José Mourinho: Wayne Rooney will not leave before the summer

Manchester United manager also confirms Ashley Young will be staying at Old Trafford

Wayne Rooney will not be allowed to leave Manchester United before the end of the season, with José Mourinho stating he cannot afford to lose any more players following the departures of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay.

Rooney is the subject of interest from clubs in China’s Super League, the competition’s transfer window closing at the end of February. Yet after Schneiderlin was sold to Everton and Depay to Lyon, Mourinho does not want his squad to be further depleted, especially as United are still competing in all four competitions.

Asked if the captain will still be at the club at the campaign’s close, Mourinho said: “Yeah. We don’t have players in, we don’t have players out, we lost two players from the squad. You can say Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin did not play a lot, but the reality is they played some matches, and when they did, others didn’t, and when they played, others were rested. When Schneiderlin played, it meant [PAUL]Pogba, [MICHAEL]Carrick or [ANDER]Herrera didn’t.

“You lose players sometimes it does not look important because they were not first-choice players, but in the end they’re important if someone is going to have a difficult season. I hope that’s us and we’re in the cup competitions.

“We have the Manchester City match postponed [because of the EFL Cup final], we have the Blackburn Rovers match [IN THE FA CUP]and if we win we will have another match to be postponed we are in the Europa League with more matches, so our situation is really difficult.”

Mourinho also confirmed Ashley Young will not leave in this transfer window. "He's definitely staying," said the manager, who added Young will be in Wednesday's match-day squad for Hull City's visit.

Mourinho is unsure why the top six clubs have not done any major business during the month. “I don’t know what to say. I cannot speak for the other teams, their decisions, what they think. In our case, we are more focused on the summer period. I like my players, so nothing for me.”

Regarding the 54-year-old’s summer plans, he said: “I know what I want. I always think every week the more I know my players, the more I know my team, the more I know the competition [Premier League], because it’s a competition I know really well. But it’s a competition in permanent evolution.

“I know what I want, the market closes today, so there is no point in me speaking about the next transfer window when we have so many matches to play, so much to fight for, so many good players to work with. If you ask me: ‘Do I know what I want for the next transfer window?’ Yes I know. Is it possible to get? I’ll try, always, to be realistic.”

(Guardian service)