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Manchester United manager David Moyes is set to wield the axe in the New Year and could sell as many as four under-performing stars, according to the International Business Times.
Moyes has watched on as the side he inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson crashed to their worst start to a league season since 1989, winning just four of their opening nine Premier League games.
And now, the former Everton boss is set to come down hard on his flops in the January transfer window, with the futures of defender Rafael and midfield trio Anderson, Ashley Young and Nani all believed to be under threat.
Portuguese winger Nani has made five league appearances this term but has yet to make a serious impact following a season in which he fell down the pecking order under former manager Ferguson.
Fellow wide man Young has also been criticised for a series of inadequate performances in recent weeks, and has evoked the wrath of critics for his penchant for diving.
The 28-year-old has so far failed to live up to the form he enjoyed at Aston Villa that persuaded United to pay 17 million for his services two seasons ago.
Another misfiring midfielder who fans won’t be surprised to learn faces an uncertain future is Anderson, with the Brazilian struggling for form and fitness for a number of seasons now.
Should he leave, Moyes will almost certainly make fresh approaches for a new central midfielder, having gone in for Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera in the last window.
One surprising name on the list however is Anderson’s Brazilian compatriot Rafael, who was first-choice right-back under Ferguson’s era but has struggled with injuries for much of the current campaign.
However, there is competition for his place in the starting XI, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones able to play in his position, and the 23-year-old may be deemed surplus to requirements.
Should Moyes decide to part company with any of the four, he will almost certainly reinvest the proceeds on new players in January, after being criticised for his inactivity in the market this summer.
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