Just a few months have passed since Jose Mourinho spent a cool £145.7 million on four new players - his first four signings as Manchester United manager - but the Portuguese coach is already poised to overhaul his squad.
Mourinho’s side enjoyed an excellent start to the season - winning their opening four matches, including the Community Shield - but have picked up just five victories since the end of August.
A 4-1 win over Leicester City is United’s one and only Premier League victory from their last seven fixtures. Subsequently, they now find themselves eighth in the league, eight points behind league-leaders Manchester City.
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Sky Sports revealed today that a predictor has calculated United now have a one per cent chance of finishing the season as champions.
In fact, they’re more likely to be relegated than lift the Premier League trophy.
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Mourinho plans to axe the following 8 players
And following Thursday night’s 2-1 defeat to Fenerbahce in Turkey - a result which leaves the Red Devils third in their Europa League group, with two matches left to play - the Telegraph have revealed that Mourinho plans to axe no less than eight players over the next two transfer windows.
Here are the eight players Mourinho plans to offload…
The early signs were promising but it’s been patently clear for a while now that the Argentina international is out of his depth.
Like Rojo, Matteo Darmian showed plenty of promise when he first arrived at Old Trafford but has failed to impress over the past 12 months or so.
Perennially injured. The player Sir Alex Ferguson once tipped to become the best in Manchester United’s history (no, really) will be shown the exit door either in January or next summer.
He might have returned to first-team training this week but there’s still no way back for the World Cup winner.
The former Southampton star won’t be short of potential suitors in the Premier League and abroad.
Michael Owen and Paul Scholes both want to see more of Michael Carrick, but the veteran midfielder isn’t in Mourinho’s long-term plans for understandable reasons.
Manchester United’s No. 7 shirt is about to become available again.
A top professional and a good lad, Ashley Young has been deemed surplus to requirements by his current boss.
Others are also in trouble...
The report adds Mourinho has concerns about other members of his squad but acknowledges that he can’t offload too many players at the same time.
Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney are both likely to still be at Old Trafford beyond next summer - news which won’t exactly delight the majority of fans - while Mourinho wants to see more from the likes of Mkhitaryan, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Anthony Martial.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, could be allowed to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. However, the Swedish striker does have the option to extend his current deal by a further year.
Which players would you axe if you were in Jose Mourinho’s position? Have your say by leaving a comment below.