Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Four Man Utd players up for sale with ruthless Ten Hag tipped to disregard star’s timely surge

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Man Utd are open to selling four players this month and the two who are likeliest to depart have been named, including one star who’s recently shone at a time of need.

Funds at Old Trafford are understood to be tight at present. The Red Devils overspent to ensure Erik ten Hag landed the vast bulk of his targets last summer. Among the biggest offenders in that regard were Antony (£85m) and Casemiro (£70m) (both figures include future add-ons).

As such, United were unable to match Liverpool when it came to tabling a firm offer for Cody Gakpo.

The Dutchman recently admitted he expected to be a Man Utd player dating back to the summer, though he’ll now wear a different shade of red moving forwards.

A loan deal is now on the agenda to tie United’s striker ranks over until the summer. A new frontman is wanted following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit, and a risky Arsenal strategy has given United a huge leg up regarding Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix.

Atletico are open to loaning the 23-year-old Portuguese out, though the Athletic detailed their sky-high demands.

Atletico are reportedly commanding a total package worth €21m (approx. £18.5m). That equates to a loan fee of around £13.2m along with the cost of Felix’s wages – roughly £5.3m – for just six months.

Felix will therefore cost a sizeable sum in a deal that’ll only last half a season. If United are struggling to stump up the cash, a new report from the Athletic has pointed to the answer.

Man Utd exits can aid striker chase

They claim Man Utd are open to cashing in on four players this month and all are defenders.

In a Q&A about various clubs’ January transfer plans, the Athletic listed Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as all being on the chopping block.

The report stated United will find it tricky to find buyers for Jones and Tuanzebe, not least because they’ve spent a large portion of the current campaign injured.

Both are out of contract in the summer anyway. United have an option to extend Jones’ deal by 12 months if they desire. There’s no such option in Tuanzebe’s current deal.

Left-back Williams, 22, is third-choice at best following the summer arrival of Tyrell Malacia. Luke Shaw remains first choice in the position despite deputising at centre-half of late.

It’s claimed Williams has ‘good value’ given his age and as such, represents a viable route for United to generate much-needed cash.

Wan-Bissaka also fits that bill, though his exit would be more of a surprise.

Wan-Bissaka could depart despite recent heroics

It was widely reported United were open to selling Wan-Bissaka – or at least loaning him out – in the run up to the winter window.

His lack of ability going forward makes him a poor fit for Ten Hag, and a return to Crystal Palace or a new experience at West Ham were both touted.

However, an injury sustained by first-choice right-back Diogo Dalot while with Portugal in Qatar gave Wan-Bissaka a chance to shine.

The 25-year-old has started all three of United’s fixtures since domestic football returned. The Red Devils have kept clean sheets in all three, and Wan-Bissaka even grabbed an acrobatic assist against Burnley in the EFL Cup.

The Athletic acknowledge Wan-Bissaka has bailed United out in a time of need. However, they stress he ‘could yet be sold’ despite his recent resurgence in what would be a ruthless move from Ten Hag.

If Wan-Bissaka were to move on, logic dictates a direct replacement would be required.

Given the nature of United’s finances, a loan deal would make little sense. If Wan-Bissaka left for six months, United wouldn’t receive a high enough loan fee to then be able to sign a suitable upgrade outright.

A permanent exit – if indeed Wan-Bissaka does depart – looks the only option.

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