Man Utd duo including Martial to be spared in mass clear-out with four going, eight more under threat

Anthony Martial warming up for Manchester United before Premier League game against Leicester

The surprise name of Anthony Martial is one of two forwards Man Utd want to retain after a report detailed a mass summer clear-out.

One look at the table would suggest Man Utd are facing an uphill struggle to secure Champions League football. The latest disappointment when drawing 0-0 with relegation-threatened Watford was another bitter blow to their top four hopes. United do currently occupy fourth spot, but Arsenal are just two points behind and have three games in hand.

The club could therefore be on course for a summer of upheaval in multiple departments at the club.

Ralf Rangnick is expected to move upstairs into a consultancy role and give way to a new permanent manager. However, the German will still have an influence over the United squad in his advisory role.

Now, a report from the Daily Mail has suggested the changes will extend to the playing staff, and they could be widespread.

The outlet report United chief executive Richard Arnold wants to install his new manager ‘as soon as possible’ when the season concludes. That is with a view to giving the incoming boss the most time possible to restructure the squad in the summer window.

Four free agents to lead exodus

The report notes no fewer than four players are poised to leave as free agents. Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are all tipped to depart for free.

That could be the tip of the iceberg, however, with the Mail noting eight more players face uncertain futures.

Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Donny Van de Beek, Nemanja Matic, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Dean Henderson are the eight players whose futures hang in the balance.

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Of the eight, it’s reported United would ‘prefer to keep both Ronaldo and Martial’. The fact no comment is made on the other six could speak volumes about their futures.

Greenwood’s situation is an altogether different one with the 20-year-old currently unavailable amid an ongoing police investigation.

The club’s reported stance on Martial is in line with why an option to buy was not negotiated in his loan switch to Sevilla. At the time of his exit, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claimed the clause was omitted to let the next manager have the final say.

Anthony Martial Osasuna v Sevilla February 2022

The Manchester Evening News recently revealed Rangnick’s patience with Ronaldo’s lack of goals output is wearing thin. However, he has resisted the temptation to bench him owing to a lack of faith in the alternative options.

Martial could provide a solution to that conundrum if he returns from Sevilla an improved player.

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One deal abandoned, another in the pipeline

Meanwhile, Man Utd will not sanction a massive deal to sign Napoli hitman Victor Osimhen after becoming aware of the huge cost. Though a report has revealed a different target is on their radar,

Yesterday’s Euro Paper Talk revealed talk of a potential Man Utd raid for the 23-year-old Napoli hitman. Rangnick recently stated it’s “obvious” United must sign a youngster striker next season. As such, he reportedly pushed Osimhen’s name to the club’s decision-makers when pressed for a shortlist of targets.

However, according to the Daily Star, Man Utd won’t act on their Osimhen interest after being quoted a fee of £100m.

United ‘won’t be held to ransom’, claims the report, with their striker search now expected to shift elsewhere. That could leave the door ajar for Newcastle who might not be dissuaded by hefty transfer fees.

But there is one crumb of comfort for United in the piece regarding a different move entirely. The Star state United are ‘keeping close tabs’ on RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele.

The 24-year-old Frenchman is well known to Rangnick through their time together in Leipzig. Mukiele is capable of operating at centre-back or as a wing-back, though is most commonly deployed at right-back.

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