12 Man Utd players set to leave club in transfer window with six walking away for free

Manchester United face a huge summer with Erik ten Hag taking over, and a dozen players could be shown the Old Trafford exit door to make room for new signings

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Ralf Rangnick reviews Liverpool defeat

Erik ten Hag faces a serious challenge at Manchester United this summer, with the club set for an extraordinary summer rebuild.

A season that promised so much has descended into farce, with the Red Devils guaranteed to end the campaign trophyless and facing the prospect of no Champions League football next term following a 4-0 mauling at Liverpool. The big-money arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho last summer failed to mask the squad’s many glaring weaknesses, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked in November and Ralf Rangnick tasked with steadying the ship as interim manager.

Rangnick’s end-of-term report for Ten Hag – who is expected to be announced as United’s new manager – is likely to be a brutal one, with few, if any, players ending the 2021/22 season with any merit. Fortunately for Ten Hag, he will have a transfer budget approaching £200million to rebuild the squad in his image, while half a dozen players will be leaving when their contracts expire – and another six could also be on their way in the right circumstances.

Man Utd players leaving this summer

Paul Pogba: Out of contract

Signed for a club-record £89m, Pogba’s return has not worked out, with the midfielder becoming a symbol of the dysfunction running through the club from top to bottom. A season that started so promisingly for both Pogba and United – the World Cup winner bagging four assists in a 5-1 win over Leeds – has soured, with Pogba cupping his ears to furious fans as he walked off against Norwich. A huge contract offer is still on the table, but it seems unlikely this relationship can be salvaged.

Jesse Lingard: Out of contract

Another United academy graduate who has stayed too long, the playmaker has wasted a season back at Old Trafford after a superb loan spell at West Ham last term. Lingard tried and failed to leave in the January transfer window as United needed bodies, but he will have plenty of contract offers this summer.

Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba are both set to leave this summer

Juan Mata: Out of contract

The Spaniard remains an important role model in the squad given he is one of the few to have actually won major honours, but time has caught up with the 33-year-old. Mata is likely to have numerous offers from Spanish clubs, and his desire to become a coach could see him on the touchline before too long.

Nemanja Matic: Out of contract

The Serbian midfielder has already confirmed this season will be his last at United. Matic has plenty of class on the ball but is another whose legs are no longer quick enough to compensate for his teammates’ failings. It is the right time for him to go but leaves another hole Ten Hag will have to fill in midfield.

Edinson Cavani: Out of contract

The Uruguayan quickly earned cult status among United fans for his goals and effort last season, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s return meant the team could not accommodate two veteran forwards. Cavani’s injury problems and perceived lack of commitment to the cause – in contrast with his international appearances – have seen United fans go cold on the 35-year-old, which is a shame given last season’s love-in.

Lee Grant: Out of contract

The 39-year-old goalkeeper has made two appearances for United since joining in 2018. Seen as an experienced training-ground presence, the return of Tom Heaton nullified his role as the veteran back-up ‘keeper in the squad.

Man Utd players likely to leave

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Signed from Crystal Palace for £50m in 2019, the right-back has largely been solid – and at times excellent – defensively, but his lack of confidence and ability further up the field has hindered United’s plans to mimic Liverpool and Manchester City’s blueprint of marauding full-backs. Lost his starting role to Diogo Dalot, and he could be sold for the right price.

Eric Bailly

When he is fit, he is arguably United’s top centre-back – but that’s a big if. Injury problems have cost Bailly an extended run in the team, and his ability to rub managers the wrong way has seen him slip down the pecking order when fit. Left out in favour of Phil Jones at Liverpool despite only signing a new contract last year, Bailly and United will both be searching for a new start.

Phil Jones

The centre-back deserves credit for overcoming his injury nightmare, though being thrust into an unfamiliar back line against Liverpool of all teams was almost a little unfair on Jones. The 30-year-old is unlikely to be relied on in Ten Hag’s new-look squad and may take the chance to find regular football this summer.

Phil Jones was left exposed against Liverpool

Have Your Say! Who should leave Man Utd – and who should stay? Join the debate here.

Alex Telles

Telles has the opposite problem to fellow full-back Wan-Bissaka in that he offers an attacking threat – particularly from corners – but his defensive game leaves a lot to be desired. Norwich’s two goals in United’s 3-2 recent win at Old Trafford both came down his flank, and it would be no surprise to see the Brazilian make way with another full-back coming in to challenge Luke Shaw.

Anthony Martial

Joel Glazer is a big fan of Martial, but even he must be contemplating the forward’s future at United. A loan move to Sevilla has not panned out for the Frenchman, and convincing another club to pay Martial’s huge wages is likely the only reason he has not yet been sold.

Marcus Rashford

Once the golden boy of Old Trafford, the academy graduate has been out of sorts for so long now that it would be incorrect to describe his slide as a mere slump in form. Rashford has cut a dejected figure on the pitch for months and looks like he badly needs a fresh start. Whether that is under Ten Hag, or at a new club, is up in the air, with Arsenal interested in the 24-year-old.

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