Man United's Reject XI led by Angel Di Maria, Wilfried Zaha, Javier Hernandez

It would not require a decoder to deduce that Jose Mourinho is dissatisfied with the squad of players he must work with at Manchester United. Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have each received public cold shoulders.

As well as spending £157.25 million last summer on new recruits, Mourinho is sifting through a group constructed by three other managers in Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. Last month, he expressed his regret at the sales of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal, Javier Hernandez to Bayer Leverkusen and Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain.

"Man Utd sold players that I would never sell, bought players that I would never buy," he told a BBC interviewer, but how might a team of United rejects sold since Ferguson's 2013 retirement look?

GK: Victor Valdes (Released, July 2016)

Valdes was made persona non grata after a fallout with Van Gaal, having made just two appearances for United. Gifting Antonio Valencia United's third goal in last month's 3-1 win at Middlesbrough was his most telling contribution to his former club.

RB: Rafael (Sold to Lyon for £2.5m, August 2015)

A United cult hero whose lack of defensive discipline was unappreciated by both Moyes and Van Gaal -- he probably wouldn't have met Mourinho's approval, either -- Rafael was shipped to France, where he is a regular for a team that may yet face his old club in the Europa League.

CB: Jonny Evans (Sold to West Brom for £6m, August 2015)

Evans never won Van Gaal's admiration and looked ill-suited to the Dutchman's initial three-man defence. Injuries and a suspension for spitting at Newcastle Chieck Tiote further reduced his involvement but he has been reborn at West Brom as a classy, poised defender. Mourinho's apparent doubts over Chris Smalling suggest Mourinho might have favoured retaining Evans.

CB: Michael Keane (Sold to Burnley for £2.2m, January 2015)

Sold against his wishes but after being told he was surplus to requirements, Keane has matured into a centre-back of burgeoning international class and looked comfortable when playing twice for England last month. United have been linked with re-signing Keane, while a move from Chelsea is also mooted.

LB: Patrice Evra (Sold to Juventus for £1.5m, July 2014)

Evra was allowed to leave in the light of Luke Shaw's £30m arrival and subsequently won two Serie A titles with Juve. Now at Marseille, he plans to play beyond the age of 40. Mourinho, no fan of Shaw, has often favoured the more senior player.

RM: Wilfried Zaha (Sold to Crystal Palace, £3m, February 2015)

There was no worse time to arrive at Old Trafford than the post-Ferguson flux of the summer of 2013. Zaha became a lost soul that Moyes chose to all but ignore. Returned home to Palace, he's become one of the Premier League's more reliable mavericks, with Spurs circling his signature. At least United will receive a fraction of any fee.

CM: Darren Fletcher (Free transfer to West Brom, February 2015)

"Lots of players who left under Van Gaal should still be there in my view," Fletcher told ESPN FC last week. It seemed odd that Fletcher was jettisoned when the Dutchman relied so heavily on the ageing legs of Michael Carrick in midfield. The Scot's second life as an ever-present for West Brom, where Ferguson found him a home with old pal Tony Pulis, has shown he had plenty left to offer.

CM: Tom Cleverley (Free transfer to Everton, July 2015)

Central midfield was an area of neglect in Ferguson's last years; Paul Scholes retired alongside him. Young pretenders like Cleverley and Anderson, the latter back in Brazil these days, failed to meet previous high standards. Cleverley was sent by Van Gaal on loan to Aston Villa before joining Everton, where manager Roberto Martinez hoped to make him "one of the most sensational players in Premier League history." His current loan to Watford would suggest that Cleverley, now 28, fell short of that and would be unlikely to be lamented by Mourinho.

LM: Angel di Maria (Sold to PSG for £44m, August 2015)

Di Maria joined Mourinho at Real Madrid in the summer of 2010 and starred during the Liga title win of 2011-12. With United struggling for creativity on the flanks, where Mourinho seems unsure of Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mkhitaryan, the Argentine might be of considerable use. Whether Mourinho, himself still living in a hotel, could convince Di Maria, who never took to the city, of Manchester's merits is a rather different question.

FW: Javier Hernandez (Sold to Bayer Leverkusen for £7.3m, August 2015)

United lack a finisher. Even Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hardly been convincing in that department. The Mexican international was cast aside in Van Gaal's cull of summer 2015 and has struggled a little more than during a superlative first season in Germany. He'd surely be a handy option from the bench as Mourinho has yet to locate his "super-sub."

FW: Danny Welbeck (Sold to Arsenal for £16m, August 2014)

Injuries have raddled his three seasons at Arsenal, but his talent remains rich, as evidenced by two sweet strikes in a 5-0 FA Cup win at Southampton in January. "The day Danny Welbeck was sold to Arsenal was a sad day," said Fletcher, and Mourinho, favouring 4-3-3, would surely appreciate Welbeck's athleticism and discipline on the flanks.


GK Anders Lindegaard (Free transfer to West Brom, August 2015)
DF Fabio da Silva (Free transfer to Cardiff, January 2014)
CM Anderson (Free transfer to Internacional, February 2015)
MF Shinji Kagawa (Sold to Borussia Dortmund, August 2014)
MF Nani (Sold to Fenerbahce for £4.25m, July 2015)
ST Robin van Persie (Sold to Fenerbahce for £3.84m)