Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plans in place for a huge shake-up at Manchester United this summer with five big-name stars set to be shown the door and four major signings brought in, claims a report.
The Norwegian has been handsomely backed by United in the transfer market during his time in charge, bringing in a total of five players to the tune of around £200million.
Last summer he brought in Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, while January witnessed the arrivals of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo – with the Portuguese midfielder already having an enormous impact and signalling his long-term ambitions at the club.
And after steering United to an 11-match unbeaten run that has seen the club move up to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea and within touching distance of the Europa League quarter-finals, prior to the European wide suspension of the game, Solskjaer is again expected to be heavily backed in the summer window.
And according to the Daily Mirror, Solskjaer has huge plans in place to make widespread changes to his playing personnel – with five big-name players set to be shown the exit door to make way for a new wave of stars.
As per the report, Solskjaer will show the door to David De Gea, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Marcos Rojo to help further facilitate his planned spending spree.
The departures of Sanchez and Rojo will not come as a surprise, given the duo are both out on loan and seemingly not in the club’s long-term thinking.
Sanchez joined Inter on a season-loan loan deal last summer, and while conflicting reports have suggested he could return to Old Trafford, it is understood the club are actively looking to offload the Chilean, who has proved a hugely expensive flop since his January 2018 move to the club.
Rojo, meanwhile, returned to his first club Estudiantes on loan during the winter window and United will not stand in his way if he wants to make the move permanent.
The exit of Lingard will also not come as a surprise given he a report earlier this week claimed he had “lost the confidence” of Solskjaer, while the player’s decision to team up with notorious agent Mino Raiola has hardly helped his cause.
Pogba, meanwhile, looks likely to be the highest-profile departure this summer. The World Cup winner has made just six starts for the club this season due to a succession of injuries and has been strongly linked with a return to former club Juventus as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid.
United will hope to recoup their initial club-record investment for the player; that despite Solskjaer’s claims on Thursday night that his future very much remained at Old Trafford.
“Paul’s our player,” Solskjaer is quoted as saying following the 5-0 win over LASK of Linz,” Solskjaer said after the 5-0 win at LASK.
“He has two years left on his contract, a year plus the option of another. You can expect Paul to be here [next season], yeah.”
De Gea, meanwhile, is another high-profile star who, the Mirror claims, will be shown the door. The Spaniard has been linked of late with PSG and Juventus and despite a slight dip in his usual high standards, could still fetch a fee of around £70million.
Four new players to sign with Henderson to return
De Gea’s exit will allow for the recall of Dean Henderson, who has impressed once again during a second season on loan at Sheffield United.
As per the Mirror, Solskjaer plans to recall the England hopeful and promote him to their No 1 – matching the ambitious claim the keeper made earlier this year.
“The big dream is to play for Manchester United one day,” Henderson said on the Kelly & Wrighty Show.
“I’ve always had that dream throughout my life so until that’s accomplished I’ll never think I’ve made it.
“Even if I play for them once I won’t think I’ve made it I need to play for them 500 times, 300 times whatever it is then you can turnaround at the end of your career and say, ‘I made it, I did what I set out to do’.”
As well as the returning Henderson, United are also expected to splash out an incredible £240million on new talent, with Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Jude Bellingham and Denis Zakaria brought in.
All four players have been strongly linked with the club in recent weeks, with Sancho the most costly and likely to set United back a new club-record fee.
The Red Devils have been given hope that Dortmund will allow the teenager to leave, with their chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke saying this week: “Jadon is a very, very great talent, perhaps the greatest currently in Europe among players under the age of 21.
“In my opinion, he has the potential to become one of the top two or three players in the world in the years to come.
“We will do our best to keep him as long as possible. We have a very good relationship with him.
“But if one day, he comes to see us and tells us that he wants to leave the club, then we will discuss it.
“But this is not our first option. The first option is to keep it as long as possible.”
Links to Grealish, meanwhile, are nothing new either with the Villa playmaker tipped to cost around £70m and set to form a new-look midfield partnership with Fernandes and another new addition in Zakaria, whom Saturday’s Paper Talk says will cost £40m.
And it’s a similar situation with £30m-rated Bellingham, the teenager catching the eye this season at Birmingham.
United are reported to have rolled out the red carpet to the player, who would leave St Andrew’s with a ringing endorsement from Blues boss Pep Clotet.