It was inevitable that Jose Mourinho was going to wield his axe at some point. The Portuguese has been surprisingly patient with many members of this Manchester United squad since taking over from Louis van Gaal in May of this year, and gave every player in his team the chance to prove themselves. This has meant Juan Mata, who many people expected to be sold as soon as his former Chelsea boss took over has flourished and become a regular starter under Mourinho, and the likes of Antonio Valencia have appeared rejuvenated and regularly turn in confident, useful performances.
Of course, it’s not been that simple for everyone. Not all of Mourinho’s charges have been given a fair crack of the whip, and with the January transfer window approaching, there’s certainly a sense that several members of this squad could be heading out of Old Trafford in early 2017.
The first and most obvious is £90,000 a week Memphis Depay, who, according to L’Equipe journalist Mathieu Gregoire via Football365.com is looking at a move to a Premier League club as opposed to a move to a continental league:
Gregoire is quoted as saying: “Memphis Depay would prefer to play at any Premier League club rather than Marseille. It is the most competitive league; he has one foot in it and certainly won’t want to get out. And especially financially, we do not account for wages these guys have.”
Morgan Schneiderlin is another name that has been mentioned as one who could exit the club this winter, with Italian outlet Calciomercato suggesting that the French international is interesting Serie A giants AC Milan. The former Southampton man who according to reports earns £100,000 a week could be brought in for a loan move, which would provide him with first team football.
Both potential exits make a lot of sense; Depay has struggled for game time throughout 2016, and has clearly done little to impress Mourinho that he should be considered for a role on United’s left, not when Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are around. The Dutchman’s disintegration since his move from PSV Eindhoven has been disappointing, but it appears that the move from his homeland has come too soon.
For Schneiderlin, a loan move would make sense. With Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba ahead of him in the pecking order for central midfielder, the Frenchman has barely featured for the club this season, and a temporary move could do him the world of good.