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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Man United stars cut holidays short to return for Premier League opener

Romelu Lukaku is one of the quartet who’ll be ready to face Leicester City on 10 August.

 Romelu Lukaku will be back (file pic).
Romelu Lukaku will be back (file pic).

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Jose Mourinho has revealed that Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones are set to be available for the club’s opening Premier League fixture against Leicester City.

The aforementioned United players have been on extended breaks following the World Cup in Russia and the quartet were not expected to be available for the Old Trafford clash on August 10.

However, Lukaku and his United team-mates have cut short their holidays to be ready to face Leicester in Manchester.

Speaking after the Red Devils wrapped up their United States tour with a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in Miami on Tuesday , Mourinho told reporters: “My players, amazing in their effort.

“But we have more effort in front of us. We go to Munich in a few days and we start the Premier League in nine days.

“These are the players that we have, plus Lindelof, that started training two days ago, plus Marcus Rashford, Jones and Lukaku, because they gave to the group and to the team three days of their holidays, so they’re coming back three days early to try and be available for the team.”

Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure during United’s pre-season, lamenting the absence of a number of his World Cup stars and the club’s lack of transfer activity.

The Portuguese boss, however, had reason to smile as Alexis Sanchez inspired United to victory at the International Champions Cup.

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Sanchez opened the scoring for his second goal in three games before he turned provider for Ander Herrera prior to the interval, though Karim Benzema managed to pull a goal back for Real Madrid on the stroke of half-time.

Mourinho added: “My players will be in amazing condition. Sanchez is fresh, the way the man is running, I think he is in a fantastic condition. So let’s look at it from a positive side and wait for Lindelof, Rashford, Lukaku and Jones.

“They’re not prepared but they will be back and that’s the spirit we need because our first two or three weeks in the Premier League are going to be really hard for us because we didn’t prepare for that.”

“We tried to organise the best possible team to defend against them,” Mourinho continued. “I was not working to prepare the team for the future of the Premier League, I was just trying to get the best possible result. We were just trying to survive.

“But the result of the game today is not important. If you play Real Madrid in the Champions League that result is important, not today.”

Mourinho also praised ICC organisers Relevent Sports after admitting he would not have paid to watch his undermanned United side on their US tour following last week’s 4-1 rout to Liverpool.

“I just want to say once more what I keep repeating: Relevent are the best in the world at organising pre-seasons and I feel really sorry we couldn’t give them more,” Mourinho said.

“I know Real Madrid would feel the same and would like to have here a world champion like [Raphael] Varane. They would like to have here Golden Ball winner Luka Modric, but it is what it is and it’s difficult for every club with lots of players in national team.”

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