Bailly absence and Sanchez’s cold start explained as defensive reinforcements are lined up.

Afternoon Bulletin

BAILLY ABSENCE EXPLAINED

Eric Bailly was absent from the matchday squad as United crashed to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to hand Manchester City the Premier League title. Speaking to the media prior to kickoff, Mourinho explained the Ivorian’s absence. Mourinho said: “Victor played the match against Swansea at home and it was very suited to his qualities. ‘Normally, we are going to have more of the ball and, normally, it’s when we need somebody from the back to add extra technical quality in the middle of the back [four]. ‘We have three matches in a week. Bournemouth in a few days [Wednesday night] then Spurs after a few days again. ‘In that semi-final, they are having one day extra to us to recover so I need also to think about that.” Bailly is expected to be restored to the lineup against Bournemouth.

MOURINHO EXPLAINS SANCHEZ STRUGGLES

Alexis Sanchez hasn’t looked the part since his mega-bucks transfer North to Manchester but the Chilean is solely finding his feet having contributed in four of United’s last five goals in the league. Mourinho explained the reason for Sanchez’s cold start to life as a Red Devil. Mourinho said: “Hopefully next season he will be better, which is what we think is going to happen. I am not a big fan of buying players in the winter market because of the period of adaptation especially with attackers. ‘But he’s obviously improving and getting more comfortable with the team.’

DARMIAN WANTS OUT

Matteo Darmian has reportedly issued a come and get me plea to Juventus after falling out of favour at Manchester United and barely featuring in the New Year. Darmian is among the players expected to be moved along as part of a squad overhaul in the summer by Mourinho and the Italian is already looking for a move back to Turin. Juventus have previously been linked with Darmian and United are looking for swap move that will send Alex Sandro United’s way.

SCOUTING MISSION

Manchester United scouts were reportedly in the stands during the Old Firm Derby in Scotland yesterday to watch rising Scottish defender Kieran Tierney. United have monitored the defender for sometime now and is said to be among the players being looked at as a long term solution for United’s left-back problem. He is currently contracted at Celtic until 2023 but a fee in the region of 25 to 30m may convince the Scottish Champions to sell their prized star. He is only 20 years old and did well in front of the on watching scouts.