Manchester United have been told to sell five players who are either not performing at their best or prone to injury, and the move could see Erik ten Hag signing Lisandro Martinez be replaced by Marc Guehi.
Ten Hag has had to deal with a defensive injury crisis this season, with the likes of Luke Shaw, Sergio Reguilon, Raphael Varane, Tyrell Malacia, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Martinez all having spent time in the treatment room.
The lack of a proper left-back has forced the manager to use Sofyan Amrabat and Victor Lindelof in the position recently. At centre-half, Martinez will be out until the new year after his foot injury flared up, which is a particularly damaging blow for the Red Devils.
Ten Hag pushed Man Utd to sign Martinez from his former club Ajax in July 2022, and the Argentine has gone on to form a solid centre-back partnership with Varane when both are fit.
However, former Aston Villa and England forward Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Man Utd have too many injury-prone players, which includes Shaw, Malacia and Martinez. And Agbonlahor has even urged Man Utd to replace the latter with Crystal Palace leader Guehi.
“Guehi is going to be expensive. Palace won’t want to break up that partnership with him and [Joachim] Andersen,” the pundit said in an interview with Football Insider.
“But I like him. He’s starting for England, he’s getting caps. He’s strong, quick, good on the ball.
“But Man Utd have got a lot of work to do in the transfer market.
Several Man Utd players ‘letting Ten Hag down’
“Look at that defence. Varane isn’t the same, he looks like a 35-year-old.
“Casemiro isn’t the same. Martinez is injury-prone. Shaw is injury-prone. Malacia is too.
“United have got a real problem and they need to see that those players will keep letting Ten Hag down with their fitness.
“They need to move them on, and go out and spend money on players who can stay fit.”
It would be a major shock if Man Utd did offload Martinez, as Ten Hag rates the 25-year-old highly and sees him as a crucial part of the project going forward. Although, it would make a lot of sense if Man Utd captured Guehi as Varane’s long-term successor.
Palace are preparing to enter contract talks with Guehi in order to prevent a move away from Selhurst Park. Despite that, Man Utd were recently told that a £60million bid for the Chelsea academy graduate would be accepted.