Six players will have their contracts expire at the end of this current season - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw. Of that group, Ibrahimovic is expected to seek a big money deal likely in the MLS while Carrick is planning to retire. Former Blue Marouane Fellaini should be of no interest to us while Ashley Young will likely take his one year option for an extension.
That leaves two left backs who have both been linked in past with a move to Everton. Both Blind and Shaw have found playing time hard to come by at United, but the Englishman is younger at just 22 and could prove to be the long-term replacement for the ageing Leighton Baines.
Blind certainly has the international pedigree with 52 caps for Netherlands and has only missed some time with a couple of ankle and knee injuries while Shaw has 7 England caps and has been notoriously injury prone for a young player his age, though there has been an element of bad luck with them as he was pretty reliable in his time at Southampton.
The Dutchman also happens to be one of the more versatile quality players in the Premier League and could help cover a number of different positions in defence and midfield.
Other players out of favour with Mourinho include fan favourite Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, and Chris Smalling. All four players pose interesting questions for Everton’s management as they can all be contributors in the Toffees squad.
Yannick Bolasie provides hijinks on the left side for the Blues but hasn’t necessarily been very efficient, with 1 goals and 4 assists in 26 games. The unfortunate injury he picked up that kept him out for over a year did not help things, but a player like Martial would be a definite upgrade on the Congolese international who turns 29 soon and is on contract until the 2020-21 season.
Martial is likely to be highly sought after if he is to leave, and Everton are going to have to come in with a big money bid for the youngster to win his signature, but he will certainly be worth it.
Ander Herrera has been upstaged this season by the additions of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, but remains one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. He’ll be 29 at the beginning of next season and hitting his prime with a year left on his current contract.
The Spaniard would be a great fit alongside Idrissa Gueye and would do an excellent job connecting the midfield and the forward line, an area Everton have struggled mightily at this season. Even in a three-man midfield with Gylfi Sigurdsson added to the mix, Herrera could be a solid contributor.
Ander Herrera, Man United 16-17. Probably their best midfielder two out of the last three seasons. He does everything well. pic.twitter.com/Wy9MWTCxaG— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) February 27, 2017
Juan Mata has been linked with the Blues previously, but the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson last summer makes the veteran unnecessary now. He has also played out wide on the right for the Red Devils but with Theo Walcott being added in the January transfer window means there should be no interest in the veteran.
That leaves defender Chris Smalling, who has also been rumoured to be on Everton’s radar as recently as the beginning of this season and then again in January. The defender has shown himself to be mistake-prone, but is certainly an upgrade on the abysmal Ashley Williams who really should have played his last game for the Blues.
However this clearout at United plays out, there are some interesting possibilities for the Everton Board this summer.