The Scotsman

Mourinho refuses to rule out Rooney exit


Europa League Round of 32, 2nd leg Stade Geoffroy-guichard

Tonight, 5pm Live on BT Sport 3 Jose Mourinho cannot guarantee that Wayne Rooney will end the season at Manchester United, despite the manager’s desire to keep hold of his captain.

A hamstring injury prevented the 31-year-old from travelling to France for tonight’s Europa League last-32 second leg with St Etienne, yet the forward still dominated the pre-match talk.

Rooney continues to be linked with an Old Trafford exit amid reported interest from big-spending Chinese clubs ahead of their transfer window shutting next week.

“Of course I can’t guarantee [he will be here]. I can’t guarantee that I’m here next week, how can I guarantee that a player is here next season?” said Mourinho. “What I can guarantee is that if Wayne one day leaves the club it is not because I want him to leave the club. I’d never push – or try to push – a legend of this club to another destiny.”

Phil Jones is another that misses the trip to St Etienne through injury, while influentia­l midfielder Ander Herrera serves a one-match ban. Matteo Darmian did not travel and Luke Shaw was overlooked for a match that United approach with one foot in the last 16, having won last week’s first leg 3-0.

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