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January player cull planned at Manchester United

After a £126 million spending spree in the summer, it is being reported that Man Utd are looking to offload up to seven players in January, in a bid to balance the books and boost their transfer budget.

The latest transfer window saw them splash out on Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, which not only made a dent in their finances but also left a number of players on the fringe, with competition for places fierce.

January player cull planned at Manchester United

Despite a major outlay, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not able to find the requisite funds for a defensive midfielder, which is understood to be the main area of concern in the United side.

As a result, Solskjaer is reportedly already planning for January, should the right player become available and because of this, the Norwegian is understood to have earmarked a group of players who he is happy to move on.

These include Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek, who only arrived at Old Trafford last summer, in a £35 million deal from Ajax.

The majority of these players will likely command decent prices in the transfer window, though of concern for most buying clubs will be the wages of the players, most of whom exceed five figures/week.

 

Who would go where?

It is understood that Solskjaer blocked a late move from Everton for Dutch midfielder Van de Beek on the last day of the summer transfer window and it will be interesting to see whether the Toffees renew their interest in the player, with the club keen to part company with high earner James Rodriguez.

There is no doubt that the 24-year-old has talent, as demonstrated during Champions League performances for former club Ajax, though he has struggled to fit in at United, who have players ahead of him in the pecking order, most notably Paul Pogba.

Meanwhile, Lingard is an interesting one. He is another player who Solskjaer prevented from leaving in the summer, with West Ham United understood to have been keen on signing the player who excelled while on loan at the club in the second part of last season.

The Hammers, who have started the season brightly appear to be coping just fine without the England international, though David Moyes would no doubt see him as a welcome addition to his squad, should a price be able to be agreed.

An interesting one is bench-warmer Jones, who last made a Manchester United appearance on 26 January 2020 – an FA Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers. Still only 29, if he can get fit again, he could still do a job at a lower Premier League club, however, his wages are likely to be a problem.