Manchester United may sit second in the Premier League table but there is no denying that some players at the club may be deemed surplus to requirements in the coming months.
With this in mind, here are ten players who it would be unsurprising to find either retired or at pastures new come next season.
1. Matteo Darmian
The Italian full-back has been involved often for Mourinho’s side this season – but the standard of his performances have at times been rather questionable. Given the form of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young in the full-back positions, perhaps a move for Darmian would best suit all parties.
At the age of 28, he still has plenty of years left in his career and there are multiple clubs in his native Italy that seem more than willing to take him on board.
2. Marouane Fellaini
Reports of a breakdown in agreements over a new contract have circulated in recent weeks – with the big Belgian himself admitting he does not know where his future lies.
Fellaini is a marmite character with the United faithful – and at present, it looks as if the midfielder will be playing in front of the Old Trafford crowd for the last time come the end of the season. A move to the Turkish Super League has been widely reported.
3. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
While there is no doubting the creative ability of the Armenian, a dip in his form has led to him falling out of favour with his manager.
Mkhitaryan started the season in flying form, but given his inconsistency, there has been a breakdown of trust between player and Mourinho.
4. Michael Carrick
Carrick’s playing time has been cut short by a medical condition this campaign – and it is likely that the club captain will hang up his boots and take up a coaching role in the near future.
Carrick will leave the club a real fan favourite, having been a regular in the Alex Ferguson era and the only player remaining at the club from their UEFA Champions League victory in 2008.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The Swedish striker has struggled with injury in his time at the club – and despite his incredible tally of 28 goals in his first campaign for United, it is likely that a younger forward will be brought in to provide cover and competition to Romelu Lukaku.
Ibrahimovic is in the twilight years of his career, and at 36, injury will be playing more of a factor than it ever has done previously.
6. Juan Mata
While this may be a surprising inclusion – should United go for an attacking wide player in the summer window, one already at the club will likely be sacrificed. It is possible that Mata may be the man in question.
The Spaniard gives his all when on the field for the club, and has scored plenty of goals since his move from Chelsea in David Moyes’ tenure – but a return to Spain in the future is probably a matter of when rather than if.
7. Chris Smalling
Smalling has been at United for a number of years now – winning two Premier League titles among many other accolades, but if he wants to make the England squad for the coming years, pastures new may be the best option.
Eric Bailly and Phil Jones seem to be the preferred centre-back partnership of Mourinho, and given the cover available from the likes of Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo, a move away from the club would not be a shock.
8. Daley Blind
It hasn’t quite happened for Daley Blind at Manchester United.
The former Ajax man looked a brilliant signing when he accompanied Louis van Gaal to the club after the 2014 World Cup, but his defending has been below-par on occasion, and he has been deployed in various different positions simply to provide injury cover.
9. Luke Shaw
The injury which kept Shaw out of action for over a year seems to have really derailed his career. The England full-back has struggled for fitness, been the subject of public criticism – and a scapegoat in his time at Old Trafford.
A player with great potential – perhaps United should not be so quick to write off Shaw.
10. James Wilson
Two goals on a Premier League debut was an ominous sign for Wilson – but nothing has happened for him in a Red shirt since. He has been starved of first-team opportunities given the emergence of Marcus Rashford and the signings of Lukaku and Anthony Martial among others.
The youngster is currently recovering from a serious knee injury picked up on loan at Derby – and one would imagine that his future will lie elsewhere, with another club more than willing to take a gamble on a player who has shown signs of promise at times.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena
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