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Rooney in line for EFL final start

Press Association logoPress Association 25/02/2017 Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho is weighing up whether to start Wayne Rooney in the English Football League Cup final after the Manchester United captain ended speculation about his immediate future.

Talk had been growing over the 31-year-old making an Old Trafford exit, with his agent Paul Stretford understood to have been in China this week speaking to interested clubs.

However, Rooney on Thursday put to bed speculation regarding his future for the rest of the campaign, confirming he was staying at Old Trafford.

United boss Mourinho was pleased by the content and timing of the statement from Rooney, who will be in the squad for Sunday's EFL Cup final against Southampton despite a recent hamstring injury and dropping down the pecking order.

United's all-time top scorer may even start at Wembley after in-form Henrikh Mkhitaryan sustained a hamstring issue.

"I have to make a decision," Mourinho said. "You know that we normally play two different systems - sometimes we play with two midfield players and a number 10 if you want to call it (that).

"Sometimes we play with a number six and two midfield players in front.

"Without Mkhitaryan, if we want to play with a number 10, obviously Wayne, it's his position, it's where he was playing with us many matches, so he is an option for me.

"A final is a special match and he is an option for me."

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