Mourinho rules out January defender move

Jose Mourinho has ruled out a January move for a new defender, despite Eric Bailly’s absence for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Benfica centre-half Victor Lindelof, while wantaway Southampton captain Jose Fonte – the subject of summer speculation – has also been mooted as a possible option for Mourinho this month.

United will be without Bailly for the whole of January, with the summer signing included in the Ivory Coast squad for the Cup of Nations.

But Mourinho plans to rotate the trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo, rather than entering the transfer market to strengthen his options at the back.

He said: “I wait for Bailly. I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches.

"I will try to rest one in every game. On Saturday I will rest one, against Hull another – and we’ll try to make a rotation between these three.

"We still have Daley Blind as the fourth defender in case we need him to play there and we also have Michael Carrick, so let’s try."