Why Manchester United reject Mkhitaryan would be perfect for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool

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Stoke will play their first match since the sacking of Mark Hughes, after losing their last three matches and scoring just one goal in that time, with coach Eddie Niedzwiecki expected to be in temporary charge.

The Armenian was one of Mourinho's first signings in the summer of 2016 but inconsistency has blighted the playmaker since he joined from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3million.

With issues as the back for both teams, it's safe to expect goals in this one. Blind in the sense that this player is untouchable, this player can never be sold. Too many have underperformed this season, and it might well turn out to be a bad time to play the Potters from United's point of view.

So, to address the very obvious hurdle to a Klopp-Mkhitaryan reunion, it's highly unlikely that even in their desperation to get rid of the 28-year-old that Man Utd would sell to Liverpool, such is the rivalry between the two clubs.

The Swedish legend is still resting the problem but Mourinho has revealed that the 36-year-old is pencilled-in to return to full training either at the end of the month or the start of February.

Meanwhile, Smalling has praised the longevity of United's defence after he started alongside Jones, Young, Antonio Valencia and David de Gea in the recent win against West Brom at the Hawthorns.

This season, Mkhitaryan has scored once and registered five assists in 15 Premier League appearances.

Stoke City are winless in their last 17 trips to Manchester United in all competitions (D2 L15), since a 1-0 win in April 1976.

He'd add something completely different to Lukaku, while his record against the league's top sides is exactly what United need, given their usual gameplan in those fixtures.

Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United could decide to sell Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the January transfer window. If we do something now, we don't do it in the summer again.

"But sometimes can happen or can appear on the table, a fantastic opportunity and then you fight for that fantastic opportunity".

The form continued into the latter stages of the Europa League but as the team's focus changed from domestic aspirations to continental dreams, his league form didn't take much cognisance.

Choupo-Moting has been one of the better performers at Stoke - off that left-hand side.

"If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't happen, it doesn't".

Unfortunately for Stoke, several defenders remain injured, including Erik Pieters, who is a doubt because of a tight hamstring, according to Metro's Avinash Bhunjun.

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