Daley Blind and Juan Mata will be high-profile victims of Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United this summer, Sky Sports News HQ understands.
Mourinho, who was shown around United’s Carrington training ground by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Sir Bobby Charlton on Monday, is already planning his assault on the summer transfer market, and has identified a number of key targets.
Neither Mata nor Blind are expected to feature in Mourinho’s plans for the forthcoming season as he builds a team, which he believes, can win the Premier League.
It is understood Mourinho would approve the sale of both players this summer should United receive acceptable bids, with the expectation he can sign players to directly replace them.
Mourinho sanctioned Mata’s sale to Manchester United from Chelsea in January 2014 for a fee in the region of £33.5m, despite the Spaniard being named Chelsea’s Player Of The Season six months earlier.
At the time, Mourinho was unhappy with Mata’s work rate and pace, and also held doubts about the his tactical suitability for his preferred system. It is understood he has not changed his mind since, which in all likelihood spells the end of Mata’s time at the club.
Meanwhile Blind, signed by Van Gaal for £14m in his first summer transfer window after arriving at Old Trafford, does not fit the physical profile Mourinho looks for in his central defenders, deeming him also surplus to requirements.
Mourinho has a history of signing tall, fast, strong central defenders, such as Kurt Zouma and Raphael Varane at Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively. The physical attributes of both players were seen as key factors in their recruitment, and Mourinho had no qualms in introducing them to the first team at a young age.
Blind was also critical of the manner of Van Gaal’s sacking last week, just days after winning United’s first piece of silverware since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. He claimed Van Gaal should have been given more time in charge, making him seemingly at odds with Mourinho’s appointment.
“I always worked well with him and would have been keen that the co-operation lasted longer,” Blind told reporters at the Netherlands’ training camp in Portugal.
“Over the last six months he has not been treated fairly. I think a manager like Louis van Gaal, who has achieved so much already, deserved more respect.
“Even though there was so much being written about him losing his job over the last months, he always looked to protect and shelter us. It is not easy for a coach if you are repeatedly being fired in the newspapers.”