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Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho reacts furiously to question about Chris Smalling

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The pre-match hype surrounding Manchester United's clash with Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday is relentless.

Ahead of the titanic bout, questions have been asked of Alexis Sanchez's fitness, pictures of Wayne Rooney drunk at a wedding last week and Jose Mourinho's ever-present rivalry with Arsene Wenger.

Each and every topic has been covered in press conferences by both managers, with one brave reporter questioning Mourinho on the recent Chris Smalling debacle.

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Following November 6's victory over Swansea City, the Portuguese slammed Smalling for pulling out at the last minute through injury and refusing to play through the pain barrier.

The England centre-back has since broken his toe and been ruled out for four weeks.

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So, when said reporter asked Mourinho for an update, United's manager reacted furiously (see below at 6:45) and embarked upon a rant.

In quotes relayed by Goal, he said: "Chris Smalling, you cannot ask.

"You cannot ask because you have your sources, you trust your sources, you believe in your source, you write what your sources tell you and you did that for 15 days.

"So you are not going to ask me to comment on your sources' information.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League

"Chris Smalling I don't comment. You wrote, you spoke, you comment, you criticised. That's fine for me. I don't say a word about Chris Smalling.

"You do the big headlines with your sources and now I'm not interested in commenting."

Mourinho did, however, provide an update on Luke Shaw, who he seemed more than happy to talk about.

"Luke Shaw, yes," he added. "He worked well in this period when we had a very small group. He's ready to play.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

"I don't have any problem with him. I'm not saying he plays or he doesn't but he's my player, a young player with potential. He has things to learn and improve but he has my confidence.

"Playing now, with five matches in two weeks, in three different competitions, for sure he's going to play."

Make of that what you will, but it seems there might be an underlying issue between Mourinho and Smalling if he's so against talking about him.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Chris Smalling
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Jose Mourinho

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