Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended his handling of Bastian Schweinsteiger in the wake of criticism of his methods.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Schweinsteiger, 32, does not look to be part of Mourinho’s plans at Old Trafford, with reports that he has been training with the reserves.

A member of world players’ union FifPro said Mourinho should be sent to prison over his treatment of Schweinsteiger, while Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also hit out at the Premier League club.

Mourinho said at a news conference on Friday: “What is happening is what is happening in every club in the world. Which is that the manager decides his squad and chooses a certain number of players to face the season, and that’s it.

“I normally like to work with 20 players plus the three goalkeepers, which is what I do for 15 years. But we have so many players, so many competitions, especially the Europa League, which changes the profile of the season a lot.

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“You have the big risk of travelling a lot, playing Premier League. So I made the decision to play with 23 players and two goalkeepers, which is a lot. I had to make my decisions, it’s simple.”

Schweinsteiger left Bayern for United last summer and made 13 Premier League starts during the 2015-16 season under former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal.

Mourinho was speaking ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield against Premier League champions Leicester City. The manager said the ceremonial season opener could have a larger impact that unusual following United’s disrupted plans on their China tour.

“Everything is important. Our preseason was strange. It was good for some players but for others it was not enough. The number of matches was not enough,” he said.

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“The match we didn’t play against City wasn’t good for us. The week of no work in China was really bad for us. We need to train, we need to play, we need minutes for the player. We need to train against other teams like we did against Everton and Galatasaray.

“Now this weekend is not another training game. For the players who were involved last year must have a meaning. They won the FA Cup. We have to face it as a game.

“We have six changes, not three. So that gives me the chance to give minutes to some players, because they have no condition to play for 90 minutes.”


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