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Manchester United to rebuild squad following Champions League exit

Sir Alex Ferguson's side are not the only people in Manchester disappointed at the failure to progress to the group stage of the Champions League but the owners the Glazier family who must count the financial costs.

Failure to progress by minnows Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup Quarter Finals and Basel in the group stages of the Champions League has raised questions about the depth of the Old Trafford squad.

The Champions League is a gold mine and facing a future in the less lucrative Europa League the Old Trafford heirachy are ready to swing the axe. Manchester United are reportedly ready to accept offers for as many as half a dozen of the first team as Ferguson looks to offload under-performing members of his squad.

Ferguson was reported to have been incensed by his second strings performance at home to Crystal Palace and the Carling Cup and the Man United boss squad looked well short in Basel. He has a fairly large playing squad, with 32 at the club and another seven out on loan, Ferguson is ready to trim the numbers ahead of possible new signings in the January transfer window.

Ferguson is thought to have reached the point that he will now seriously consider offers for six of those he feels are not good enough.

Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes retired at the end of last season and the club did not offer Owen Hargreaves a new deal. Wes Brown and John O’Shea were sold to Sunderland and Gabriel Obertan to Newcastle United.

Fringe players Dimitar Berbatov, Mame Biram Diouf, Tomasz Kuszczak, Federico Macheda, Michael Owen and Darron Gibson could be the next players shown the door.

Ferguson must reduce his squad further if he is to build a squad for the long term. The likes of Mario Gotze, Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley and Neven Subotic have all been linked with the Old Trafford outfit.

The hopes of signing reinforcements must have been affected by their Champions League exit, a departure which has cost United anything up to £20m given the Europa League offers nothing like the financial rewards and the Glazer family may have to dig deep if they want to match the best in Europe.

TD

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