MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described the team’s preseason as "very bad" because of the disruption caused by the World Cup and the absence of Alexis Sanchez for the tour of the United States.
Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones will not return to training with United until close to the start of the new season because their countries got to the semifinals of the World Cup in Russia.
Sanchez wasn’t among the United squad heading across the Atlantic because there was an issue with his visa after the Chile forward accepted a 16-month suspended sentence in Spain over a tax issue.
Mourinho said "preseason is very bad, I have to say that," adding that "I am worried because I am not training with all my players."
On Sanchez, Mourinho said "he’s very sad, it’s not good for him or me, not good for anyone. There is no one to blame — the club is making an effort. I have to respect the U.S. authorities in their process of selection of visas. I hope he will come to join us."
Mourinho said he is set to start the season with Sanchez, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial as his strike force.
United flew to Los Angeles on Sunday and will play five games, including three International Champions Cup matches against Real Madrid, AC Milan and Liverpool, during its stay.
United plays its first English Premier League game of the season on Aug. 10 against Leicester at Old Trafford.