The five players who are most likely to depart Manchester United this summer, in search of regular minutes and other reasons too.
Manchester City have been confirmed as Premier League winners for the 2017/18 campaign. Having dominated for the majority of the season, this has been long coming.
City’s triumph makes it five years since red neighbours United last won the title. Jose Mourinho is set to guide the club to their highest post-Ferguson league finish, but finishing second is unacceptable for both club and coach – new additions will certainly be needed this summer.
Mourinho has repeatedly stated his happiness with the current attacking options, but is certain to sign at least two midfielders and a defender too.
United’s midfield has been ponderous without the presence of Michael Carrick; lacking calmness and control. As a result, their backline has suffered due to the players’ inability to play out from the back.
In order to sign new players, Jose will need to sell some deadwood to create required space within the first-team squad. So with that in mind, here are five players seemingly heading for the exit door at Old Trafford.
#5 Phil Jones
Sir Alex Ferguson once boldly proclaimed that “Phil Jones could be our best ever player”. While the statement may have been exaggerated, Jones definitely had plenty of talent.
However, serious injuries and his limited ball-playing ability have limited his chances. Jose has been critical of his central defenders in recent months and will sign at least one centre-back.
Marcos Rojo reently signed a long-term contract extension, while Chris Smalling has been in impressive form. New recruits Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are unlikely to be moved on just yet, which leaves Jones as the “fall guy”.
A regular for the Three Lions when fit and available, Jones is still only 26-years-old and would recoup a decent transfer fee as clubs will be monitoring his situation.
#4 Ander Herrera
The 28-year-old Basque midfielder has a mixed United career, to say the least. After struggling under Louis van Gaal for two seasons, the arrival of Mourinho brought about a transformation.
Herrera won United’s Player of the Year award, helping the Red Devils to three trophies from a deeper role in midfield and was even called up by the Spanish national side.
However, the arrival of Nemanja Matic last summer created an issue as he’s struggled for regular minutes, seeing his performances dwindle in terms of consistency as a result. He’s only managed to start ten Premier League matches this campaign, which is disappointing on a personal level after reaching such heights in the past.
Mourinho has claimed he will look to sign around 2 midfielders in the summer. That – alongside Scott McTominay’s rise – could cause Herrera to reconsider his future at the club.
#3 Luke Shaw
The transfer of Luke Shaw to Manchester United was heralded as a coup by many critics and supporters alike, having held off stiff competition from Chelsea among others to secure a £30m deal for the talented left-back.
A then-record for a teenager, Shaw’s spell with the club has been far from remarkable, mustering just 39 league appearances over four seasons to date.
In fairness, he has done well to recover from a double-leg break, especially at a stage of the campaign where he was impressive back in 2015. However, he has frequently come under-fire from Jose, who has been unhappy with the Englishman’s perceived tactical indiscipline.
Ashley Young has deputised this term and done well, but it’s clear that they need a strong long-term option – Celtic’s Kieran Tierney is a reported target.
Shaw, 22, still has plenty of time on his side and naturally, United would look to recoup a major fee for his services too. Barcelona has been reported as a surprise destination, among others.