Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's injury is 'long-term', confirms manager Jose Mourinho

Man Utd fear losing Mourinho favourite over contract demands

Although the former United captain clearly thinks highly of the club's new number nine, Keane also added that Lukaku will need to continue his prolific rate of scoring when Jose Mourinho's side face stronger opposition in the weeks and months ahead.

The Reds have kept five clean sheets in the opening six league fixtures thus far, the only blemish on the defence's otherwise ideal record being the two goals conceded against Stoke City in the 2-2 draw at the beginning of September.

Chelsea have won the Premier League in two of the last three seasons and Conte will also be hoping to steer the Blues to Champions League glory this season.

"He's injured, he cannot play on Saturday and it's not an injury that I can have the hope like I have with Antonio Valencia or Phil Jones", Mourinho said.

"So, until the moment we have Zlatan, we can not think about giving rest to our number nine, the same way we give (rest) in other positions".

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However, his form in the second half of last season improved as he helped Manchester United to win both the League Cup and Europa League. "Long-term injuries I don't speak about them", Sport24 quoted Mourinho as saying.

"I wouldn't be fair if I wouldn't say that every step in his career with different managers, with different fellow players, with different teams were not contributing to what he is now".

Mourinho refused to take credit for Lukaku's blistering start, instead insisting it is the result of hard work and steady, gradual improvement since he arrived in the Premier League as an 18-year-old in 2011.

The manager said Lukaku was coping well with the pressure of playing for the 20-times league champions.

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