Nemanja Matic has said he wants to stay at Manchester United and will snub his "many" admirers if offered a contract extension.

Serbian midfielder Matic can leave Old Trafford on a free at the end of the season if United decide against renewing his deal.

The 31-year-old has started each of the club's past six matches in all competitions and scored the only goal in Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final second-leg win over Manchester City, before being dismissed for two bookable offences.

Pep Guardiola labelled Matic "outstanding" after the match, and the former Chelsea man hopes United will reward his return to form.

"I've got a contract until the end of the season," Matic told reporters. "I'm at Carrington every day and open to talk if they think I can help. If not, life will go on.

"No discussions have happened yet, but my position is clear. It's a pleasure to represent this club. I came here to win and if they want me to stay then of course I'll give my best to win trophies."

Matic can already ink a pre-contract agreement with clubs elsewhere in Europe and revealed he had options.

"I can't tell who is asking for me but for sure, when you play at Manchester United, many clubs are looking to sign you," he said.

"That's not only me, it's for every player – especially when you're out of contract.

"My first option is Manchester United, but if they decide something else then there are always solutions."

United's victory at the Etihad Stadium failed to earn them an EFL Cup final berth as rivals City advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

Their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League also remain in the balance, with six points separating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men and fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.

Matic suggested more signings like Bruno Fernandes were necessary for the club to achieve success.

"The club wants to give chances to youngsters, and there is nothing wrong with that, but at a club like this, people also demand results," he said.

"Supporters are used to trophies. The young players are giving their best but they need time, and the problem is that in these kinds of clubs you do not have time."

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has returned to Argentine club Estudiantes on a short-term loan deal.

Rojo, who was close to joining Everton on the final day of the close-season transfer window, has found opportunities difficult to come by at United this term.

The 29-year-old, signed for £16million from Sporting CP in 2014, has now left Old Trafford, returning to Estudiantes – where he started his career – on loan until the end of the campaign.

Able to play at centre-back or left-back, Rojo has struggled with injuries during his time at United and made 76 Premier League appearances in total.

Estudiantes, who sit 12th in Superliga Argentina, were the first to announce a deal had been struck, posting a video to their official Twitter page along with the caption: "You always return to the places where you were happy. Because of the sense of belonging, it's stronger.

"Your dream and that of the Pincha family has come true. We meet again. Welcome and thanks for coming back, Marcos. We welcome you with our hearts."

United, whose manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had said on Tuesday he did not expect to see Rojo leave prior to Friday's transfer deadline, subsequently confirmed the defender's temporary departure.

Estudiantes welcomed Rojo's former Argentina team-mate Javier Mascherano to the club at the start of the month.

Manchester United have completed the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP, the Portugal international signing a five-and-a-half-year deal to bring one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas of the January window to an end.

Speculation linking Fernandes with a move to Old Trafford had intensified in recent months, but the prospective deal looked to have fallen through last week due to United reportedly refusing to meet Sporting's asking price for the midfielder.

However, an agreement between the two clubs was duly reached and announced on Wednesday, with Sporting confirming they would receive £46.5million (€55m) up front and up to £21.1m (€25m) in add-ons.

After travelling to Manchester to discuss personal terms and complete a medical, Fernandes is now a United player. 

His deal, which runs until 2025, has the option for a further year.

The 25-year-old becomes United's first signing of the window and provides Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a much-needed boost in midfield, an area where he has found himself short of options following injuries sustained by Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Solskjaer told United's official website: "We have been tracking Bruno for many months and everyone here has been tremendously impressed with all his attributes and what he will bring to this team.

"Most importantly, he is a terrific human being with a great personality and his leadership qualities are clear for all to see.

"Bruno's goals and assists stats speak for themselves. He will be a fantastic addition to our team, and he will help us push on in the second part of the season.

"The winter break is coming at a perfect time for us to integrate Bruno into the squad and for him to get to know his team-mates."

Fernandes scored 15 goals in 27 games for Sporting this season.

New Manchester United signing Bruno Fernandes said he has been in love with the club since watching Cristiano Ronaldo play for the Red Devils.

United on Thursday completed the signing of Sporting CP midfielder Fernandes for an initial fee of £46.5million (€55m), with up to £21.1m (€25m) to follow in add-ons.

