London, July 31: Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho has confirmed the club will be without Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic for the start of the new English Premier League season.
Mourinho ’s side kick off the new season at home to Leicester City on August 10, but the Portuguese coach has told the club’s official website that the key midfielder won’t be available.
Matic, who previously worked with Mourinho at Chelsea, has played no part in the club’s American tour and his importance to the side was highlighted in their 1-4 defeat to Liverpool in the International Champions Cup on Saturday night.
“Matic arrived from the World Cup holiday, direct to surgery because something happened in the World Cup,” explained Mourinho, adding the midfielder was “out for the start of the season”.
“I don’t know how long he will be out for,” he said.
The coach has also criticized French international forward Anthony Martial, with whom he already has a poor relationship, for not being with the team in the US.
“Anthony Martial has the baby and after the baby is born; beautiful baby, full of health, thank God; he should be here and he is not here,” he complained, lamenting the effect having players on post-World Cup holidays was having on his preparations.
“I just hope the boys on deserved holidays, they take care of themselves a little bit and I hope somebody wants to do what (Marcus) Rashford and (Phil) Jones decide to do, which is to be back a little bit earlier to try and help the team, because for the beginning of the season we are going to be in trouble,” said the Manchester United coach.
United’s next game sees them take on Real Madrid in another International Champions Cup match on Wednesday. IANS