Jose Mourinho: Antonio Valencia may return too late for Manchester derby

Antonio Valencia’s late return from the international break may force José Mourinho into playing Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian or Timothy Fosu-Mensah at right-back for the Manchester derby despite none of the trio having played this season. Valencia is away with Ecuador but does not return until next Friday, the day before Manchester City’s visit. The match is the early afternoon kick-off, further shortening the time Valencia has to recover, along with Argentina’s Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero, who are also expected late back.

Mourinho said: “Some are coming back on the Monday before the Manchester City match but some are coming back on Friday. The day before Man City, we will still have Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia arriving.

“It will be a complicated process but we know it is like this when we have these players. I would love all of the players to go because it would mean everybody is being selected for their national teams.”

United and City have won all three Premier League matches, with Pep Guardiola’s side the leaders on goal difference.

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