Alex Ferguson prepares clear out at Manchester United

16 May 2011 06:21
ShareManchester United may be on the brink of a domestic and European double but they will carry out the biggest overhaul of their squad in 16 years this summer.

Chief executive David Gill confirmed on Sunday that veteran Paul Scholes is likely to follow Gary Neville into retirement and up to eight more could leave Old Trafford in the most significant shake-up since Sir Alex Ferguson famously turned to his young generation after offloading Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis in 1995.

Tomasz Kuszczak - horribly unconvincing at Blackburn on Saturday - will follow Edwin van der Sar out of the club while Michael Owen is unlikely to be offered a new deal. 

Retiring: Man United legend Paul Scholes is unlikely to continue playing next season

Injury-plagued Owen Hargreaves is out of contract and, at best, can expect a pay-as-you-play agreement, while Ferguson has a big decision to make over Dimitar Berbatov, who has become an increasingly peripheral figure despite being the Premier League's leading goalscorer.

Wes Brown, Darron Gibson and even Jonny Evans could also be sold if the right offers come in.

Ferguson is set to move for Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder and Ashley Young of Aston Villa although his interest in Everton youngster Jack Rodwell is believed to have cooled.

United are also expected to sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea, with Gill confirming: 'We know the keeper we want. We are in a good situation with that.' 

Target: Davide De Gea is Ferguson's No 1 choice to replace Edwin van der Sar

On Scholes, he added: 'It wouldn't surprise us if Paul Scholes retired. He will have a conversation with Sir Alex at the end of the season.'

Despite the doubts about the squad, Ferguson believes victory over Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley a week on Saturday would 'end all arguments' about this being the weakest of his 12 title-winning teams.

United have faced criticism all season that they lack the star quality of previous generations but victory at home to Blackpool on Sunday would put Ferguson's side on 80 points - one better than the Treble winners of 1999.

'Beating Barcelona would end all arguments about this team and that is their challenge at Wembley,' said the Old Trafford manager. 'It's not fair to say it is a bad United team or a bad league.

'It's difficult to say where this one stands because we've had some great teams. The 1994 team and the one in 1999 stand out.'

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 Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes, Mark Hughes, Ashley Young, Wesley Sneijder, Edwin Van Der Sar, David Gill, Tomasz Kuszczak, Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, Paul Ince, Wes Brown, Gary Neville, Owen Hargreaves Places: Barcelona

Source: Daily_Mail