The 25-year-old, a team-mate of Ronaldo in the Portugal set-up, signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at Old Trafford, with the club retaining an option to extend the deal for a further season.

After impressing at Sporting in his debut season in 2002-03, Ronaldo earned a move to United and won three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Club World Cup before joining Real Madrid in 2009 for what was then a world-record fee.

"My love of Manchester United really started when I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play and ever since then I have been a big fan of this great club," Fernandes said in a club statement.

"For me to now play for Manchester United feels incredible, I have worked hard to get to this moment and I can promise the fans that I will give everything for the badge to help bring us more success and trophies.

"I want to thank Sporting for everything they have done for me. It is surreal to hear the nice words that have been said about me from players that used to play for this team.

"A massive thank you to Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and everyone at Manchester United for the trust they have shown in me and I can't wait to start to repay that on the pitch."

Fernandes took his first steps in professional football with Italian side Novara, before moving onto unspectacular spells with Udinese and Sampdoria.

However, the creative midfielder hit new heights with Sporting, contributing 63 goals and 52 assists in 137 appearances for the club.

Fernandes twice won the Taca da Liga and lifted the Taca de Portugal with Sporting.

He was also a member of the Portugal squad that won the inaugural Nations League last year.

Manchester United have completed the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP, the Portugal international signing a five-and-a-half-year deal to bring one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas of the January window to an end.

Speculation linking Fernandes with a move to Old Trafford had intensified in recent months, but the prospective deal looked to have fallen through last week due to United reportedly refusing to meet Sporting's asking price for the midfielder.

However, an agreement between the two clubs was duly reached and announced on Wednesday, with Sporting confirming they would receive £46.5million (€55m) up front and up to £21.1m (€25m) in add-ons.

After travelling to Manchester to discuss personal terms and complete a medical, Fernandes is now a United player. 

His deal, which runs until 2025, has the option for a further year.

The 25-year-old becomes United's first signing of the window and provides Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a much-needed boost in midfield, an area where he has found himself short of options following injuries sustained by Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Bruno Fernandes looks to have signed his contract with Manchester United after his agent posted a photo to Instagram.

United confirmed on Wednesday they had reached an agreement with Sporting CP to sign Portugal playmaker Fernandes.

The fee for Fernandes will be an initial £46.5million (€55m) and a potential further £21.1m (€25m) in add-ons, including additional sums for a number of appearances, Champions League qualification and individual objectives.

Fernandes is understood to have undergone a medical with United on Thursday, and his representative Miguel Ruben Pinho was the first to share an image of the 25-year-old in his new club's colours.

A photo shared to Pinho's official Instagram account showed the agent and Fernandes, wearing a United training kit, standing next to a contract seemingly ready to be signed – or already signed – by the midfielder.

Fernandes has long been a reported target of United, while Tottenham and Barcelona have also been credited with an interest in the past.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola in condemning the supporters who misbehaved during Wednesday's derby.

Nemanja Matic's strike earned United a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium, but it was not enough to prevent City advancing to the EFL Cup final with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

The game was somewhat marred by events in the stands as videos circulated on social media of City fans appearing to make aeroplane gestures in reference to the Munich air disaster.

Tempers frayed at full-time and a number of seats were allegedly ripped out and thrown from the away end.

Guardiola criticised the actions of those involved, a day after United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's house was attacked, and Solskjaer echoed the Catalan's views.

"Yeah, I've just got to stand behind Pep there," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"You know, football is a game, it's a game we should all enjoy, spectators, the ones who watch it on telly, the ones who're playing. 

"I keep telling the players every time, go out with a big smile and enjoy yourselves. Work hard, yes, and fans should always try to enjoy the games. 

"We want rivalry, but let's keep it at a sane level. And let's make sure we eradicate that. I stand behind Pep there and I think all of us do. We want to make this a nice game."

City will face Aston Villa, 3-2 aggregate winners against Leicester City, in the Wembley final on March 1.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United need "someone who wants to break their nose to score a goal" as the end of the January transfer window draws near.

United were denied a place in the EFL Cup final on Wednesday, with a 1-0 second-leg victory over rivals Manchester City not quite enough to overturn a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer was again without top-scorer Marcus Rashford, who is facing a lengthy lay-off due to a stress fracture in his back, leaving Anthony Martial and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood as his only striking options.

