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Mourinho sets his squad at 28 players as he looks to guide United to glory

Date Posted,August 4, 2017

Jose Mourinho boasts a bigger Manchester United squad than his maiden season at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese boss has signed Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic ahead of his second campaign in charge of the Red Devils, as originally reported by the Manchester Evening News.

Here is the full story from Samuel Luckhurst…

Manchester United now have a 28-man squad as they prepare for a packed season in the Premier League and Champions League.

This time last season, Mourinho only had 26 players in his ranks – which saw the the squad stretched to its limits in a 64 game campaign.

Mourinho will have selection headaches with his big squad (Image: Man Utd via Getty Images)

Mourinho has retained midfielder Scott McTominay in his squad despite the addition of Matic and Andreas Pereira was quickly rewarded upon his return from a season-long loan spell at Granada with a new squad number.

United are yet to confirm Pereira’s switch from 44 to 15 but an announcement is expected next week ahead of their first competitive fixtures against Real Madrid in the Super Cup and the Premier League opener versus West Ham.

Mourinho assembled a 26-man senior squad upon United’s return from their pre-season trip to China last year as he omitted Pereira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj and others from his set-up.

Schweinsteiger rejoined the group in late October but a number of internationals struggled for playing time and Mourinho agreed to let Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis leave in the January transfer window before Schweinsteiger departed in March.

Lukaku signed from Everton (Image: PA)
Lukaku has looked good in pre-season (Image: AFP)

United’s failure to replace any of their outgoings, which included Reserves mainstay Sean Goss, was then compounded by several injuries which forced Mourinho to call up Matty Willock and McTominay for the April home draws with West Brom and Swansea.

As United prioritised the Europa League, Mourinho also promoted academy graduates Mitchell, Matthew Olosunde, Josh Harrop, Zak Dearnley, Kieran O’Hara and Angel Gomes to Premier League matchday squads.

The depleted state of United’s squad towards the end of a gruelling campaign appears to have convinced Mourinho to settle on a larger squad than usual and he suggested on Wednesday nobody else would leave.

“Everybody’s in the plan,” Mourinho said after the win over Sampdoria in Dublin. “The plan is to have a good squad, not to have a good team.

Matic has belatedly followed Mourinho to Old Trafford (Image: Man Utd via Getty Images)
Lindelof was signed from Benfica (Image: Getty Images North America)
Scott McTominay could feature more this season (Image: Man Utd via Getty Images)

“It’s to have a good squad with options and we have important players injured for a long time, they are going to be back just by the end of the year, so our squad is not so big and we need options, we need different players.

Left-back Mitchell enjoyed more playing than McTominay time during United’s seven friendlies but United are hopeful Luke Shaw and Ashley Young could both return by September.

Despite Mourinho’s estimation that Young could be back in October, the winger is optimistic about being match fit later this month but does not expect to figure in any of United’s four matches.

Mourinho is still determined to clinch a fourth summer signing amid United’s interest in Internazionale winger Ivan Perisic. United’s last offer for the 28-year-old Croatia international was believed to be £9m short of Inter’s valuation.

2017-18 United first-team squad

Goalkeepers

De Gea, Romero, Joel Pereira

Defenders

Valencia, Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof, Jones, Tuanzebe, Rojo, Blind, Darmian, Shaw

Midfielders

McTominay, Carrick, Herrera, Matic, Fellaini, Pogba, Andreas Pereira, Lingard, Young, Mata, Mkhitaryan

Strikers

Martial, Rashford, Lukaku

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