From Martial to Shaw: Which players could leave Man Utd this summer?

Comments()
Getty
The Red Devils need to recalibrate their squad after failing to push Manchester City close last season, and a number of candidates could leave

Having finished 19 points behind neighbours Manchester City in 2017-18, Manchester United headed into the summer knowing that there was plenty of work to be done in the transfer market to mount a serious challenge next season.

For every addition there is a need for at least one departure, with the Old Trafford squad taking on something of a bloated look since the arrivals of Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant this summer.

Below, Goal goes through 10 of the players they could offload on permanent deals this summer, starting with the more serious possibilities and working down to those who are considered less likely sales.

  1. Getty

    Matteo Darmian

    Frankly, it’s a surprise to almost everyone that Matteo Darmian is still a Manchester United player with little more than two weeks to go before the new season starts. Such is the desire from all parties for a fresh start the Italy wing-back’s future almost definitely lies away from Old Trafford, the only question now is whether a deal can be completed before the deadline. Juventus’ wheeling and dealing this summer has meant their move for Darmian has fallen down the priority list but could well still happen, while United remain hopeful of offloading him to Inter if a switch to the Bianconeri is a no-go.
  2. Getty

    Anthony Martial

    Jose Mourinho had been hoping to keep his seemingly endless stock of forward options but Martial has been ostracised from his plans so much that the Frenchman cannot wait to get away. His performances in the two pre-season matches so far have smacked of a player with his mind elsewhere and Mourinho showed no sympathy for his situation when asked about a potential move recently. “You cannot do whatever you want in life,” returned Mourinho, who will insist that the former Monaco man is retained until the Premier League season starts in order to cover the holidays of his World Cup stars before then potentially freeing Martial to leave to a continental side for upwards of £50 million.
  3. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

    Marcos Rojo

    Just as United have a mountain of options up front, so too do they have too many defenders on their books right now. With Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly having come in over the last two summers and another centre-back being sought during this window, it is clear that Marcos Rojo is not considered the most reliable of defenders. Despite having played more often as a centre-half than some would have expected under Mourinho, United are likely to listen to offers for the Argentine and could well decide he is the most suitable sales piece if they bring in a target over the next two weeks.
  4. Getty Images

    Andreas Pereira

    Having spent the last two seasons out on loan, Andy Pereira is talking like a man who cannot wait to prove his worth in a Manchester United shirt, and his opening performances in pre-season have been positive. However, the same could have been said last summer before he confronted Mourinho and insisted he wanted to go to Valencia to get more game time. And with Fred’s arrival this year he would seem to be behind the Brazilian, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and maybe even ‘Manager’s Player of the Year’ Scott McTominay in the pecking order in central midfield. If Pereira again decides he needs more football than is likely at Old Trafford he could well push for another move away, and maybe even a permanent one this time.
  5. Getty Images

    Luke Shaw

    Still only 23, this could be a huge season in the life of England left-back Luke Shaw. Having been on the end of some rather questionable treatment from Jose Mourinho over the last two years, the former Southampton man enters the final term of his current United deal with a point to prove. He came back to pre-season training looking fitter than he has in some time but it might only take a breakthrough in the club’s bid to source an available left-back in the transfer market to throw Shaw’s future into question once more. United would certainly consider offers in the event they add somebody else in his position even if Shaw himself remains determined to make a success of his Old Trafford stay.
  6. Getty Images

    Phil Jones

    Having convinced few of his ability to be the answer to United’s defensive quandary over a period of some years, Phil Jones’ mistake in the build-up to Eden Hazard’s penalty winner in last season’s FA Cup final underlined why he is many people’s prime candidate to be sold this summer. His loyalty to the cause means he is a player who would be happy to stick around without expecting to play every week, making him a decent cover option at centre-back, but in all reality United would be happy to take a good offer were one to come in for the England squad member.
  7. Getty Images

    Chris Smalling

    Chris Smalling’s form last season saw him start 44 games for United but couldn’t win him a place in Gareth Southgate’s thinking for England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals. He is also likely to be one of the starting centre-backs for the opening Premier League game against Leicester City due to the late returns of many United defenders, but if they are able to bring in another centre-back as planned before the season begins then a bid for Smalling could well be considered. He may not be their first candidate to offload as they look to trim their squad, but much will depend on the size of the offers that come in for defenders before the window slams shut.
  8. Getty Images

    Timothy Fosu-Mensah

    After playing 24 times for Crystal Palace last season, Timo Fosu-Mensah came back to United this summer as a far more senior player than the one which headed out on loan 12 months ago. The concern for him now is that he has club captain Antonio Valencia and new signing Diogo Dalot as potential rivals for a place in United’s first team. Palace have shown an interest in taking him on loan for another campaign after his success in 2017-18, but there is also thought to be some desire for a move from La Liga. A loan move may be the most likely option at this point but if a reasonable offer for a permanent deal comes in United could well consider it.
  9. Getty

    Axel Tuanzebe

    An injury-hit loan spell at Aston Villa undermined Axel Tuanzebe’s hopes of progressing up the United ranks last season and it is important he finds a way to push his case in the near future. With Mourinho having so many senior options available to him, Tuanzebe is something of an afterthought for the Portuguese at this point and another loan switch would almost certainly be the best way for him to move forward. There is always the possibility of him being allowed to leave permanently should an acceptable offer come in, just as Mourinho has given the go-ahead for young talent to be sold at previous clubs in the past.
  10. Getty Images

    Paul Pogba

    A wild card in terms of 2018 departures. The £89.5m midfielder has just come off the success of a World Cup win with France and will only return to club duty in the days immediately preceding the beginning of the new season. United are clearly still hopeful of Pogba going on to reproduce his France form with them in the coming years, but if he and his agent Mino Raiola were to kick up enough of a fuss then you get the feeling a move away would be a near-certainty. At this point that seems highly unlikely to happen this summer, especially since Juventus have upset a number of people with their huge outlay on Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid seem to have gone cold on their interest of late.