Marcus Rashford and a back three: how to halt Chelsea without Ibrahimovic

Jonathan Wilson

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Aug 1, 2010
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José Mourinho may follow Tottenham’s lead and reinforce Manchester United’s defence in FA Cup sixth-round tie to counter the loss of his No1 strikerEvents this season are not quite going as José Mourinho has told them to. There is a possibility, of course, that he was being sincere in his praise of Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the EFL Cup final and that he had no ulterior motive in telling Manchester United fans to camp at his Swedish striker’s house until he signed a new contract, but it would go so against the grain of the past 15 years of public utterances that have either been emotional outbursts or calculating manipulations that there is little point detaining ourselves any further with the notion.
So what was Mourinho attempting to achieve? In part, presumably, it was to flatter Ibrahimovic and perhaps to encourage fans to make clear to him that he is loved at Old Trafford. Equally it was probably to ensure that, if Ibrahimovic does not sign an extension to his existing deal, which expires in June, nobody can say Mourinho did not want him to stay. The possibility of Ibrahimovic leaving has become distinctly more credible this week with reports of a huge offer from LA Galaxy.
Related: José Mourinho facing Chelsea selection conundrum with Rostov looming
Related: Chelsea have the look of an unstoppable force thanks to N’Golo Kanté | Dominic Fifield
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