Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is not usually a man who messes around when it comes to dealing with which players he rates and those he does not.
The Portuguese boss could be set to wield the axe on around nine of his first team squad this summer, according to the Daily Mail anyway.
The former Chelsea boss is reportedly looking to cut his Red Devils squad down to 24 players.
Surprisingly one of the players who are not currently set to exit is Spanish playmaker Juan Mata.
Mourinho sold the former Valencia star while he was at Chelsea. He was expected to be one of the first players out of the United exit door this summer. It seems he is staying for now anyway.
Nine players to leave Old Trafford this summer
Mourinho is believed to have informed the players personally that they are not in his plans for next season. The most high-profile of those players likely to leave United this summer is Germany World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The other players not in Mourinho’s plans are Adnan Januzaj, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Wil Keane, James Wilson, Andreas Pereira, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair.
All nine are believed to be training with the United under-21 squad, rather than the senior squad, which is understandable considering the majority are younger players.
Most of those youngsters are likely to be sent out on loan to gain first team experience in the new campaign. Mourinho is unlikely to keep some of his promising youngsters around just to make up the numbers.
Schweinsteiger’s situation is different from his young colleagues though. His time in Manchester has not gone well and he is amongst some of the biggest earners at the club, reportedly earning £160,000 per-week.
The 31-year-old now looks certain to leave Old Trafford on a permanent basis, as the Red Devils will want another club to pick-up his big wage packet. The imminent arrival of Paul Pogba from Juventus will probably just underline that the German is no longer needed at Old Trafford.
Mourinho needed to cull his squad
Mourinho has officially been in the United job for a month and will now have a good idea about his squad’s strengths and weaknesses. A number of players will have only just returned from international duty, but Mourinho probably already knew enough about those players.
The 53-year-old had to come into the club and decide which of the young players he believed was good enough to compete for a place in his squad in the new campaign.
Mourinho is not known for having much patience for developing younger players, so maybe he thought it was best for the younger players to gain experience elsewhere.
Manchester United struggled to challenge for the Premier League title under Louis van Gaal and finished fifth in the table last season. The Portuguese boss had to get rid of some of the players he thought were not good enough or not ready for the first team.
He has strengthened his squad with some stellar players in the shape of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I doubt many would choose to have Will Keane or James Wilson in the United starting line-up in front of the two European stars.
Manchester United going for the title
Manchester United have been an unstoppable force in the Premier League era. They have more often than not been competing for and winning the title. The last few campaigns have been alien to United and neutral fans.
Mourinho’s arrival has made the Red Devils the second favourites to win the Premier League title at odds of 10/3. Those odds are based on the sheer fact that Mourinho is now at the helm of the Red Devils.
Despite last season’s disappointment at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho is still regarded as one of the best bosses in world football. He knows how to win silverware and will do what he believes is necessary to get United back to the top of the English and European game.
It is hard to see the Red Devils not succeeding under their new boss. They may not win the Premier League title in his first season, but the controversial Portuguese boss will certain make his mark on the English top-flight once again in the new campaign.
Is Jose Mourinho right to have a massive clear-out at United?