Manchester United vs Arsenal: Wayne Rooney set to be dropped after 'drunk' incident with Marcus Rashford preferred

Rooney also suffered a minor knee injury and looks set to return to the substitutes' bench for the visit of rivals Arsenal to Old Trafford this weekend

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The Independent Online

Wayne Rooney looks set to be left out of Manchester United’s Premier League clash against Arsenal on Saturday even though Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended, with the snub ending a week in which he has been forced to apologise after being pictured drunk at an all-night party while on international duty.

Rooney issued a statement on Wednesday night to publicly apologise for his actions after he was photographed at a wedding party at The Grove Hotel in Watford, where the England squad were staying after their 3-0 World Cup qualifier victory over Scotland.

United manager Jose Mourinho was reported to be furious with the Football Association after members of their team were out with Rooney last Saturday night, but he has bigger concerns on his hands after heading into this weekend’s resumption of the Premier League with a selection crisis on his hands.

Mourinho could be without as many as seven player for the visit of Arsenal, and with Ibrahimovic banned after picking up five yellow cards, he needs to select a new striker for the Old Trafford crunch clash. Rooney would be the logical choice to replace the Swede given Mourinho is reluctant to play the England and United captain in midfield, but The Mirror reports that youngster Marcus Rashford will get the nod, leaving Rooney to start yet another match on the substitutes’ bench.

Rooney was restored to the starting line-up for the last Premier League match in the 3-1 victory over Swansea, but he looks set to drop out of the side again this weekend in what will be his fifth league match out of six among the replacements. His selection is hampered by the knee injury he suffered in the win over the Scots that kept him out of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Spain, and the allegations of an all-night drinking binge over the weekend have not helped his cause to replace the 35-year-old Ibrahimovic.

The move could be seen as a changing of the guard by Mourinho, with 19-year-old Rashford a rapidly emerging talent at United while Rooney’s flame appears to be diminishing. The Portuguese is set to address his team selection and the Rooney situation on Friday when he faces the media, although there will also be plenty of attention on the renewal of his rivalry with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

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