Manchester United are ready to drastically reduce their squad in January amid reports director of football John Murtough has ruthlessly agreed to put five players up for sale.
The Red Devils fell to a woeful loss at the King Power Stadium in a game they ‘deserved to lose’, according to Paul Pogba. United have now won just two of their last seven games to bundle the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Solskjaer. And with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City to come in their next three Premier League outings, the heat may be about to further rise on the under-fire United boss.
As such, Wednesday’s Paper Talk presented a theory within United’s squad that Solskjaer could be gone before the month is out.
And it’s little surprise to see the big names queuing up with Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte strongly linked.
Whether the Norwegian will be around to oversee January’s transfer window then remains to be seen.
Nonetheless, Murtough is pressing ahead with plans to change the face of United’s squad in the winter window.
And amid claims from Gary Neville that Solskjaer doesn’t know his best XI, a clearout could be just what’s needed.
Indeed, two of the five players, as suggested by The Sun, to depart have very much been regulars under Solskjaer.
They say Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial will be ruthlessly sacrificed to generate funds.
The Sweden defender has been a favourite under Solskjaer. However, the signing of Raphael Varane this summer has pushed him down the order.
Martial too has long been trusted by Solskjaer. However, a miserable run in front of goal has seen him score five goals in 28 Premier League appearances. That’s a tally that has already been matched in just seven games this season by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Furthermore, the clubs also plans to listen to offers for Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Phil Jones.
The sale of Lingard in particular will generate plenty of interest. The player has looked decent when afforded a chance this season. But with his contract due to expire, he intends to move on to preserve his World Cup dream.
United target new midfielder
With the funds generated, United plan to sign a new midfielder, with Declan Rice their top target.
However, there is a growing belief they could also launch a controversial move for Leeds lynchpin Kalvin Phillips.
His deal is due to expire in summer 2024 and there appears a growing confidence that he will sign a new deal.
But there also remains the question over whether Phillips wants to play at a higher level.
Should Leeds fail to match his ambitions, there remains a chance that a lucrative offer could turn his head.
Whether he would go to United remains to be seen, however, given his strong thoughts on the club.
Liverpool are also said to be admirers of Phillips so landing the Leeds man will be far from easy.