Wantaway Depay won't be picked

 Manchester United's Memphis Depay (centre) struggles between Fenerbahce's van Persie (right) and Souza (left) during their Uefa Europa League football match, on Oct 20, 2016.
Manchester United's Memphis Depay (centre) struggles between Fenerbahce's van Persie (right) and Souza (left) during their Uefa Europa League football match, on Oct 20, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Jose Mourinho admits he has dismissed Memphis Depay from his plans because of the Dutch winger's desire to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old, bought for £25 million (S$44.7 million) from PSV Eindhoven by Louis van Gaal 18 months ago, has been one of the biggest losers of Mourinho's arrival at Old Trafford.

And the United manager explained that his decision to omit him from first-team consideration sprung from Depay's wish to leave Manchester this month.

"I have to say that in the past couple of months my decisions in relation to Memphis were influenced by the feelings and information that he would like to leave in January and that we were going to have a real offer that we would be willing to accept," said Mourinho.

"That obviously influences me. If I know, if I have the feeling that a player is leaving - if I have to give chances and develop other players - then I go to (Jesse) Lingard, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan, (Anthony) Martial... I know 100 per cent who are going to stay with us."

Depay has been little more than a bit-part contributor for United this season and has played almost as many minutes for the Netherlands - 119 in two World Cup qualifiers - as he has with his club.

For United, he has started just one game, a 55-minute appearance in a League Cup tie at third-tier Northampton. In total, he has featured in eight games in all competitions, amassing barely two hours of football, 124 minutes.

Everton, seeking cover for long-term injury victim Yannick Bolasie, is Depay's most likely destination in the window, although Porto, Roma and AC Milan are also reportedly interested in him.

Mourinho, however, insisted that none of his players will be allowed to leave unless the price is right and stressed that nobody will be loaned out - with the exception of back-up goalkeeper Sam Johnstone. Morgan Schneiderlin has been linked with a £13 million move to West Bromwich Albion.

"I don't want to sell players," said the Portuguese. "The club and the board is totally with me, but as I said before, if a player is not having lots of minutes and really wants to leave, we have no right to stop him leaving if the conditions are our conditions. And up until this moment, we have not received one single offer that we are going to accept."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 01, 2017, with the headline 'Wantaway Depay won't be picked'. Print Edition | Subscribe