Six players told they can leave Manchester United, these are the ones who need to go…


Manchester United are currently heading into their fifth summer post-Sir Alex Ferguson with Jose Mourinho now at the helm looking to make the right reinforcements to push the club into the right direction in order to challenge for the Premier League title once again. In his first summer at the club Mourinho managed to sign Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba with the Swedish striker being released at the end of the season on the expiry of his one-year contract – his season-ending knee injury will have contributed to the fact he has been released as he will probably not play during the rest of 2017, but could be signed possibly on a short-term deal for United once fit, although there are no current plans for that to happen and not guarantees that it will.

Mourinho’s side have already confirmed that they have agreed on a fee with Benfica for Victor Lindelof, who will most probably partner Eric Bailly in the centre of defence for United next season, leaving the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and the also injured Marcos Rojo fighting for a place in defence, also Axel Tuanzebe who has shown his ability to play in more than one position – playing at right-back and in defensive midfield and he can also play in the central defensive areas also. United may have a few more players than they need in defence, which could see some departures this summer, in fact, there will be departures. United are also looking to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid whilst reports continue to surface about Fabinho from AS Monaco, despite some journalists suggesting United are not interested in the Brazilian.

Pilib de Brún has spoken about Fabinho on Twitter suggesting that United are in talks with the player’s representatives, which is what is currently being suggested in the media but with the player away on holiday, any move will take time, approximately a fortnight but that may not be the trust, we shall have to wait and see. The Beyond The Pitch presenter also said that six players have been told they can leave the Old Trafford club this summer and Wayne Rooney, presumably one of the six, wants his contract to be paid in full not showing his greed, of course! Now, the six players, including Rooney, could possibly be picked out by many supporters who have seen certain players as weak links over the past season and much longer. Here are the players I think will be shown the door this summer also stating reasons why.

Adnan Januzaj

During David Moyes’ season at United, Adnan Januzaj was a rising start, the excitement from that season of which there was not that much of it across the board. Januzaj started to decline the following season under Louis van Gaal opting to go out on loan to Borussia Dortmund during the Dutchman’s second season managing the club, a team Januzaj did not actually break into. He should have picked a smaller club, but it showed that he thought he was better than he actually was. Dortmund ended his loan spell after just six months, which was fitting for the player. Januzaj did not get into the first team that season, playing U21 football. At the start of the current season, under Jose Mourinho, the player opted to join Moyes’ Sunderland side for the season, a smaller club and one he should become one of the best players in. Wrong. Not even a relegation threatened Sunderland could bring the best out of Januzaj, which to me suggests that the spark he had during the 2013/14 season has long gone out. It is not all that great that he could not break into the Sunderland side and with the fact that supporters will be expecting a title chase from United in the Premier League next season, I don’t see Januzaj breaking into that team, unless a miracle happens, of course. There are reports suggesting United will be looking for at least €10 million for Januzaj this summer with Real Sociedad said to be interested.

Ashley Young

Ashley Young is of an age whereby he will want to be playing football. Right now that is not something Manchester United can offer him. He is currently injured but by the time the new season commences he will be fit a raring to go. The fact he is able to play on the wing on either flank plus the fact he has been played as both a right and left-back, he offers Jose Mourinho many different positions, ones he will not get into unless it is because of rotation or injury. Young was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson and he has done his bit over the years, but not to be selfish and keep in the squad either watching from the bench or in the stands, he would be better off leaving for a smaller club where he can play much more often. I like Young, he is not the best winger United have had, but in terms of what he has offered, especially in the 8-2 victory over Arsenal, he will be remembered as a player that did his bit and when it was needed. Young’s contract will expire next summer (2018) and there is an option for another year to be added on, so that being said, he might have a part to play at United, but realistically this summer will be the last summer United will get a transfer fee for the player.

Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling. Just where do we start with him. During the summer of 2010, the player signed for United from Fulham. He was tipped as the replacement for Rio Ferdinand who was nearing the end of his United career, well approaching that period anyway. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Smalling did well at times and started to look the part. After both Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left the club, Smalling and Phil Jones were required to step up and for the most part that did not happen. Louis van Gaal signed Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind to strengthen his defence whereas Jose Mourinho signed Eric Bailly last summer and is soon to be signing Victor Lindelof, which does start to cast a doubt on Smalling, who had a good season in Van Gaal’s second season at the club, but injury, a lack of form and even ability at times. Smalling has been a liability for United whether it be by playing badly, shirking on the sidelines because of an injury, which could have seen him back so much sooner that he returned or just looking like the player he did not want to become. Smalling is contracted until the summer of 2019, meaning he has just over two years remaining, which should mean United will get a decent transfer fee for him should he be shown the door this summer.

Guillermo Varela

The Uruguayan was overlooked by Jose Mourinho at the start of last season, leaving the club on loan and spending the entire season with Eintracht Frankfurt. Not long into the season, Guillermo Varela suffered an injury which saw him sidelined for a large chunk of the season, making a return but then suffering a recurrence of his injury. He was later sent back to United after he was ruled out for the DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund after getting a tattoo which became infected, against the orders of his loan club. Under Louis van Gaal, Varela looked like a competent right-back, one who could have achieved at the club, but the resurgence of Antonio Valencia under Mourinho this season would suggest it would be unlikely that Varela would make it at United. Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe and even Eric Bailly can play in that position should Valencia need to be rested or should he suffer an injury. United are also reportedly interested in signing Fabinho from AS Monaco, who predominantly plays in a midfield role, but can play at right-back, which would see Varela fall even further down the pecking order. Varela’s contract at United will cease this summer, according to Transfermarkt, which may suggest he may not be one of the six who have been told they could leave the club. The Uruguayan appears on the retained list for United this summer, so either Transfermarkt are incorrect or the player will remain at the club. We shall see what happens in the coming weeks.

James Wilson

I don’t think James Wilson has much chance of breaking through at Manchester United. His loan spell last season at Derby County was not the best then he suffered a serious knee injury which saw him sit out the remainder of the season, presumably he is still recovering from his injury now. Wilson made his debut under Ryan Giggs during the ill-fated 2013/14 season which saw United finish in seventh place, missing out on the UEFA Champions League for the very first time since the start of the competition the season the Premier League started. Wilson scored against Norwich City on his debut, putting him on the pedestal to greatness which has just not happened for him. The rise of Marcus Rashford seemed to end Wilson’s career at United as he has done much more for the team and Wilson would have to better that, which is near enough impossible considering he now has to recover from his knee injury, then return to the game and find his feet after sitting out for the majority of the season. I just don’t see any way back for him at United. If he is not one of the apparent six that have been told they could leave, there is a possibility that he will be loaned out again, which will just be prolonging the end of his career at United coming. Wilson has a contract at United until the summer of 2019, which gives him two years to get his career back on track, but I just do not see it happening at United.

Wayne Rooney

The club captain has two years left on his Manchester United contract and with his dwindling performances over the last two seasons, it is obvious that this day would come. Wayne Rooney is no longer the player he once was and to think that he is actually younger that Cristiano Ronaldo it makes you wonder why he has not looked after himself, showing just a glimmer of ability. Rooney has lost his eye for a goal, his ability to devastate the opposition defences and hopefully his place at the club. Rooney has made some achievements at United and at times has carried the club, but in 2010 he pushed for an exit, then being rewarded with a bumper contract whereby money seems to be his only motive, or at least that is what it looks like right now. Sir Alex Ferguson seemed to set it up for Rooney to leave the club after his retirement in 2013, but David Moyes, without a star signing gave him a five-year contract instead, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2019, which at this moment in time cannot come quick enough. Rooney has lost his England place only a matter of months after breaking the goalscoring record once held by Sir Bobby Charlton, then breaking the legend’s record at Manchester United. It would seem that if Rooney is paid £250,000 per week for the next two-years, United will have to pay him £26 million to either see him sit on the bench or in the stands for the next two years or to get rid of him leaving him a free agent this summer. A no win scenario for United.

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