Erik ten Hag has initiated a summer clearout in his first transfer window in charge, with six players already confirmed to be leaving upon the expiry of their contracts later this month.
And Ten Hag’s exodus is unlikely to end there, with United’s bloated squad in desperate need of trimming before significant reinforcements can be made.
Earlier on Saturday, it was reported that goalkeeper Dean Henderson is closing in on a move to Nottingham Forest. Now, it’s being suggested that Henderson is one of four players that are ‘happy’ to leave United this summer.
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who add that Phil Jones, Anthony Martial and Eric Bailly would all be keen on exits. Jones has one year remaining on his contract at the club and has barely featured over the last two years.
Martial endured a challenging loan spell at Sevilla last season, with the Frenchman failing to score in any of his nine appearances. His disappointing performances meant that the Andalusian club would not be exercising their option to buy him permanently.
Bailly, who signed a new contract at United in 2021, is behind Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order and is unlikely to surmount a realistic challenge.
Trimming the United squad is paramount to having a successful transfer window, with too many bystanders evidently causing a toxic environment. The 2021/22 season was proof of that, with reports of squad unrest widespread throughout the campaign.
In truth, Ten Hag is unlikely to lose sleep over losing any of the aforementioned players. Most of them are unlikely to be in the Dutchman’s plans and their exits would free up valuable space on the wage bill.
In terms of incomings, United have been strongly linked with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong but are currently haggling with Barcelona over a transfer fee.
Christian Eriksen, who is a free agent, is also of interest to United but it’s being reported that he would prefer to stay in London.