Manchester United could see a mass-exodus this summer if Ed Woodward doesn’t get down to business and begin renewing the contracts of the numerous players that are slated for departure at the end of this season.
In fact, the list of talents is just one player shy from comprising of a full-fledged starting XI. Let us have a look at each of these players, whose days at the Theatre of Dreams could very much be numbered:
David De Gea
The Spanish goalkeeper is arguably the most important name on this list. By virtue of the same, he could also be the one that United will almost assuredly activate the one-year extension clause for, should contract-talks fail to succeed. To sell for a profit or let go for free?
The English defender has been the subject of much mockery over the past seasons. With every campaign that goes by, the improvement in his skill seems poorly incremental, and one does wonder if the arrival of a leader in the United defense will ensure his departure.
At 28 years of age, Smalling’s position is quite precarious. While he is, at the moment, Mourinho’s first-choice centre-back, a change of guard could very well necessitate him ending this season as a free agent. Then again, hit antics could very well merit a renewal.
United’s captain and a long-time veteran, Valencia’s days may finally be up. The club signing youngster Diogo Dalot in the summer seems all but sure confirmation of the same. His extensive age may ensure that United will let him go for free and not impose a transfer fee, allowing him to choose his next club on his own.
Another veteran and an undoubted fan-favorite. However, the rise of Luke Shaw and Mourinho’s insistence at fielding an expert at all spots may be clear proof that Young may depart at the end of this season, although a brief extension can’t be ruled out either.
The Italian was almost out in the summer itself, and the months of inactivity and the repercussions that have followed make the choice ahead all but sure. Only the location now remains in doubt. Gone by January?
A promising prospect and a graduate who packs much punch, Pereira seems amongst the few who will likely be offered a long-term deal by the club. However, knowing Mourinho, one shouldn’t be surprised if the Brazilian still has another season-long loan spell awaiting him moments after he pens a new deal.
A fan-favorite, a team-favorite, and a tactical mastermind, it will be hard for the club to decide on Herrera’s future. Interest from Spain is reported to be plenty, and given how United are populated with youngsters eager for starting spots, Herrera too, may start negotiating a departure in January.
Another tough choice to make. Mata has arguably been the most worthwhile talent to have thrived in all the managerial tenures post-SAF, and his handiness is quite obvious in certain games. However, the persistence of the likes of Jesse Lingard, and rumors of potent interest from big names in Spain may just sway him away as early as January itself, or United may rope him in before releasing for free next season.
Another no-brainer, and a deal that ought to have been sealed long ago. Martial has been United’s hero in their past two Premier League outings, and he is already a fan-favorite. Selling him would be the kind of mistake that could truly put the supporters past the tipping point.
Who amongst these players will remain a Red Devil come July?