Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd wages: Top 11 earners at Old Trafford revealed as Ratcliffe prepares to shred colossal wage bill

Ryan Baldi
Man Utd stars Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane and Marcus Rashford

Very few of Man Utd's top 11 earners are proving value for money

Manchester United have the highest wage bill in the Premier League. The total yearly sum they pay their players, according to Fbref.com, is £205,756,000.

That’s more than reigning Treble champions Manchester City (£200,668,000), title challengers Arsenal (£166,036,000) and Liverpool (£136,240,000) and significantly more than Chelsea (£155,324,000), the side former United captain Gary Neville labelled “billion-pound bottle jobs.”

As new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe undertakes an overhaul of all aspects of the club, he and the sporting impresarios of his INEOS group will be looking over the list of the biggest earners at Man Utd and wondering how to reduce the cost of the squad while improving its on-field success.

Here are United’s 11 top earners and what – if any – value they offer.

Casemiro – £350,000 a week

Arriving from Real Madrid in a £60 million deal two summers ago, Casemiro was the marquee arrival designed to jolt the Erik ten Hag era into life.

And initially he did just that. The Brazilian veteran was United’s best player for much of his first season at Old Trafford and helped the club overcome back-to-back losses at the start of the campaign to finish third and qualify for the Champions League.

But the 32-year-old has aged rapidly over the last 12 months, now lacking the athleticism to cover ground and shield the backline as he once did. The five-time Champions League winner looks a prime candidate for a money-spinning swansong in the Saudi Pro League.

Jadon Sancho – £350,000 a week

United chased Jadon Sancho’s signature for 18 months before finally landing their man in 2021. But since a £73 million move from Borussia Dortmund, the England winger has failed to meet expectations, returning just nine Premier League goals and six assists since his arrival.

A spat with Ten Hag saw the 24-year-old banished from the first-team squad back in September and he has been on loan with Dortmund since January, with United still paying the lion’s share of his hefty £350,000-a-week salary.

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Raphael Varane – £340,000 a week

A similar story to his former Real Madrid team-mate Casemiro, United’s capture of Raphael Varane appeared a coup when they signed him for £41 million in 2021. The elegant French centre-back came with the pedigree of four Champions League titles and a World Cup winner’s medal.

But injuries have been a consistent issue. If he is not able to recover from his current injury before the end of the season, Varane will have started 58 of United’s 114 league games since he arrived. And with his contract set to expire this summer, he’s likely to be moved on.

Marcus Rashford – £325,000 a week

A more difficult player to assess from a value standpoint than those currently out-earning him at United, Marcus Rashford has shown he has the tools to be among the best forwards in Europe. Just last season, the Three Lions star logged a career-high 30 goals in all competitions.

But the 26-year-old still lacks consistency and appears to be regressing as he enters what should be his peak years. With just eight goals to his name this term, he is on course for the second-worst single-season return since he broke into the United first team as a teenager.

Anthony Martial – £250,000 a week

This is one contract Ratcliffe and co. will be in a rush to erase from their wage bill. Anthony Martial’s talent has never been in question. The same cannot be said of his injury record and motivation.

The Frenchman looked to have the world at his feet when he debuted for United as a 19-year-old, scoring against Liverpool in spectacular style after signing from Monaco in a deal eventually worth £44 million.

But injured for the rest of the season and in the final months of his contract, he has played his last game as a United player. Sadly, few will mourn his departure this summer.

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Mason Mount – £250,000 a week

One of Ten Hag’s hand-picked signings last summer, United fended off rival interest from Liverpool to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea for £55 million.

But the England midfield has made next to no impact in his first season at Old Trafford, with injuries limiting him to just four Premier League starts and one goal for the 20-time champions.

It’s been a nightmare beginning to his Old Trafford career, but Mount is still only 25 years old. With better injury luck next term, there’s time yet for him to turn things around.

Bruno Fernandes – £240,000 a week

Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The former Sporting CP star is a serial whiner and can be erratic in possession.

But he is the one United player above all others who delivers when his team needs him, and one of few at Ten Hag’s disposal who has the quality and production to theoretically get into the team at one of the league’s current title chasers.

The 29-year-old United captain has scored 76 goals in 227 games since arriving for £67.6 million in January 2020. He is one of few transfer-market success stories the club can boast in recent years.

Antony – £200,000 a week

On the flipside, there is Antony. An £84 million signing from Ajax two summers ago, the Brazilian has categorically failed to deliver since his Old Trafford arrival.

No longer considered a regular starter in Ten Hag’s side – despite the history he has of working with the United boss previously in Amsterdam – the 24-year-old winger has no Premier League goals and just one assist to his name so far this season.

Reports suggest United will look to move on from him at the end of the season, provided they can find a buyer.

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Harry Maguire – £190,000 a week

Another United player who has thus far failed to live up to his lofty price tag, United paid a staggering £85 million to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City in 2019.

The imposing England centre-back enjoyed a fine first season under then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But he has regressed since, facing the ignominy of losing the captaincy to Fernandes and flitting in and out of the starting line-up depending on the form and fitness of his colleagues.

Christian Eriksen – £150,000 a week

When United picked up Christian Eriksen as a free agent after his short-term contract with Brentford expired in the summer of 2022, it looked like a savvy move from the Red Devils; a low-cost acquisition of an experienced player who offered quality and production in a position of need.

But when the Dane’s wages are factored in, Eriksen’s signing looks less of a home run. Ten Hag relied heavily on the former Tottenham star last season, handing him 25 Premier League starts.

This term, the 32-year-old has started only nine league games. His sizeable contract still has one year remaining.

Luke Shaw – £150,000 a week

When fit and firing, Luke Shaw easily justifies his £150,000-a-week salary. The only problem is the England left-back is so often bitten by the injury bug.

The 28-year-old is still recovering from a muscle injury sustained in February, with no clear timeline yet for his return.

He has started just 12 Premier League games this season and his continued absence is a blow to both Ten Hag and Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.

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