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Manchester United

Man United boss Jose Mourinho vetoes open Europa League training - sources

Jose Mourinho has rejected plans for Manchester United to train at the Friends Arena in Stockholm ahead of next Wednesday's Europa League against Ajax in order to avoid the possibility of his tactics being leaked, sources have told ESPN FC.

Ajax told UEFA they would hold an hour-long open training session at the stadium on Tuesday following coach Peter Bosz's prematch news conference.

But United will train in Manchester instead amid concerns their tactical work could be revealed to their opponents.

United have trained at Carrington on the day before most Europa League games this season, with the exception of the matches at Zorya Luhansk and FC Rostov.

But despite the tradition of European finalists being put through their paces at the stadium the night before the game, Mourinho has made it clear that they will remain in Manchester before flying to Sweden on Tuesday.

His squad will walk around the stadium and pitch on their arrival in order to familiarise themselves with their surroundings -- the game may yet be played with the roof closed -- but will do all their preparation work behind closed doors after a 30-minute session in front of the cameras.

Jose Mourinho is concerned about a lack of preparation time for the final.

While the manager is reluctant for his players to train in the full glare of the media, his main concern is a lack of time to prepare them.

With Ajax having completed their Eredivisie campaign last Sunday, they travel to Sweden having had more than a week to focus on the Europa League final.

Mourinho, however, had to take United to Southampton for a Premier League game on Wednesday and must also prepare a team -- albeit much changed -- for Sunday's final game of the league season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

He has identified Monday as a day for recovery and light training, leaving just Tuesday morning for him to work with his starting lineup.

And with Mourinho placing so much importance on that Tuesday session, he is refusing to risk an hour of preparatory work being played out in public in Stockholm.

United will have over £50 million at stake when they face Ajax.

They can only qualify for next season's Champions League by winning in Stockholm, and a number a financial deals depend on them playing in the top European competition.

Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_


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