Jose Mourinho rules Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of Man Utd's Champions League group stage
Last Updated: 25/08/17 3:34pm
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says Zlatan Ibrahimovic has no chance of being ready for the Champions League group stages.
Mourinho believes that Ibrahimovic, who re-signed for the club on a one-year deal this week, will not be fit for the early stages of the Champions League but will play a vital role if the club reach the knock-out stages.
"I am not thinking Zlatan will play any part in the group phase," said Mourinho.
"I don't think there is any chance of that. Do we have space in the Champions League list to have him? Yes, we have.
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"Hopefully he can play in the knockout phase but for that we need to finish top two."
Mourinho is happy Ibrahimovic is back in the fold, but is refusing to put a timeline on a return to action for the Swedish striker who scored 28 goals in 46 games before his season ended with a serious knee injury.
The Portuguese manager said: "I don't want to think about it. I don't even ask. I don't speak with him about it, I don't speak with the medical team about it. I just think he will be an extra man for us in the second part of the season.
"I have no idea and I think the right way is to not even think about it, to just let him do his work step-by-step and come back when he is ready.
"I am really happy he is with us. It shows two things for me. Shows me the dimension of the player and the dimension of the club.
"The dimension of the player because it would be very easy for him to say goodbye, to say it's enough, he had success at Manchester United, then a big injury and good bye. He doesn't do that, he wants to follow his other dreams and play football at the highest level.
"A club like Manchester United, in my opinion, has to show how big it is in details and this is a big detail. A player who gets injured in a Manchester United shirt, fighting for Manchester United, the club has to be there for him and I am really happy with club and player."