Jose Mourinho will wait until the very last moment before deciding whether Romelu Lukaku will start for Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
The striker picked up an ankle injury during a 2-1 win over Arsenal last month and has been in Belgium receiving specialist treatment.
He returned to training with the first team on Tuesday and Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois recently claimed that he expected his fellow countryman to start at Wembley.
But Mourinho, speaking at a press conference on Friday, noted that he would have to make a late call on Lukaku’s fitness for the game on Saturday, adding that Anthony Martial had recovered from a knee problem which had kept him out of the 1-0 win over Watford.
“Martial is fit and Lukaku we have to wait until the last moment,” he said. “I don’t want to lie to you and say he doesn’t play and then plays, or vice versa, so Lukaku we have to wait.”
The 55-year-old has always adopted a cautious tone on the topic of Lukaku’s fitness, noting last week that he may only be fit for a place on the bench.
And yet, at the same time, you wouldn’t be surprised if Mourinho is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding Lukaku given his importance to the side’s overall approach. United will play totally differently without him in the team. Keeping Antonio Conte and his team guessing right up until 4:15pm tomorrow would be a classic Mourinho move.