"We need more goalscorers, we need more goals. That's a definite," said the United manager.

"I need someone who wants to break their nose to score a goal, or their toe. It doesn't have to be the nice ones. We know that."

While United - who sit fifth in the Premier League, six points outside the top four - are running out of time to bring in another forward, Solskjaer is determined to get more goals out of the players already at his disposal.

"I'm challenging them and I need to challenge them more because we can't just score nice goals," he added.

"We're going to get there, no doubt, because these players want to learn. They've improved so much."

Pep Guardiola praised Ed Woodward's work at Manchester United and criticised the fans who misbehaved during Wednesday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City lost 1-0 to their bitter rivals but still advanced to the EFL Cup final thanks a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Videos circulated on social media during the game appeared to show City fans making plane gestures - in reference to the Munich air disaster - towards the United supporters, who reportedly ripped out and threw seats.

City boss Guardiola condemned the actions along with the individuals involved in Tuesday's attack on the home of United executive vice-chairman Woodward.

"I don't like it," Guardiola said. "I don't like what happened with Ed Woodward at home. You see the squad for United, it's really good. Honestly, it's really good.

"So that is not the way to do that. When you talk about what happened [City fans making plane gestures], I didn't know it. If it would happen, that is not nice. Absolutely not."

Nemanja Matic's first-half goal split the teams in the second leg of their semi-final tie, though a wasteful City always appeared destined to go through after securing a 3-1 advantage in the first encounter.

United's win was their second in as many months at the Etihad Stadium and Guardiola suggested opposite number Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the Red Devils headed in the right direction.

"I like a lot the way they played. I said when we lost here [in December], they don't need much. The quality of the players up front is incredible," the Catalan said.

"When we lost at home against them, I had the feeling they are trying to do what the manager Ole wants and I think it works. Maybe they are not consistent in all the games, maybe at home they are struggling a little bit against teams that defend deep. But I like the way they play, their qualities.

"[Victor] Lindelof, I saw it in Benfica, is an incredible player, [Harry] Maguire is one of the best central defenders in the world. The people up front, they are so fast. Matic and Fred, they're incredible players. Matic is an outstanding player.

"I think if you give them time, they will come back to what United was for many, many years."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slammed referee Kevin Friend's "joke" decision to send off Nemanja Matic but was impressed with Manchester United's display in Wednesday's EFL Cup win at Manchester City.

Matic scored the only goal of the game in the first half, though the 1-0 victory for United was insufficient to book their passage through to the final, with City's 3-1 first-leg win ultimately proving decisive.

With United chasing a second goal towards the end, Matic was shown a second yellow card for a cynical trip on Ilkay Gundogan, adding to the earlier booking he received for catching Riyad Mahrez.

Solskjaer fumed at the dismissal and questioned why referee Friend was so harsh on Matic yet seemingly allowed several City players to escape punishment for infringements, with Pep Guardiola's men regularly criticised before for an apparent reliance on so-called tactical fouls.

"Of course, it's hard to come here [to the Etihad Stadium] and score a goal with 11 [men] never mind 10 [men], and it was never a sending off," Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

"It was an absolute joke, for me. It was ironic really that he gets a yellow on his first foul, almost gets a yellow on his second foul - which wasn't even a foul - and then the last one wasn't a yellow.

"How many times did they foul us? How many times was Daniel James fouled? How many times in the first half did they foul Jesse [Lingard]?

"That's the first question asked, and it shouldn't be like this because I'm so proud of these players.

"They've beaten City now twice in six weeks, at their place. We've come so far with these boys, they've given absolutely everything."

Despite the second-leg defeat, City will face Aston Villa in the final on March 1.

Wednesday in Manchester, and as one institution reaches the end of the line, another was supposedly hurtling towards the buffers.

After years of letting down customers, providing pathetic value for money, laughable reliability and plummeting towards national laughing stock status, Manchester United and the humiliated rail franchisee Northern should probably compare notes.

As the UK government effectively brought Northern's journey to an end, a thought came to mind: there's another faltering institution that might benefit from nationalisation.

The Glazer family's ownership of United reached a nadir - its latest nadir - on Tuesday when the unpopular executive-vice chairman Ed Woodward saw his home apparently attacked by thugs, who through some perverse logic felt they were doing the right thing for their favourite football club.

