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Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have arrived amongst much fanfare.

Even bigger names seem destined to come, with French midfielder Paul Pogba heavily rumoured to return to Old Trafford.

Which players are on Jose Mourinho's chopping block?With such big names in, the question then becomes who will United let go to offset some of this epic expenditure?

Juan Mata

The Spanish maestro’s days at Old Trafford look numbered. Mourinho had little time for Mata during his Chelsea days, that was in spite of the fact that Mata had won the two previous Player of the Season awards. At United, Mata’s play has on the whole been good, combining a healthy dose of assists with a knack for finding the back of the net himself. However, that doesn’t look like it will be enough to save his United career. The club looks set to cash in on the Spaniard to fund their extravagant spending spree.

Verdict: Sell

Ander Herrera

Herrera played some very good football at United but he was too often injured and inconsistent. He seemed a more natural fit for the three man midfield that was employed under Van Gaal – his best position in Mourinho’s 4-2-3-1 is unclear.

Is he good enough to hold down the number 10 role with Mkhitaryan arriving? No. Does he have the pace to play on the flanks or the nous to play deeper? In the event of a midfield clearance sale, Herrera is another who may find his talents surplus to requirements.

Verdict: Sell

Daley Blind

The Dutchman was a true and surprising success story as a central defender last season. He fit in Van Gaal’s possession heavy system as a ball-playing centre half. He had previously shown his versatility playing at left back and central midfield and was a valuable member of the squad. Versatility and consistency should make Blind a lock to stay at Old Trafford in 2016.

However, Mourinho has expressed his desire for “specialist” players. Without a real position to call his own, it is possible that the highly talented Blind finds himself a casualty of Mourinho’s specific demands.

Verdict: Keep

Marcos Rojo

Rojo has consistently been a liability for United during his short spell at the club. Conditioning issues have consistently dogged his ability to appear and forced his early removal on a number of occasions.

Mourinho, like all managers, won’t want to waste early substitutions worrying about the fitness of his starters. With Luke Shaw back in the picture, United should quickly move on from Rojo, unless a spot can be found in the centre of defence.

Verdict: Sell

Morgan Schneiderlin

The Frenchman appeared to be one of United’s most astute signings last summer. A player with a bank of Premier League experience, ideally suited to fill a specific role in front of a United back four that was often left exposed on the counter attack.

However things are yet to gel for Schneiderlin and despite Blind moving to centre half and Schweinsteiger missing most of the season through injury, the Frenchman failed to secure his spot in the starting XI.

Only one year into his United career, Schneiderlin should be given a second chance but it is hard to like his chances of improving his output at Old Trafford this season.

Verdict: Keep

Bastian Schweinsteiger

The German captain’s assured performances for Germany showed that he still has plenty to offer at the highest level. Schweinsteiger’s first season at Old Trafford was ruined by persistent thigh and knee injuries. Now that he is fully fit he has some work to do to reclaim a starting spot in midfield with the likes of Carrick, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Blind, Herrera and potentially Pogba all seemingly fighting for two spots.

Verdict: Keep

Phil Jones

It seems like an eternity since Phil Jones emerged as the next great English centre half. With Smalling and Blind established as United’s first choice, Bailly arriving on big money from Villarreal and the impressive Timothy Fosu-Mensah bursting through the ranks, Jones has tumbled down the pecking order.

United could cash in on Jones’ talent now and sell to other centre back needy teams or sit back and risk watching his future descend into a re-run of Ledley King’s ill-fated career.

Verdict: Keep

Marouane Fellaini

The giant Belgian found an unlikely ally in Louis van Gaal, a man renowned for his possession-first philosophy and technical emphasis. Fellaini espoused little of those skills. A giant midfield bruiser at his best, Fellaini’s apparent use is as a target man and aerial dominator. As soon as Pogba sets foot in Manchester that should spell the end of Fellaini’s career in Manchester.

Verdict: Sell

Adnan Januzaj

Januzaj burst onto the scene under the reign of David Moyes giving United fans a glimpse of the future in an otherwise bleak campaign. However, the Belgian starlet failed to progress his game under Van Gaal and repeatedly found himself dropping down the pecking order. A seemingly irresistible attacking talent with the ball at his feet, will Mourinho find a way of harnessing the young man’s talent like Eden Hazard at Chelsea?

Verdict: Keep

Ashley Young

The Englishman’s career at United appeared over until Louis van Gaal reinvented the one-time winger as a left back. To his credit Young excelled in that role and earned the Dutchman’s trust, popping up in a number of different spots, including as a makeshift forward in the FA Cup final.

Will his renaissance under Van Gaal be enough to convince Mourinho of his worth? At 31 and seemingly vying with younger and more talented players for his spot, his FA Cup cameo might have been his last appearance for United.

Verdict: Sell

Memphis Depay

In a similar boat to Schneiderlin, Memphis arrived in Manchester with all the hallmarks of an astute signing. His career in England began brightly enough but faded as soon as it got going. By the end of the season, the young Dutchman appeared totally out of sorts and bereft of confidence.

However, Memphis has time on his side and enough talent that Mourinho will surely want to have a decent look before making any permanent decision on his future. Memphis has his work cut out to keep his spot at Old Trafford beyond 2016. That being said, a generous offer for his services would be hard for club bosses to refuse.

Verdict: Keep

Wayne Rooney

While it is unlikely the United’s captain will leave the club this summer, his role has certainly been called into question. With Ibrahimovic’s arrival and the emergence of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, it is not clear where Rooney will fit into United’s plans.

Mourinho’s preferred tactical formation won’t become clear until much later but it is hard to see exactly how Rooney will fit in. Mourinho has publicly stated he sees Rooney as a striker rather than a midfielder. Clearly with a lot to give, this could be a make or break season for the man who looks set to finish his career as United’s all time leading scorer.

Verdict: Keep

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Ockie Daniell for Outside 90
Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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