It will be a season of departures for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho will try to rebuild the squad in an attempt to be more competitive for next season’s Premier League trophy. While the Portuguese manager has already made it known that the club will not sign more than three players, there are some squad members whose stay will be cut short in an attempt to balance the wage budgets and bring more stability to the team.
Here are the players who could possibly depart United this summer:
Johnstone has received a chance to be a starter for Aston Villa after he was allowed to go on loan at the Birmingham club in January and is doing quite well. He has achieved 7 clean sheets in 14 Championship matches and is getting rave reviews for his performances as Villa’s No.1. With David De Gea and Sergio Romero ahead of him at his parent club, it would not be wise for the 24-year-old to stay in Manchester and wait for his chance.
2. Luke Shaw
Ever since he was signed by Manchester United in 2014, Luke Shaw has had more disappointments than positive moments. His attitude and devotion was questioned publicly in a recent press conference by Mourinho with the Special One claiming that Daley Blind, Ashley Young and even Matteo Darmian are ahead of him in the pecking order. The former Southampton player signed for a reported fee of €37.5M and it’s unlikely that United will get even half of their money back in the summer, especially if a buy-back clause is installed in his new contract with his new club.
3. Michael Carrick
Unlike the others, Michael Carrick is not a victim of lack of playing time or bad performances. The Manchester United legend is simply considering ending his tenure with the club or even his career after 18 successful years as a player. It’s obvious that United will have to spend big in order to replace the former England international, but certainly not until Carrick’s status is cleared. As of yet neither the player or the club have made an announcement about their mutual plans for next season.
4. James Wilson
After having his dream debut under caretaker-manager Ryan Giggs in 2014 against Hull City, Wilson has failed to produce the same magic eversince. Numerous injuries and lack of playing time have slowed his development and the United Academy graduate had to cut his recent loan move to Derby County short because of an ACL injury he sustained in December.
5. Matteo Darmian
Darmian has failed to win over Mourinho despite predictions that he’ll be one of the Special One’s favorite player. The fact that his playing style resembles some of Mourinho’s other right backs in the past has done nothing to convince Mou to swap Darmian for Valencia who is now widely considered to be one of the best right backs in the world. Instead, the Italian has been played on the left flanks whenever there were no other options, but with Ashley Young and Daley Blind doing reasonably well there and with a possible incoming player for that position, Darmian can find himself training with the reserves if he chooses to stay for next season. Luckily for him, he is still getting regular call ups for Italy and there are a host of clubs that would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for his services.
6. Phil Jones
Probably one of Mourinho’s most difficult decisions this summer is the dillema surrounding Phil Jones. The former Blackburn captain who was once compared with Duncan Edwards and even Franz Beckenbauer has done reasonably well whenever he was called upon, but he simply cannot put a string of performances together because of his incredible fragility. 42 starts in the last three seasons is not that bad, but not world class either. Considering how Michael Keane and Johnny Evans are doing for Burnley and WBA respectively, it’s fair to say that LVG sold the wrong players back at the time. Phil Jones is again injured and unavailable for selection for United at the present and the frustration can become too big for Jose, urging him to make a move in the summer.
7. Wayne Rooney
The only reason why Wayne Rooney is still a Manchester United player is his rich history with the club as remarkably, it’s his 14th season with the Old Trafford club. He is unfortunately far from his old self for at least the third season running and the fact he’s not even getting too much playing time may urge him to find a new club in the summer. Wayne Rooney is still a gigantic marketing asset and could possibly go on tour with the club or even start the 2017/18 season as Captain of United, but it’s unlikely that he’ll end it too. On loan star Andreas Pereira has already made it known he’d like to return to his parent club for next season and restricting him the opportunity might just further damage the image of Wayne Rooney who doesn’t have the same support he’s had over the past few season when he was under-performing as well. A few Chinese clubs have taken interest in making him the highest paid player on the planet and the possibility of that happening is very big. However, his boyhood club Everton have made their interest known as well and the England and Manchester United legend may decide to stay in England for a few more years.