Erik ten Hag will reportedly take a no-nonsense approach to streamlining his Manchester United squad with 10 players due to be moved on in a mass culling.
The Dutchman officially steps into the Red Devils management role on Monday, having arrived at the club six weeks ahead of schedule. He has a huge task on his hands in rebuilding a side that has badly under-performed this season. Indeed, they were fortunate in the end to finish sixth, having lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace on the final day.
That leaves United finishing the season with 58 points – their lowest-ever tally in Premier League history.
And for Ten Hag, who was in the stands to watch United’s limp display on the final day, work now begins on what will likely be one of their biggest rebuilds in history.
To that end, departing interim boss Ralf Rangnick has given Ten Hag a brutal assessment of where the current United squad is at.
In the absence of Champions League football, United will see their income cut short on previous seasons.
With finances that bit tighter, Ten Hag will reportedly take a ruthless approach to United’s squad. As a result, the Daily Star reports several big-money earners will find themselves moved on in an effort to save £80m per year in wages.
First out the door will be Paul Pogba. The midfielder takes home £275,000 a week and will depart as a free agent. He is expected to re-sign for Juventus in a matter of days, despite agreeing terms with Manchester City.
He will be followed by other free agent departures, with Edison Cavani, who earns £250,000 a week, also leaving.
Juan Mata is likely to return to Spain as a free agent. His contract pays him a hefty £175,000 a week.
Nemanja Matic will also depart, he already beating Ten Hag to it by announcing his departure. The Serbian is on a deal worth £140,000 a week.
And finally, Jesse Lingard will also leave Old Trafford; his exit saving the club £110,000 a week.
Ten Hag willing to chop more names
The ruthless Dutchman will not stop there, however.
The report claims there are five other names that Ten Hag wants rid of in a bid to save United even more money.
As such, United will reportedly seek relatively modest fees for five other stars he wants to move on. And as per the report, Anthony Martial, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan Bissaka and Dean Henderson are all up for sale.
Martial will be the highest earner of the second group to depart; the Frenchman earning £250,000 a week. Bailly and Henderson (both £110,000), Wan Bissaka (£90,000) and Jones (£80,000) will all make the club considerable savings.
Their departures will help ease the huge cash vaccuum at Manchester United, saving them an estimated £1.5m per week in wages.
Over the year, that amounts to an enormous £80m – money which will come useful in Ten Hag’s rebuilding mission.
New United boss doing exactly what’s required
To be fair, Ten Hag takes over United at a good time in the sense that the only way is up.
He can wave goodbye to all 10 players listed above with relative ease, especially given five are free agents. And truth be told, how many of those players will be truly missed?
All have played peripheral roles over the season with perhaps just Pogba and Lingard the big regrets.
United have seen flashes of Pogba’s brilliance, but clearly not consistently enough. Still, seeing their club record £89.3m signing depart for nothing will hurt.
Paul Pogba offered 3 year deal by Juventus
Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United this summer and has been offered a 3 year deal by Juventus but PSG still want him
It’s a similar story with Lingard, whom United could have sold last summer for £20m. He will now leave, most probably to West Ham. Ironically, they are the club who were willing to give United cash for just 10 months ago.
Ten Hag probably needs to focus on quality rather than quantity now, going forwards.
Even with these 10 departures, his squad still contains plenty of numbers. Furthermore, a raft of promising youngsters coming through means they won’t ever be short.
One of those who always looked safe, David De Gea, has welcomed the appointment of Ten Hag, having closed the door on United’s grim season.