Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is planning a summer clearout, which will likely include the departures of utility men Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, according to the Manchester Evening News.
What’s the word?
According to the report, Mourinho had already decided to have a summer cull, even before the Champions League aberration at the hands of Sevilla, which drew so much ire from the club’s fans.
That has led some supporters to demand that the former Real Madrid boss is dismissed but the Portuguese’s summer plans show no sign that he might soon be on the move.
Darmian – valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt – and Blind have hardly featured this season. Other names who could join the pair in leaving the club this summer are Luke Shaw, Andreas Pereira and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A clearout is just what United need
Under Louis van Gaal, there was a churn of players in and out at Old Trafford and it is fair to say that it didn’t work.
Some of the players brought in – Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay – have already left the club while the signs look bleak for Darmian and Blind.
The issue is that the players themselves were not good enough for United and, despite the vast swathes of money spent in recent years, the long and the short of the matter is that Mourinho still doesn’t have a squad that is fit for purpose.
There are also others who could be at risk. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones just haven’t progressed as expected. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have performed well at full-back this season but both are the wrong side of 30.
Marouane Fellaini’s contract expires in the summer while question marks remain about how Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all fit into the same squad.
Some United fans might want to see Mourinho leave the club, but if he is to stay on, then he needs to be able to mould to his will.
The squad is still not good enough and given the demand for instant success at Old Trafford, a summer of ins and outs is the only way Mourinho can go about changing that.