Men’s first team coach Zsolt Low was on press conference duty at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium ahead of tomorrow’s Club World Cup semi-final, and the Hungarian provided an update on Mason Mount, Reece James and Edouard Mendy’s availability.

With Thomas Tuchel in the UK following protocol having tested positive for Covid-19, Low and Arno Michels are taking training here in Abu Dhabi. Part of their extra responsibilities include stepping in for Tuchel to address the media, and Low answered their questions before open training today at the stadium where we will meet Al Hilal on Wednesday.

With a mix of local, British and Saudi journalists in attendance, the line of questioning was varied, but the headline news regarded Mount, who picked up a knock at the weekend, James, who travelled to Abu Dhabi unexpectedly, and Mendy, our recent Africa Cup of Nations winner. Mount is the only one in contention to play tomorrow.

‘Mason is getting better and better every day,’ reported Low.

‘We are running with the time, but we will see how he moves today, how he feels today, and then we will take a last decision tomorrow.

‘For Reece James, no, there is no chance he plays in the Club World Cup. He is in a very, very good way, but he missed still some days, some training sessions to enjoy the group again, or have the possibility to play the game.’

Mendy will soon report for duty and Low admitted replacing Kepa wouldn’t be easy

‘Mendy arrives later today or tomorrow. We will see how he is, how tired he is. He has to arrive first, we have to check him, we have to talk to him. We will see in a few days whether there is a possibility he plays.

‘This is a good situation for the coaches where we have two amazing goalkeepers. Mendy did a fantastic performance, he won the Africa Cup, and was the best goalkeeper at the tournament. Kepa has done an amazing job and in the last game saved a very important penalty. He is also in very good shape.

‘For sure when Mendy arrives we will have talks, also with the goalkeeper coaches, and we will take a decision afterwards.’

Low was also asked about the amazing scenes in Dakar as Senegal revelled in their maiden AFCON triumph

‘We were very happy for Mendy. This is a very important thing for him and for all African players, to win the Africa Cup.

‘He did an amazing performance. It was very important to celebrate with his team-mates, and with his country. It was a nice celebration!’