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From Pogba to Alexis: Manchester United's potential summer sales revealed

12:30 PM IST 13/06/20
Paul Pogba Alexis Sanchez GFX Manchester United Inter
It could prove to be a busy summer in terms of outgoings for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has decisions to make on a number of individuals in his squad

What will the summer transfer window hold for Manchester United? And what will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad look like once it is finished?

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has warned that it will not be business as usual due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis but United are still expected to be active. 

A midfielder and a wide attacking player remain the priorities with Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish both on the list

But there are still significant questions regarding potential outgoings. 

Solskjaer is in the middle of his rebuild and, with new players coming in, there are a few fringe players who are surplus to requirements. If deals can be agreed a number could be on their way in the summer. But with so much uncertainty around the window it remains to be seen what will be possible. 

Here, Goal takes a look at the current state-of-play…


Solskjaer has been rebuilding his squad since he was given the job on a permanent basis 18 months ago and in doing so he's established a number of undroppables in his squad. 

Harry Maguire's arrival last summer boosted United's back line and the former Leicester man was given the captaincy just a few months after arriving at Old Trafford. Solskjaer's on the hunt for a permanent partner for the England international but the 27-year-old is set to be a key component of the back line for years to come.

The same can be said for Aaron Wan-Bissaka who has impressed in his first campaign at the club. First-choice defenders Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and David de Gea aren't going anywhere either. Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot will be kept as squad players, as will back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero

It goes without saying that Bruno Fernandes will be at Old Trafford for some time yet; he's been key to United's upturn in form and has had a huge impact in a short space of time.

Midfield duo Scott McTominay and Fred have both improved and are key to Solskjaer's rebuild. Squad players Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic meanwhile have extended their contracts until the summer of 2021.  

Up front Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James give the Norwegian a number of options. 


Paul Pogba was set to be the most talked about transfer of the summer but with the economic uncertainty due to Covid-19 it looks unlikely any club is going to be able to pay the transfer fee United would demand for the midfielder or be able to afford his wages

After a couple of below-par seasons Jesse Lingard's long-term future has been up in the air for a while. His contract is up next summer and, so far, there has not been a new offer on the table.

The 27-year-old recently admitted his mind “wasn’t there” last season and he will struggle to pin down a place in Solskjaer's starting XI. He'll have to decide whether to push for a move elsewhere for more regular football. 

Likewise, Andreas Pereira might struggle to find a place in the line-up with everyone else back fit. However, he has been picked 37 times by Solskjaer and there is nothing to suggest that the club are seeking to get rid of him. 


The big question surrounding any player sales this summer, of course, is whether clubs - even elite clubs - can afford to make permanent transfers given the impact of the coronavirus.

But should they be able to agree deals there are a number of players who United would consider letting leave this summer. 

Things have gone from bad to worse for Marcos Rojo this season. After making just nine appearances for United he secured a loan move away to Estudiantes only for an ankle injury to blight his return to Argentina. He had made just one appearance before the pandemic hit.

He is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and the club are open to negotiate a permanent move for the 30-year-old who has failed to convince since arriving from Sporting CP in 2014.

Boca Juniors are interested in the centre-back and Estudiantes have already made it clear they would like Rojo to extend his stay. Attempts to sell the defender in the past never materialised but this could be the summer it works out.

The biggest issue United will face in terms of player exits is trying to find a buyer for Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean is under contract at Old Trafford until 2022 and given Sanchez’s wages finding a buyer was always going to be an issue.

Now, given the economic climate around the coronavirus, it’s a situation which has become even more difficult. He is not needed, or wanted, back at United and has made just 15 appearances for Inter this season.


Given it’s highly unlikely the club are going to be able to find a buyer, Sanchez is one that could easily slot into the loan category as that would be the best option for all parties.

The arrival of Maguire has seen Phil Jones slip down the pecking order at Old Trafford and he’s even fallen behind youngster Axel Tuanzebe in the race to become Maguire’s partner.

Lindelof, Bailly and Tuanzebe are all ahead of the 28-year-old as Solskjaer looks to rebuild his squad and it is understood the club would be open to letting the defender leave.

A permanent transfer away would make more sense as it is unlikely he would get his place back in the starting XI even after a successful loan spell away as Solskjaer prefers other options. 

