Devils to cull 8 regulars
> Mourinho spent £145.7million in the summer on Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan, Bailly and Pogba
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.