If he won't go willingly, so their theory probably went, we'll drive him out through force. The theory is absurd, as Gary Neville reasoned before the latest Manchester derby, telling Sky Sports the images of violence at Woodward's home were "unfortunate", stressing: "People's families shouldn't be attacked through sport or through football."

But Neville is also fed up: fed up of waiting, fearful the old express train is being shunted towards the scrap yard by owners who care about only one thing.

The former United captain warned the protests are "going to get worse", said supporters are "absolutely disgusted" with the regression of the team, and spoke of simmering tensions coming to the boil.

The mayors of Liverpool and Manchester spoke earlier in the day of "almost two years of misery and mayhem" for train passengers, but United supporters, such as Neville, would tell you their suffering has gone on for longer.

United, so everyone says, would be better off in someone else's hands. Almost anyone but the Glazers and Woodward would appease supporters who have had to put up with ... only winning eight Premier League titles this century.

This sob story has to be put into some sort of added context though, and in the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium an embattled United side showed they are not resigned to rotting in the sidings while Manchester City have the run of things.

United in January 2020 are not yet a lost cause. They sit fifth in the Premier League, have Europa League knockout football to come, and Bruno Fernandes is arriving: hailed as a saviour before he has kicked a ball or even signed his contract. No pressure then.

Fifteen miles from Old Trafford stands Gigg Lane, Bury, a stadium which used to stage lower-league football and United's reserve games but this season is staging nothing, the local team having been expelled from the English Football League in August amid a financial crisis. Fans there are bereft. Never mind nationalising a club, how about rationalising the crumbling of such a totem of that town to faultless supporters who, according to local MP James Daly, are now experiencing "increased social isolation".

Bury fans have been silenced, but United's thousands found their voice when, after 35 minutes of withstanding almost incessant City pressure at the Etihad Stadium, they snatched the lead with a swish of Nemanja Matic's left boot as the ball whistled past Claudio Bravo.

Never mind that they managed just one shot to City's nine, United led at half-time and were back to 3-2 behind on aggregate. Waiting on the platform for the late arrival of any sort of footballing gratification, of course those in United's ranks relished the moment.

Normal service would surely be restored in the second half, yet City wanted to walk it in. Raheem Sterling was ponderous when he should have been punishing, and goodness knows how City failed to score when Harry Maguire gave the ball away on the edge of the six-yard box.

United then lost a key component of their midfield rolling stock, Matic seeing a second yellow and a red for a reckless shove, and yet Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team still pushed for a goal to level the tie.

It was unsurprisingly beyond them, Pep Guardiola's City earning a ticket to Wembley to face Aston Villa on March 1.

Still, the United fans applauded and the players in red returned the compliment.

Solskjaer smiled, and Woodward, the unpopular station master, shook hands and exchanged well wishes with City counterparts in the directors' box.

Another chance of a trophy slipped by, on one of those nights when you paused to wonder if United might be back on track sooner than we thought.

There have been plenty of those before though, red herrings for Red Devils.

Kevin De Bruyne could not comprehend how Manchester City lost to Manchester United in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

City went down 1-0 at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, but the holders still progressed with a 3-2 aggregate victory to set up a final against Aston Villa.

Pep Guardiola's side - who are in the hunt for a third straight EFL Cup title - wasted a glut of glaring chances, with Raheem Sterling missing two notable opportunities while David De Gea was also in good form for United.

But with goalscorer Nemanja Matic sent off, United failed to make City pay for their profligacy, and De Bruyne knows his side must take heed from their mistakes.

"I think so," De Bruyne told Sky Sports when asked if it was a relief to hear the final whistle. 

"I can't even comprehend how we lost this game. For me, United didn't even have one chance. We were way too wasteful. We have to learn from this but at least it's good we got into the final.

"I think we got sloppy. The goal, we didn't clear the lines well and they scored. After, I don't think United had one more chance but they only needed one to score.

"In the end, we fought for what we had and we need to learn from the mistakes."

However, De Bruyne dismissed the suggestion City's defeat would tarnish their progression to a third consecutive final in the competition. 

"Of course not. If we win the final, nobody will talk about this game," he added. "It's not nice and we should have done better but it's just the way it goes sometimes.

"It's beautiful. I've been lucky in the five years I've been here to go [to Wembley] seven or eight times now.

