Players most likely to be leaving Man United: Ibrahimovic and Rooney out?
This article was originally published on May 30.
Jose Mourinho is set to reshape his Manchester United squad this summer. Despite winning the EFL Cup and the Europa League, United fell short in the Premier League and, with a Champions League campaign to prepare for next season, are expected to bring in about four new players this summer. To make room, the manager is set to allow other members of his first-team squad to leave Old Trafford.
Here's are the five players most likely to depart United ahead of next season.
Ibrahimovic's contract with United will expire in June and, if he doesn't sign a new one, he will be able to leave for nothing. His future has been complicated by the knee injury he suffered against Anderlecht in April that ultimately ended his season.
The striker, 35, has started his rehabilitation after having successful surgery in the United States. But he is not expected to return until the new year, and that would be a long time for Mourinho to wait.
Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to LA Galaxy, but his agent Mino Raiola has insisted the Swedish forward will stay in Europe. Raiola has, however, conceded it might not be at United.
Rooney, 31, has seen his role at United reduced this season, and it has cost him his place in the England team. His situation at Old Trafford is unlikely to get any better with Mourinho planning to bring in more attacking players. After signing off with the Europa League trophy, Rooney might feel it is the ideal time to leave.
He doesn't have to because he is still under contract, but he has said he would like to play more regular first-team football, with Everton and the Chinese Super League as his most likely destinations. Rooney is to play in Michael Carrick's testimonial at Old Trafford on June 4, and a decision on his future is not expected until after that
Smalling has seen his first-team chances come under pressure because of the arrival of Eric Bailly last summer and the form of Marcos Rojo, though with both unavailable for the Europa League final, Smalling was picked to partner with Daley Blind at the back.
However, sources have told ESPN FC that United are open to offers for the 27-year-old centre-back. Mourinho has made signing a new defender a priority this summer, and United have been linked with Burnley's Michael Keane and Benfica's Victor Lindelof.
Darmian couldn't get into United's squad at the start of the season, but he ended it in the starting lineup for the Europa League final.
The 27-year-old Italian defender filled in at right-back and left-back as Mourinho was forced to deal with an injury crisis during the second half of the season. Antonio Valencia has won the battle to become first choice on the right, but the opposite flank remains a problem position, especially with lingering doubts about the future of Luke Shaw.
Darmian said after the Europa League final that he wants to stay at Old Trafford, but he might have to return to Italy to find regular football.
Januzaj, 22, was sent to Sunderland last summer to get more Premier League experience. But the Belgian winger suffered a disappointing season under David Moyes as Sunderland were relegated to the Championship.
Januzaj did little at the Stadium of Light to warrant a United recall. And, when asked in April about the forward's future, Mourinho said he had already made a decision. That is likely to mean Januzaj, who still has a year left on his contract, will be allowed to find a new club this summer.
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.