

“So I think Mar­cos has in front of him prob­a­bly a cou­ple of months.”

Mourinho also said he ex­pects United will be with­out Pogba for a ‘few matches’ af­ter he suf­fered a ham­string in­jury.

Pogba came off af­ter just 19 min­utes in United’s Cham­pi­ons League group stage win over Basel on Tues­day night and left Old Traf­ford on crutches.

Mourinho re­fused to give a spe­cific time­frame on how long Pogba would be side­lined for, but ruled him out of the ma­jor­ity of United’s re­main­ing matches this month.

“I just know that it’s a mus­cu­lar in­jury, he’s out for the weekend match, that’s the only match I’m think­ing about,” he added.

Jose Mourinho says Wayne Rooney is a ‘real leg­end’ for United

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