Manchester United: Will Van Gaal show Kagawa and Fellaini the Old Trafford exit?
Which players are likely to face the axe when the Dutchman passes judgment on his squad?
By Tim Clement - Twitter: @Tim_Clement_
Last Updated: 06/08/14 11:13am
With Louis van Gaal poised to decide which players he will keep at Manchester United following the club's US tour, Sky Bet's Tim Clement considers who is likely to face the axe.
The Portugal winger has been used sparingly in United’s tour, only appearing from the bench amid questions as to how he will fit into Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation. Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw appear to be the favoured options on the flanks, with Ashley Young impressing during his opportunities in the wing-back role. The 27-year-old made just seven starts in each of the last two seasons, with a solitary goal to his name. Once considered a future star at Old Trafford, Nani now appears surplus to requirements, with the lack of suitors seemingly the only thing standing between him and the exit.
Most likely destination: Juventus (Sky Bet odds 2/1)
The Japan star also struggled for opportunities last year but has arguably never been given a fair chance in Manchester. He has made just 31 Premier League starts since arriving in 2012, with both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes struggling to fit the attacking midfielder into their systems. The arrival of playmaker Juan Mata last January surely signalled an impending exit for the 25-year-old, with a return to Borussia Dortmund or a move to Atletico Madrid touted.
Most likely destination: Atletico Madrid (Sky Bet odds 6/4)
The towering midfielder appeared doomed from the moment David Moyes brought him over from Everton, with the Old Trafford faithful questioning whether he could deliver the fast-paced attacking football they have come to expect. Fellaini blossomed as a target man in his final season for Everton, netting 11 times, but was dropped back into a deeper role when used by Moyes at United, predominantly disappointing. Recouping the majority of £27.5m spent on the Belgium international looks unlikely, with Napoli considered the most likely suitors. Rafa Benitez refused to be drawn on making a move but is expected to firm up his interest once Van Gaal passes his judgment.
Most likely destination: Napoli (Sky Bet odds 1/2)
Having been considered one of the game’s most promising midfielders when he arrived eight years ago, the Brazilian has slipped well down the pecking order in recent years. He was loaned out to Fiorentina for the second half of last season but once again struggled to pin down a starting berth, making just four starts for the Serie A outfit. A calf injury ruled him out of the US tour, so Van Gaal will have to make his judgment based on previous performances and his time at their training ground in Carrington. Few suggest he will stay, but a lack of suitors could once again be an issue.
Most likely destination: Reserves
It looks unlikely that Hernandez will be a regular starter with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck seemingly ahead in the attacking pecking order. With Van Persie left at home following his World Cup exploits and Welbeck injured, the Mexico striker was handed his chance in starting their final Stateside friendly against Liverpool but failed to impress. Atletico are once again favourites to secure his services at 5/2, while Inter Milan and Southampton follow in his next club betting at 3/1 apiece.
Most likely destination: Atletico Madrid (Sky Bet odds 5/2)