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Van Gaal to axe TEN players in the summer — reports

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Another off-season of chop and change is looming

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With United's hunt for silverware over, it's time for the press to begin their traditional post-mortem, and begin numbering the dead. The Telegraph have made a strong start, citing a grand total of TEN players who either will, may, or could find their Old Trafford careers terminated over the summer.

"Ten!" we hear you cry. "Ten?" we hear you repeat, wonderingly, and with a hint of sadness. Well ... sort of.

While ten players are named in the article, this includes David de Gea, who United absolutely do not want to sell but might sort of have to; Robin van Persie, who has one more year on his contract but is "expected" to see that out; and two more, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young, who are being "considered" for a new deal.

That leaves six. One is Radamel Falcao, who will, apparently, and to nobody's great surprise, be sent back to Monaco. Another is Javier Hernandez, whose existence TBB had entirely forgotten until he popped up on the Real Madrid bench last night. A third is Rafael, who scored a gorgeous wrongfooted chip for the reserves last night. And who wants to see this sort of behaviour in a full back?

That leaves three: Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. And while arguments can be made for the swift and prompt disposal of them all, we'll be very surprised if United sanction the departure of all three over the same summer. Two at most, we reckon. Jones and Evans, if you pushed us.

So ... *counts on fingers* ... let's try that again. VAN GAAL TO AXE DEFINITELY FOUR, POSSIBLY FIVE PLAYERS OVER THE SUMMER, ALONG WITH ANOTHER ONE WHO WON'T BE AXED BUT WHO MIGHT, TO THE REGRET OF ALL CONCERNED, DECIDE TO MOVE ON.

Much better.