Manchester United attacking midfielder Juan Mata is likely to miss the remainder of the season following a groin injury, manager Jose Mourinho has said.
The 28-year-old Spanish international had surgery last month and Mourinho told the club website (www.manutd.com) on Friday that he would not be fit until “late May”.
The final Premier League games are scheduled for May 21, with the Europa League final, should United reach it, being played in
Mourinho also said central defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who were injured on international duty with
The pairing of Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo have been at the heart of the defence in the absence of the English duo, and the Portuguese boss is concerned with their accumulation of fatigue before United host league leaders Chelsea on Sunday.
“There is nothing I can do (about the current defensive situation),” said Mourinho. “They (Bailly and Rojo) have to go until the limits.
“If we arrived in a situation in the Premier League... where mathematically the top four is not possible, then it’s an easy decision... rest them and go with them in the Europa League – if we are still in the competition.”
Fifth-placed United are four points behind
Mourinho, who led
“They (Chelsea) are top for some reasons – it’s not just because they are fresh,” he added. “It is also because they have individual quality... collective quality. They have a certain style of play. They stick to it.”
United are on a 21-game unbeaten run in the league since losing 4-0 on Mourinho’s return to