Javier Hernandez has dropped a big hint this week that he plans to leave Manchester United at the end of the season in order to sign a permanent deal with Real Madrid. But he’s not the only star name likely to leave Old Trafford in 2015.
Louis van Gaal’s rebuilding process will continue into the New Year, right through to next summer - and the veteran Dutch coach still has some serious deadwood to shift from his squad.
We’ve taken a closer look at six players who should join Hernandez in packing their bags and leaving Old Trafford - and the reasons why their time as Manchester United players is coming to an end.
We want your views
We want to hear your thoughts, whether you’re a Manchester United supporter or not. Should Van Gaal look to keep any of the players on our list? Should any other players be on it?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. But we want to hear your views. Which Manchester United players have outstayed their welcome at Old Trafford? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
- Chris Smalling must improve to stay at Man United
- Anderson to leave Manchester United in January
- Anders Lindegaard wanted by Benfica
Chris Smalling has failed to develop in the manner most at Manchester United expected he would after signing him from Fulham in 2010.
The England international is a superb athlete, but his footballing intelligence is seriously suspect.
At 24, Smalling should be a lot further down the line than he currently is, while his brainless red card against Manchester City last weekend may have been the final straw for Louis van Gaal.
Don’t be surprised to see Smalling leave Old Trafford next summer.
Ashley Young’s impressive performances in pre-season lulled many Manchester United supporters and Louis van Gaal into a false sense of security.
The 29-year-old winger put in several fine performances in the wing-back position, but hasn’t featured since August’s 0-0 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor.
Young has flattered to deceive since completing his £17 million move from Aston Villa in 2011 and no longer has any business being near Manchester United’s first team.
Darren Fletcher is a firm favourite amongst Manchester United supporters - and for good reason.
The Red Devils’ vice-captain is a model professional who conducts himself well both on and off the pitch. It’s also a minor miracle that he’s even playing again following his long battle with illness.
But his performances for Manchester United this season suggest he’s simply not cut out to play for England’s most revered football club any more.
His influence around the Old Trafford dressing room, though, may tempt Louis van Gaal to keep him on.
Anders Lindegaard is a decent enough goalkeeper, but whether he is Manchester United class is doubtful.
The 30-year-old Denmark international used to provide David de Gea with competition for the number one jersey, but no longer are the two keepers in the same league.
With Lindegaard’s agent making noises that his client intends to leave Manchester United in the near future, it’ll soon be the perfect opportunity for Louis van Gaal to replace the Dane with a better back-up goalkeeper.
And who better than former Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes, who is currently in the process of completing his recovery from injury at Old Trafford.
Nani needed to leave Manchester United in the summer. The Portuguese winger was stuck in a rut at Old Trafford and desperately required a chance of scenery to revitalise his flagging career.
A return to Sporting Lisbon seems to be doing the trick. Nani has scored five goals in ten appearances for his loan club and has rediscovered some of the confidence which made him a household name in the first place.
But it’s hard to imagine him heading back to Old Trafford next season and taking the Premier League by storm.
United have better options now - and provided they can find a club prepared to meet his wage demands, Louis van Gaal shouldn’t hesitate to sell.
And last, but by no means least, it’s Anderson: Manchester United’s loveable Brazilian midfielder.
Quite how Anderson is still earning a sickening £60,000-a-week at Old Trafford is one of the great mysteries of our time. Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to hand him a contract extension in December 2010 is surely one of the legendary Scottish manager’s biggest mistakes.
Anderson has been stealing a living over the past few seasons and Manchester United have finally had enough.
Unless they can find a buyer in January, Anderson will be paid a ludicrous £1.4 million to leave Old Trafford six months earlier than planned.