Jose Mourinho may well axe up to four Manchester United players in a bid to trim his squad down to size. 

According to a report in the ​Independent, the Portuguese is keen to work with a smaller squad than the one he currently has at his disposal currently.

As it stands, Mourinho has 23 outfield players in his squad, and that's excluding the out-of-favour Bastian Schweinsteiger. Add to that the three goalkeepers - David De Gea, Sergio Romero and Sam Johnstone - and United's roster looks pretty substantial.

Manchester United v Manchester City - EFL Cup Fourth Round

This number of players is larger than what Mourinho has typically become accustomed to working with - he possessed smaller, more tight-knit squads as manager of the likes of Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Now the United boss is beginning to learn which players he favours and which he doesn't, the Red Devils' squad could be cut down to size come the January transfer window.

It is understood that Mourinho is keen to keep Wayne Rooney in his plans. This despite dropping him for the recent big games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.

But others may not be so lucky. Morgan Schneiderlin, who was only brought in at the start of last season by former United boss Louis van Gaal, could be on his way out of Old Trafford already, after only featuring four times this season.

German legend Schweinsteiger is also expected to end his painful relationship with Mourinho by transferring to the United States when the MLS window reopens.

Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian appear to be the other players in trouble, with both failing to impress their Portuguese boss - perhaps fittingly, both have been linked with a move to Serie A, with Roma and Inter Milan interested respectively.