It’s looking increasingly likely that Louis van Gaal will lose his job as manager of Manchester United before the end of the month and Jose Mourinho could be the man who replaces the veteran Dutch coach at Old Trafford.
The Sun believe that Mourinho has agreed in principle to become the Red Devils’ new boss - and it would come as no surprise if the change was made either before or after United’s next fixture against Stoke City on Boxing Day.
While many members of the United squad are likely to be excited by the prospect of working under Mourinho, despite his struggles at Chelsea this season, others will probably be dreading the change in management.
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We’ve compiled a list of six players who could be axed by Mourinho along with the reasons why.
Scroll down to see the list and don’t forget to have your say by leaving a comment in the box below.
Juan Mata left Chelsea for Manchester United in January 2013 because Jose Mourinho didn’t want him at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard might be a technically-gifted footballer but he lacks the pace and power that Mourinho craves from his attacking players.
While Mata has performed reasonably well at Old Trafford over the past two years, it’s debatable whether he has lived up to his £37.1 million price tag.
Mata will fear the worst if Mourinho is appointed Manchester United manager later this month - and as well he should.
Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his admiration for Wayne Rooney in the past and came close to signing the striker for Chelsea in August 2013.
However, Rooney has declined significantly over the past couple of seasons and is no longer the explosive player who would often leave United fans on the edge of their seats.
Louis van Gaal has shown an incredible amount of loyalty to Rooney - too much, it could be argued - and moving him on in 2016 could be Mourinho’s first major decision as the manager of Manchester United.
Marouane Fellaini is not a good enough player for Manchester United. Never has been, never will be.
He’s not a Jose Mourinho-type player, either.
The lumbering Belgian, who has his uses but isn’t technically good enough for a club like United, will surely be one of the first players out the door if Mourinho is appointed.
Louis van Gaal signed Daley Blind at the end of the summer transfer window in 2014 to plug gaps at centre-back, left-back and defensive midfield when required.
He knew Blind from his time working as head coach of the Netherlands and admired his professionalism and understanding of the game.
But while Blind might be a jack of all trades, he’s a master of none and it’s very difficult to envisage him convincing Mourinho.
Louis van Gaal only signed Sergio Romero in the summer because he needed a goalkeeper who would be happy to play the role of back-up to David de Gea following his bust-up with Victor Valdes.
Romero demonstrated earlier this season that he’s below the level required for Manchester United while Valdes, who Mourinho knows very well from his time working in Spain, remains at Old Trafford - albeit apart from the first team.
Valdes might be a little sceptical about the prospect of working under Mourinho - but you can be sure he’d take the Portuguese coach over Van Gaal right now.
Phil Jones has failed to progress at the rate many expected he would when he first joined Manchester United in 2011 - Sir Alex Ferguson famously said he could become the best player in the club’s history(!) - and Mourinho may decide it’s in the club’s best interests to sign a new centre-back.
The sacked Chelsea boss was desperate to sign Everton’s John Stones in the summer - who knows what would have happened had that particular transfer been completed - and could be handed a fortune by the Glazer family in 2016 to tempt the Toffees into selling one of their best young players.
Jones would be a decent back-up centre-back though, provided his concentration levels improve, and Mourinho may opt to keep him in the Manchester United squad if he succeeds Van Gaal.
Which players should Jose Mourinho axe if he joins the Red Devils? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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