Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Two ‘prime candidates’ to leave Man Utd named as Ten Hag clings onto hope of double signing

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

They may have stayed put in the summer despite plenty of speculation, but it hasn’t taken long for Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay to be linked with January departures from Manchester United.

According to Football Insider, the duo have been identified as the ‘prime candidates’ to be sold by Man Utd during the January transfer window while they aim to raise funds for a couple of their own signings.

The under-pressure Erik ten Hag wants to add a more reliable replacement for McTominay in midfield, while the other incoming transfer on his agenda will be a winger, even if that means sacrificing their defensive depth by letting Maguire leave.

The outgoing transfers will have to take place before the inbound ones, per the report, which means Man Utd will actively be looking for destinations they can send Maguire and McTominay to.

A recent report suggested McTominay might be more open to leaving Man Utd in January than he was in the summer – and that he remains a potential target for Fulham.

Maguire, meanwhile, was the subject of interest from West Ham United in the most recent transfer window, but the deal never reached completion.

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So far this season, McTominay has only started two Premier League matches, while both of Maguire’s league appearances have come as a substitute.

Previously during their spells with the club, they have been regular starters. It has only really been in the Erik ten Hag era when they have lost that kind of status, thanks in part to some other signings the Dutch tactician has overseen.

Maguire and McTominay fall down Man Utd pecking order

In Maguire’s centre-back position, Ten Hag got Lisandro Martinez to follow him from Ajax last summer, before offering a second spell at the club to Jonny Evans this year.

Meanwhile, with regards to McTominay, Man Utd’s midfield rebuild under their current coach has included the signings of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in 2022 and Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat in 2023.

The identity of the next central midfielder that Football Insider hints Ten Hag wants has not yet been revealed, nor has their potential target out wide, who could feasibly be a replacement for the unsettled Jadon Sancho.

Sancho has been frozen out by Ten Hag after a public dispute between the pair and is expected to leave at the next opportunity, although other sources have suggested it could be on loan, which is perhaps why Football Insider hasn’t mentioned him among those prime contenders to be sold by the Red Devils.

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