Ibrahimovic will start with bench role, says Mourinho

At least initially, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be used off the bench for Manchester United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have to settle for a spot off the bench to begin his return from injury, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said.

Ibrahimovic, 36, is set to make his comeback from a serious knee injury when Mourinho's men host Newcastle United in the Premier League Saturday.

The Swede may have to battle with Romelu Lukaku for a starting spot, but Mourinho said Ibrahimovic would be used off the bench – at least initially.

"As a start, I see him on the bench and it's where I see him," the Portuguese tactician said.

"It's where he's going to be [Saturday], on the bench."

Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in 46 games in all competitions for United last season before his injury, and he decided to re-sign for another campaign at Old Trafford.

While the arrival of Lukaku may reduce Ibrahimovic's game time, Mourinho believes the pair could play together.

"This season we played so many times with two strikers," he said.

"We played so many times, especially when we played three at the back and the wing backs, we brought the second man to the centre so we can do it.

"We are ready to do it and we prepared ourselves since pre-season.

"In pre-season we started doing three in the back already, so they can play together."