Nine Manchester United players face the axe in summer clear-out

Nine Manchester United players face the axe in summer clear-out

Manchester United are expected to continue their clear-out of players this summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues his rebuild.

The Peoples Person believes that up to nine stars could be facing the axe to make way for younger stars to come through.

First, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira are both rumoured to be heading for the exit door after a disappointing season which has seen the pair being given every chance to work through their bad form. Lingard has played 35 times for the Reds this season, scoring twice, and Pereira has played 37 times, also scoring twice. A big part of the fanbase has lost faith in the pair and The Sun reports that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘could be ready to listen to offers for the duo as he formulates his plans for the future.’

There could also be a centre back clear-out, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo all appearing to be surplus to requirements. Smalling and Rojo have been loaned out this season and do not appear to feature in Solskjaer’s plans. Jones has not even made the bench in seven consecutive games after a disastrous performance against Sheffield United saw him substituted at half time.

Even if all three are sold or allowed to leave, United will still have plenty of options at the heart of the defence, with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and now even Luke Shaw, who has impressed in the role when United have employed a back three this season.

Another defender who may leave the club this summer is Timothy Fosu-Mensah. The 22-year-old has struggled to fulfill his early potential, having suffered a number of injuries and not impressed at loan spells at Fulham and Crystal Palace in recent seasons. With three excellent and younger options at right back at the club in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams, it could well be that United will allow the Dutchman to leave in June rather than trigger the available one-year extension option.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is another full back who has failed to live up to the early potential he showed when Louis Van Gaal put him in the first team for 14 games in 2015/16. Having struggled to break through into League One side Tranmere Rovers’ first XI in the first part of this season, the 23-year-old has been shipped off to League Two outfit Oldham Athletic, where he was able to hold down a regular starting spot before the season was postponed. His United contract also expires in June and it is almost certain that he will be allowed to leave the club at that time.

Goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara is another player whose contract expires in June and United are expected to allow the Irishman to leave the club. Currently on loan at Burton Albion, the 23-year-old has just been banned for six games for biting an opponent, which surely is the last nail in the coffin of his United career. With the Red Devils having signed Southend United keeper Nathan Bishop in January and with the younger Dean Henderson head and shoulders above him, we expect to see O’Hara released this summer.

Last but not least, United will almost certainly try to offload forward Alexis Sanchez at the end of the season. The Chilean has never been able to recreate the form that made him a star at both Barcelona and Arsenal since his 2018 move from the Emirates and a loan switch to Inter Milan this season has failed to resurrect his flailing career. It will be difficult to find clubs willing to take the 31-year-old off United’s hands, but the club may opt to buy out his contract and let him go on a free transfer rather than risk the disruption to the dressing room that could be caused by the unpopular player’s return.

While football is on lockdown, try your hand at our quiz below that tests your knowledge about the times when Manchester United or its players have been banned, bombed or blocked from playing.

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About The Author

Red Billy is co-editor of The Peoples Person, author of three books and totally obsessed with football's transfer market. Always glad to get feedback - write to redbilly (at thepeoplesperson.com) or click the email link to send a message.