As all eyes turn to Old Trafford tomorrow night for the debut of new signing Juan Mata, Shinji Kagawa’s future at the club plunges further into nothingness.
With Mata, Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj all challengers to his position, the Japanese artist and fan favourite faces a massive challenge ahead to salvage his career at the home of the Champions.
A return to Borussia Dortmund, where he won two league titles in 2011 and 2012, looks imminent.
Any deal could also involve either Marco Reus or Ilkay Gundogan going the other way. Both are known to be targets for manager David Moyes.
At the age of 24 he still has enough time to banish the gloomy memories in Manchester and hit the heights of his days in Germany. After all, this was once a player so classy Jose Mourinho considered taking him to Real Madrid.
According to rumours, the solitary reason for Kagawa remaining until the summer is because of the Champions League.
Mata’s ineligibility means Moyes needs sufficient numbers in all positions as the club look for a first European crown since 2008.
His form in Europe has been better than in the Premier League. He and Rooney were instrumental in United progressing from the group stage undefeated.
The highlight was the 5-0 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena, a result which remains the best of Moyes’ brief tenure.
Valuable to the club though they are, the shirt sales and huge Asian support will not be enough to keep him at the club come the summer.
The only solace will come from the knowledge he will not be the only player heading for the exit door in the summer.
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