Similar to Jones,  Chris Smalling knew he had been pushed down the centre-back pecking order with the arrival of Maguire and the 30-year-old has been enjoying his spell at Roma on loan.

Despite impressing during his spell in Serie A, he is still surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and Roma are desperate to keep him at the club.

Smalling has settled with his family in the Italian capital, is enjoying his football and has become a key part of Paulo Fonseca’s side. It would not make sense for him to return to United on a permanent basis.

Next Generation

Solskjaer has already stuck to his promise of giving young homegrown players a chance. Since he took charge the Norwegian has given debuts to 10 academy graduates. 

Expect to see more of Mason Greenwood, who has established himself in the first-team squad this season after Solskjaer gave him a chance due to Romelu Lukaku's departure. He’s made 36 appearances across all competitions, scoring 12 goals, and at only 18 he is being backed to have a long and bright future at the club.

His progression and ability, added to the extension of Odion Ighalo's loan deal, mean the search for a striker has been pushed down the transfer priority list. Solskjaer is keen to give the teenager as many opportunities as possible.  

Brandon Williams is another youth player who has impressed during the current campaign. Thrown in at the deep end due to an injury to Luke Shaw and the suspension of Ashley Young the 19-year-old impressed on his first Premier League appearance against Brighton and has gone on to start another eight games in the league.

His fiery performances have endeared him to the fans and he has shown he has as much ability getting forward as he does defending.

With Shaw fully fit again, the teenager is pushing the 24-year-old for a place in Solskjaer’s first team. Williams is set to be rewarded for his progress with a new contract and with some healthy rivalry at left-back Solskjaer can now focus his efforts on improving other areas of his team.

Centre-back Teden Mengi  has been training with the first team in the past few weeks after a solid season in the Under-23s. Dylan Levitt, Largie Ramazani, Ethan Laird, Di'Shon Bernard and Hannibal Mejbri are all names to keep an eye on.

Available for Loan

Conversations have already begun over which of the U-23 would benefit from a loan next season with Neil Wood and Nicky Butt working closely with Solskjaer on developing the right pathway for the youngsters coming through. 

James Garner is one player who could gain from such a move has been a standout player for Wood’s U-23 side this season but now needs the challenge of regular first-team football in order to progress.

With Solskjaer having plenty of options in midfield, Garner's pathway to the senior squad is blocked. While training with the likes of Pogba and Fernandes on a weekly basis is going to educate the teenager, a temporary move away next season would really help him to push on.

The same can be said for Tahith ChongThe Dutchman has been on the edge of the first team for a couple of years now and there have been plenty excited about his ability and potential.

Like Garner, he looks at ease playing in the U-23s and could do with a bigger challenge. The EFL Trophy games this season gave him the chance to test himself against League One opposition and the physicality of one of the lower leagues could help him develop his game in a way that isn’t possible in Premier League 2.

After protracted contract discussions, the 20-year-old committed his future to United when he signed a new deal in March but the best way to aid his progress would be to allow him a season away.

He has been restricted to just 11 appearances for the first team during the current campaign. Regular first team football is what he needs.

Dean Henderson is in a different situation having enjoyed another excellent season at Sheffield United. It's expected he will be able to extend his loan spell until the end of the current campaign and it is possible he could head back there again next season. 

With little chance of De Gea being dropped, it would make sense for Henderson to return for more first team football.

The 23-year-old is already being tipped to become England number one and another season as first-choice goalkeeper for the Blades gives him a perfect chance to put himself in the reckoning for next season’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

He’s shown he has the ability to be the main man one day at Old Trafford but, with De Gea standing in his way, it’s too soon for him to return on a permanent basis.


And in a category all on his own is Angel Gomes. The teenager is still involved in a contract stand-off with his current deal set to expire at the end of the month and is the only member of the first-team squad who is out of contract this summer. 

Solskjaer is keen to keep the 19-year-old but the midfielder has yet to put pen to paper on the new deal the club have offered. Time is ticking.

Should he decide to commit and sign a new long-term deal it may do him good to get out on loan for a season. He has been worried about lack of first-team opportunities and a year away could help him force his way into the picture when he returns.