Manchester United planning summer clearout to boost transfer budget
Manchester United are planning a number of outgoings this summer in an effort to streamline Erik ten Hag’s playing squad and bolster any potential funds in the transfer market.
There are doubts over the playing futures of several members of the first-team squad, and decisions have already been made regarding a handful of players. Both Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe will be out of contract on 30 June.
Ten Hag and the assembled United hierarchy will have thoughts on players returning from loans. Alex Telles and Eric Bailly are two players that went on loan – to Sevilla and Marseille respectively – to give them playing time as well as effectively put them in the shop window.
The club wish to be more decisive when choosing to move on a player – having chosen not to pursue contract renewals with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani who all departed on free transfers last summer.
They are also looking to improve their player trading model and make moves similar to the sale of James Garner to Everton for £15million last season. United are aware they can maximise transfer value of outgoing players by looking to sell them on the back of better spells of form, rather than attempt to move unwanted players who have not played for a prolonged period of time.
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Including Garner, United have made a profit on an outgoing player on six occasions in the last decade: Daniel James’ £25m move to Leeds in 2021, Alex Buttner to £4.4 m Dinamo Moscow, Daley Blind’s £18m sale to Ajax, Javier Hernandez’ £3.7m sale to Bayer Leverkusen and Chris Smalling’s £13.5m sale to AS Roma in 2020.
There is also a realisation within the club that can be difficult to sell players given the stature of the club as in most cases, the next destination will be at a club below the size and reputation on Manchester United.
There will also be the challenge of balancing sales with squad size with the risk of selling too many leaving Ten Hag short.
The Dutchman has a history of making a number of outgoings in summer windows to make extensive overhauls of his playing squad. The summer of 2012 saw nine players depart his Go Ahead Eagles team on free transfers. Seven players departed FC Utrecht in the summer of 2015, followed by six permanent departures in 2016. After joining Ajax in December 2017, he would allow for four permanent outgoings in the summer of 2018, before more followed the next summer.
If United were to sell an academy graduate this summer such as Brandon Williams, Anthony Elanga or Tuanzebe, the transfer fee can be deemed as pure profit in club accounts, strengthening their hand against FFP regulations that may inhibit future incomings.
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