"It means we're doing really well. It's always a nice day and now we're going to fight to win the cup."

Meanwhile, Ilkay Gundogan echoed De Bruyne's sentiments, but he believes City displayed the resilience they will need when they meet Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"I totally agree, we should have scored early in the first half. We started well but, after United scored, we were a bit sloppy," he said.

"We should have scored at least one or two goals today but it was not meant to be.

"It was a great test for the Real Madrid games. The manager said before the game it was an experience we had to survive and to overcome.

"I think we can improve - it's a learning process. We will analyse and try to make it better."

Manchester City will get the chance to defend their EFL Cup title in the final against Aston Villa after beating Manchester United 3-2 on aggregate, despite Nemanja Matic – who was also sent off – inflicting a 1-0 defeat in Wednesday's second leg.

City produced a wonderful display in the first meeting at Old Trafford and were arguably unlucky to only win 3-1, though it proved to be enough to send Pep Guardiola's men to Wembley even though they failed to meet expectations at home.

Despite finding themselves under extreme pressure at times in the first half, United managed to go into the break ahead thanks to Matic's satisfying strike in the 35th minute, casting some uncertainty over City's command of the tie.

But United were unable to use that goal as a launchpad, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men failed to craft further meaningful chances and Matic's late dismissal for a second booking effectively ended their hopes.

City looked eager to kill off United's chances as early as possible, with Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez forcing David de Gea into fine saves in the first seven minutes.

United weathered that storm and took the lead just past the half-hour mark – Matic slamming a crisp half-volley into the bottom-right corner after Fred's delivery was only partially cleared.

Raheem Sterling seemingly erased United's lead just before half-time when he turned Bernardo Silva's pass home, but the England international had strayed offside.

Sterling had another opportunity in the 58th minute when he was played through on goal, but after checking back to evade Victor Lindelof and then De Gea, he blazed his effort over from 12 yards.

United were reduced to 10 men 14 minutes from time when Matic cynically tripped Ilkay Gundogan to halt a counter-attack, and City had little difficulty seeing out their aggregate win from there despite Aguero's late strike being disallowed for offside.

 

What does it mean? Bruno Fernandes arrival a necessity

Although United's midfield had plenty of bite from Fred and neat touches from Matic, creativity was sorely lacking – hence their difficulty to create opportunities.

Following Wednesday's news United have agreed a deal with Sporting CP for Fernandes worth €80million, it does at least seem as though the club's hierarchy is trying to solve their midfield issues.

De Gea gives United a chance

It is fair to say De Gea has come in for plenty of criticism over the past 18 months, and rightly so. But on Wednesday he showed just how important he can be for United, making several vital saves. His efforts proved irrelevant in the end as his team lacked quality in attack, but he at least gave them a chance.

Sterling fails to shine

Sterling certainly gave Aaron Wan-Bissaka plenty to think about, but he made an unnecessarily early run for his goal that was chalked off and then spurned a wonderful chance to make it 1-1.

What's next?

City go to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, as Guardiola renews his rivalry with Jose Mourinho. United host Wolves the day before.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed any "proper" Manchester United supporters would have been disgusted by the attack on Ed Woodward's home.

The Mirror reported on Tuesday that between 20 and 30 fans were involved in an attack on the home of United's vice-chairman.

United responded with a strong condemnation of the incident, vowing to ban for life any supporter found to have been involved.

Solskjaer echoed the club's sentiment, insisting any true fan of the club would be angered by the actions of the attackers.

"Everyone at the club and our proper supporters were disgusted with what happened," Solskjaer told Sky Sports ahead of United facing Manchester City in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

"We know our fans are passionate and opinions can be voiced in different ways.

"I've said it before, we've got to stick together, stay united and I'm sure our fans will support us."

Woodward has been a target of many United fans' ire over recent seasons, as the club continue to struggle to return to close to their former heights.

At long last, one of the more wearisome transfer sagas of the past 12 months is nearing conclusion – Manchester United announced they have agreed a fee with Sporting CP for Bruno Fernandes.

It seemed for a while that Fernandes would join United in pre-season, but, despite their seemingly obvious need for midfield reinforcements, a move never materialised and he remained with Sporting.

