Erik ten Hag may be about to sanction Man Utd’s third most-expensive sale in history
– More than 10 players likely to depart Old Trafford this summer as new coach seeks to revive the club’s fortunes
On Thursday night, Manchester United sleepwalked their way to an uninspiring 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Old Trafford, all but extinguishing any lingering hopes of a top four finish.
Coming on the back of defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, it was yet another indication that Ralf Rangnick’s interim appointment has done little to close the gap on United’s traditional rivals.
There has been talk of United needing to get rid of over 10 players, permanently or on loan, but this surely will not happen in one transfer window.
Ten Hag has signed a three-year contract, with an option of a fourth, and as things stand it may take most of this period to restore luster to the Old Trafford club, which will end a fifth consecutive season without a trophy.
The new coach has set out his plans for the future, with nearly $250 million promised for new signings, a budget on potential sales.
At his current club Ajax, ten Hag has not been known for splashing millions on players, instead preferring to refine young talent from the club’s academy or bring in untapped signings.
This is not something that will be afforded at Old Trafford. The Dutchman takes over a broken team that needs immediate fixing.
Manchester United currently have the highest average age among the traditional Big Six clubs in Premier League (27.6 years), slightly above Manchester City’s 27.5 and Liverpool’s 27.1.
First in line are those whose contracts are expiring, including Paul Pogba, while Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are also heading for the exit door.
The club is ready to listen to offers for others, such as Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira, Lee Grant and Anthony Martial, currently on loan at Sevilla.