Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has ruled out bringing back Zlatan Ibrahimovich to boost his ailing strike force, while insisting that Romelu Lukaku would come good again.
Lukaku laboured again during the defeat by Juventus in midweek, yet United will be forced to start with him again against his old club Everton on Sunday.
But when asked if he might attempt to bring back Ibrahimovic who recently stated that he is open to a return to the club, Mourinho shook his head and said ‘No.’
Mourinho admitted that Lukaku was struggling but said he believed going into every game that the Belgian would turn the corner.
‘‘I always feel, I always feel that every game [that he will come good]. One day will be and one day he will score and one day his confidence levels will be back to normal, which clearly they are not there but I always feel that,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
Asked if he had considered dropping Lukaku to the bench against Juventus in midweek, Mourinho said there were no alternatives for the central attacking berth.
He said: ‘I don’t think [Michael] Carrick can play as a striker, so against Juventus we either play with the players that we did or we decide to give a rest to Lukaku [and force ourselves to replace him with play] Rashford, who plays as a winger?
‘We are not in the best moment to try to think about resting players or try to find solutions, the solutions is to find the players we have.’
Mourinho will be unable to call on Alexis Sanchez on Sunday because of what is thought to be adductor muscle injury.
He said: ‘In this moment he’s struggling because he’s injured. He came into the Chelsea match to try to help the team but his physical condition was not good and then he had to stop and was not available for Juventus and is not available for Sunday.’
The manager admitted that United had not seen the best of the Chilean, either, and said that injuries were the problem for a player who neeed to be ‘really, really sharp’ to operate at his best.
The forward scored only twice for United after arriving last season and has managed a solitary goal in this campaign.
‘He arrived in January. I don’t think that is ever an easy situation for a player. But this season he had a good start, a good pre-season,’he added
‘He started well against Leicester. And then he was injured, then he came back and was injured again and he is the kind of player that needs to be really, really sharp.’’