Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag puts six Man Utd defenders up for sale as radical overhaul of squad gathers pace

Axel Tuanzebe being subbed on for Eric Bailly

Manchester United have six defenders they are willing to offload in the final month of the summer transfer window, according to a report.

Several of the unwanted sextet are already attracting interest from elsewhere. The transfer window is open until September 1, so Manchester United officials will be hard at work until then to find solutions.

Since Erik ten Hag took charge as manager in the summer, the club have signed two defenders. Tyrell Malacia will provide competition at left-back, while Lisandro Martinez is the left-footed centre-back they have been lacking.

As a result of their additions, several existing players are now surplus to requirements. Indeed, some were already.

The Daily Mail has listed Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Ethan Laird and Phil Jones as those whom Manchester United are expecting to move on.

Telles is a direct victim of United’s addition of Malacia in his left-back position. On the opposite side, Wan-Bissaka has been usurped in the pecking order by Diogo Dalot and Laird has been linked with a loan exit.

Centrally, Bailly, Tuanzebe and Jones are all low down the pecking order. Ten Hag is more likely to opt for Martinez, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof than any of them.

Hence, there could be an opportunity for United to clear some space on their wage bill and potentially earn some financial windfalls.

If any of these players leave, all would likely be permanent exits. One exception could be Laird, who is looking likely to join Watford for a loan spell in the Championship. Another might be Wan-Bissaka, who is under consideration by former club Crystal Palace; temporary terms may be the most feasible solution for the former £50million man.

Instead, the other four are likely to end their associations with United for good. Telles is a target for Sevilla, who are also keen on Roma, Milan and Fulham target Bailly.

Manchester United unlikely to miss unwanted players

Meanwhile, Tuanzebe is a target for Bournemouth, but Jones could be ready to leave the Premier League altogether. He has held preliminary talks with former teammate Wayne Rooney about an MLS switch to DC United.

The club have given some time to most of these players to prove themselves. In many cases, it just hasn’t worked out, either due to distorted expectations, injury issues or other factors.

It would be better for all concerned if the players can find clubs where they would play more frequently.

Man Utd have good depth across their defence even if they cut off these six players. The only area they may need to think about would be right-back, in terms of who can compete with Dalot.

But the central part and left-hand side of their backline have enough players Ten Hag is willing to work with. Now, they just need to work out what to do with those he could be less fond of.

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