Saturday, December 5, 2020

4 Manchester United stars who are almost certainly heading for the Old Trafford exit

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Still likely to be rueing a string of missed opportunities over the weekend, Manchester United saw their Europa League dreams cut short thanks to a turnaround 2-1 defeat against Sevilla out in Germany.

Now crashing out of the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup at the semi-final stage this season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it clear after Sunday’s defeat that he has his sights set on making some alterations to his squad this summer.

However, while the former Premier League champions might still remain interested in bringing Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford over the coming months, question marks still linger over the future of a number of their first-team squad.

With it confirmed earlier in the month that Alexis Sanchez has made his move to Inter Milan a permanent one, who are the other Manchester United stars who could be heading for the exit?

Jesse Lingard

While Jesse Lingard might have managed to scrape his only Premier League goal of the season in United’s 2-0 win away at Leicester on the final weekend of fixtures, many around Old Trafford believe that the England international will be on his way out of Old Trafford this summer.

With Bruno Fernandes’ arrival back in January really limiting his game time, The Guardian are reporting that Solskjaer’s side are willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old.

Deemed surplus to requirements and not thought to be part of the Norwegian bosses’ plans for next year, Lingard also came under hefty criticism from United legend Paul Scholes earlier in the month and finds his current deal at Old Trafford set to expire next year.

Sat on a contract worth in the region of £100,000-per-week, The Times are reporting that Roma, Borussia Monchengladbach and Newcastle are all interested in a potential move. In fact, United’s fellow Premier League outfit are currently priced at 14/1 with Betfair to secure his signature this summer.

Andreas Pereira

From one midfield outcast to another.

Already knowing that the likes of Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay and Juan Mata all appear to be ahead of him on Solskjaer’s pecking order, it is being reported that Andreas Pereira has accepted that his future is away from Manchester.

While Solskjaer might have been open about his desire to keep the 24-year-old at Old Trafford, with Pereira sat on a deal that runs until 2023, the Belgium born midfielder is open to a move this summer with the likes of Benfica interested in securing his signature.

Despite stating at the start of the year that he wanted to fight for his place at Old Trafford, he has managed to make just two appearances for Solskjaer since February and The Times have even suggested that they could be willing to allow Pereira to leave on a loan deal, muck like Tahith Chong, who joined Werder Bremen on a season-long loan over the weekend.

Chris Smalling

While a hugely successful season-long loan spell at Serie A outfit Roma might have seen Chris Smalling’s reputation once again skyrocket, it is widely reported that the now-former England international has been made available for transfer this summer.

Playing what was a vital role in Roma’s charge to secure another European finish this season, the 30-year-old quickly became a fan favourite at the Stadio Olimpico and it is no secret that he is desperate to make his Italian move a permanent one as soon as possible.

With Solskear wanting defensive reinforcements this summer and seeing Smalling as a perfect chance to raise some funds, Roma have not given up on their hopes of securing the one-time Fulham defenders signature.

Despite having a string of offers pushed back earlier in the month, I Giallorossi are hopeful of finding some middle ground with United’s £20million valuation.

Not making an appearance for Manchester United since the final day of the 2018/2019 campaign, Sky Sports have also reported that Newcastle are keen on keeping Smalling in the Premier League and bringing him to St. James’ Park.

Phil Jones

Sat on a contract in the region of £75,000-per-week and also seen as a real chance to freshen up their defensive reinforcements, Phil Jones has freefallen down Solsjkear’s pecking order and it appears there is no way back for another former England international.

With Harry Maguire’s £80million arrival last summer really the final nail in his Manchester United career, the 28-year-old has managed to make just a pair of appearances this season after joining the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2010.

Now sat behind both Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf in Solsjkear’s central defensive options, The Athletic are reporting that Jones could be the latest United star to make an Italian switch this summer, following in the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young and Alexis Sanchez.

Looking to kickstart his career, Jones could also have the option to extend on his Premier League stay and could link up with one of his former bosses.

The Independent are reporting that the 27-cap England international is one of David Moyes’ top transfer targets at West Ham this summer and could be looking to reach a cut-price deal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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