Jose Mourinho takes a few digs at the Ivory Coast over Bailly's departure

He is due to link up with the national side ahead of the African Cup of Nations

Jose Mourinho

Image: Martin Rickett PA Wire/PA Images

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has taken a dig at the Ivory Coast over their insistence on Eric Bailly's departure date for the African Cup of Nations.

Speaking after the his side's 2-1 win over Middlesbrough he said: "Bailly is leaving, he goes to the national team."

"He has to be with them on 2nd January. We asked them for him to be on 3rd January but they refused, so he cannot play against West Ham.

"With these kind of decisions they are controlling every second, so for sure they are going to win the African Cup.

"I know I lose Bailly for a month so I'm going to have Smalling, Rojo, Jones - three players for eight matches," he added.

United are on a good run of form at the moment having won their last five matches and are now just three points off the Champions League places. 

Mourinho's side travel to West Ham on Monday before they welcome high-flying Liverpool to Old Trafford on 15th January.

The African Cup of Nations kicks off on the 14th January when hosts Gabon take on Guinea-Bissau. The Ivory Coast begin their campaign on the 16th January against Togo.