THE STORY Daily Mail reports that van Gaal has drawn up a list of players he wants to offload before the transfer window closes, which will be presented to chief executive Ed Woodward later this week.
The report focuses on six players under threat in the new regime, including one of the first signings of the David Moyes era, Marouane Fellaini. Others on the hit list are Shinji Kagawa, Wilfried Zaha, Nani, Anderson and Javier Hernandez.
Van Gaal said following United’s preseason tour, “I shall make judgments after this tour. I have let all the players play and I now know more than before the tour. Now, also, it is a little bit soon to judge, but in football you have to judge.”
TRUTH RATING: 6/10 Even for a new manager like van Gaal, getting rid of all these squad players so close to the start of the season would be a ruthless move. Despite a beleaguered season under David Moyes, Fellaini would be unfortunate to lose his place in United’s squad. He had no time to play for his place in the United States, having only returned from an extended post-World Cup break last week.
Napoli are the club most likely to sign him should he become available, with both transfer and loan moves a possibility.
Hernandez and Kagawa deals appear more likely, with Atletico Madrid expected to sign the striker and attacking midfielder in a double swoop. Hernandez is behind Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck in the United pecking order, while Kagawa looks out of place in van Gaal’s new 3-5-2 formation.
With Nani and Anderson gone, van Gaal would have plenty of wriggle room to play with United’s under-strength midfield. Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado would be a dream big-money buy for United fans, while Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have impressed during their US preamble.