As Manchester United’s players prepare to take on arch rivals Liverpool in the International Champions Cup final in Miami on Monday, many realize this could be their last game in a red shirt.
New United manager Louis van Gaal has so far given every player a chance to impress on the clubs U.S. tour, but that all ends after their final game in Miami.
[RELATED: United, Liverpool meet in ICC final]
Every player was handed a clean slate when the Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford following the World Cup this summer and now its make or break time for several as a clean sweep is expected. In order to pave the way for new additions, van Gaal will make cuts this week and will be up front and honest with those who are surplus to requirements.
Here’s what LVG had to say about his plans for a massive cull.
“You always have to give a chance to the player to make a transfer [to leave] when you see that his chances of playing are not high. You have to say it in advance because 31 August is too late. I shall say to the players what I think after this tour.”
Good or bad news, United’s players can be assured of one thing: van Gaal will give it to you straight.
So far his no-nonsense approach has won him plenty of fans among the playing staff, supporters and neutrals, as he’s whipped the Red Devils into shape and has his players champing at the bit to impress. So, which players are on the chopping block?
Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa have been linked with moves away from United for so long but the duo combined to see Hernandez scored against Real Madrid on Saturday. Maybe they will stick around, for now. Others like Wilfried Zaha, Nani, Anderson and Tom Cleverley have all played bit-part roles in North America thus far and will be looking worriedly over their shoulders.
With Marouane Fellaini rumored to be heading out of the door, plus the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Johnny Evans still trying to impress in defense, it seems as thought van Gaal’s new-look United could start to take shape later this week.
An exodus should lead to an influx of new players. One needs to happen before the other and van Gaal is about to start wielding the axe.