Bengaluru, May 3: Jose Mourinho has reportedly told defender Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian to leave the side in the coming transfer window as the Portuguese boss is set to cut loose some of the deadwood from the squad. The news came to the limelight after the duo were excluded from a recent photo-shoot for the team’s new kit for the next season, implying they are no longer in the club’s plans.
Both the players have only made three starts in the Premier League this season and now have been informed that they are surplus to the requirements with United believed to be targeting two new defenders next season - one centre-back and one full-back at least.
It is also believed that both of them have been notified that they won't feature in United's pre-season tour to the USA and in their place, youngsters Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe will be in the travelling squad.
The duo now has been linked with a move to Serie A, with Juventus interested in Darmian whereas Blind could opt for AS Roma or Inter Milan.
Darmian joined United in 2015 under then manager Louis Van Gaal for £12.7million from Torino after a superb season with the Italian side. However, since his arrival in England, things have not gone exactly to plan for the Italy international.
In Jose Mourinho's two seasons at United, the 27-year-old has not got many starts and has mostly been used as a sporadic player. So far this season, he has played less than 500 minutes of first-team football.
Thus, to get more game time under his belt, the full-back has reportedly set his sights on a return to Italy and seeing his situation, Serie A giants Juventus apparently have made an offer for the player in the upcoming summer transfer window.
On the other hand, Blind joined Manchester United in 2014 under Louis Van Gaal for £13.8 million and played two important seasons under him as a regular starter. However, after the arrival of Mourinho, he lost his first-team place. The Dutch defender was used as a backup at left full-back and sometimes in the centre of defensive third in Mourinho's first season.
But this season, things have gotten worse for the 27-year-old, who has only managed to make 16 appearances in all competitions.
Blind was earlier heavily linked with a move to AS Roma during the January window when the Serie A club enquired about signing the Dutchman on loan. United, however, rejected their approach to find a more permanent solution.
United pulled an option to prolong Blind's contract by a further year in February in order to stop the Dutch international leaving on a free transfer in the summer. Now, they are ready to listen to offers, with Inter and Roma the potential candidates.
Blind is also believed to be eager to move to Italy and apparently indicated that he is willing to accept a drop in his £75,000-a-week wages.
To replace the defenders, Mourinho has reportedly made a shortlist of targets. Juventus’ Alex Sandro, Fulham’s 17-year-old starlet Ryan Sessegnon, Tottenham’s Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld, Celtic's youngster Kirena Tierney and Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti are linked at the moment.