Date: 8th June 2007 at 6:10pm
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After all the speculation about who we should sign, Vital United decided to have a look about the possible departures.

Now that David Gill has commented that there will be some departures at Manchester United with new faces coming in, we must brace ourselves for the sell of players whom we have grown to love over the years.

Let’s have a look at each of the departments.

Goalkeepers: All will stay, none will come, no need to say more.

Defenders: This area is crowded with rumours at the moment. United are very well covered in defence, and as Gill had said, excellent players are due to return from loan so surely at least one of them will go. Who will it be?

Gabriel Heinze: As much as I’d hate to see him leaving, he’s the primary candidate for it. Would command a reasonable fee if we could convince him not to buy out himself from the rest of his contract. Big clubs are after him where the position of left-back is not covered well whereas his place at United is far from assured with Patrice Evra’s quality around. Barcelona should buy him, he’s better than Van Bronckhorst or Sylvinho. If they get Abidal, Heinze’s chances of staying increase.

Mikael Silvestre: Another one who might be forced to find the exit door. In terms of his quality as a player, he’s far inferior to Heinze so financially it would make more sense to sell the Argentinian. In a footballing sense, one would say it’s simple: keep the better, drop the worse. But whereas we know that Silvestre accepts being a squad player, it’s not yet known how Heinze would react to being second choice. And despite his superior quality, an unsettled player could do much damage whereas Silvestre is a player who does his job quietly. Eric Abidal’s future could well have an impact on Silvestre’s, too: if Lyon sell him to Barcelona then the Catalans won’t need Heinze but Lyon might try to replace Abidal with Silvestre.

John O’Shea and Wes Brown: I think both will be kept as cover though they had been linked with moves to Everton, Villa, Newcastle and Celtic. They had already said they wanted to finish their career at United so I don’t think either will leave – though the emergence of Evans could mean that as cover for Gary one of them will become surplus to requirements.

The midfield

Darren Fletcher was rumoured to be on his way to Celtic but I don’t think he’ll leave. Scholes not getting younger, Hargreaves is a new boy – we’ll need the Scot as a reliable squad player.

Ji-sung Park is out with a serious injury so none will buy him though his place would be under threat with Giggs, Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson around. His future will be subject of more speculation next summer I believe.

Kieran Richardson is certain to leave. A move to Sunderland, for example, would be OK. I think he could do a good job at a lesser team but he does not have the talent and more importantly, the footballing intelligence to become a success at Old Trafford.

Chris Eagles might be loaned out again or sold – unfortunately, despite a couple of bright displays at the end of the season, I can’t see him holding down a place in the squad.

Attackers

The trickies area. We need more options here yet some say the current crop is short not only on numbers but on quality as well and they suggest that major reshuffling is required. Whereas I don’t think that will happen it’s possible that someone will leave.

Alan Smith is the primary candidate. He seems to have lost a yard of pace since that horrible leg fracture and is a bit short on confidence. He wants to stay and wants a new contract but rumours say he’d been told he wouldn’t get one. I don’t know if it’s true but it’s certain that he could do well at a lesser Premiership club. The question is, can he still make at United?

Louis Saha: For me, selling Saha would be a non-starter – he simply offers too much quality. Unfortunately, his injury curse makes him an absolute liability and therefore if we are to keep him then we need players of proven quality for backup. If we had a Saha with the fitness record of Rooney, there would be no need to look for more strikers.

That’s all. Why didn’t I mention Evra, Vidic, Rio, Gary, Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney or Ole? I think it’s absolutely certain that none of them will leave the club this summer.

What do you think? Make your suggestions below or on our message board!