Manchester United could let as many as six players leave this summer as they prepare to back new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the transfer market. However, their plans are complicated by uncertainty over the futures of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez.
Solskjaer will decide if Sanchez can go, but the forward’s salary may deter potential suitors. United are in dialogue with Herrera and Mata, who are out of contract at the end of the season. They are both set to leave as free agents if they cannot agree new contracts after 18 months of negotiations.
Club captain Antonio Valencia looks certain to leave after a decade at United having not played since early January. Matteo Darmian is expected to follow having failed to secure the return to Italy he wanted in the summer. The 29-year-old defender has played only six times this season, and only twice under Solskjaer.
United are also likely to sell one of their five centre-backs with Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly the leading candidates to go. In addition to the senior players set to be offloaded, defenders Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe — on loan at Fulham and Aston Villa respectively — are also likely to go.
United have prioritised signing a right-back and possibly two central midfielders — one defensive, one creative — to fill the gaps, and may also bring in another winger.
One player United are keen to keep is goalkeeper David de Gea — and they believe he wants to stay. An option on De Gea’s contract was triggered in November to keep him at Old Trafford until 2020.
Although there has been no agreement on the former Atletico Madrid man’s personal terms, United remain confident of negotiations eventually reaching a successful conclusion.