With the 2019/20 Premier League season hurtling towards its conclusion, Man United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will almost certainly be scouring the market for new blood as well as looking at ways to offload some ‘dead wood.’
However, journalist Duncan Castles believes the latter may be easier said than done.
Should the Red Devils qualify for the Champions League by virtue of a fourth placed finish in the English top-flight, then players will expect an uplift in salaries. In so doing, that would theoretically make them harder to move on because potential buying clubs may not be able to match those terms.
“Interestingly for United, selling those players will actually become harder if they make the Champions League. Their wages will go up.
“They’re on 75 per-cent salary at the moment, as most Manchester United players are when they fail to be in the Champions League for a season.
“Now lets say they get into the top four, and it will be the top four after that Manchester City decision, Jones, Rojo and Smalling will be more expensive to recruit for other teams and more expensive for other teams to loan, because their wages will have gone up.
“It’s understandable that he’ll (Solskjaer) want an upgrade. I’m told he still has a lot of faith in Eric Bailly, he wants to retain him for next year and he’s hopeful that injury issues that have dogged him for a long period of time will be solveable.
“But you look at the other options, and there are question marks over [Harry] Maguire that Solskjaer can’t deal with because they invested so heavily in him.
“Luke Shaw is not going to be an answer at centre-back in a back-four, which is [Solskjear’s] preferred formation at the moment.
“[Axel] Tuanzebe might show a lot of potential, but he’s very young. The other three are ones he would like to get rid of. So something has to be done there.”
In order to bring in some big names, it’s imperative that those players who aren’t going to get a look in are able to get alternative employment elsewhere.
Solskjaer can’t afford to have players sat on the bench, or not even making the bench, who have little to no prospect of making his starting XIs and who are also draining finances from the club coffers.
A longer than expected transfer window may be of help, but equally could be a hindrance as clubs leave it to the last minute to try and strike a bargain.