After a very turbulent season, José Mourinho’s Manchester United finished the season with two major trophies and Champions League qualification.
While their Premier League form and overall sixth-placed finish was utterly appalling, there is a valid reason to be optimistic if you are a fan of the Red Devils.
The summer transfer window always promises to be exciting, but there is a sense around the club that Man United are ready to pull the trigger on some very exciting players.
However, they also need to sort out who is surplus to requirements and free some of the wage bill up.
Here are six players who could find themselves in and out of Manchester United this summer.
It is one of the most evident transfers waiting to happen. Similar to Paul Pogba’s arrival last year, Griezmann is continually being linked with ‘stepping closer’ to joining his French teammates at Old Trafford this summer.
The French forward has a buyout clause of approximately £86m – a fee Manchester United will have to pay, given Atlético Madrid’s refusal to enter in negotiations.
However, what is new with Spanish buyout clauses is that clubs do not need to pay tax on the player’s clause, therefore saving money.
One would suspect that Griezmann would essentially replace the outgoing Wayne Rooney, just sitting in-behind the lone striker, but can also do a job as the number nine in the team.
It is no secret that Michael Carrick is getting on in his career. By the start of the new season, the former England international will be 36 years old. Quite obviously, he cannot be starting a vast amount of games and will need to be used sparingly.
Fabinho, as a defensive midfielder, has been exceptional in AS Monaco’s title-winning team this season. Not only can he play at the base of a dynamic and attacking midfield, the Brazilian can also play at right back.
Filling in two roles at once, Fabinho could also be used at times when first choice Antonio Valencia deserves a well-needed rest. The versatility aspect to his game is what could be crucial for Manchester United when playing in four highly strenuous competitions.
With the season-ending knee injury to Marcos Rojo and the underperformance of both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, it has become evident that Manchester United are in desperate need for a new centre back.
Having sold Keane to Burnley just two years ago for a measly sum of £2m, Mourinho is prepared to reportedly spend around £20m to bring him back to the club. While not as big of a mistake as Pogba, the Red Devils need to steer clear of making this a habit – it is a very expensive way of loaning players.
Keane would possibly interchange with Rojo in United’s back line with Eric Bailly the stalwart in that defence. Given the Argentinian World Cup finalist’s form before his injury, it will provide great competition and should raise the quality of performances.
While Sir Alex Ferguson had utter faith in Smalling’s ability, he has not lived up to what was regarded a very promising potential.
There were glimpses of what might have been under Louis Van Gaal, but since Mourinho has taken over, Smalling has regressed to his former self and does not look like a Manchester United centre back.
The England international is far too skittish on the ball and can barely find his man when trying to start attacks from the back. It is all to predictable as he hoofs the ball forward into a channel for either Marcus Rashford or Zlatan Ibrahimović to run into or hold up the ball.
With two years left on his contract, and carrying the English premium with him, Manchester United can command a respectable fee for the centre back. It is now time to cut ties.
Unfortunately for England and Manchester United’s all-time record goalscorer, his demise has been well documented for all to see.
It is never nice to see such a historic and renowned player go through the worst season of his life in such a public manner. However, there is no denying that Rooney’s legs have evaded him and the ball along with them.
He just is not the same player he once was. When he was younger he thrived off bursting past defenders with the ball in his feet, full of energy and power. But he cannot play this way anymore – he simply does not have the same qualities he once possessed.
Everton are lurking and seeing what is and is not possible in regards to signing Rooney, while a few MLS clubs have offered an escape package for the England captain.
While his chances of making England’s World Cup squad would take a huge hit if he were to move across the pond to America, it might just do him the world of good taking a backseat in the media.
Young has been one of Manchester United’s longest serving players for some time now, but it is clear that Mourinho needs to strip the club of its deadwood.
Unfortunately for the left back-cum-left-winger, that means leaving the club he has been at for the past six years.
In his prime, Young was a great squad player and most definitely contributed more than his fair share. However, time is now up and Manchester United need to move forward and not plateau.
Young had the chance to leave last January, but the offer, which came from China, did not swing things for him and he remained in Manchester.
Given he only has one year left on his contract, the transfer fee is not expected to be eye watering at all. The former Aston Villa player is also 31 and his resale value will be next to nothing.
Young is evidently not at the standard United require their squad players to be operating at – Mourinho will make sure that he assembles a team that he can fully trust for next season.