Manchester United have endured one of their most underwhelming seasons in recent memory in a campaign that could still end without Champions League qualification.
Tipped for a title tilt before a ball had been kicked, the mood among the Old Trafford faithful was high given the summer acquisitions of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and the return of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo – many believed some form of silverware would follow. Instead, United’s hopes of a trophy were over by mid-March and the focus is now on trying to crack into the top four despite being below both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
This season has also seen change in the United hot-seat, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer axed just months after penning a three-year contract extension and replaced by interim boss Ralf Rangnick. Due to the Red Devils recent stuttering form, it is unlikely the German will remain in the dugout beyond the end of the current campaign.
Given the uncertainty surrounding who will be in charge of the club by the time the summer transfer window rolls around, it is difficult to predict the futures of a number of United’s first-team regulars. With that being said, Mirror Football has analysed the prospects of each United star.
David de Gea – Undroppable
Arguably United’s player of the season so far, the Spaniard’s brilliance has kept his side in some games when they had no right to be. Question marks over his ability with the ball at his feet remain, but with his prowess as a shot-stopper he is likely to remain at the club for the foreseeable.
Dean Henderson – For Sale
The deputy goalkeeper is thought to be infuriated with his inability to dislodge De Gea from his status as United number one and as a result is exploring options elsewhere. Though he has at times been viewed as a potential successor to the Spain international, Henderson could be on the move in the summer with both Ajax and Spurs interested.
Lee Grant – Out of contract
Though technically United won’t make any money from the departure of Grant, he will be leaving regardless given the goalkeeper is now 39 years of age and out of contract at the end of the season. Having made his professional debut in 2002, Grant is expected to retire after two decades in the game.
Victor Lindelof – For Sale
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Though there are no rumoured suitors, the Sweden international is certainly the kind of player United would happily cash in on should a decent offer come up. Solid for the most part but with the occasional error in him, Lindelof is a far-cry from the calibre of player that went before him in his position.
Harry Maguire – Staying put
Arguably the most curious case of all, the consensus among United fans is that they would be happy to see their club captain leave in the summer but with no interest elsewhere reported it is unlikely Maguire will be on the move. In turn, it is unlikely he is axed from the squad altogether, especially given his status as skipper.
Raphael Varane – Undroppable
The Frenchman only arrived in the summer and has constantly looked like the most calm and assured presence in an otherwise shaky United backline. The four-time Champions League winner has comfortably been the club’s best central defender and will most likely be an ever-present for whichever new manager comes in.
Phil Jones – For Sale
Despite a recent, brief resurgence that saw Jones make his first competitive appearance in over two years for the club, the defender is very much for sale should any clubs make a concrete offer. Jones has fallen remarkably short of Sir Alex Ferguson’s prediction that he could become the Red Devils’ greatest ever player.
Eric Bailly – For Sale
The Ivorian is capable of some fantastic performances while also being arguably the most error-prone defender in United’s backline. It is that kind of inconsistency the new manager is likely to want to weed out, meaning Bailly would be allowed to depart to the highest bidder.
Luke Shaw – Undroppable
While some of his appearances this term have seen a drop in standards, Shaw is still comfortably the best left-back at the club. The England international is one of the club’s longest serving players and could be in line for a contract extension.
Alex Telles – Staying put
Purchased as a back-up for Shaw, Telles’ United career is yet to truly catch fire having spent the bulk of his time at Old Trafford playing second fiddle. However, a recent increase in appearances under Rangnick could mean he still has unfinished business with United.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Last Chance
The former Crystal Palace man cost United £50m when he was enticed from Selhurst Park back in 2019, but has struggled to ever justify that huge price tag. Recent games have actually seen him benched in favour of Diogo Dalot, meaning if Wan-Bissaka does not impress the new boss quickly he could soon fall out of favour for good.
Diogo Dalot – Staying put
Viewed as a far better attacking option than his fellow right-back Wan-Bissaka, it is easy to forget Dalot has only recently turned 23 years old and has plenty of time to develop even further. The Portugal international returned from a loan spell at AC Milan last term looking like a drastically improved player.
