Report: Manchester United to release five players - but there's no sign of former Pompey and Hull loanee on the list
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But there’s no mention of former Blues loanee Di’Shon Bernard in the list of anticipated departures reported by the Manchester Evening News.
The MEN’s chief Man Utd reporter, Samuel Luckhurst, claims centre-back duo Phil Jones and Alex Tuanzebe will be the highest-profile players to depart Old Trafford once the Red Devils’ 2022-23 campaign comes to an end after the FA Cup final on June 3.
Youngsters Ethan Galbraith, Ondrej Mastny and Charlie Wellens are also expected to leave, with question marks remaining over striker Mateo Mejia and goalkeeper Nathan Bishop’s United futures.
However, a failure to mention Bernard will raise a few eyebrows, especially among those of a Pompey persuasion who are hoping the defender returns to Fratton Park this summer.
The 22-year-old made a favourable impression with the Blues during his loan over the second half of the season. It took the Londoner a while to fully establish himself in the team. But he stood out when head coach John Mousinho presented the centre-back with four consecutive starts as Pompey’s League One season drew to a conclusion.
Since then Mousinho has expressed a desire to turn Bernard’s loan into a permanent one. He was feeling ‘positive’ about that prospect on the final day of his side’s 2022-23 campaign. Although, that depended on how Man Utd saw the defender’s future.
Meanwhile, the player himself raised hopes that a deal could be struck by claiming he’ll be leaving Old Trafford this summer. A Pompey return was also said to appeal to him.
Blues fans, however, would be wise to believe that nothing is clear cut.
United hold an option on a player whose contract expires this summer and has featured just once for them competitively.
And from what the MEN are suggesting, there’s a chance that could still be activated – meaning a sizeable a transfer fee might be required to prise Bernard away.