Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could seek to sell three more defenders this summer after the arrival of Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez. It has already been reported that Brandon Williams could be the subject of a £15 million move from Brighton and Hove Albion after they sell Marc Cucurella to Manchester City.
The arrival of Malacia from Feyenoord earlier this summer led to Williams and Alex Telles likely to find few minutes during the course of the season with Telles also likely to be pushed out of United just a few years after signing for the club. During pre-season, he has been used in different positions, which has not worked.
There have been reports this summer that Telles, who signed from FC Porto in the summer of 2020 could move back to Porto, which would be good for all parties. United have loaned Alvaro Fernandez to Preston North End for the 2022/23 season, trimming the left-back position considerably with five players unlikely to find many minutes.
It would be good for United to get rid of both Williams and Telles, not only to trim down the squad but to release a burden on the weekly wage bill too, which will benefit United should they seek to delve back into the transfer market this summer, which is likely with Ten Hag seeking a right-back, if Aaron Wan-Bissaka can be sold and a forward.
United are still seeking to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, but nothing seems to have changed there with reports that effectively cancel each other out coming daily which is becoming both boring and frustrating. United’s transfer market business seems to play out like the script of a soap opera whilst other club do quick business.
Freeing up the defensive line significantly would be good for United, having one of each fullback and four central defensive players in the squad, plus youth coming through the ranks, which could mean more minutes for them in the lesser Premier League matches, the Carabao Cup and even the UEFA Europa League this season.
One other player linked with an exit is Eric Bailly, who seemingly wants to remain at the Old Trafford club to high for his place in the squad this summer. This is good to hear but Bailly is just 90 minutes from an injury in every match with him missing around half of the matches he has player because of injury and other things.
It has been reported that Jose Mourinho would like to sign him for AS Roma which is an option for United. This season, Ten Hag is likely to utilise Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and new signing Lisandro Martinez in the centre of the defence this season, which could also pave the way for Phil Jones to leave the club.
Bailly has had a positive pre-season and whilst it is admirable that he wants to fight for his place, this will complicate things this season with the manager seemingly wanting to change things up in the squad, which has been what was needed for some time now. United have not kicked on with some of these players at the club.
Written by John Walker