Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has seen enough of his under-performing squad and he is reportedly ready to get rid of up to eight first-team players over the next two transfer windows.
Its been a poor start to the Mourinho era at Old Trafford as United suffered their fifth defeat in 17 matches this season when they were beaten 2-1 by Fenerbahce in Istanbul to leave the club with an uphill battle to qualify for the Europa League knockout stages.
Mourinho – who has now lost 18 of his past 42 matches as a manager dating back to his time at Chelsea, believes he has taken on a bigger job at Old Trafford than he originally thought and is ready to make extensive changes to the squad next year.
Defenders Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones will be allowed to leave as will midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick, who is the only senior player out of contract next summer, discounting striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has the option to extend his one-year deal by another 12 months. Wingers Memphis Depay and Ashley Young are also surplus to requirements
Schweinsteiger is expected to leave in January, despite Mourinho ending his two-month exile this week by allowing him to train with the first team squad again, and Darmian, who is interesting Inter Milan, could also go. Depay may leave on loan in the winter window.
Mourinho has concerns over other members of his squad, too, but accepts there will be a limit to the number of players he can move on and sign in any one transfer window. Marouane Fellaini will enter the final 12 months of his contract next summer, as will captain Wayne Rooney, whom Mourinho has insisted remains part of his plans. There is an option on Rooney’s contract that would enable either the player or United to extend the deal until June 2019 but that seems unlikely to happen.
United, who are seven points adrift of fourth place in the Premier League, face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday having won just one of their past seven league games. They have failed to score in their past three league fixtures.