Jose Mourinho has played down talk of a rift between himself and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The player was left out of Manchester United’s win against Newcastle last weekend, and speculation has grown that the two aren’t seeing eye to eye.
Mkhitaryan last played for Manchester United in the team’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea on November 5. However, he only played 62 minutes during the fixture.
Mourinho has stressed that the playmaker’s absence was based on his play and not on any difference of opinion the two have.
“The story is always the same. In some positions, when you don’t have injuries, you have lots of options in other positions,” Mourinho stated ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League fixture.
“In this moment, we have Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay.
“So I can imagine, next week, you are going to ask – why is this player not playing?
“Micki is not playing because we had lots of options for that match. I decided to play Marcus Rashford and Martial together.
“For many weeks, the question was – why do they not play together? Now, the question is why is Micki not playing.
“The answer is very simple – until the international board change the rules, I can only start with 11!”
Mkhitaryan has scored just once in the Premier League this term. However, he has tallied five assists in 11 matches.
Should Mourinho play Henrikh Mkhitaryan in tonight’s Champions League fixture?