Manchester United completed their first major signing of the summer this week with the £13m arrival of Victor Lindelof.
The Swedish international defender joins from Portuguese champions Benfica, and arrives presumably with a view to going straight into the starting lineup to partner Eric Bailly at the heart of the Man United defence.
With that in mind, the English duo of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were likely to find their places in the squad under severe threat – and, according to the Independent, it is the former that manager Jose Mourinho has decided can leave Old Trafford.
Smalling endured a difficult season under Mourinho at Man United last season, regularly finding his credibility called into question by the boss last season as he suffered a number of injuries that kept him out for significant periods of time. In all, he started just 13 Premier League matches last season, and there is a very real possibility that he only started in the Europa League final due to Bailly’s suspension.
His availability is likely to garner interest from a number of Premier League sides, with the report crediting Everton, Newcastle and West Ham as all being keen to take 27-year-old off Mourinho’s hands.
Little is known right now regarding the futures of either Jones or Marcos Rojo, but it stands to reason that they will be kept as back-up/rotation options, given the need for a big squad for next season.
Former Cork City defender Neal Horgan joined us in studio this week on the Mixer Irish Football Podcast to dissect Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Austria last weekend.