Jose Mourinho has reportedly put one-time Manchester United record signing Juan Mata and three key Louis van Gaal acquisitions up for sale as part of a radical rebuild of the club’s senior squad.
The Daily Record claims Mata, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Bastian Schweinsteiger have all been deemed surplus to requirements by United’s new manager, who wants to trim the size of the dysfunctional squad inherited from Van Gaal in order to make space for what he describes as “fundamental” and “supplementary” recruits.
Mata was a £37.1 million club-record signing from Mourinho’s Chelsea in January 2014, when David Moyes was in charge of United, while Schweinsteiger, Rojo and Blind all arrived during Van Gaal’s tenure for a combined figure of around £40m.
But it is reported the Portuguese coach has informed all four players they do not figure in his long-term plans and will be allowed to leave this summer.
Mata has already been linked with a move to Everton after boss Ronald Koeman admitted a move was “possible”, while reports on Tuesday morning suggested Villarreal were also set to launch a bid for the player.
Rojo arrived in the summer of 2014 in a €20m deal from Sporting, although the free loan of former United Player of the Year Nani on heavily subsidised wages also paid for the Argentina international.
But with the player unable to command a starting place either at left or centre back, he has also been deemed surplus to requirements.
Blind, a £15m purchase from Ajax, was second behind Chris Smalling in league minutes played last season, but Mourinho does not believe the Netherlands international possesses the physical stature to be a first-choice in his defence and is well down a hierarchy of central midfielders.
Schweinsteiger’s cut-price €9m transfer fee underlined Bayern Munich’s willingness to divorce themselves from the Germany international’s top-level salary and failing physique. After struggling to make 82 Bundesliga starts in the four preceding seasons, the midfielder managed only 13 in the Premier League before succumbing to injury again in April.
It’s believed Mourinho feels United can rely more upon Michael Carrick – to whom he has offered a new one-year deal – and will look instead to rid the club of Schweinsteiger’s wages.
The futures of Marouane Fellaini, Memphis Depay and Antonio Valencia also all remain uncertain.
Since taking over at Old Trafford, Mourinho has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the playing squad by signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, while protracted negotiations for £100million target Paul Pogba are ongoing.