At least five players are due to leave Man Utd on free transfers this summer, and a further three could follow, a report has revealed.
Phil Jones is the only member of the quintet currently not on loan away from Man Utd, but after failing to train all season, time is up for him at the club. According to a report by Manchester Evening News, if it wasn’t already obvious enough, the defender’s 12th season at Man Utd will be his last.
What the 31-year-old’s next step will be after several injury issues in recent times remains to be seen.
Following him out of the exit door, according to the report, will be fellow defender Axel Tuanzebe, midfielder Ethan Galbraith, goalkeeper Ondrej Mastny and midfielder Charlie Wellens.
Those players – all of whom spent time developing in the Man Utd academy – have been out on loan this season at Stoke City, Salford City, Portadown and Oldham Athletic respectively. However, none of them have done enough to earn contract extensions with their parent club.
Back in March, there were surprise claims that Tuanzebe might yet have a lifeline at Man Utd, but after talks with his brother and agent last month, it now seems to have become clear he will be on his way out.
And Galbraith – compared to Andres Iniesta and Xavi less than three years ago – has already been told directly that he will be released next month, per the report.
Earlier this month, the 22-year-old became the subject of links with a move to Newcastle.
Man Utd yet to decide about three more players
In addition to the five players mentioned, three more are facing uncertain futures. By the start of July, as things stand, goalkeepers Tom Heaton and Nathan Bishop, as well as striker Mateo Mejia, are also due to become free agents.
Of those three, only Heaton has represented Man Utd in a senior match before. The club are yet to decide whether to retain the veteran backup keeper, though.
Main choice David de Gea looks set to earn an extension to his own deal, which has also been due to expire at the end of the season. There is still some uncertainty about what Man Utd’s goalkeeping department will look like next season, though.
All in all, there could be several departures from the Man Utd ranks this summer, including other players with longer contracts who could be sold. For example, TEAMtalk understands that Man Utd are ready to listen to offers for Anthony Martial.
But the starting points of their summer clearout seem to have been easily identified.