Manchester United are expected to confirm the appointment of Jose Mourinho within the next 48 hours following Louis van Gaal’s sacking on Monday.
The Portuguese coach will sign a three-year deal with the Red Devils and will have a reported £200 million to overhaul the squad this summer.
United are now being linked with a whole host of high-profile stars from across Europe, but which players will Mourinho offload on his arrival at Old Trafford?
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We’ve gone through the current squad and identified seven players in real danger of being axed by the former Chelsea boss.
Scroll down this page to see the seven players we believe could be moved on before the end of this summer’s transfer window - and don’t forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
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It’s hard to believe that Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest football manager of all time, once tipped Phil Jones to become the best player in Manchester United’s history.
Jones, who turned 24 in February, hasn’t developed in the way Old Trafford coaches expected he would during the early months of his United career following his big-money move from Blackburn Rovers in 2011.
Injuries certainly haven’t helped the versatile defender, who has made 141 appearances for the Red Devils, but his struggle to stay fit can’t be blamed for his regular lapses in concentration on the pitch.
Some of Marcos Rojo’s performances for United have bordered on disastrous in the second half of this season.
If Mourinho has been paying attention over recent weeks - and you can bet your bottom dollar he has - then it’s bad news for the Argentina international.
Eyebrows were raised in Portugal when United signed Rojo for £16 million in August 2014. Less than two years later and now we know why.
Juan Mata is reportedly keen to stay at Manchester United, despite the imminent arrival of Jose Mourinho, but that might not be enough to save him from the axe.
Mourinho offloaded the Spanish playmaker because he wasn’t big enough, strong enough, quick enough or willing to work hard enough for the team in terms of tracking back.
Mata hasn’t changed since he joined United from Stamford Bridge in the winter of 2014, so there only appears to be one possible outcome here.
Adnan Januzaj has regressed significantly since bursting onto the scene during the ill-fated 2013-14 campaign.
The Belgian can only partially pin the blame on Louis van Gaal for his struggles over the past two seasons. He was offered the chance to make an impact during his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund but made a total of 12 cameo appearances after failing to convince Thomas Tuchel.
Januzaj, who has even flattered to deceive in a few Under-21 matches this season, is clearly a talent but will Mourinho believe the youngster possesses the attitude required to succeed at the highest level?
Manchester United have yet to offer Michael Carrick a contract extension, despite the fact his current deal expires over the coming weeks.
This indicates that either United are waiting for Mourinho to have the final say, or the Portuguese coach has already made it clear the veteran midfielder will be surplus to requirements when he arrives at Old Trafford this summer.
Carrick still has something to offer a Premier League club, but his days at the top level are numbered.
Manchester United fans want a clean break from the underwhelming David Moyes and Louis van Gaal tenures.
In order for that to happen, Marouane Fellaini surely has to be sold.
While the 28-year-old Belgian has his uses, it’s been abundantly clear from day one that he doesn’t quite fit in at Old Trafford, where the supporters expect exciting, quick-paced attacking football.
There’s a reason why Pep Guardiola allowed Bastian Schweinsteiger to leave Bayern Munich for a minimal fee last summer: the German World Cup winner can no longer perform week-in, week-out at the highest level.
Big things were expected from the 31-year-old but United fans have been left with a shadow of the world-class midfielder who dominated Bundesliga matches for a decade.
Members of the Red Devils’ squad have reportedly been left ‘exasperated’ by Van Gaal’s special treatment of Schweinsteiger over recent months, but it’s safe to assume he won’t be afforded the same luxuries under Mourinho - a coach who doesn’t care about a player’s reputation if he’s not delivering the goods in training and during matches.
Which players should Louis van Gaal sell this summer? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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