Manchester United have been linked with a number of potential January signings, as outlined in one of my more recent articles.
But for all these potential arrivals, there are, of course, a number of names who we could possibly see making the move away from Old Trafford.
Whether by choice or not, these players’ days with Manchester United could be well and truly numbered if a number of reports are to be considered true.
This article rounds up five of the most speculated potential departures, assessing whether or not such exits will be of benefit to the club.
While this fee would represent a loss on the £17 million Sir Alex Ferguson spent on bringing Nani to Manchester, it is still a significant fee.
It must be remembered though, that Nani did contribute more assists than any other player in the Premier League last season. So, perhaps his early season displays have merely been a case of poor form rather than a deterioration of quality.
Either way, if United can secure a replacement with the money they make from him, then it is certainly something that the club should look into. If they cannot atone for his loss, though, they would be wise to retain a player who has certainly delivered in the past for United.
Federico Macheda looked destined for big things after breaking onto the scene with a well-taken winning goal against Aston Villa in the 2009 run-in that proved pivotal in helping United defend their Premier League title.
But his career since then has been disappointing to say the least.
His agent has spoken of interest from Germany and Spain, but no concrete offers as yet would make his options appear somewhat limited at present.
But with the wealth of attacking options that Manchester United now boast, he doesn’t look likely to break into the first team any time soon.
A move elsewhere would most probably suit all parties involved.
Bebe’s rise to the top was a real feel-good story.
Raised in an orphanage, he spent part of his childhood living on the streets and even represented Portugal at the Homeless World Cup, before completing a lucrative move to Manchester United in 2010.
But since his arrival in England, his career has well and truly stagnated; he has featured for United in just two league games.
Bebe also endured a fruitless season-long loan at Turkish side Besiktas, where he unfortunately suffered a cruciate ligament injury, before more controversially finding himself banished from the first-team squad for breaking a curfew for staying out too late.
Ferguson has since stated that the Portuguese’s Old Trafford career is not necessarily over yet, but like his teammate Macheda, Bebe will have a tough time breaking into United’s first team ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Another loan spell would seem largely pointless, so don’t be surprised to see Bebe leaving United permanently during the next transfer window.
Yet another striker to be linked with a move away from Manchester United in January, though perhaps Hernandez’s departure would be the most noticeable of all.
He has found playing time tough to come by after the emergence of Danny Welbeck and the signing of Robin van Persie, but the Mexican remains a great asset and one that Manchester United would be sensible to keep hold of.
His current record of 24 Premier League goals in 59 games is testament to his ability, thus United should work to fend off any potential suitors and hang on to the 24-year-old.
Though his role in the team at present is slightly limited, one must remember Robin van Persie’s proneness to injury. If the Dutchman were to suffer another lengthy lay-off, then Hernandez may once again become one of United’s most important attacking threats.
Club captain Nemanja Vidic is certainly the biggest name on this list, but he has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in recent weeks.
Anything could still happen of course, and one has to wonder if Vidic would be able to resist the lures of a new challenge in Barcelona or Turin for instance.
But from a United point of view, the situation is somewhat difficult. They are currently incredibly short-staffed in the defensive department, thus selling arguably their most reliable centre-back would seem borderline ridiculous.
But at 31 years old, age is no longer on his side, and he is somewhat susceptible to lengthy spells on the sidelines due to injury as we have seen time and time again.
So should United cash in on their skipper?
In the short-run, I would have to think not. His presence, both on the field and off it, is vital to the club during a time when younger stars such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are being eased into the first-team fold.
But if an equally adept—and less injury-prone—replacement can be secured, perhaps the sale of Nemanja Vidic will not entirely be out of the question.
Stranger things have happened, that’s for sure.