Manchester United confirm list of released players
Li Xiang
The Premier League's Manchester United on Friday released a list of 15 players who will not be the "Red Devils" next season. Meanwhile, the club also offered new contracts to five players including Juan Mata.
The 15 released players can be divided into three groups: Veterans, youngsters and loans. United's captain Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera belonged to the first kind. 33-year-old Valencia only played nine games in all competitions for United in the 2018-19 season – he's already marginalized in the club. Herrera had already said goodbye to fans in May.
Seven young men will also leave the Old Trafford: Matthew Olosunde, Tyrell Warren, DJ Buffonge, Callum Gribbin, Millen Baars and Josh Bohui and James Thompson.
The on-loan group includes six names: Regan Poole (Newport County), Zak Dearnley (Oldham Athletic), Tom Sang (AFC Fylde), Callum Whelan (Port Vale), Matty Willock (Crawley Town) and James Wilson (Aberdeen). Wilson is probably the biggest name in this group as he had been seen by many as a promising star before slowed down by injuries.
Juan Mata of Manchester United in the game. /VCG Photo

Juan Mata of Manchester United in the game. /VCG Photo

United offering new contract to Mata will raise some eyebrows. On one hand, the 31-year-old Spanish midfielder only made 32 appearances for the club last season, the second-fewest since he arrived at the Old Trafford in 2014; on the other hand, Mata's contract with United will be over this summer and, according to Sky Sports, he is negotiating with Barcelona for a new job. Whether the Red Devils should him keep as well as at what cost will be a test for the club's management.
Transfer work will not be picnic for United this summer. Manchester Evening News reported this week that since the transfer window opened, there were already 60 players with their names linked with United. Some were nothing but ridiculous like Mohamed Salah; some are toxic contracts like Gareth Bale; others were either trying soak United or using the club as bargaining leverage in negotiations with other clubs.
The Red Devils only have themselves to blame. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left, the club has lacked a clear, long-term plan for either managers or players. They offered too many unnecessarily high salaries – no wonder many saw the club as a foolish spender.
Before they make any big purchase, United probably should do some cleanup. Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba have already become liabilities after the disappointing 2018-19 season. United should get rid of them when there are clubs willing to introduce the two, especially over Pogba. United made a mistake paying Juventus 105 million euros (about 119 million U.S. dollars) for him, they cannot expect any other club to make the same mistake again.