England's Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Chris Smalling will travel with the Manchester United squad on the club's pre-season tour to China this summer, according to manager Jose Mourinho. The trio have been recovering since the Three Lions were dumped out of the European Championships by Iceland but are set for a quick return to first team duties.
After taking on Championship side Wigan Athletic on 16 July, the Old Trafford club travel to Asia for two fixtures against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in the International Champions Cup. Mourinho's side then face Galatasaray in Gothenburg, before Wayne Rooney's testimonial and the Community Shield against Leicester City at Wembley.
Rooney and Smalling played in all four of England's tournament matches, while Rashford made substitute appearances against Wales and Iceland. Each player featured extensively for United during the closing months of the season but they will resume club activities less than a month after England's exit. However, Mourinho says none of them will feature during the two-game tour.
"They are important, but they are not important to win," he told MUTV. "They are important for different reasons. We go to China. It is more important for the Asian fans than ourselves. I am taking the English boys that I was not expecting to come. Fortunately they are coming. I will take them, but I am not going to play them. What is important is to work, to be together and to know each other - to live together for 24 hours every day during the week."
Mourinho has inherited a pre-season schedule which will see United play six games in 22 days and not see his whole squad assemble – including those players recovering after Euro 2016 – less than three weeks before the season starts. United's Premier League season gets underway on the weekend of 13 August against AFC Bournemouth, and Mourinho is frustrated at the lack of access he will have to majority of his squad.
"Finally when you come back from China it is when the other people are waiting for us and we are going to be together just 10-12 days before the Community Shield, 15-17 days before the first game against Bournemouth and it is a difficult situation for a new manager," the United boss added. "We cannot run away from it, it is what we have and we have to do the best we can.
"The reality is that I will have to try and shorten some process, the process will take weeks and weeks and weeks and sometimes years and years. We always have a chance to improve but I am going to try in this two weeks that we are going to be all together to try and give the team principals [sic]. My principals [sic] are quite objective and for the players it will not be a drama to understand them and to try and give me what I want."