Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that his new signing Nemanja Matic is not fit enough to play the full match of the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje, Macedonia on Tuesday.
Serbia midfielder Matic, 29, joined United from Chelsea for £35m last week and played in the Red Devils’ 2-1 friendly win over Sampdoria on Saturday, starting the match but going off at half-time.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference in Skopje, Mourinho said Matic has not reached the ideal physical condition like his teammates, despite the midfielder’s impressive showing against Sampdoria in Dublin.
Defenders Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are suspended for the match, while another defender, Tim Fosu-Mensah, is on the verge loan move away from Old Trafford.
“With Phil Jones, I was expecting the appeal [against the ban] to be negative,” said Mourinho.
“No Phil Jones, no Eric Bailly and no Tim Fosu-Mensah because, in this moment, Tim is probably going on loan to another club. So we made the decision not to travel with him.
“The injuries are the long-term [ones] that you all know about – Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo. Apart from that, everybody is available. Obviously, Matic is available but not available like the others.”
Manchester United won last season’s UEFA Europa League while Real Madrid won the Champions League.