London, July 10 (IANS) Manchester United’s new chief coach Jose Mourinho will reportedly axe eight footballers as he tries to land Juventus’ French midfield sensation Paul Pogba, who has a nearly $130 million buy-out clause.
The Manchester United boss wants to work with 22 core men and the squad will also be trimmed with loans and sales.
The Sun quoted a source as saying on Sunday: “Jose has made it clear he wants to work with 22 key players.
“It means up to eight players heading out.”
Argentine defender Marcos Rojo, French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger are most at risk after poor seasons.
Adnan Januzaj was loaned last season and there are doubts over Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Juan Mata’s futures.
Mourinho will go head-to-head with former club, Champions League holders Real Madrid to try to sign Pogba.
Pogba is the most highly coveted footballer in Europe at the moment, with United looking to seal his return, while Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are also interested in signing the 23-year-old.
He left United for free in 2012 to join Juventus, where he has blossomed into a star. Bringing him back to England would be an expensive exercise for United, but Mourinho could be tempted to spend around $130 million for Pogba as he tries to reshuffle the under-performing United squad.
United are rumoured to have offered 13 million pound ($16.8 million) per season to lure Pogba.
Pogba made 48 appearances in all competitions for Juventus this past season, helping the club clinch a Serie A and Coppa Italia double.
United have already done business with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola this summer for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Serie A giants Juventus are interested in United’s Memphis Depay and make-weights could yet come into the equation.
United have PSG’s Blaise Matuidi and Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic as alternative options. Matic also has an offer from Juventus.