Six players Man Utd could look to sell in the January transfer window: Ronaldo, Van de Beek…

Cristiano-Ronaldo Erik ten Hag sub Liverpool August 2022

Erik ten Hag will look to continue his rebuild at Manchester United during the January transfer window. 

Ten Hag spent over £200m and added Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Antony and Martin Dubravka to the squad during the summer.

Andreas Pereira was the only first-team player that was sold for cash, but the manager has now had a few months to make judgements on the whole squad.

We’ve taken a look at six players United could try and offload in the January transfer window.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Ten Hag decided early into his reign as United manager that Wan-Bissaka wasn’t good enough to be his first-choice right-back. 

He was willing to allow the England Under-21 international to leave in the summer transfer window, but United football director John Murtough stepped in and asked him to reconsider. 

While Wan-Bissaka remained at Old Trafford, he’s currently behind Diogo Dalot in the pecking order and has managed just four minutes of senior football so far this campaign.

United have been linked with Lyon’s Malo Gusto, Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries and Monaco’s Vanderson in recent weeks but they’ll need to sell Wan-Bissaka to make room for a new right-back.

The Red Devils won’t be able to recoup the £50m that they spent on the defender in the summer of 2019 but now seem ready to cut their losses and move on.

Crystal Palace are reportedly keen on bringing him back to Selhurst Park and West Ham United have also registered their interest. 

Phil Jones

Jones was once regarded as one of England’s brightest prospects but his career has been plagued by a series of injury problems in recent years.

He’s made just 13 appearances in all competitions since the start of the 2019/20 season and was left out of United’s 25-man Premier League squad for the current campaign. 

While his contract expires next summer, United could try and get his wages off the books during the January transfer window as he’s clearly not in Ten Hag’s plans.

The England international will also be looking to get his career back on track and has been linked with MLS side DC United, who are managed by Wayne Rooney.

“I’m still only 30 and I’ve missed a lot of football,” he told The Guardian earlier this year. “I’m hoping to recapture some form and enjoy playing football.

“When I was out injured it was a difficult time but I’ll never give up. I feel like I’m still good enough and I’ve got a lot to give. So I’m hopeful. I’m ready to play again.”

Phil Jones of Manchester United during the Emirates FA Cup match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe came through the academy at United and was tipped for a bright future at Old Trafford, but he has failed to live up to expectations.

The 24-year-old had two disastrous loan spells in 2021/22, making 11 appearances for Aston Villa before getting just 130 minutes of action at Napoli.

He was hoping to impress Ten Hag in pre-season but had to leave the tour of Asia and Australia due to a personal issue. The centre-back has since picked up an injury and is yet to make a first-team appearance this season.

When Tuanzebe recovers from his injury problem, he’ll find himself behind Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order and could look to leave in January.

The January transfer window also represents United’s last chance to make some money on the defender as his contract expires at the end of the season.

Brandon Williams

Another United academy graduate, Williams made 36 appearances in all competitions during his breakthrough season in 2019/20.

But the left-back fell down the pecking order following Alex Telles’ arrival and then had an underwhelming loan spell at Norwich City in 2021/22.

Despite being linked with permanent moves to Brighton and Southampton in the summer, he remained at Old Trafford but then sustained an injury that has prevented him from featuring this season.

The 22-year-old will still struggle for first-team opportunities when he returns to full fitness as United are well stocked in the left-back department with Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia battling it out for a spot in Ten Hag’s starting XI.

United also have high hopes for Alvaro Fernandez, who won their Under-23 Player of the Year award last season and is currently impressing on loan at Preston North End.

The Red Devils will probably look to offload Williams during the January transfer window and have reportedly set an asking price of £10m.

Donny van de Beek

After flourishing under Ten Hag at Ajax, Van de Beek caught the attention of Europe’s top clubs and ultimately joined United in a £36m deal in 2020.

The Netherlands international is probably regretting that decision as he hasn’t been given much of a chance to shine at Old Trafford, starting just four Premier League games for the club.

He spent the second half of the 2021/22 season on loan at Everton but struggled with injuries and failed to make much of an impact at Goodison Park.

A reunion with Ten Hag has done nothing to improve his standing at United, and the midfielder has made just three substitute appearances this season.

United currently have Casemiro, Fred, Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes as their other midfield options and Van de Beek has reportedly been deemed surplus to requirements.

Leicester City and Inter Milan have both been linked with the 25-year-old and United will be hoping to make around £15m from any potential sale.

Cristiano Ronaldo

While Ronaldo wanted to leave United during the summer transfer window, he remained at Old Trafford as Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal were the only club to make a formal approach for him.

The striker scored 24 goals in all competitions last season but doesn’t seem to suit Ten Hag’s preferred style of play and has started just one Premier League game in 2022/23.

According to The Times, he feels his manager is far too stubborn and unprepared to compromise and the tension between the pair could lead to problems in the dressing room. 

The Telegraph adds that Ten Hag has changed his stance on the 37-year-old and is willing to let him leave in the January transfer window if a suitable offer arrives.

Ronaldo delivered a timely reminder of his abilities during United’s 2-1 win over Everton but a move away might suit both parties as Ten Hag looks to instil his new philosophy among the players. 

READ MORE: The five clubs Cristiano Ronaldo could join in the January transfer window as Man Utd exit talk gathers pace