Manchester United’s Eric Bailly (C) and Marcus Rashford (R) attend a training session

Graeme Jackson

Friday Feb 09, 2018. 19:00

Eric Bailly remains on the road to recovery and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hopes the defender will be back later this month.

The Ivorian centre-back has not played for United since early November, having undergone surgery on a troublesome ankle toward the end of 2017.

Both Bailly and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been working hard on returning to first-team availability and Mourinho hopes both will return for United’s first-leg UEFA Champions League knockout clash with Sevilla, which is set for February 21.

“They are working on the pitch but not yet with us as a group so they are not very close to a return,” said Mourinho.

“I want to believe that by Champions League time, around the end of the month, they will be back.”

In the meantime, Bailly will continue to miss out for the Red Devils, who are next in action on Sunday afternoon when they travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United in a Premier League clash.

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