Speculation began to stir again last month, and the two clubs are said to have been locked in talks for much of January – though reports of Barcelona apparently hoping to sign Fernandes in order to use him in negotiations with Valencia for Rodrigo Moreno surfaced earlier this week.

Whether or not that story was a ploy by an agent to jolt United into decisive action, who knows? But something seemed to change this week, as the Red Devils finally reached an agreement with Sporting.

Fernandes had a massive impact at the club during his two-and-a-half-year spell, becoming captain and scoring or setting up 67 Primeira Liga goals in 83 appearances.

United certainly don't have a 100 per cent hit-rate when it comes to signings from Portugal – below, we examined whether their previous imports from the Iberian nation have been misses or not.

Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-2009) – HIT

The one that needs no introduction – Ronaldo was a revelation for United following his 2003 arrival from Sporting. The lanky teenager dazzled against United when they faced Sporting for the opening of their Jose Alvalade stadium and, as the story goes, those he tormented implored Alex Ferguson to sign him. So, he did. Outrageously skilful and flashy, early Ronaldo was as fun as they come, but after bulking out he developed a deadly streak, netting 31 times in the 2007-08 Premier League season and helping them to Champions League success. He has since gone on to mark himself out as one of the all-time greats with Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal.

Bebe (2010-2014) – MISS

From Ferguson's best to arguably his worst signing. Despite the Scot never seeing him play, Bebe is said to have arrived following a recommendation from Ferguson's former right-hand man, Carlos Queiroz. United reportedly paid Vitoria Guimaraes £7.5m for the attacker, but he immediately looked short of the required ability. He somehow managed to last four years at the club, including three loan spells. Most of his career since has been spent in Spain, and he's now playing for Rayo Vallecano in La Segunda.

Nani (2007-2015) – HIT

Few players polarised opinion quite like Nani during his time at United. Undoubtedly capable of the spectacular, he also had his fair share of underwhelming performances and could be infuriatingly frustrating. Like Ronaldo, Nani arrived from Sporting and it was initially said he struggled with the pressure due to comparisons with his United and Portugal team-mate. But in 2010-11 he established himself, producing some spell-binding performances to earn himself a place in the PFA Team of the Year and the United Players' Player of the Year award. Injuries then took their toll before leaving in 2015, going on to have something of a nomadic career ever since, though he has become Portugal's fourth-highest capped international.

Anderson (2007-2015) – MISS

Oh, what might've been. There's little doubt Anderson was immensely talented, but throughout his time with United there were concerns about his fitness and professionalism. He probably wasn't helped by being turned into something resembling a holding midfielder, given he thrived in a more attacking role previously, but he generally failed to live up to expectations. That's not to say he was hopeless – he amassed almost 200 appearances for the club, but given the promise he showed in his youth, he failed to reach his potential. Aged 31, he retired in September following a spell with Adana Demirspor in Turkey's second tier.

Victor Lindelof (2017-present) – HIT

After an unconvincing debut season following a move from Benfica potentially worth £38m, Lindelof has generally settled well at United and become a first-choice centre-back. Comfortable on the ball and a good reader of the game, the Sweden international is mostly dependable. Nevertheless, he's certainly not the perfect defender – he's not especially quick and does appear to struggle with physical forwards. So far, he can just about be regarded a 'hit', but United will surely be hoping for an improvement from him.

Marcos Rojo (2014-present) – MISS

Rojo always looked a somewhat puzzling addition, and those initial feelings have never really gone away. Technically able and versatile enough to play either centre-back or on the left, Rojo also relishes a physical tussle. But as something of a hot-head, Rojo has a tendency to be rash. Even Sporting fans were baffled when he joined United, who are said to have tried to sell him in almost every pre-season since buying the Argentina international. He now looks set to return to Estudiantes on loan.

Diogo Dalot (2018-present) – JURY'S OUT

Lauded as the best young full-back in the world by Jose Mourinho when he signed Dalot from his former club Porto in 2018, the Portugal Under-21 international is yet to prove that claim. He showed promise last season, with his ability on the ball and crossing earning acclaim, but he failed to hold down a spot at right-back despite United's concerning lack of quality in that position – Dalot's defensive capabilities proving unconvincing. The club then went out and splurged on Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Dalot, who has suffered numerous injuries, is undoubtedly talented, but a future as a regular at United might rely on him being converted into a winger.

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