Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that it could be the end of the road for a number of Manchester United’s players this summer.
The Norwegian coach has managed to steady the ship in the last few months at Old Trafford and United sit three points off fourth place and remain FA Cup and Europa League contenders.
They have also chalked up impressive wins at Man City twice and at Chelsea, but a run of five defeats in 10 games in December and January highlighted their issues and they remain a mammoth 37 points behind Liverpool.
Solskjaer and the club are well aware they need to continue rebuilding in the summer with Ed Woodward reaffirming that United will look to add to January recruit Bruno Fernandes.
“We will take the same planned, disciplined, approach this coming summer,” said Woodward during the announcement of United’s Q2 financial results.
And Solskjaer has hinted that his patience is wearing thin with some of his squad.
“It is hard to say in percentages, but we are getting there, day by day,” said Solskjaer when talking about United’s progress. “There are still some days here when I am not 100 per cent happy with what has happened, but you understand because we are human beings. They are disappointed, but get on with it.
“I am not going to feel sorry for you (the player), you have to make yourself available for the next game and competitive in situations. That is what I like. I like to see players who say, ‘okay, he has left me out for two or three games without explanation’.
“I don’t have to explain every time. Sometimes I do, yeah, but it is a way for me to say I need more. You can’t just speak to them 100 times and say, ‘now we need a change in you’. You have had opportunities.”
Some of the players that could be at risk are Jesse Lingard, 27, who was omitted from the squads against Watford and Chelsea last month. He was back on the bench against Everton but his future looks far from assured and just 81 minutes of Premier League action this year mean he could be offloaded in the summer.
Phil Jones, 28, has also been omitted from the last four squads and his time may well be up, having being benched all season, making just two Premier League starts. Andreas Pereira, 24, was also excluded from successive squads against Watford and Club Brugge and benched against Everton.
Solskajer added: “I’ve got to make decisions and one day… well, you give them one warning and that’s it probably, and then the next thing maybe they are not here anymore. You don’t have to explain every time then. You might have to think about it after.
“Football has changed and some players get affected by ‘I’ve made money, I’ve made this, I’ve won a trophy, I can sit back and relax’. I had the best of the lot as a manager. If you win something you move on.”