Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

The 10 Man Utd players sold for record transfer profits as £100m Marcus Rashford exit gathers pace

Ben Stewart
Could Marcus Rashford become Man Utd's next big sale?

Could Marcus Rashford become Man Utd's next big sale?

Manchester United don’t have a great track record when it comes to selling players for a profit, but they have managed to cash in on some of their assets over the years.

Of the players that the club have made a profit on, most of them have come through their academy. Going off the latest reports, Marcus Rashford could become the next player to join this list.

According to Daily Mirror, Sir Jim Ratcliffe is willing to offload the forward for a mouthwatering sum of £100m – which would comfortably set a new record sale benchmark for the club.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at the 10 players that Man Utd have made the most profit on throughout their history.

10. Javier Hernandez – £6m profit

Often used in a backup role during his United days, Hernandez proved himself to be a decent signing for the Red Devils and best of all, they made a profit when they sold him.

In total, he bagged 59 goals during his time at the club and averaged a goal contribution every 106 minutes which is decent going.

The club originally signed him for a snip at £6m and managed to sell him at double that price in 2015 when he joined Bayer Leverkusen. A good deal all around.

=8. Andreas Pereira – £10m profit

After spending a large chunk of his Man Utd career out on loan, Pereira eventually decided to forge a career for himself away from Old Trafford.

The Brazilian midfielder completed a £10m move to Fulham in 2022 and he’s not looked back since. In the two years he spent at Craven Cottage, he’s already racked up more appearances than he did during his lengthy spell at Old Trafford.

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=8. Daniel James – £10m profit

With the counter-attacking style that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried to develop during his time at the club, it made sense that Man Utd went after a player like James.

After an eye-catching season with Swansea, the Red Devils swooped in and secured a £15m deal. Given James was only signed as a young prospect, his record at the club wasn’t too shabby.

He never set the world alight at Old Trafford, but a return of nine goals and nine assists in 4,654 minutes is by no means disastrous.

In the end, the club managed to sell him for £25m to Leeds United which banked the Red Devils a healthy £10m profit. All things considered, it was a decent deal.

7. Chris Smalling – £11m profit

After impressing during his early years at Fulham, Man Utd signed Smalling in a deal worth £7m back in 2010. The defender went on to spend nine years with the club and racked up over 300 appearances in the process.

However, after falling down the pecking order under Solskjaer, the club made the decision to sell Smalling when Roma came calling.

The Italian club paid a base fee of £13.6m to sign him which then rose to £18m including add-ons. Proving that all of the add-ons were triggered, Man Utd would have made an £11m profit on the defender.

=5. James Garner – £15m profit

Following a successful loan spell with Nottingham Forest, some Man Utd fans were hoping that Garner would be integrated into the senior squad.

While that seemed to be on the cards at one stage, Everton then came in with an offer which was too good to turn down. In the summer of 2022, the Toffees splashed £15m on the midfielder which banked the Red Devils a decent profit.

It took the 23-year-old a while to settle into his new surroundings, but this season he’s been among Everton’s top performers.

=5. Anthony Elanga – £15m profit

Elanga joined the Man Utd academy as a 12-year-old and given the club didn’t pay a transfer fee for him, the £15m they received from Nottingham Forest in the summer was pure profit.

Under Erik ten Hag, the Swedish winger wasn’t afforded that many chances, although he’s certainly proven his worth at the City Ground this season. In 34 appearances, he’s produced 13 goal contributions.

“It was difficult but it was needed because I wanted to play and I didn’t want to spend another season just playing 10 minutes or not playing for 10 games,” Elanga told The Times while discussing his exit from Old Trafford.

“I wanted a fresh start but I knew it wouldn’t be easy leaving a club that I had been at for nine years.”

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4. Danny Welbeck – £16m profit

Welbeck was tipped to go to the very top at Man Utd by Sir Alex Ferguson, but the striker eventually called it quits on his time at the club in 2014.

Louis van Gaal was the man in charge when the club sanctioned his exit for a reported £16m fee. After some solid years at Arsenal and a short pitstop at Watford, he’s still going strong today with Brighton.

3. Dean Henderson – £20m profit

After Man Utd fans had spent years debating who should be their number one goalkeeper between Henderson and David De Gea, they both ended up leaving in the same summer.

Henderson was snapped up by the United academy back in 2011 when he was just 14 years old. While he did impress during multiple loan spells away from Old Trafford, he never got much of a chance to claim a starting spot at the club.

In total, he managed 29 senior appearances before he was sold for a £20m profit to Crystal Palace in the summer.

2. David Beckham – £25m profit

It speaks volumes about Man Utd’s record in the transfer market when Beckham is their second most profitable sale of all time – a player who left the club in 2003.

Having spent his formative years with Tottenham, the Red Devils snatched up Beckham in 1991 as a youngster. He then enjoyed several successful years with the first team, before he was sold to Real Madrid in 2003.

The club made £25m for the England international back in the day which made him one of the most expensive players of his era.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – £68m profit

To this day, Ronaldo remains the club’s biggest-ever sale, having banked a record £80m for the Portuguese superstar back in 2009.

When you factor in the £12m that the Red Devils originally spent to bring him to the club, they made a healthy £68m profit on his sale which is by far the biggest sum they have ever made.

Ronaldo left Old Trafford as a world-class player, having already won the Ballon d’Or amongst numerous titles, but he became a different beast entirely during his Real Madrid days.

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