David Moyes is bracing himself for a rebuild at Manchester United.
He inherited a squad in need of major surgery and the work will start in earnest in the summer. There are doubts hanging over a number of the squad members including Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra, Anderson, Nani and Fabio and conceivably, as many as 10 members of the first-team could head for the exit.
But while it might appeal to Moyes, desperate to make his mark at Old Trafford, to clear the decks and start again, there is danger in such a bold strategy.
United's squad, assembled by Sir Alex Ferguson, might have under-performed so far this season but it is still full of career winners. Players who have been there and done it, ones who have won Premier Leagues, Champions League titles, FA Cups and League Cups.
Moyes will have to bring in players with impressive CVs to replace them.
Even the older players, those past their 30th birthday, still have something to offer—if nothing else, guidance for the younger players and new arrivals. After all, it's important they learn quickly what it means to play for United.
There are few at Old Trafford who embody that more than Nemanja Vidic. He might be 32 and coming off the back of two injury-plagued seasons but he has shown this season that his best form is not yet beyond him.
His partnership with Ferdinand, the foundation for years of success at Old Trafford, might have been retired this season but it's not time to send Vidic out to pasture just yet.
But Moyes might find he faces a fight to keep Vidic, whose contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer.
Rumours of a summer move to Galatasaray are gathering pace although his agent Silvano Martina told the Manchester Evening News this week that speculation that the Serbian defender has already agreed to leave is wide of the mark.
It is understandable that Moyes wants to put his own stamp on the squad he inherited last summer. New players make it easier to get his message across, to build a team in his image rather than Ferguson's.
But when Moyes was putting his backroom staff together in the summer he made sure he kept United men on board, appointing both Phil Neville and Giggs.
He would do well to adopt the same policy when he overhauls his playing squad. That means going out of his way to keep Vidic in red.
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