Who will stay or go under Mourinho?
Our writer singles out who Mourinho should keep and who should be kicked out of United
Football's worst-kept secret is out, and it is now a matter of when, and not if, that Jose Mourinho will be confirmed as the new manager of Manchester United.
As the saying goes, a new broom sweeps clean.
Some of the Red Devils who have been under-performing will be fretting over their United future.
We single out the ones whose places are in jeopardy and the others who deserve a second chance under Mourinho.
The man Gary Neville tipped as a future United captain when he made the move from Blackburn Rovers five years ago is now England's forgotten man.
Ravaged by injuries, the versatile 24-year-old defender has made just 92 Premiership starts over five seasons.
With three years left on his contract, now is the best time for United to recoup some of the £17 million ($34.2m) they paid for the injury-prone defender.
He was recruited on the back of his fine showing at the 2014 World Cup with Argentina but the attacking fullback has found it hard to adapt to the faster and more physical Premier League.
Rojo, who can also operate as a centre back, has a tendency to attract off-the-field controversies, which will not help his cause.
At the moment, he looks more like a liability than an asset.
Mourinho, despite his reputation for defensive football, has never been afraid to accommodate players with flair.
But Mata certainly does not have the zest or the energetic influence of a Mesut Oezil (at Real Madrid) or a Wesley Sneijder (at Inter Milan).
Mata was sold to United by Chelsea in January 2014 because he lacks defensive attributes.
With Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera capable of playing in his playmaker's role, the Spaniard's future looks to be in jeopardy.
Despite the hype surrounding his arrival at Old Trafford, the injury-prone Schweinsteiger has been a massive disappointment.
In his 13 Premiership starts, he has often looked indecisive and slow.
Many in the United camp were irked by the special treatment Louis van Gaal afforded him, which saw him regularly return to Germany between United's games.
He is a ticking time bomb the club can do without.
He was the wonder kid who at one time had several countries, including Belgium, Albania and Turkey, fighting to hand him the national team jersey.
But his development has stagnated over the past two seasons, which even saw United recall him from his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund due to a lack of games in Germany.
He's been left out of Belgium's Euro 2016 squad and it looks like his United career is doomed too.
Those ageing legs no longer pack the spring, but the midfielder, who turns 35 in July, has not yet outlived his purpose.
As one of the few leaders in the United squad, he can be a stabilising factor in the dressing room during Mourinho's bedding-in period. A club during transition can always do with a positive influence, and Carrick fits the bill perfectly.
Attitude problems. Check. Poor performances. Check. The man touted as one of the world's finest young footballers is going through a rough patch in his career.
But surely, the dynamism and talent which saw him light up the Dutch Eredivisie couldn't have disappeared overnight. His mediocre performances in England could be down to van Gaal putting him in a straightjacket.
A robust midfielder who is shaped in the Mourinho mould. His ability to carry out instructions as told is one of his other strengths. Whether his unpopular standing among the United faithful will affect the new manager's decision is another thing altogether.
But, when on top of his game, few in the Premiership comes close to matching his commanding presence in the air and his insatiable desire to win every challenge.
He arrived from Southampton at the start of last season looking like the final piece in United's jigsaw. But the defensive midfielder hasn't quite lit up Old Trafford just yet, struggling to cement a place in the starting 11.
There have been enough glimpses of his ability though to suggest more is to come from the Frenchman.
He was understandably horrified when van Gaal asked him to be the back-up centre forward last term.
But it also speaks volumes of his versatility. The winger's ability to also operate as a fullback and his experience make him a valuable squad member.
FIVE FUTURE RED DEVILS?
Manchester United appear to be closing in on securing Jose Mourinho as their new manager following Louis van Gaal's departure on Monday.
The playing staff at the club is expected to undergo some significant revamping this summer and Press Association Sport looks at five candidates who would appear to fit the bill as potential new signings for Mourinho at United.
1 JOHN STONES
Mourinho is widely perceived as not having much trust in young players, but the Portuguese certainly seemed interested in Stones last summer when still in charge at Chelsea, with the London club having a string of bids for the 21-year-old Everton centre back rejected.
A somewhat shaky season has followed for Stones, but it is clear the England man has the potential to be a major star, and a partnership with international colleague Chris Smalling at the heart of United's backline could work very well for the long term.
2 SERGIO RAMOS
Ramos is someone who has played for Mourinho already, as part of his Real Madrid team and, along with experience, offers everything he wants from a defender - defensively reliability, a decent contribution in attack and general tenacity.
The 30-year-old Spaniard (above) was linked with United last summer and, although he later signed a new deal with Real, it is not out of the question that the switch could still happen.
3 NEMANJA MATIC
The 27-year-old Serbia midfielder was a vital player in Mourinho's Premier League title-winning Chelsea side of 2014-15 and, like Ramos, would add considerable solidity and bite to an area of the United team which has lacked that somewhat.
4 KARIM BENZEMA
United have some promising youngsters in attack but managed to score only 49 goals in the Premier League in 2015-16 and the addition of a powerful, no-nonsense striker in Benzema would appear a virtually guaranteed means of addressing the situation - certainly the 28-year-old France international's potent form for Real under Mourinho and since would suggest as much.
5 ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
United have seemingly been crying out for some personality on the field of late, and the maverick Ibrahimovic, who is being strongly linked with Old Trafford, would undoubtedly bring that.
He is another frontman to have thrived under Mourinho - they had a season together at Inter Milan - and who boasts a goal record throughout his career most can only dream of.
The Sweden international is now 34, but there is plenty of expectation he will have a positive impact on English football should he arrive this summer after leaving Paris St Germain.
Image rights delaying Jose deal
Manchester United were locked in a second day of talks with Jose Mourinho's agents yesterday, hammering out a deal to sweep the controversial Portuguese boss into Old Trafford.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager has agreed personal terms on a three-year deal with a likely annual salary of at least £10 million ($20m) but issues remain over image rights, Sky News television reported.
The 53-year-old is mulling a bid for Zlatan Ibrahimovic as one of his first moves in the job, according to media reports, after the star Sweden striker played his final game for French champions Paris Saint-Germain last week.
Meanwhile, former United midfielder Paul Scholes said a lack of improvement from the previous season eventually cost Louis van Gaal his job.
"You always feel sorry for someone who loses his job, but it didn't quite work. He got them back into the Champions League in his first year, but I don't think there was any improvement from that," he said.
"United fans expect a certain style of play, attacking. It didn't come, which hopefully the new manager will bring them."
Uncertainty also lingered about the future of van Gaal's deputy Ryan Giggs, who had been seen as a potential successor but has been passed over.
Mourinho is expected to bring long-time assistant Rui Faria and goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro with him.
Scholes said it would be a loss to the Red Devils if Giggs was edged out or felt he had to go.
"If Ryan wants to go away and manage, I'm sure he'd be very good at it, but I'd be sad if he left the club after more than 20 years. He knows how the club work," he said. - AFP.