Manchester United defenders Smalling, Young and Bailly facing axe… but who will replace them at Old Trafford

The Red Devils’ backline has been leaking like a sieve this season, conceding 21 goals in just 12 matches.

And the Special One is ready to take no further chances after failing to persuade Ed Woodward to rebuild in the last window.


Eric Bailly could be the first to depart, with AC Milan reportedly ready to bring him to Serie A.

The Ivorian has been frozen out of United’s starting XI and looks a shadow of the player who arrived from Villarreal in 2016.

Chris Smalling is another centre-back on the verge of leaving, with SunSport exclusively revealing strong interest from Everton.

He is available on a free transfer next summer and looks set to be cut loose in order to free up room for new faces.

Meanwhile, Marcos Rojo is reportedly closing in on a move to Premier League new boys Wolves.

The Argentine is yet to feature this season after recovering from a lengthy injury lay-off and could be offloaded as early as January.

Also facing the chop is Ashley Young, with the veteran full-back available on a free at the end of the campaign.

However, SunSport understands that Italian side Roma are keen to sign Young from Old Trafford, and are ready to present an offer when the winter transfer window opens.

The Italians are keen on Matteo Darmian as well, with the full-back falling down the pecking order under Mourinho.

SunSport has also exclusively revealed he is a target for Inter Milan too.


Technically not an incoming signing, Phil Jones is set to have his 12-months contract extension triggered by United.

The England ace has proven to be valuable in times of need and will still feature for the Red Devils next term.

United fans can also look forward to more appearances from Diogo Dalot, who has impressed in his handful of appearances.

Toby Alderweireld could yet make the move to Manchester after revealing he is yet to agree a new contract with Spurs.

Mauricio Pochettino may have no other choice than to sell as the Belgian’s deal ticks down, with United attempting to sign him last summer.

United are also keen on Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar, who has emerged as one of Serie A’s top defenders.

However, the Italians won’t sell on the cheap, with the Slovakia international valued at £100million by boss Luciano Spalletti.

Meanwhile, Mourinho reportedly looks set to miss out on Juventus hard man Medhi Benatia.

Arsenal are also keen on bringing the Moroccan to England, but he now looks set to join Gonzalo Higuain at AC Milan on loan this winter.

There could be some success with Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen though, with the Sampdoria ace reportedly a £26m option for Mourinho.

Anderson would be cheaper and easier to sign than most other options, and has the potential to get even better in the future.

Much depends on whether Jose gets the money he wants after complaining that the club failed to bring in the players he asked for in the summer.

And with doubts about his future still hanging over him, it may be a case of having to make do with what he's got for the rest of the year.

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