REUTERS - Captain Wayne Rooney will return to Manchester United’s starting line-up for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round game against Championship Reading as the defending champions begin their bid to win the trophy for a record 13th time.
The 31-year-old striker last played three weeks ago, missing the festive fixtures due to a muscle problem.
Rooney is one goal short of equalling Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249 and manager Jose Mourinho said he would start against Reading at Old Trafford on Saturday along with second-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero as United bid for their eighth win in a row.
The futures of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay remain unresolved.
West Bromwich Albion have made a bid for Schneiderlin who has also been linked with a move to Everton while Depay has attracted interest from Italian club AS Roma.
“Their situation is exactly the same, both of them I will allow to leave - if the right offer comes. Until this moment, no. Is this a good situation? No,” Mourinho said.
”Why not? Because I don’t think about them as options in this moment. In normal conditions they would probably be selected for the match tomorrow.
“But they aren’t because we are waiting for something that a couple of weeks ago looked like 100 percent and at the moment looks like zero percent because we don’t have any offer that is close to the quality for the players we have.”
German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, deemed surplus to requirements earlier in the season, is now in contention for a place in the side.
“He can start, he can be on the bench, he is an option for us. For many months he wasn’t an option. We made that decision when we brought him back. He’s ready to play,” Mourinho said.
“My approach is that if a player is not playing I cannot stop a player leaving if the offer is right. Bastian played some minutes against West Ham and no more than that. He wants to stay, he is staying because he is an option.”
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond