With a week to go in the transfer window, Manchester United have finally begun working on exits from the playing squad.
The Red Devils have been strongly linked with several players across the summer window but so far have only managed to sign Donny Van De Beek from Ajax for around £35 million. Their pursuit of Jadon Sancho has reportedly continued into the final week, while they’re also looking to complete the signing of Porto left-back Alex Telles too.
Despite having plenty of deadwood too they have so far only let one first-team player leave the club, with Alexis Sanchez’ contract being rescinded and the Chilean allowed to sign for Inter Milan on a permanent deal. Chris Smalling has returned from Roma after the Serie A side refused to meet the asking price, while there has been no interest in the likes of Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.
But now with the window winding down, transfers are seemingly taking shape.
Attacking midfielder Andreas Pereira is set to join Lazio on a season-long loan deal with the option to make the transfer permanent for €27million next summer, while Roma are set to return with an improved offer for Chris Smalling closer to the €18 million asking price.
Further to that, full-back Diogo Dalot is a target for another Serie A side as AC Milan are looking to take him on loan. According to reports, they made an offer to take the Portuguese player for the season but Manchester United are only interested in doing business for a permanent deal.
I think the Dalot situation is odd, considering he’s barely been given a first-team role at the club. He clearly has talent going forward, which is something the club are lacking at full-back right now. Solskjær is unhappy about Dalot’s intensity on and off the ball and has made the decision to part ways with the player. It seems that Ole would prefer to keep hold of Timothy Fosu-Mensah as extra cover and if he can sign Alex Telles from Porto, he will use Brandon Williams as cover for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back.
Regardless of the situation with incoming players, United’s decision to start moving players on makes a lot of sense. Despite the lack of players coming in, the players linked with moves away aren’t part of the plans of the club going forward. There’s no need for them to be there.
Players like Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have no interest coming from outside the club but they also clearly have no future at the club. By shifting them both, United can get close to £200k p/w off the wage bill and put that towards new signings in the future. Reducing the wage bill should be one of the priorities over the next year or two, ensuring that back-up players are receiving back-up wages so that when the time comes to move them on they’re not impossible to sell as has been the case over the last 7 years.
It seems like there will be plenty of movement at Old Trafford this coming week, whether the fans see the right incomings and outgoings to help their current campaign remains to be seen though.