Manchester United’s seven hardest players to sell


Manchester United need an empty squad this summer and with several players going on free transfers, selling stars isn’t always easy.

United have a number of players on expensive and lengthy contracts, and as the club have discovered, getting rid of them can be a long process.

United had to sever ties with Marcos Rojo by mutual consent to get him off the books last year, and this summer could be a long process.

We’ve compiled a list of the ‘seven hardest players to sell’. Erik ten Hag may want to keep some of these players, but if he decides to sell it could be tricky…

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Your club’s SURPRISE star this season

Andreas Pereira

United have been trying to sell Andreas Pereira for at least two years now, following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unfortunate decision to extend his contract in 2019 until 2023.

Pereira was loaned out to Lazio and more recently to Flamengo. There were reports in Brazil earlier this year United were close to completing a permanent sale to Flamengo, but Esporte now claim that fell through.

With Pereira set to return to United when his loan expires, we can expect ‘pre-season Pirlo’ to do the trick again this summer, which will hopefully attract a bidder. But even after scoring a wonder goal last summer against Brentford, all United could muster was a season-long loan.

We doubt bidders will be lining up, and United may have to settle for selling Pereira for as little as £5million.

Photo by Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

Antoine Martial

Anthony Martial’s stock has dropped a lot over the past year, losing his place in the France international squad along the way.

United struggled to loan out Martial in January due to his £250,000-a-week salary. For a club to pay an extra transfer fee is a big ask, unless the striker takes a pay cut. Martial’s contract runs until 2024.

His loan to Seville was an opportunity for Martial to showcase himself and attract summer bidders. Instead, it had the opposite effect.

He scored just one goal in 11 matches and suffered two injuries. Martial hasn’t been worth Sevilla’s investment, and United wouldn’t be able to impose a high fee on him. Another loan might be likely.

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Eric Bailly

Eric Bailly could have been released on a free transfer this summer were it not for the unfortunate decision to extend his contract until 2024.

The defender has made just three league starts this season and has a dismal injury record which has seen him make just 113 appearances for the club in six seasons.

Bailly is another player who may need to be loaned out due to his salary, or at least won’t generate a significant fee.

United would undoubtedly make a loss on the £30million paid to Villarreal for his services in 2016.

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Phil Jones

Challenge: Sell ​​Phil Jones. Difficulty level : Impossible.

Jones implausibly signed a new contract in 2019 that runs until the summer of 2023. His injury record and salary also make him a high risk for teams.

It would definitely be in Jones’ interests if United terminated his contract this summer to allow him to find a new club.

The Manchester Evening News reported last summer that Jones was considered “unsaleable” by United. It wouldn’t be surprising if he gets injured before the transfer window.

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Harry Maguire

Say Erik ten Hag doesn’t like Harry Maguire and urges Manchester United to sell him, does the club have the guts to admit a mistake?

Maguire cost United £80million, and while clubs for the England international may be interested, surely no club would offer United the same amount.

So it would come down to the ego of the United board. Selling Maguire for £40-50m would be an admission of failure, a big loss three years after the defender was signed and made captain.

United’s pride could see the club walk away from a sale, and Maguire could retain his place in the squad simply by default.

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

David de Gea

Another first-team regular, David de Gea is a very difficult player to sell for United due to his salary and limited destinations.

De Gea earns £375,000 a week which, according to The Mirror, makes him the highest paid goalkeeper in the world.

Of the few clubs that could afford to pay his salary, PSG, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich, none are actively looking for a goalkeeper.

De Gea’s contract expires in 2023 and United have an interesting move ahead. If he gets another long-term deal, the club will need to be certain as it will remain very difficult to get rid of him once he signs, should United decide.

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo still has a year left on his contract, and although he looks set to stay at Old Trafford, he’s not blessed with options.

Both Juventus and Real Madrid have moved on since he left and he wouldn’t sign for a rival Spanish or English club.

PSG may be the only club that can afford it, but a link to long-time rival Lionel Messi seems unlikely to say the least.

A return to Sporting may be possible, but Ronaldo would have to make a sacrifice. He earns a salary of around £500,000 a week at United, claims The Mirror. Sporting could only win a fraction of that.

United have the option of extending Ronaldo’s contract for a further 12 months but could choose to release him in 2023. However, selling him this summer would clearly be complicated.

Dan still wonders what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron…

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