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The names to watch in a Manchester United fire-sale this summer

Manchester United are expected to have a number of outgoings this summer. Erik ten Hag is clearly intent on a clear-out. Outgoings for Manchester United are actually easier to predict than incomings due to the ownership situation.

United’s football department can plan right now for who they want to let go, whereas it’s premature to say they’ll try for players like Harry Kane or Victor Osimhen, since that would either be pre-spending money from an unknown new owner or reliant on the Glazers (if still there) spending big. Plus, with Kane, as I have reported since October, his priority remains to sign a new Spurs deal if the project goes to plan, and the win over Manchester City certainly helps.

Harry Maguire could leave Manchester United this summer because Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are keeping him out of the team. But Ten Hag still appreciates Maguire and his overall influence on the dressing room. That’s why he didn’t want to let him go in January.

Maguire seems to be linked with a new club every day: Inter Milan, West Ham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, even a return to Leicester… but there’s not always a great deal of substance. The first consideration with Maguire will be how much game time he gets between now and the end of the season.

Anthony Martial and Alex Telles are two possible exits. Martial has had a torrid time with injures and despite scoring in the League Cup semi-final win over Nottingham Forest, is back on the sidelines again. Martial has missed over 20 games this season and although Ten Hag has been impressed by his attitude, his injury record might be a factor in letting him go. Lyon are still quite keen on bringing him back, especially under ambitious new owner John Textor. West Ham and Newcastle have looked in the past, too.

Meanwhile, I would be surprised if Alex Telles isn’t sold and Sevilla, where he’s on loan, are hopeful of buying him, but they’ll potentially need a cut-price deal.

Another interesting outgoing could be Scott McTominay, who has fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of the excellent Casemiro. Ten Hag didn’t want to let him go in January, but the summer may well be a different story. Newcastle have a genuine interest and could have moved in January if they thought Manchester United would have sanctioned a sale.

Donny van de Beek is another potential outgoing. But it’s tricky now since the Dutch midfielder is out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury. It’s hard to instantly sell a player returning from a long-term injury. And, during rehabilitation, it can be demotivating for the player if they sense they’ll be straight out the door when fit.

Van de Beek is clearly available on the market if the right offer comes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he sticks around through pre-season and tries to show what he’s capable of. That’s the beauty of how ten Hag is handling all his players. He is frank but fair with them and that creates far more of a ‘player meritocracy’ than Manchester United have had under recent managers. So even those out of the starting XI still feel they can earn a chance.

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