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Man United faces 3 months without defender Eric Bailly

Man United faces 3 months without defender Eric Bailly

United have eight more points after 17 games than they did at this stage last season, Mourinho's first in charge at old Trafford, but they lie second in the Premier League table - 11 points behind Pep Guardiola's record-breaking Manchester City.

"At the beginning, we had some difficulties", Mkhitaryan told the BBC in February.

"When you're cooking for 200-odd people, that's a lot of time, effort and money going straight into the bin".

"I don't like the January market just to buy. Maybe next time - and I mean one of the future matches - he scores a goal that he feels with a different emotion". "I don't say [he's out] for the season but it it's for the next two or three months", said the United manager, who is also without defender Marcos Rojo (head) for Sunday's trip to West Bromwich Albion.

But as the team's style changed somewhat and their fortunes began to change, Mkhitaryan's form dropped off a cliff.

"It was a nice goal with 20 minutes to go".

Mourinho has refused to give him any more leeway after those let-downs, and when asked about Mkhitaryan's continued absence this week the manager delivered a forthright response. "Every player has a price". I had Ashley Young to cover me all of the wing and the wing-back position. I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team.

"But there are players and situations that sometimes you have the chance to do and you shouldn't lose that chance". However, the 28-year-old can not say he has been caught by surprise by his manager's demand for harder work off the ball given what he went through last autumn. "One player definitely staying at Old Trafford is Romelu Lukaku". If he did all he could for me as Griezmann does, I'll say it's no problem.

Mkhitaryan, 28, has been absent from seven of United's last eight matchday squads and sources at Old Trafford have confirmed that the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder angered Mourinho by disagreeing with the manager's assessment of his contribution during a substitute appearance against Brighton on November 25.


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