Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho voiced his frustration with Ivory Coast after they refused to delay Eric Bailly’s Africa Cup of Nations departure by 24 hours.
Bailly featured in United’s starting XI in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough and Mourinho was hoping the defender would be available to take on West Ham on Monday as well.
But Mourinho told the club’s website Ivory Coast’s coach Michel Dussuyer was not willing to take the risk as they prepare to defend their African title.
“Bailly is leaving – he goes to the national team,” said Mourinho.
“He has to be with them on 2 January. We asked them for him to be on 3 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,” said Mourinho.
But the United manager says the club should not be harmed in the short-term.
“I know I lose Bailly for a month so I’m going to have Smalling, Rojo, Jones… three players for eight matches.”
Bailly, 22, has had a mixed start to his United career, starting the season strongly before suffering a knee injury.