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‘Get rid of them!’ – Wayne Rooney’s mis-directed urgent plea to Ten Hag to purge Man United squad

In anticipation of Man United expected to have a busy summer transfer window with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS top echelon management assuming control of recruitment ahead of next season, former United ace striker turned pundit Wayne Rooney has urged Erik ten Hag to either sell or release the vast majority of his squad ahead of next season.

United have clearly struggled throughout this entire campaign with performances way below par being the only deliverable the team has delivered consistently. Early exits in the Champions League and Carabao Cup have been compounded by a shabby Premier League season which would most likely see the Reds finishing seventh or eighth.

It is MEN Sport’s understanding United are keeping all their options open to offers to all players, with the exception of four – Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo are all believed to be off the table for other clubs – this summer as they are keen to substantially slash their exorbitantly high wage bill.

What is most befuddling, albeit also a tad amusing, is to see popular pundits – be they concerned former players or mere impartial observers – like Rooney directing their professional evaluations and constructive suggestions to Ten Hag, who everyone knows only too well is the last one who would have any real say on who stays and who goes at Old Trafford after the grand entry by Sir Jim Ratcliffe upon acquiring minority co-ownership of the club.

The irony of the situation is that Ten Hag himself is not spared yet from the guillotine that could very well be awaiting his own termination once the season is officially ended. Rooney and his pundit cohorts are more likely to have their good intentions and advice better acknowledged were they to direct all evaluations and contributions of this nature to Ratcliffe and the INEOS top brass, instead of to an individual who is already feeling the intense heat as one of the key perpetrators accountable for this season’s major debacle.

In the Sky Sports studio following the dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle on Wednesday night, United icon Rooney was asked to give his verdict on the United squad and he was immediately forthcoming with his suggestions about the moves Ten Hag should be making this summer.

“You have to build the team around Bruno Fernandes,” he said.

“He’s the one player with quality, he has got fight in him. I think the young players and then… all the other players get rid of them.

“I think you keep the young players, you keep Bruno and I think it has to be a massive clear-out. It has to be.

“It is not going to be in one year. I think it has got to be over the next couple of years.

“(Onana) I think he has got better. He had a shaky start to the season, but I think he has got better.

“(Defenders) For me I think [Diogo] Dalot has done well, [Harry] Maguire has had an in-and-out season. To compete they need better, they need better players to compete in this league.

“Don’t get me wrong, these players are good players, and good Premier League players, but to compete with Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal, they need better players. (Marcus Rashford) We all know Marcus has the ability and capability to play at the top level.

“And we haven’t seen that, I just wonder is it time for Marcus himself to go elsewhere, I don’t know. I think he has to ask himself that question.

“I want him to stay and break records at this club but he needs to get his head right and get his head down and work hard and get back to the player you know he can be.”

For what it’s worth and for all their best intentions, it looks like not everyone dares to man up and speak their minds to the real top brass when push comes to shove.