Manchester United ‘planning a drastic cull of SEVEN first-team stars in the January transfer window’ – with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘thinking of selling Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek to raise funds’
- Manchester United are understood to be planning a winter transfer window cull
- Seven first-teamers are reportedly on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s chopping block
- Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles could also be sold by the club
Manchester United are reportedly planning a drastic cull of their squad in the January transfer window, with seven players understood to be on the chopping block.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be keen on trimming his squad to raise transfer funds, with several first-team stars at risk of being sold.
According to the Sun, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles could all go.
Anthony Martial is one of seven stars Manchester United are said to be willing to sell in January
None of those players are first-team regulars in the side, so selling them would not necessarily weaken the starting team, or even the wider squad, if they were replaced.
And the Red Devils are understood to be planning talks with the players in question to discuss their futures before the winter transfer window opens in the new year.
Martial is still just 25 but his future at Old Trafford is highly uncertain following several inconsistent seasons – especially after the glitzy signing of Cristiano Ronaldo added competition to the forward line.
After signing as a 20-year-old from Monaco in 2015, the Frenchman scored 17 goals in all competitions, scoring a fine goal against Liverpool on his debut and proving his potential immediately.
Attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard (pictured) could also be part of the Red Devils’ drastic cull
However, aside from a prolific 23 goals in all competitions in 2019-20, Martial has struggled to regularly hit the back of the net and scored just four Premier League goals last campaign – his joint-lowest total in his six years at the club.
Attacking midfielder Lingard’s zenith as a United player came in 2017-18, scoring 13 goals and starring in England’s run to the World Cup semi-final in Russia.
But after two so-so seasons, he was farmed out on loan to West Ham, where he reignited his Premier League career, scoring nine goals and producing five assists in just 16 matches and helping the Hammers qualify for Europe.
Lingard was open to rejoining West Ham on a permanent deal this summer, but was assured by Solskjaer that he was part of his first-team plans.
Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek is also understood to be on the chopping block
The 28-year-old only has 28 minutes of league action this season, and gifted Young Boys a last-gasp winner in a Champions League tie last week, and now looks to be out of the long-term picture.
Netherlands international van de Beek, meanwhile, has just five minutes of game time in the Premier League under his belt.
Despite the 24-year-old’s professionalism, positive attitude and strong work ethic, and Solskjaer making the right noises about the former Ajax midfielder’s physical and mental adaptation to the Premier League, he could well leave the club too.
The signing of Raphael Varane, meanwhile, seems to have reduced the first-team prospects of Bailly and Jones.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly keen to sell players to boost his transfer kitty
With Varane and captain Harry Maguire clearly the first-choice pairing and Victor Lindelof providing backup, the out-of-favour duo are unlikely to see much first-team action – this despite the Ivorian signing a new three-year deal in April.
Jones has barely played in the last two seasons due to persistent injuries and a loss of form, with Axel Tuanzebe – on loan at Aston Villa – and highly-rated youngster Teden Mengi potentially considered good enough backup options.
Solskjaer is also reportedly willing to sell back-up full-backs Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles.
Other than first-teamers Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw and versatile 21-year-old Brandon Williams, who is on loan at Norwich, there is no other cover at full-back, meaning right back Dalot and left back Telles would have to be replaced if sold.