Rooney could leave United this summer if he is not satisfied with his future role and the number of games he is likely to play next season.
If that turns out to be the case, the clash against Crystal Palace would be his last chance to say goodbye on home turf in a competitive game after 13 years with United. He is likely to miss Michael Carrick’s testimonial at Old Trafford on June 4 if he is called up by England for their games against Scotland and France next month.
With Marouane Fellaini sweating on the results of a scan on his injured hamstring, Mourinho wants to avoid any more injury scares by keeping skipper Rooney and most of his senior players fit and fresh for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.
When asked if Rooney will play tomorrow, he said: “I don’t know. He played 90 minutes in the last match [at Southampton on Wednesday] so probably not.
“I will bring three or four of the first-team players to play one half each where I can give a little bit of experience to the team. But I want to save players for Wednesday.”
One senior player who will definitely start against Palace is Paul Pogba because Mourinho believes the France midfielder needs some action after missing the last two matches and a weeks’ training after being given compassionate leave to return to Paris following the death of his father.
“Paul is fine. He is learning how to live after his father passed away but he’s a strong guy with a strong mentality,” said Mourinho. “And he knows he needs to play against Palace because he hasn’t played or trained for a long time. He needs these minutes on the pitch.”
Mourinho will included 10 youngsters in his squad of 18 – Axel Tuanzebe, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara, Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop, Matty Willock, Angel Gomes and Zak Dearnley.
And he confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, along with the other injured players, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, will travel with his squad for the final in Stockholm on Wednesday.
“We have a few on crutches but everyone goes,” he said. “We have a fantastic spirit in the squad.”