Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is unhappy with Ivory Coast after they refused to delay Eric Bailly’s arrival, which would have seen him face West Ham.
Bailly, 22, played a full game as United recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday.
However, he will miss the trip to West Ham on Monday after Ivory Coast were unwilling to delay his arrival for the Africa Cup of Nations by 24 hours – much to Mourinho’s displeasure.
“Bailly goes to the national team. He has to be in the national team on the 2nd of January. We asked them for him to be [there] on the 3rd,” he said.
“They refused, so he cannot play against West Ham.
“I wish Ivory Coast to be champions because with these kind of decisions it’s because they are controlling every second, so for sure they are going to win the African Cup.”
Mourinho is confident he has enough depth to cover for Bailly’s departure for the tournament, at which Ivory Coast face DR Congo, Morocco and Togo in Group C.
“I know that I lose Bailly for a month, and I know I’ll have [Chris] Smalling, [Marcos] Rojo and [Phil] Jones,” he said.
“That’s three players for I think eight matches.”
Mourinho added: “I decided to play Eric today, and in the end it was good to have him on the pitch, because he’s the fastest one, and to play one against one at the back, he’s the best because he’s very fast.”