Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Man United held by Southampton in 0-0 stalemate

The Spain global, who is reportedly Madrid's priority transfer target ahead of the upcoming window, did not travel with United's squad for the goalless draw with Southampton on Wednesday night.

In fact, David De Gea wasn't even in the 18 man squad in Southampton with youngster Joel Pereira deputizing for Romero. "I think we did more than OK", Mourinho said. United's pre-season tour of the United States also features games against the LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Mourinho added: "The last match against Crystal Palace, two days before the final, for me is unacceptable especially because we are sixth and never [finishing] fifth, never [finishing] seventh and Crystal Palace is not going to be relegated too. David is top of the world and obviously we want to keep him". Both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are in line to start, as they continue to rebuild their fitness ahead of the Europa League final.

Confirming the news, manager Jose Mourinho said Pogba had been given permission to stay in France rather than St. Mary's after the family bereavement.

The 19-year-old is United's second-highest goalscorer with 11 in all competitions and Mourinho has lauded the England international's work ethic, saying he was one of his most trusted players at the club. So it will be interesting to see how this match pans out given their past record and Manchester United's current form in the Premier League. When I know the battle is lost, I don't fight the battle.

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"If I only look at his line-ups and team formations all season, then he is playing with nearly two different teams", he explained. "Tells (Wilfried) Zaha to go slow, leaves (Christian) Benteke at home; I hope he goes soft on us".

Southampton struggled to relieve the pressure building on manager Claude Puel against an under-strength United.

According to the report, United captain Wayne Rooney is expected to leave in the summer, as is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who looks set to be out injured until 2018.

"If those boys, which he is using for his European games, are not playing at the weekend in the Premier League, they have as much rest and exactly the same preparation time as my players -and look at the amount of players he has available to rotate".

As well as missing out on the League Cup, Southampton will be unable to improve on the previous season's league placing - sixth - for the first time in eight campaigns. It's true that the calendar has been hectic over the last two months, but we have to push hard now to try to win the three remaining games.

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