Manchester United seemed to have turned a corner just before the Coronavirus hit the world, halting all major footballing action.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes, in particular, has rejuvenated the team, and there is optimism now where there seemed none at the start of the season.
Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to further revamp the team when the transfer market opens, with elite players across Europe linked to the Manchester club.
To achieve this, though, they have to free up some funds and that will mean letting some players leave in order to also create some room for new arrivals.
So, who are the players likely to be forced out of Old Trafford?
1. Jesse Lingard
The 27-year-old is on top of the list of players likely to be shipped out. He has seen little game time in recent months, and with United having an abundance of midfielders and wide-area players, Lingard’s time at the club seems to be coming to an end.
He has not been prolific, and his return of two goals and one assist in 32 appearances so far from last season is too little to convince the top chiefs at the club.
Roma, Leicester and Atletico Madrid have been mentioned as possible destinations for the Englishman.
2. Andreas Pereira
The Brazilian, just like Lingard has dropped down the pecking order at the club thanks to the emergence of Scott McTominay and Fred rediscovering the form that saw United pay around £52m for his services.
Again, the signing of Bruno Fernandes further casts doubt over the 24-year-old’s long-term future, and he might be one of the casualties come the end of the season.
3. Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez is currently on loan at Inter Mian and as such, remains on Manchester United’s books.
Despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinting at welcoming the Chilean back to Old Trafford, the club will be eager to get him off their books as he is one of the club’s highest earners.
4. Paul Pogba
Pogba’s future at the club has been the topic of discussion for months now. He admitted to being eager for a new challenge elsewhere before the start of the current campaign, but nothing materialized and he stayed.
Recent reports indicate he will be willing to extend his stay and partner new signing Bruno Fernandes in midfield, but his agent admitted last week that he ‘will take a great player’ to Real Madrid, hinting at a possible move for the Frenchman.
To be honest, no one knows where the midfielder will be playing his football next season, but he might be among the players to move away from the club for the second time in his career.
5. Phil Jones
The defender has been at United for nine seasons now. He has never convinced many of the club’s fans and every summer there is talk of him leaving.
United have strengthened at the back and Ole Gunnar has a number of options ranging from Bailly to Maguire, Tuanzebe, and Lindelof.
Will this be that summer the former Blackburn Rovers man walks through the exit door?