Mourinho didn't ask Sanchez to skip Chile as he backs United star to improve

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho discussed the form of struggling forward Alexis Sanchez ahead of Sunday's must-win trip to Burnley.

Jose Mourinho believes Alexis Sanchez will rediscover his best form at Manchester United after rejecting suggestions he forced the Chile international to skip the country's upcoming friendlies.

Sanchez was not included in the squad for Chile's trip to the Far East, where the South Americans will face Japan and South Korea on September 6 and 10 respectively.

Chile head coach Reinaldo Rueda claimed Sanchez – who came off the bench in the 3-0 loss to Tottenham having missed the 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion – was left out at the recommendation of Premier League giants United.

Preparing for Sunday's must-win match against Burnley, United manager Mourinho told reporters: "I didn't ask Alexis - and I never ask players not to go away.

"I also never contact national teams for players not to go. It's a personal thing between him and the national manager.

"At the same time, coming from injury, Alexis feels that for him it is a much-needed two weeks off.

"He is still in conditions to play against Burnley but he feels that after that he needs two weeks to put himself in good shape.

"And because they are friendly matches in Asia, they made a decision for his good and by consequence for our good."

Sanchez swapped Arsenal for United in a blockbuster deal in January, however, the 29-year-old has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford.

Since moving to Manchester, Sanchez has only scored three goals, though he enjoyed an encouraging pre-season after finding the back of the net twice.

Mourinho, whose United have suffered back-to-back defeats, said: "He had a good pre-season, he had a good start to the season.

"Then he had a small injury that kept him out and then he came just one day before Tottenham, and he comes into the game with the result 2-0. Let's see from now.

"He is committed, he is focused. He works hard. I believe he will improve."