Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed he will be rotating his squad for United’s FA Cup tie against Reading.
Mourinho has guaranteed starting spots for goalkeeper Sergio Romero and captain Wayne Rooney, but has also predicted more changes to preserve his squad’s fitness, ahead of some important January fixtures.
Rotations to the team could see Bastian Schweinsteiger start for the first time in almost a year.
Schweinsteiger was frozen out of the squad by Mourinho at the start of the season but in recent months has regained his spot at training and made a four minute cameo as a sub against West Ham in the EFL Cup in November.
“He’s selected again so he can start, he can be on the bench. He’s an option for us,” said Mourinho.
“I think that’s the best way to describe it, for many months he wasn’t an option, when we brought him back in the first couple of weeks he was not an option, not ready to compete but since then working very well, never an injury, he was ill last week. His body is fine, is training very well, he’s ready to play.”
Luke Shaw also looks set to be handed a starting spot after missing eight games with a groin injury.
Mourinho has publicly criticised the 21-year-old on two occasions this season; the first being for his part in Watford’s second goal against United at Vicarage Road and again when he said the defender was “not in the condition” to play against Swansea in October.
Marcus Rashford looks set to be given an opportunity to play in his preferred striking position, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be given a break after a chaotic festive season.
Exciting prospect Timothy Fosu-Mensah also has a chance of a rare starting appearance and with his versatility, could play either in midfield, full back or centre back.
The 19-year-old made 10 appearances for United last season but under Mourinho he has only started two games in the EFL Cup and in the Europa League.
Two players who will not partake in the game will be Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay, as both are seeking to leave the club in the January transfer period.
Schneiderlin looks set to re-join former coach Ronald Koeman at Everton and the Toffees are also said to be interested in signing Depay.
“Their situation is exactly the same,” Mourinho clarified. “I will allow them to leave the club, I will allow them to leave if the right offer comes and until this moment, no.
“We are waiting for something that a couple of weeks ago looked 100 per cent. In this moment, it looks like zero per cent because we don’t have any offer that is close to the quality the players have.”