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Manchester United's Jose Mourinho expects Matteo Darmian to stay

Will Alexis Sanchez be the key to Manchester United's success this season? The ESPN FC guys weigh in.

MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho says he expects to have Jesse Lingard and Matteo Darmian available to face Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend but is set to be without Antonio Valencia and Nemanja Matic.

Lingard missed the 2-1 win over Leicester City while Darmian has been linked with a return to Italy with Juventus, Napoli and Inter Milan.

The Serie A transfer window closes at 7 p.m. BST on Friday but Mourinho said it is likely Darmian, who started at right-back against Leicester with Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot sidelined with injuries, will stay at Old Trafford.

"I don't think he will go," Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.

"He cannot have any bad feeling towards us because we opened the door for him in case his desire was to go but it looks like it's not going to end in a transfer and for me it is good news that Matteo is staying.

"He's always an option for us, a reliable player, we know that his performance level is that one, we know he always does a job for the team, right-back, left-back, starting player on the bench, he always does it, he's loved in the group by his human nature, too."

United have lost their last two league games at Brighton, including a 1-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium in May.

Mourinho is still without Valencia and Matic against Chris Hughton's side but there is hope the pair could be fit to return against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Aug. 27.

"I think Lingard [is available]," Mourinho said. "Matic and Valencia, they are training with the team since Thursday, fully fit but not yet to play or even to be selected.

"Apart from that, of course some of the boys are in a better condition, some of them before Leicester trained three days and after this good long working week they are in a better condition.

"Three months ago we lost there, we lost 1-0. They have a great coach, Chris, good players, good team, beautiful stadium but difficult to play.

"They know how to play, they kept the same team, bought a few new players, the style is the same and the fact they lost the first match [against Watford] they are working for a reaction, to improve their game.

"So it will be a difficult match for us but we are confident, the training was really really good all week."

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