Mourinho: Lukaku can't rest until Ibrahimovic returns

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Lukaku has been the key player in that run, with his two goals in Moscow adding to the victor he scored at Southampton, and taking his total for United to 10 in nine matches. Mourinho was asked whether he hoped Belgium boss Roberto Martinez would rest United's no.9 for the upcoming fixtures, but the manager insists it's completely up to Martinez.

Mourinho said: "Look, in here, without Zlatan we can not rotate the striker, especially because Marcus Rashford is playing also in other positions".

"So until the moment we have Zlatan we can not think about giving rest to our No9 in the same way we give rest in other positions". "We can not do that".

Manchester United
GETTY Danny Murphy says Manchester United have the squad to cope with the fixture demands

He added: "Belgium is Roberto's responsibility and it's his decision to play him or not to play him".

Mourinho, whose team host Crystal Palace on Saturday, said it would be up to the 24-year-old Lukaku to continue delivering until Ibrahimovic was available once more.

But Mourinho was careful not to be seen to be ordering Martinez to rest his ace.

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Commenting his relationship with the 28-year-old Armenian playmaker, Mourinho said last mont "I think he understands me and, to be honest, I understand him".

The only game Lukaku has not started for the Red Devils was last week's Carabao Cup stroll over Burton, although he was even on the bench for that.

Rojo, at least, is in training with the United squad and is making good progress while Mourinho has refused, as in the case of Pogba, to reveal any details about the knee ligament injury Ibrahimovic suffered before signing a new contract with the Manchester club.

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"So he works hard, he rests, he has a great professional life outside the football pitch. He has ambitions, he enjoys".

Romelu Lukaku will have to cope with Manchester United's relentless fixture schedule as Jose Mourinho can not afford to rest him until Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from injury.

Midfielders Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick were all absent from the trip to Russian Federation because of injury, as were defenders Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia. Long-term injuries I don't speak about them.

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France midfielder Pogba has not played since suffering a hamstring injury early in the Champions League victory over Basel on September 12, while Fellaini was absent after picking up an ankle problem during last Saturday's 1-0 win at Southampton.

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