Manchester United are set for a squad rebuild this summer, having experienced their worst-ever season in the Premier League era.
Incoming boss Erik ten Hag will be backed with transfer funds, but the initial focus could be on offloading unwanted players within the squad.
A number of stars including Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic will be leaving at the expiry of their contracts, and there could be several more heading for the exit door.
This could include some defenders that are out-of-favour or in need of more first-team experience. Here are five defenders that could leave United this summer.
The right-back had been United’s undisputed starter for the previous two seasons. He started the current campaign similarly, but has barely played since the turn of the year.
While Wan-Bissaka has been excellent with his tackling, he has not had the same effect going forward. Under interim boss, Diogo Dalot has been the first-choice right-back.
The Portuguese has been willing to make regular overlapping runs and there are already suggestions that Ten Hag plans to keep him for the forthcoming season.
Meanwhile, United have been linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Nordi Mukiele. There are no surprises that Wan-Bissaka has been fancied to head for the exit door.
Bailly signed a new contract in April last year with the assurance of becoming a key player, but that has hardly been the case. In fact, he has dropped further down the pecking order.
Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof have been preferred ahead of him all season. Since the turn of the year, even Phil Jones has got the nod to make the starting XI on occasions.
Having not played a single minute under Rangnick this year, he will undoubtedly push for a summer exit. The former Villarreal man may not be short of offers during the summer.
Marseille are planning a permanent bid for him after a failed loan move in January. They could face competition from AC Milan and Roma, who are managed by former United boss Jose Mourinho.
Jones made his first competitive appearance in over 700 days against Wolverhampton Wanderers (January 3). Despite a 1-0 defeat, he was one of the best performing players on the field.
Rangnick heaped praise on him after the performance, but the central defender has hardly played since. Jones has made just four more appearances, totalling just over 100 minutes.
The 30-year-old has already hinted that he is prepared to move on to secure regular game time. He was touted to join Bordeaux on loan in January, but was not keen on helping their relegation battle.
Having spent almost his entire campaign in the English top-flight, Jones could be eyeing a move to another Premier League side. He could be signed for a nominal fee with his deal expiring in June 2023.
Tuanzebe was highly-rated coming through the youth ranks, but injuries hampered his early progress. After multiple loan stints at Villa, he got the chance at United last term, but managed just 918 minutes.
He was once again loaned out to Villa at the beginning of the current season, but his contract was terminated midway for him to join Napoli on another temporary deal.
Unfortunately, the move has been another disappointment. He has made just two appearances for the Serie A outfit, and has been a regular unused substitute throughout.
The 24-year-old will return to the Red Devils this summer, and it remains to be seen what happens. Another loan stint could be on, but Tuanzebe may ideally want a permanent exit.
Mengi was loaned out to Birmingham City at the turn of the year, and he was a regular starter for eight successive Championship games before his injury concerns struck.
He managed just one more substitute appearance and was recently sent back to Carrington to step up his recovery. The 20-year-old still had a productive loan stint in west Midlands.
He registered an impressive 1.7 tackles and 4.6 clearances per game. The youngster also won two aerial duels on average. Without Mengi, Birmingham experienced a dip in form.
With the vast experienced personnel in the first-team squad, Mengi may not breakthrough next term. He could now be loaned out for an entire season such that his progress can be analysed.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com
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