Fringe players Manchester United could sell to fund January spending

The summer transfer window has barely closed, but eyes are already on Manchester United’s future transfers.

The Reds were able to complete four summer signings over the window by bringing in Tom Heaton, Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo for the season ahead. To balance their squad, they let a slew of players go on loan, including first-team regulars Axel Tuanzebe and Andreas Pereira, while Daniel James was sold to Leeds United on a permanent contract.

But with potential deals to be made in January, United could look to downsize the squad further to make room for new entrants. But who is most likely to see the exit door in the middle of the season? MEN Sports looked at the players who could count their days at Old Trafford.

Phil jones

Probably the most obvious name on the list is defenseman Phil Jones. The former England international hasn’t played for the club since January 2020 after a series of injuries, but there was no taker for him during the summer.

Jones is the club’s fifth center-back currently behind Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, but he has returned to form in recent months. Despite this, he has been limited to appearances in friendlies behind closed doors and has yet to make an appearance on a team on match day.

If he can stay fit but still can’t make his way into the squad, it would surely be better for all parts if he moves on to new pastures.

Eric Bailly

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 16: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Eric Bailly of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on August 16, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)

If there is no buyer for Jones during the winter window, just as there was none during the summer window, they could potentially look to look to Ivorian defender Bailly at the square.

The former Villarreal defender signed a new contract with the club until 2024 with the option of an additional year at the end of last season, but clarified shortly after that he had not signed the fair deal to sit on the bench. But with Varane arriving this summer essentially relegating him to fourth pick, a January move is certainly not something to be ruled out.

Nemanja Matic

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic.

Manchester United had been keen to add a defensive midfielder to their squad over the summer but found themselves unable to add one, meaning their options remain the same as last season.

This means that former Serbian international Matic remains behind Fred, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba in the pecking order for one of the two deepest roles in midfield. With the possibility of Solskjaer moving to a more attacking formation and using only one midfielder, Matic could see his playing time drastically reduced and at 33 now he could look for regular minutes elsewhere as he enters. in the twilight of a hugely successful career.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard currently has a high market value due to his performance at West Ham United last season.
Jesse Lingard currently has a high market value due to his performance at West Ham United last season.

Another of the more obvious names on the list, Lingard was due to leave this summer after a very successful loan spell at West Ham in the second half of last season.

However, no one hit United’s asking price and the 28-year-old forward ended up staying at Old Trafford for the coming season. With only ten months remaining on his contract at Manchester United, Lingard has since rejected a new contract as he wants assurances on his playing time at the club.

Lingard hopes to play more by January, but if that doesn’t happen he will be one of the players most interested in him and a fee is unlikely to be too hard to collect for his services.

Donny Van de Beek

Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek

Van de Beek has been linked with being away from the club all summer due to a ‘painful’ first season at the club, but Solskjaer has assured him he is needed at Old Trafford this season.

But after missing out in any of the first three games of the season, it immediately looks like the Dutch midfielder will have a mountain to climb to get some regular football this season. However, if that is the case, whether United like it or not, the ex-Ajax man could be heading for the exit.

He won’t be short of suitors and United would likely get more money for him than anyone on this list, so it’s definitely a situation to watch out for.

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