Manchester United ‘plan drastic cull of SEVEN first-team stars in January transfer window’
Manchester United ‘plan drastic cull of SEVEN first-team stars in January transfer window’ with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘thinking of selling Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek to raise funds’ amid ‘interest in Declan rice’
Manchester United are reportedly planning a drastic elimination from their roster in the January transfer window, with seven players on the chopping block.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be keen to downsize his squad to raise transfer funds, and the club are reportedly interested in signing West Ham’s Declan Rice.
According to The Sun, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles are all at risk of leaving.
Anthony Martial (R) and Jesse Lingard (L) are among a number of players reportedly up for sale
None of these players are regular first team players, so replacing them wouldn’t necessarily weaken the starting team, or even the wider roster, if they were to be replaced.
And the Red Devils are reportedly planning talks with the players in question to discuss their future before the winter transfer window opens in the new year.
Martial is only 25, but his future at Old Trafford is very uncertain after several inconsistent seasons – especially after the glitzy signing of Cristiano Ronaldo added competition to the forefront.
After signing from Monaco in 2015 as a 20-year-old, the Frenchman scored 17 goals in all competitions, scored a fine goal against Liverpool on his debut and immediately proved his potential.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly keen to sell players to boost his transfer cat
The Red Devils have been linked with a move for West Ham and England star Declan Rice
But aside from a prolific 23 goals across all competitions in 2019-20, Martial has struggled to regularly hit the back of the net, scoring just four Premier League goals last season – his combined lowest total in his six years at the club .
The pinnacle of attacking midfielder Lingard as a United player came in 2017-18, scoring 13 goals and starring in England’s run-up to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia.
But after two so-so seasons, he was loaned out to West Ham, where he revived his Premier League career, scoring nine goals and providing five assists in just 16 games and helping the Hammers qualify for Europe.
Lingard was open to a return to West Ham this summer on a permanent contract, but was assured by Solskjaer that he was part of his first-team plans.
Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek is also on the chopping block
The 28-year-old has just 28 minutes of league action this season, gifting the Young Boys one last gasp in a Champions League draw last week, and now appears to have faded from the long-term view.
Dutch international van de Beek now only has five minutes of playing time in the Premier League.
Despite the professionalism, positive attitude and strong work ethic of the 24-year-old and Solskjaer making all the right noises about the former Ajax midfielder’s physical and mental adjustment to the Premier League, he could very well leave the club too.
The signing of Raphael Varane, meanwhile, appears to have diminished the prospects for Bailly and Jones’ first team.
With Varane and captain Harry Maguire clearly first-choice and Victor Lindelof as backup, the out-of-favor duo are unlikely to see much first-team action – despite the Ivorian signing a new three-year deal in April signed.
Jones has barely played in the past two seasons due to ongoing injuries and loss of form, with Axel Tuanzebe – loaned to Aston Villa – and highly regarded youngster Teden Mengi considering ample backup options.
Solskjaer is also reportedly willing to sell backup fullbacks Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles.
Apart from first-teamers Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw and the versatile 21-year-old Brandon Williams, who is on loan to Norwich, there is no other cover at fullback meaning right-back Dalot and left-back Telles will be replaced if sold.