Manchester United defender Antonio Valencia has sent a fitness message to Jose Mourinho as he looks to force his way back into the frame after the pair’s relationship appeared to brake down last month.
The 33-year-old has not featured for United since liking an Instagram post calling for Mourinho’s removal after their drab 0-0 Champions League draw with Valencia despite apologising for his actions.
Mourinho has refuted claims that his omission from United’s match-day squads is down to their falling out and insisted after their win over Everton on the weekend that Valencia has been struggling with a mouth problem after having surgery and missed the last 10 days of training.
Valencia has been putting in the hours in the gym this week and posted a video of him lifting weights on social media as he looks to work his way back into Mourinho’s thinking.
‘Work and more work,’ he captioned the clip as he trained away from the main session at United’s Aon Training Complex on Thursday.
Ashley Young has filled in at right-back in Valencia’s absence and has looked at home in the position, particularly standing out in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea last month.
Diogo Dalot has also offered Mourinho an alternative option, but the United boss is keen to blood the youngster slowly, having had surgery on a knee injury over the summer.
Mourinho will have to navigate around three tricky fixtures over the next eight days and with the quick turnaround, may present Valencia with a chance to show his worth.
On Saturday lunchtime they travel to the South coast for a Premier League clash with in-form Bournemouth.
In midweek they fly to Turin for a crunch Champions League clash away to Juventus, who won the return fixture 1-0 at Old Trafford last week.
This is followed on Sunday by arguably their biggest game of the season so far, the Manchester derby against unbeaten neighbours City.