Despite rumours to the contrary and what can only be called a turbulent relationship with boss Jose Mourinho at best, symbolised by his substitution on Sunday, Juan Mata is set to remain at Old Trafford according to Sky Sports. They claim that the 27-year-old Spaniard, who cost the club over £37 million just two and a half years ago after the Portuguese manager sold him from Chelsea, will still have a role to play for United in the 2016/17 season.
However, it remains to be seen how happy Mata will be about that if he is restricted to a role where he features mostly from the bench. Having missed out on the Euros, the ex-Valencia playmaker will be keen to ensure that he does not miss out on much more international duty under Julien Lopetegui, the new Spain boss. It is a boost for the club though as they seek to retain strength in depth to mount a title challenge.
Two players set to depart though are defenders Paddy McNair and Donald Love with former Red Devils boss David Moyes now having made a bid to take them to join him at Sunderland. The Sunderland Echo claim that fees have now been agreed for both players with the two 21-year-olds not in Jose Mourinho’s plans for the coming season despite featuring at various points under Louis Van Gaal.
With just a handful of first team appearances between them, it seems that their departures will not be a major loss for United. Moyes has clearly seen something in them though and is keen to develop them into Premier League quality players at the Stadium of Light as he looks to refresh and rejuvenate his squad in the hope of avoiding relegation.
This could spark an exodus of some other big names, with Eurosport reporting on claims that Bastian Schweinsteiger, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo are set to be next to leave Old Trafford, with the likes of Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay and Ashley Young also at risk as Jose Mourinho looks to clear the decks after signing all of his top targets this summer.
This follows many of these stars being left out of the 18-man squad for the Community Shield victory at Wembley, with Mourinho now believed to have a clear idea of his preferred team in mind. Financially, the club will be looking to balance the books following the large expense of Paul Pogba’s transfer fee and substantial wages, and the sale of some of these stars is likely to help reduce that burden.
It has also emerged that neighbours Manchester City, who have just completed the £47.5 million signing of John Stones from Everton, had the opportunity to sign Community Shield hero Eric Bailly for just £6 million last summer.
The Sun claim that the 22-year-old was offered to Manuel Pellegrini last summer as a bargain buy from Espanyol but the Chilean favoured attempts to sign Aymeric Laporte or John Stones. Pep Guardiola was again offered the chance to sign him this summer, but was unhappy at the £30 million asking price and did not feel that the centre-back was as comfortable on the ball as he would like in his preferred system.
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