Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be back in the squad to face Bristol City in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, 20 December.

Bristol are currently third in the Championship table with 43 points after 22 games, eight points behind leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Armenian international last featured for the Red Devils in their 1-0 league win over Brighton & Hove Albion back in November. He came on as a second-half substitute in that match and since then has been left out of the United squad in all competitions.

The Portuguese tactician also admitted that he is unlikely to make too many changes and issued a warning to his players to take the clash against Lee Johnson's side "seriously".

"He [Mkhitaryan] can [be back]. I am making a few changes for the match, but not many because Bristol City are one of the best teams in the Championship," Mourinho said, as quoted by United's official website.

"For me now, the Championship is not the Championship of five or 10 years ago. The Championship is now high-quality teams with lots of players that could be playing in the Premier League easily.

"So we need to take the game really seriously. I am going to make a few changes and it is possible Micki is involved."

Mkhitaryan has been omitted from the last eight out of nine matchday squads by the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager, but could in line for a return when United travel to Ashton Gate.

Mourinho recently publicly criticised the former Borussia Dortmund star for "disappearing", which forced the manager to drop him from the squad. He stressed that Mkhitaryan needs to do more to make his way into the squad and reiterated the same in his pre-match press conference for the Bristol clash.

"At the moment, we are playing [Juan] Mata, [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard or [Anthony] Martial and [Romelu] Lukaku," the ex-Inter Milan manager said.

"So, on the bench, we have [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and one of the other ones, Martial or Rashford. So there is no space for everyone because you need balance on the bench too."

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba is available for selection after the France international completed his three-match ban for the red card he had received in United's win over Arsenal at the Emirates. It remains to be seen if Mourinho will put him in the starting XI against Bristol on Wednesday.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan last featured for Manchester United in their 1-0 win over Brighton back in November Getty