Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd told which seven major stars they must axe this summer; under-fire name worth sparing

Man Utd pair Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo

Seven major names including Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire should be axed if Man Utd are to get serious about rebuilding this summer, claims one pundit.

Manchester United continue to struggle with how to reach the heights they once hit under Sir Alex Ferguson. Their recent exit from the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage has ensured the club’s trophy-less streak will reach five full seasons.

Even the likes of Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho won trophies in the post-Ferguson era, suggesting United are a club on the slide rather than climb.

As such, the Red Devils are facing up to one of their most important summers in recent memory.

The club will appoint a new permanent manager. The two names drawing the most persistent links with the role are Erik Ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino.

But once a new manager takes the reins, the giant task of how to re-shape Man Utd’s squad will come into focus.

On that front, it’s already shaping up to be one of United’s busiest summers in terms of player movement.

Indeed, the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani will all be free agents.

Is Ronaldo really the problem at Manchester United?

Is Ronaldo really the problem at Manchester United?

Is Cristiano Ronaldo the problem at Manchester United or is he being scapegoated?

Furthermore, speculation continues to swirl over the long-term future of Marcus Rashford. The 24-year-old forward has suffered a startling dip in form this season and looks bereft of confidence. He was omitted from the latest England squad selected by Gareth Southgate.

Decisions will also have to be made on the United stars currently out on loan. Whether Anthony Martial and Donny Van de Beek have futures at Old Trafford, only time will tell.

Now, speaking in his role as a pundit on talkSPORT, former striker Darren Bent declared seven major names United must axe if they’re serious about rebuilding.

In doing so, he also named four players United must retain, including the off-form Rashford.

“Ronaldo has got to go” – Bent

“The ones you keep are [David] de Gea, you keep Varane,” Bent told talkSPORT. “You need a new right-back, I think. (Harry) Maguire? Nope.

“I don’t think [Scott McTominay] is good enough but he’s own of your own. Building-wise? Nope.

“I think Fred is a weird one because you have to say he’s been one in the last few weeks who has gone, ‘You know what? I’m up for this’. But I guess if you’re trying to start against and build a successful side, he might have to go.

“You keep Sancho. Ronaldo has got to to go. [Edinson] Cavani has got to go. [Martial] has got to go.

“Rashford is the one where, if the new manager fancies him, there’s something there. If he can get that best out of him then you keep him because he’s young.

“[Pogba] is going to go anyway, he’s on a free at the end of the season. If Manchester United have got any kind of aspirations [he should go].

“I love Pogba as a player, I really do, but Manchester United fans are becoming sick of saying, ‘we’re waiting for that consistency’, so he’d have to go.”

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