Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho identifies seven Manchester United players safe from axe

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Jose Mourinho is ringing the changes at Manchester United as he plots to return the club to the heights of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Since arriving in May, the Portuguese coach has added Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is undergoing a medical today.

But there is an exit door at Old Trafford, too, and it will be used very often in the coming weeks.


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Mourinho is reportedly planning to give each of his players a chance to impress in pre-season before he cuts the stragglers.

It means United’s players have nine games - a warm-up game against Wigan, three friendlies in China, a match in Sweden against Galatasaray, Wayne Rooney’s testimonial against Everton, the Community Shield against Leicester City and the three opening games of the new Premier League season - to show they should be included in Mourinho’s plans.

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And, according to the Manchester Evening News, Mourinho has put a question mark over 13 senior players.

Only seven are safe

Only a handful are safe from the axe. David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw can breathe easy, although the latter two will still need to prove they are worthy starters.

The situation is a little more bleak for Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind.

Louis van Gaal admired the aforementioned players due to their versatility. But Mourinho stressed in his introductory press conference that he only wanted specialists.


Mata must step his game up

Meanwhile, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ander Herrera, Memphis Depay, Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj and Juan Mata must all up their game from last season.

Van Gaal was responsible for signing Rojo and Blind and Mourinho explained the differences between his approach and his predecessor’s when he met with reporters on Tuesday.

“I am more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players because I am very clear in my approach,” the former Chelsea manager said. “Multifunctional players are like one or two, when you are in trouble you need someone who can fill but basically I want specialists.”

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Wayne Rooney
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Premier League
David Beckham
Juan Mata
Manchester United
David de Gea

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