Manchester United as a club have endured another difficult season in the Premier League and are nowhere close to challenging for the title.
However, as the season progressed, Manchester United started finding their rhythm with impressive wins over Manchester City and Chelsea, and are currently just three points adrift of the Blues, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot.
The Red Devils are still competing in the Europa League and the FA Cup and remain one of the favourites to win the competitions. With Champions League qualification looking like a real possibility if and when the season resumes, United have a chance to show the world the progress they have made.
One of the main reasons for Manchester United’s struggles in recent years has been their transfer activities. However, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the team have made some good signings in the last two transfer windows. With the backing of Ed Woodward, the English giants will look to make some more signings in the summer transfer window as they look to reclaim their lost glory.
However, United will need to reduce their wage bills by offloading several players in order to make way for new arrivals. And here are three players who look likely to move out of Old Trafford at the end of the season.
#1 Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard has had a turbulent last 18 months as a Manchester United player. In his 20 Premier League appearances this season, Lingard has not managed a single goal or an assist.
The 27-year-old has openly talked about his family problems which contributed to his loss of form as he vowed to improve. However, the arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January hasn’t helped his case as he has fallen further down the pecking order at Old Trafford. With the club linked to players like Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and James Maddinson, it seems like Lingard’s time at Manchester United player is coming to an end.
Lingard receiving criticism from several corners is completely understandable as he has been provided with ample opportunities. However, the midfielder possesses good enough qualities to restart his career at a different club. The England international turned 27 last December and changed his agent to Mini Raiola, who shares a stormy relationship with Manchester United. As a result, it’s looking increasingly likely that Lingard is looking for a fresh start next season.
According to ESPN, Lingard is wanted by Roma and Atletico Madrid. Although Lingard wants to stay at Old Trafford, he has not ruled out leaving Manchester United to rediscover his form.
#2 Chris Smalling
Many people raised their eyebrows when Chris Smalling was allowed to leave on loan to Roma last season before Phil Jones, who hardly featured for Manchester United in the last two campaigns, owing to injuries. Smalling, who has made over 300 appearances for the club, has done well if not great over the years. He enjoyed great seasons under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
However, things changed for Smalling when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge and the defender was deemed surplus to requirements once Harry Maguire was signed in a big-money deal from Leicester City last summer. The decision to let Smalling leave did wonders for the player as he quickly settled at Roma. He has thus far played 21 Serie A games for the Italian side, proving to be a rock at the back, besides scoring twice and having a passing accuracy rate of 90%.
Smalling knows his chances of being a regular starter at Manchester United are slim as he has to compete with the likes of Maguire, Victor Lindelof Eric Bailly. He has hinted in February that he would like to extend his stay in the Italian capital after winning over the Roma fans and manager Paulo Fonseca with his impressive performances.
According to Express, who quoted Gazzetta Dello Sport, Roma are keen to make the loan deal permanent this summer but have been put off by United’s €20 million demand. The Serie A outfit feels the price is too much for a 30-year-old defender and thus there is uncertainty surrounding the deal.
However, we might see the deal eventually happening as Manchester United want to offload several players to make way for new signings.
#3 Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba, who last played for the club in December, has been in the headlines for as long as anyone can remember. The French international, who was the top goalscorer for Manchester United last season, has managed just eight appearances in all competitions in the present campaign due to injury concerns. ankle injury.
Pogba has been a controversial figure at the club for a long time now and his image hasn’t been helped by his agent, Mino Raiola, and family members, who constantly talk about the midfielder leaving Old Trafford.
Pogba has been a subject of interest for Juventus and Real Madrid. It is said that Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane is a big admirer of the Frenchman. However, Turin remains an attractive destination for Pogba, who spent four seasons at Juventus between 2012 and 2016.
Manchester United value Pogba around €100 million but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s highly unlikely for clubs to spend so much on a single player and we might see a player plus cash deal instead.
Although Manchester United want to keep Pogba, the Premier League giants want to get as much money as they can if they had to part ways with the 27-year-old.
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