With the reputed record signing by Manchester United of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba still said to be nearing completion, reports emerged yesterday that new Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho had trimmed nine players from his squad.
German captain at the recent European Championships,and a World Cup winner, Bastian Schweinsteiger, was said to be among the players who will either be sold or be sent out on loan. The German was signed from Bayern Munich for £7m last season by Louis van Gaal, but he has been hindered by injuries.
On a day when Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic trained with the United squad for the first time, the nine were said to have trained with the under-21 players at the club’s Carrington training complex. Mourinho was said to have spoken to the players concerned individually.
United’s next match is against Galatasaray in Gothenburg tomorrow, followed by Wayne Rooney’s testimonial game against Everton on Wednesday. The Community Shield against league champions Leicester City is scheduled for Sunday, August 7.
Apart from Schweinsteiger, two players who made a reasonable impression last season, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Tim Fosu-Mensah, were included in the group of nine, the Daily Mail reported.
Mourinho has said his ideal squad numbers 24, and he has apparently informed Brazil under-20 midfielder Andreas Pereira and striker James Wilson that they should try to get first-team experience on loan and fight for a place at United in the future.
Wilson might be one of the players who could still prosper at United, but he is still working on improving his fitness after spending last season on loan at Brighton.
The other quartet of sidelined players are Adnan Januzaj, Will Keane, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair, although no clear details were available on which of the group of nine players would be sold outright.