Four Man Utd stars fighting for their futures as players return for pre-season

The Manchester United squad returned to training on Monday after enjoying a well-deserved break following a long Premier League season.

Those who did not take part in Euro 2020 were summoned for the first pre-season session at United’s Carrington complex, with 18 players in total participating in fitness sessions.

But for a large section of those who were present, including Axel Tuanzebe and Tahith Chong, their time back at the club could be short-lived with questions lingering over several players’ futures.

England’s participation in the semi-finals means that Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and new signing Jadon Sancho will be delayed in linking up with the squad.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a number of decisions over players' futures at Man Utd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a number of decisions over players’ futures at Man Utd

And while they are absent, it gives a chance for some of United’s players who are fighting for their futures to prove their worth.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is poised to reshape his squad this summer after already clinching the signing of long-term target Sancho, with at least one attacking departure expected.

So, who is at risk of being shown the door? Mirror Sport takes a look at those who could be leaving Old Trafford this summer…

David de Gea

David de Gea could face a battle with Dean Henderson for the No.1 jersey
David de Gea could face a battle with Dean Henderson for the No.1 jersey

The Spanish goalkeeper faces something of a testing summer at Old Trafford after watching Dean Henderson emerge as a potential number one choice in goal for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season.

The Spaniard started the Europa League final defeat against Villarreal but Henderson was used predominantly as Solskjaer’s goalkeeper for domestic fixtures.

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After 10 years in Manchester, it is believed De Gea would consider leaving the Red Devils if Solskjaer demotes him to second choice.

Having already signed Tom Heaton as a reserve goalkeeper, the Norwegian boss faces a decision over the 30-year-old’s future, with Henderson viewed as United’s No.1 for many years to come.

De Gea may well get the opportunity across pre-season to prove he still has what it takes and rediscover the form that secured his status as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

But with clubs such as AC Milan on the lookout for a new stopper, he may seek a new challenge elsewhere.

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial could be the casualty from Man Utd's signing of Jadon Sancho
Anthony Martial could be the casualty from Man Utd’s signing of Jadon Sancho

Which Manchester United player do you think will leave this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.

The arrival of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund can only spell bad news for Martial.

The 21-year-old completed a £78m move in July to bolster the Red Devils’ backline as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer targets a Premier League title challenge.

And Martial’s place in the squad appears to be under threat, having scored only four Premier League goals in 26 appearances — his worst goal return since arriving at Old Trafford in 2015 from Monaco.

The French forward missed out on France’s Euro 2020 squad due to his dip in form and injury troubles and after losing his place under Solskjaer.

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Despite his disappointing form, there would be a long list of European clubs willing to form a queue for his signature and United may feel inclined to cash in to enable them to sign other targets.

Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek could be one of many players to leave Old Trafford this summer
Donny van de Beek could be one of many players to leave Old Trafford this summer

There is no doubt that Donny van de Beek is a fine player, but his £35m move to Man United has simply not worked out.

Just four Premier League starts have followed since his high-profile switch from Ajax in September 2020, which is all the more baffling considering he scored on his debut from the bench.

Clearly, Solskjaer harbours doubts about his suitability in his United team and has preferred a double-pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred, with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes occupying the attacking positions.

Van de Beek will be desperate to demonstrate he can perform for United after missing out on Euro 2020 due to an unspecified injury. But with United reportedly targeting Eduardo Camavinga, his time could be up already.

Speculation persists that the 24-year-old will head out on loan, with Real Madrid thought to be keen on reviving their interest after missing out on him a year ago.

It remains to be seen whether he will get the opportunity to impress Solskjaer, especially if Real submit a concrete offer.

Victor Lindelof

Victor Lindelof could lose his place if Man Utd capture Raphael Varane
Victor Lindelof could lose his place if Man Utd capture Raphael Varane

Solskjaer has reiterated his desire to sign a centre-back this summer to partner Harry Maguire and such comments will have Lindelof concerned.

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The Swedish defender has been a regular part of the first-team setup since arriving in a £30m deal from Benfica during Jose Mourinho’s reign in 2017.

The 26-year-old has gone on to make over 160 appearances for the Red Devils but doubts have been lingering over his level of consistency for some time.

Lindelof has been a mainstay in the team since Solskjaer succeeded Mourinho in November 2018 but his apparent pursuit of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane would surely see him reduced to a role on the bench.

United need world-class operators if they are to climb to the next level and challenge for honours, and Lindelof will need to show he can make the next step in his career during a critical pre-season.


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