Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is ready to let four big-name stars this summer as the next phase of his rebuilding project starts to take shape, TEAMtalk has been told.
The Red Devils spent around £216m in Ten Hag’s first summer in charge, bringing in six new players. But there was also a lot of emphasis placed on departures too as the likes of Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba all made way.
It was a similar story in the January window with United again generally operating with a one in, one out basis. To that end, Jack Butland and Wout Weghorst came in to replace both Martin Dubravka and Cristiano Ronaldo. Marcel Sabitzer also arrived late in the window following injury to Christian Eriksen.
However, plans for the summer window are ready taking place. And while much will depend on whom takes ownership of the club, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip suggests their prospective new Sheikh owner wants to gift United with two elite world stars.
However, trusted reporter Ben Jacobs insists it is too early at this stage to speculate what sort of money United could spend.
And he insists that will remain the case until we know exactly who the new owners are going to be.
“It’s very easy to say that if Manchester United get rich new owners, Erik ten Hag is going to get loads of money to spend. And despite the soft deadline passing on Friday, we still don’t know who the next Manchester United owner is going to be.
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Ten Hag ready to sell unwanted Manchester United stars
“So to start saying, they’re going to spend 200, or 300, 400, 500 million or whatever, is premature. We’re predicting money from an owner or an investor who we don’t yet know.
“Ten Hag, though, is focusing on matters he can control. And the first key thing for Manchester United’s window is qualifying for the Champions League. If they do that – regardless of who is in charge – there will be more scope to spend over the summer.
“Then the second thing is, if there’s a new owner, we could see something maybe not quite to the Chelsea degree, but something very exciting for Manchester United fans where a new owner does want to spend hundreds of millions. There remains a desire to freshen up the team.”
As Jacobs is at pains to point out, though, incomings at Manchester United will also mean a series of departures too.
“Freshening up also means outgoings, and that’s going to be a key part of Manchester United’s summer window as well. In that aspect, Ten Hag, in the football department can do his planning, albeit not financially.
“In other words, they can do the due diligence, they can work out the positions where they want to strengthen, and they can start lining up names. But they don’t know what their budget is yet.
“The first thing is to stress though is that outgoings are going to be very important. And Scott McTominay is one name that could depart. Ten Hag is quite glad that he’s there and he made it quite clear he didn’t want to entertain any January offers.
“But come the summer, because Casemiro has come in, McTominay will be available on the market. Newcastle, in particular, are one to watch there.”
West Ham looking at Anthony Martial
With McTominay likely to depart, the club are also preparing to make a number of other tough decisions this summer.
And while few will miss Donny van de Beek, predicted sales of Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire are tougher calls.
Jacobs explains the thinking in more detail and claims West Ham are among those keen on Martial.
“Donny van de Beek is another one. It can be quite hard sometimes to return from injury and immediately find a club. So we have to wait and see whether he stays or goes.
“Anthony Martial is another one to watch. West Ham have really liked the player in the past and a Monaco return is not unthinkable either.
“It’s a shame really because everyone at Manchester United likes Martial. But fitness has been a problem and that might well provoke a move.
“And then Harry Maguire is linked with a different club every day. We will see in the summer whether he finally ends up moving. It’s hard on Maguire, but that clears up the squad a little bit.”
Sales of all four players will reportedly generate an additional £120m in transfer revenue for Ten Hag. And that’s before the savings in wages are also taken into account.
As a result, United are likely to push hard to make at least two top-quality additions this summer. To that end, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip suggests strong pushes will be made for Jude Bellingham and Victor Osimhen.
And with funds potentially available for more elite signings, confidence will grow that United can push hard to win the Premier League title next season.
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