Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has launched an attack on Ajax ahead of the Europa League final, claiming that the Dutch club should not be in the competition in the first place as they have already competed in the Champions League this season.
Peter Bosz's side finished their Champions League group in third place and were handed a direct entry into the Europa. The Portuguese tactician insists that clubs like the Red Devils, who were there from the beginning, have been deceived with this practice.
"They are a Champions League team, they come from the Champions League," Mourinho lamented ahead of their game against Crystal Palace, as quoted by Goal. "I always disagree with it, I don't think a team should play in two European competitions in the same season.
"I think if a team goes to the Champions League and doesn't qualify they should go home. The Europa League is for team who have been in it since the beginning, like us. We finished fifth and went to the Europa League."
The 20-time English champions' only chance of competing in the Champions League next season rests on beating Ajax at Stockholm in the Europa League final on Wednesday, 24 May. They have relinquished their chance to qualify through the top four route following losses against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in two of their last three games. They come into the final weekend having failed to win in any of their last three games following their mid-week stalemate against Southampton.
United are set to rest a host of players for their final league game against Palace, in a bid to keep them fresh for mid-week's showdown. Eric Bailly is likely to make the starting eleven this weekend as he is suspended for the final after picking up a red card in the second leg of the semi-final clash against Celta Vigo at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini is struggling to be fit after picking up an injury against the Saints. The Belgium international will be assessed before the game to determine the possibility of his induction into the squad.