Football

Mkhitaryan poised for Man United recall

Manager Mourinho also does not rule out selling some players next month

Manchester United's forgotten man Henrikh Mkhitaryan looks set to return when the Red Devils visit Bristol City in a League Cup quarter-final tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The playmaker has recently fallen out of favour at Old Trafford, with some reports suggesting that he had a training ground bust-up with manager Jose Mourinho over his situation.

He has been dropped from eight of the last nine matchday squads and did not even make the journey to West Bromwich Albion last Sunday, when United won 2-1 in the English Premier League.

QUARTER-FINAL
BRISTOL CITY MANCHESTER UNITED

But the League Cup competition, traditionally seen by Premier League managers as a chance to rest key players, has given the 28-year-old Armenian a chance to return to the fold.

Asked if Mkhitaryan will feature against Bristol, Mourinho said: "He can. I am making a few changes for the match, not many because Bristol are one of the best teams in the Championship and the Championship is not the Championship of five or 10 years ago.

"The Championship is now high-quality teams with lots of players who could be playing in the EPL easily. So, we need to take the game really seriously.

"But I am going to make a few changes and it's possible Micki is involved."

Mourinho also confirmed that he is open to offloading some of his players when the January transfer window opens.

Reports have linked United to Arsenal playmaker Mesut Oezil, who could be brought in as a replacement for Mkhitaryan.

Last January, United sold Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay during the mid-season transfer period.

"For the right price," Mourinho said when asked if he is prepared to sell any of his players.

"That's my approach as a manager. Every player has a price. If a player is not happy, if a player brings with him the request with the number that we consider a good number for us - like with Memphis and Morgan - I would never say no."

Meanwhile, Mourinho's cautious approach to tomorrow morning's cup game is understandable.

The Robins are third in the English Championship, and were conquerors of Premier League outfits Crystal Palace and Stoke City in the last two rounds.

A GAUGE FOR BRISTOL

Bristol City midfielder Josh Brownhill, who is reportedly on the radar of Newcastle United, is eager to find out where his team stand against the Premiership's second-placed side.

He said: "It will be a chance to prove ourselves against a Premier League team because we want to be playing there next year.

"It is a great opportunity for everybody to show how far we have come as a team from even last year when the form we were in wasn't that great. This year, we have stepped it up a bit...

"It is going to be a tough game. They have got some great players, but everyone is excited for the game and I don't think anyone is a bit daunted. It will be a good game." - WIRE SERVICES

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