Paul Pogba – Out of contract
David S. Bustamante/Getty Images)
Another player that United won’t actually receive any compensation for when he does go, as Pogba’s contract expiration means the Frenchman will leave Old Trafford for a second time this summer. The World Cup winner has failed to justify the then-world record fee United paid for his services back in 2016 with just a Europa League and League Cup to show for his efforts.
Fred – Last chance
It is remarkable to think Fred has managed to even slightly turn the tide on what was a failing United career, but the much-maligned Brazilian has drastically improved under Rangnick’s guidance. While he is hardly Paul Scholes, he can be a useful player in a United side looking to improve in the short-term.
Bruno Fernandes – Undroppable
While the Portuguese star has struggled to hit the heights of previous seasons, Fernandes is still one of the first names on the United team sheet due to his ability to produce moments of magic out of nothing. The 27-year-old boasts the kind of winning mentality other United stars in recent years have lacked.
Nemanja Matic – For Sale
This coming summer presents United with what is likely to be their last chance to receive any cash for the Serbian midfielder, given his contract expires in 2023. He is not expected to receive another at Old Trafford and at 33, his best days are arguably behind him.
Scott McTominay – Staying put
McTominay is not nearing the Old Trafford exit anytime soon because of his contract but could potentially lose his place as a regular. It is indisputable that upgrades are available and the ‘McFred’ duo has come in for plenty of criticism in the past.
But the idea Sir Alex Ferguson’s favourite midfielder could leave United is an unlikely one.
Tahith Chong – Out of contract
The promising United youngster is currently out on loan with Birmingham City after failing to break into the Red Devils first-team. Out of contract come the end of the season, Chong may be a permanent fixture at St. Andrews
Juan Mata – Out of contract
The Spaniard has been a loyal servant to United but has been deemed surplus to requirements for a while at Old Trafford. Mata’s contract expires at the end of the season and there has been zero talk of a renewal.
Andreas Pereira – For Sale
The Belgium-born Brazilian international has not donned a United shirt in more than a year and a half. Pereira is currently on loan at Flamengo where it is widely expected he will remain on a permanent basis despite his United contract not expiring until 2023.
Jesse Lingard – Out of contract
Few sagas have been handled as poorly by United as that of Lingard’s, who could have earned the club some cash last year had he joined West Ham after a successful loan spell in East London. However, he returned to his boyhood club under the promise of more playing time, a promise that United have not kept and he will now most likely leave for nothing.
Marcus Rashford –Staying put
A rare situation where the player may view it as a last chance rather than the club, but United certainly don’t. Five goals across all competitions this season, Rashford has endured the most difficult campaign of his career and is out of contract next year.
That said, unless Rashford forces his way out of Old Trafford it’s unlikely he’ll be leaving anytime soon.
Anthony Elanga – Undroppable
One of the few success stories from this otherwise turbulent season, Elanga has been a shining light of the brief Rangnick reign and proved he can show up for the biggest occasions with a dramatic equaliser away at Atletico Madrid.
Edinson Cavani – Out of contract
The former Paris Saint-Germain striker took to life at Old Trafford with ease originally, but has seen his legacy slightly tarnished by reports of refusing to play and a lack of effort. Cavani’s form last season saw the club desperate to extend his stay for another season, but after this term they will be more than comfortable with his eventual exit.
Anthony Martial – For Sale
The Frenchman’s United contract runs until the summer of 2024, but Martial is currently on loan with La Liga outfit Sevilla which presents a damning indictment of how essential he is, according to the United hierarchy. Having been recently jeered in Spain, Martial could return to Manchester in the summer with one less potential suitor.
Jadon Sancho – Undroppable
Purchased for £73m last summer after one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent memory, Sancho isn’t leaving the red half of Manchester anytime soon. After a slow start, the former Borussia Dortmund man is starting to find his feet and endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful with a recent derby day goal against ex-side Man City.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Undroppable
A player of Ronaldo’s stature will always be undroppable, it is for that very reason some have questioned whether it was the right move to sign the five-time Ballon D’or winner. Rumours are rife that a serial winner like Ronaldo is not ruling out an exit this summer despite having another year left to run on his United deal.