Manchester United Transfer News: Big-Name Stars Set to Exit Old Trafford

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2014

Manchester United's Nani in action during their English Premier League soccer match against Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Clint Hughes)
Clint Hughes

David Moyes' sacking throws a number of Manchester United players' futures into doubt.

A host of big-name stars are expected to make their way out of Old Trafford—whether it be due to unrest, poor performances or the pitfalls of old age—ensuring a summer of major change will ensue.

As momentum toward the end of the season gathers pace, we detail the latest news around those who are currently being touted to move on.


Big-Name Stars Set to Exit Old Trafford

Danny Welbeck

Kerstin Joensson

It says something about the current state of affairs at United when Danny Welbeck is being linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur. The Salford-born forward is United through and through, but he reportedly became disillusioned with a lack of opportunities under Moyes, per John Drayton of the Daily Mail:

Danny Welbeck could be on his way out of Manchester United this summer, with Tottenham Hotspur joining a number of clubs in the hunt for his signature. The striker has two years left on his contract but is exasperated at a lack of consistent first-team chances up front.

Welbeck has started just 17 games across the Premier League and Europe this season, per Moyes farmed the Englishman out to the left wing for the majority of his appearances, limiting his chances to impress in a central striker's role even when Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were injured.

No United fan will ever question Welbeck's willingness to work hard no matter where he is placed on the pitch. Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail believes the local lad "might think twice about his plans to quit United now that Moyes has gone," giving the club hope he will commit to a prosperous future.



Clint Hughes

This exit has seemed a long time coming. Nani's dismal display during the loss to Everton summed up a player who rarely reaches his potential in a red shirt. He was lazy, sloppy on the ball and out of position for the most part, but he is still reportedly attracting the gaze of Juventus.

In fact, Ben Jefferson of the Express believes the Serie A club are willing to sell Paul Pogba in order to fund a move for Nani and teammate Robin van Persie:

Top of the Turin side's list is Dutch striker van Persie who was unsettled by David Moyes' arrival at Old Trafford and may yet push for a move away from the club depending on who replaces the Scot.

Juve also have a long-standing interest in Portuguese winger Nani, who may likewise wait to see who is installed in the United hot-seat before making a decision on his future.

As Jefferson notes, van Persie recently confirmed he is content at United, meaning his transfer is unlikely to go through—perhaps even more so now Moyes has exited. Nani is certainly a realistic target and is unneeded as the fallen English champions rebuild from a difficult season.

Oddly, Moyes rewarded Nani with a five-year contract in September 2013, meaning his United career could continue to whimper on for some time yet, per BBC Sport.


Tom Cleverley

Jon Super

A figure of abuse for many United fans, and those outside the club, Tom Cleverley's career stalled under Moyes. The English midfielder is the type of player who flits under the radar when performing well and stands out when playing badly, making him an obvious target for many.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez rates Cleverley's ability, and having worked with the player during his loan spell at Wigan, is reportedly eyeing an £8 million bid for an individual he feels is misjudged, per Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail:

What has happened is not Tom’s fault, I think he is as good a talent as we have in the English game, and he is still growing.

[...] You wouldn’t get this in other countries, and I find it disappointing that he is being judged so aggressively when he has not even reached 200 games.

Martinez also believes Cleverley is better suited to the Dutch or Spanish style, insisting "he is a real example of someone who has the talent but just needs the platform and environment and direction to be allowed to express himself."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Tom Cleverley of Manchester United and his team-mate Danny Welbeck (l) react after conceding a second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Janua
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Like Nani, Cleverley's career has stuttered so repeatedly that he needs a move away from Old Trafford to get back on track. Martinez has worked wonders with Gareth Barry this season—who found himself in a similar position at Manchester City last year—and is the type of positive character who can significantly improve Cleverley's performances.

United's desired personnel is likely to alter depending on who is installed as the new boss. Players such as Welbeck have the ability to remain key, but those in the bracket of Nani and Cleverley may have run out of chances at the Theatre of Dreams.

A summer of spending is planned, per David McDonnell of the Mirror, meaning a plethora of the club's underperforming stars could find themselves shunted toward the door. Moyes' sacking highlights incompetence won't be accepted from the backroom staff, it's just a matter of time until we find out if the players can expect similar treatment.



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