Which players will leave Old Trafford in the summer?

Love him or hate him, Jose Mourinho has a very specific, often successful transfer and recruitment policy. Not a fan of nurturing academy players or young stars, the Portuguese simply goes out and buys the best in an attempt to win trophies. Although a very short term strategy, it has certainly brought him success over the years, with the risk that his teams can often be drastically weakened within a couple of seasons.

The season so far hasn’t been great, with a projected 2nd place no consolation thanks to the almost guaranteed winners and long-time favourites now being Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has built on his already excellent team and moulded City into champions, with the Premier League all but won and a Champion’s League quarter final against Liverpool just around the corner. It’s no surprise that Mourinho’s response has been to link United with even more world-class talent in a bid to try and get back to winnings ways next year, and with names like Rafael Varane, and Luca Modric on the list, we could see United challenging a bit more next season. Signing any of these players would certainly shorten the odds of United winning some silverware next season; wise gamblers will certainly be reacting to any big name signings Mourinho can capture. Let’s not forget, United are still competeing for the FA Cup, they are.

With wage restriction, financial fair-play regulations and first team squad size to consider however, some players will need to depart Old Trafford in order to free up both space in the dressing room and on the payroll. So who are the most likely candidates to make an exit this summer?

Michael Carrick

A superb footballer at his peak, Carrick is a very reliable option for United, but now the midfielder and often emergency centre-back has officially at the grand old age of 36. That’s one space freed up!

Verdict: Retiring

Luke Shaw

An exceptionally promising talent when he was brought in from Southampton for £30 million in 2014, Shaw has had nothing but bad luck, with a string of injuries and a certain lack of favour from Mourinho. This season hasn’t been any better, with 1 appearance since returning from his double leg fracture and plenty of questions about his fitness and motivation. With wages of £130,000 a week, Shaw may need to have his eyes elsewhere in the Prem, as Mourinho doesn’t seem impressed and will need the cash to pay someone like Modric close to half a million instead.

Verdict: Definite leaver,

Daley Blind

Despite having a promising start to his career at United, Blind hasn’t exactly become a world beater since arriving from the Netherlands under Louis van Gaal in 2014, and he could now end up becoming deadweight in a squad that needs to be reduced. Saying that, Blind has been fairly reliable for United, and could be a very good backup, with plenty of Premier League and international experience under his belt. He’ll have no shortage of interest from other clubs, but we think Mourinho may see sense and keep this above-average defender in a squad that is currently relying on Chris Smalling for backup.

Verdict: Will still be here next season, but with a smaller role

Marouane Fellaini

Drafted in under the shockingly bad Moyes era, it’s quite surprising that the big Belgian is still getting plenty of game time at United. No doubt very motivated and often displaying flashes of brilliance, Fellaini can be extremely inconsistent and doesn’t have the world-class qualities Mourinho desperately needs in defensive midfield. This summer may be the point where he finally gets found out, and with Valencia and Monaco , Mourinho would be daft not to let him go for the right price.

Verdict: Gone if the money is right, and probably not missed that much

Ander Herrera

The tenacious Spanish midfielder has built up a good standing at United since arriving in 2014, becoming a first team regular and managing a handful of goals each season. That is until Mourinho dropped him several times last year, mainly using him as a sub or in cup competitions and even criticising his performances. Why Herrera is suddenly out of favour remains a mystery, and with former club Athletic Bilbao , he could well end up being sold in the summer.

Verdict: Will go back to Bilbao, if not next season then the one after

With a lot of rebuilding ahead and definite pressure from the owners, we might even see Mourinho walking the plank after a year of no trophies, with the FA cup the only piece of silverware still within reach. If this is the case, then this list can be torn up; whoever replaces Mourinho (if he goes) will certainly have a different approach to the squad!