MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 23 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday he is willing to let midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin leave Old Trafford amid interest from Premier League rivals West Bromwich Albion.
No deal can be officially completed until the new year, when the transfer window is open, and the two clubs will have to finalise terms over his departure after 18 months at Old Trafford.
But Schneiderlin is destined to leave after telling Mourinho he wants to quit United for regular first-team football.
“Yeah,” said Mourinho when asked if he would consider the offer. “He is a great professional, fantastic boy, very honest, very open and opens his heart a couple of times.
“My answer is simple: if he’s playing regular with me I have the right to say no way. If he’s not playing regular I have no right to tell a player that wants to be happy -– to say to a player you’re going nowhere.
“My answer was, if the offer is right and our board thinks that the offer is a good offer in relation to the quality of a very good player like Morgan, I would not stop him to go.”
French international midfielder Schneiderlin, 27, joined United when Louis van Gaal was in charge in the summer of 2015 in a deal that could have reached a reported £27 million (31.7m euros, $33m).
However, it had quickly become apparent that Mourinho saw no future for him in a new-look United style and Schneiderlin, along with Dutch winger Memphis Depay, looks increasingly certain to leave the club next month.
Meanwhile, Mourinho has echoed the complaints of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger over the holiday period fixture list that seems to favour current league leaders Chelsea.
Antonio Conte’s side play three games over a 10-day period due to their games being staggered by television coverage, while United and Arsenal must play three times in eight days and Liverpool three in seven.
At least Mourinho’s position is strengthened by injured players returning to fitness with Luke Shaw his only current absentee.
The central defensive position that has caused him so many problems this season has been strengthened with Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind all fit and available.
“The busy period is for some clubs, not for everyone,” said Mourinho of Chelsea’s fixtures. “If you analyse the fixtures there is no congestion for them.
“It looks like the fixtures are chosen to give rest for some and to create problems to others.
“But we are used to it because we are in the Europa League and the Europa League is a competition that creates more difficulties –- we know that, Southampton know that, Tottenham will know that later.
“For us it’s more of the same.
“It’s good for us to have everyone available but Luke Shaw and he’s not far away.”