Jose Mourinho claims to have reached a decision regarding the future of Manchester United outcast Adnan Januzaj, although is unwilling to divulge it publicly at this stage. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Sunderland and will be ineligible to feature on Sunday (9 April) as David Moyes' basement-dwellers entertain his parent club at the Stadium of Light.
Januzaj, who failed to impress last term during a hugely disappointing loan spell with Borussia Dortmund that was terminated early by mutual consent, joined the Black Cats on a season-long deal in August 2016, following former teammates Donald Love and Paddy McNair to Wearside.
The Belgian international, currently contracted to United until the summer of 2018, has hardly thrived since reuniting with former boss Moyes, making only 24 appearances across all competitions.
Indeed, he was subjected to jeers from Sunderland supporters after being withdrawn for the final 20 minutes of last weekend's narrow defeat to Watford and was left as an unused substitute for the subsequent loss at Leicester City.
Rationalising his temporary departure last summer, Mourinho labelled Januzaj as "talented" and stressed that he "fits in his plans". Reports that United wanted to sell him permanently during the January transfer window amid interest from Lyon proved to be inaccurate, with his Sunderland deal not thought to contain a midseason recall clause.
Asked during a prematch press conference on Friday if he had made his mind up on the player's future, the manager confirmed: "I have decided." But when asked if he could say what this is, replied: "Not to you."
Jesse Lingard made headlines this week after signing a new four-year contract that includes the option of another 12-month extension. According to The Mail, such an improved deal includes weekly wages of £75,000 ($92,600) -a-week that will rise to £100,000-a-week moving forward if United, currently sixth in the Premier League and four points adrift of fourth-place Manchester City with a game in hand, secure qualification for the Champions League.
Speaking on that decision, Mourinho, whose side are on a 20-match unbeaten run in the top-flight, said: "I think he's a good player already. And because of his age and happiness in work, I think he has conditions to be even better. He's English and made in the academy – these players are very important for the club. It's a very important contract and I congratulate him."