Manchester United 'very happy' with José Mourinho, says Jorge Mendes

• Manager also content and going nowhere, says agent
• Mourinho sees no place for Fred until United tighten up

José Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has issued a rare statement in which he insists Manchester United’s manager is content at the club and the board are “very happy” with his client.

Mourinho has cut an embattled figure for most of the campaign because of issues related to United’s summer transfer policy, his relationship with Paul Pogba and poor league form that has left his team 18 points behind the leaders, Manchester City, after 15 matches. Mendes’s move, then, will be viewed with interest.

“There have been more rumours of Jose Mourinho leaving Manchester United,” he told the Telegraph. “It’s totally untrue. José is very happy at the club and the club is very happy with him. He has a long-term contract with Manchester United and is fully committed to the club in building a solid winning project.”

Mourinho had earlier said that Fred, his only major summer signing, will struggle for selection until United are “defensively stronger”.

The Brazilian cost £50m but has been dropped by the manager, with the midfielder not in the 18-man squad for Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford. He has also been an unused substitute in five of the last seven games.

United’s goal difference is -1, having conceded 25 goals and scored 24. “The day we are stronger defensively I think the horizons for Fred change,” Mourinho said.

Of the 25-year-old’s progress since signing, he said: “Step by step; you have also other players in other clubs that needed their time and you have some of them that played even less than what Fred is playing.”

It is thought Mourinho is considering leaving Eric Bailly out of the match-day squad after he started against Arsenal, alongside Antonio Valencia who was an unused replacement. Anthony Martial is also a serious doubt to be fit for the game following a test on Friday, as is Matteo Darmian.