Devils to cull 8 reg­u­lars

> Mour­inho spent £145.7mil­lion in the sum­mer on Ibrahi­movic, Mkhi­taryan, Bailly and Pogba

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

JOSE MOUR­INHO WANTS to axe eight first-team play­ers over the next two trans­fer win­dows as Manch­ester United con­tinue through this pro­longed tran­si­tional phase.

United’s Europa League chances took a big hit on Thurs­day evening as they fell 2-1 to Fener­bahce in Is­tan­bul, to take Mour­inho’s record at the club to five de­feats in 17 games.

The trou­bles are even worse in the Premier League as they sit in eighth po­si­tion, seven points adrift of the Cham­pi­ons League places, hav­ing only won one of their last seven league games.

The Red Devils gave failed to score in any of their last three league games go­ing into yes­ter­day’s game against Swansea.

Mour­inho ac­cused his play­ers of treat­ing the Fener­bahce loss like a pre-sea­son friendly and be­lieved they were not “men­tally pre­pared”, “not fo­cused” and “not con­cen­trated”.

Ac­cord­ing to the Tele­graph, Mour­inho be­lieves he un­der­es­ti­mated the enor­mity of the task at hand and is ready to make ex­ten­sive changes next year, start­ing in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

The bulk of United’s ac­tiv­ity in the trans­fer mar­ket is ex­pected to oc­cur at the end of the sea­son, but if there is a pos­si­bil­ity to make some changes in Jan­uary, Mour­inho will make them.

De­fend­ers Mar­cos Rojo, Mat­teo Darmian and Phil Jones will be among the eight al­lowed to leave the club, with the Por­tuguese des­per­ate to re­shape his de­fence.

Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger is set to move to the MLS in Jan­uary, while Mor­gan Sch­nei­der­lin will be shown the exit door along with Michael Car­rick, who is out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son.

Mem­phis De­pay and Ash­ley Young are also both deemed sur­plus to re­quire­ments by Mour­inho.

Mean­whi­ile, Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic could be of­fered a way out af­ter only one sea­son with LA Galaxy ea­ger to bring the Swede to the MLS.

The 35-year-old is only on a one-year con­tract at Old Traf­ford and the Galaxy be­lieve the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion at United may prompt him to move to Amer­ica rather than extend his deal for an­other sea­son.

The Galaxy have got a rep­u­ta­tion of sign­ing ag­ing Euro­pean play­ers, with the likes of David Beck­ham, Steven Gerrard and Ash­ley Cole top­ping the list of high-pro­file ar­rivals.

The club is look­ing to move away from that strat­egy but they are will­ing to make an ex­cep­tion for Ibrahi­movic be­cause of the at­trac­tion his su­per­star-sta­tus would bring.

Wayne Rooney was an­other player the Galaxy were be­lieved to be in­ter­ested in tempt­ing to the MLS, with the Eng­land and Manch­ester United cap­tain not play­ing reg­u­larly for ei­ther club or coun­try.

How­ever, they be­lieve Ibrahi­movic would not only be the big­ger at­trac­tion, but also more likely to be per­suaded into leav­ing at the end of the sea­son, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Mir­ror. – The In­de­pen­dent

Sol Bamba goes close with a header dur­ing their match against New­cas­tle.

Jose Mour­inho (left) watches his player Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic ( right) and Fener­bahce’s Si­mon Kjael hav­ing a tiff dur­ing their Europa League match on Thurs­day.

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