Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

£220m Man Utd quartet officially ‘up for sale’ in astonishing clear-out, as Murtough travels for face-to-face talks

Man Utd midfielder Casemiro

Man Utd midfielder Casemiro

Manchester United have put four expensive players including Casemiro and Raphael Varane up for sale, while director of football John Murtough has travelled to Saudi Arabia to hold transfer discussions, according to a bombshell report.

Man Utd have had an eventful first half of the season, winning nine but also losing seven of their 17 Premier League games and struggling to keep up with the top four. They defended well to pick up their first draw of the campaign on Sunday, a goalless stalemate with Liverpool.

Amid their unconvincing league form, Erik ten Hag will have been hoping to pick up some domestic silverware to ease the pressure on his shoulders, like the Carabao Cup triumph from last season. However, Man Utd were dumped out of that competition in just the fourth round, as they lost 3-0 to Newcastle United at Old Trafford on November 1. That leaves just the FA Cup.

The Red Devils have also seen their European campaign come crumbling down. They finished bottom of Champions League Group A with just four points. Copenhagen incredibly advanced to the round of 16, finishing in second behind group winners Bayern Munich, while Galatasaray managed third and will drop down to the Europa League.

Ten Hag has already sanctioned the departures of a host of experienced players at Man Utd, including Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones and Alex Telles. And he looks set to take part in another mass clear-out in 2024.

According to the Daily Mail, Ten Hag has greenlighted Man Utd officially putting former Real Madrid stars Casemiro and Varane ‘up for sale’.

READ MORE: Ruthless Ratcliffe ready to spend second biggest fee in Man Utd history as upgrade for transfer flop Ten Hag wants gone

Casemiro has shown his age this term, as he has struggled to keep up with his more athletic midfield opponents. And the Brazilian has also missed 12 of Man Utd’s last 13 games in all competitions as he has battled hamstring and ankle issues.

Varane, meanwhile, has been left shocked by Ten Hag preferring to use Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans ahead of him at centre-back.

Man Utd to sell four big names including Casemiro and Martial

Man Utd are now ready to offload both Casemiro and Varane as they try to bring in younger, more promising alternatives, such as Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo and Benfica midfielder Joao Neves.

Also up for sale at Man Utd are forwards Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial. Sancho has not featured for the club since August 26 due to his public falling out with Ten Hag, while Martial is not in the Dutchman’s long-term plans and will not have his contract extended beyond next summer.

Man Utd spent big money on all four players. Casemiro and Varane cost £70m and £41m from Madrid respectively, while Sancho moved to Man Utd in a £73m deal and Martial’s signing cost £36m. That works out at a huge £220m outlay.

Man Utd will struggle to make anywhere near that money back on the quartet. Although, they will try their best to pick up as much money as possible from Saudi clubs for them, in order to boost their own January transfer kitty.

The report also reveals that transfer chief Murtough has ‘flown to Saudi Arabia’ this month to discuss possible moves for Casemiro, Varane, Sancho and Martial.

Murtough did not manage to strike any firm agreements, though it is claimed that he forged several important new relationships which should help Man Utd in the transfer market from January onwards.

Given the fact both Casemiro and Varane are 30 or older, they are the most likely players to end up in the Middle East. It has already been suggested that Varane will reunite with former Madrid and Man Utd star Ronaldo at Al Nassr.

There is interest from Saudi teams in Sancho, but the winger would ideally like to continue playing at a high level in Europe.

And reports in Germany state that a new Bundesliga club are ready to battle Borussia Dortmund for his capture this winter.