Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Hernandez and Kagawa to be the first casualties of Van Gaal's Manchester United clear-out

Moving on: Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez may exit
Moving on: Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez may exit

Manchester United are expecting Atletico Madrid to make a move this week for out of favour duo Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez.

United manager Louis van Gaal will return from the club's pre-season tour of the United States and turn his attentions to players who he will deem have no future at Old Trafford.

While Marouane Fellaini and Nani will be waiting nervously for the Dutchman's judgement, it appears Kagawa and Hernandez are already leaving the club.

The La Liga champions are desperate to boost a squad depleted by the departures of Diego Costa and Filipe Luis to Chelsea while Javier Manquillo is poised to join Liverpool, who United played last night in the final of the Guinness International Champions Cup, so there is little surprise that manager Diego Simeone wants Kagawa and Hernandez in a deal which would total in excess of £25 million.

Kagawa, who wants to play as a No 10 – a role which Van Gaal would prefer to fill with one of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata or Adnan Januzaj – made just 14 league starts last season while Hernandez is also preparing to be told his future lies elsewhere with Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck all ahead of the Mexican striker.

"I shall make judgements after this tour, " said the Dutchman.

"I let all the players play and I know now more than before the tour. It is now a little bit soon to judge but in football you have to judge.

"You have to give a chance to the player to make a transfer when I see that their prospects to play are not so high. You have to say it in advance because it's too late after August 31. I will tell the players after the tour."

The situation with Fellaini however is not as straightforward. The Belgian, who was signed for £28m by Moyes yet proved to be an unmitigated disaster, will return to United's Carrington HQ after some impressive displays for Belgium in this summer's World Cup. He is wanted by Rafael Benitez at Napoli.

The Italians however cannot afford neither his wages or a transfer fee and would like a loan, something which doesn't appeal to United with the player nervously awaiting Van Gaal's verdict before making a decision on his own future.

Van Gaal has sent coach Marcel Bout back to England to work with the likes of Van Persie, Januzaj, and Fellaini, who have been given time off following their exploits at the World Cup.

"They (Van Persie, Fellaini and Januzaj) have already trained. I sent Marcel Bout back to train them, along with Nicky Butt," Van Gaal admitted.

Van Gaal thinks Van Persie is unlikely to be fit to face Swansea on August 16, but the other two could be in contention for United's Barclays Premier League opener, depending on how they react to training.

"I have to look at Robin van Persie if he is coming back or not," said Van Gaal, who coached the striker at the World Cup.

"But if you have three weeks holiday and only four days training before the Valencia friendly (on August 12) you are not fit enough.

"For the first game in the Premier League it's possible but I don't think so."

United's money-spinning tour of the US started amid a blaze of publicity in Los Angeles, but two-and-a-half weeks later, their presence in the US is a lot more low-key.

Only a couple of hundred invited guests turned up at the Sun Life Stadium to watch United's final training session in America.

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