The nine Manchester United players who could leave in the transfer window

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Dean Henderson

Henderson has already been on Tyneside this month in an effort to accelerate a protracted move to Newcastle that was first mooted in January. The 25-year-old would have no issue leaving United permanently but the club’s preference is for a (nother) loan, which is not a total ringing endorsement of David de Gea as he approaches the final year of his contract (with a one- year option).

United have Henderson under contract for a maximum of another four years and he earns in excess of £ 100,000-a-week; stumbling blocks to a permanent transfer. The word from Henderson’s side is United are the biggest ‘stumbling block’ as they seek guaranteed back-up to offset his likely exit.

Newcastle have suggested their number two ‘keeper Karl Darlow after Martin Dubravka rejected a swap deal in the winter transfer window.

READ MORE: How Ten Hag created a buzz among United staff

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

A number of players requested clarity on their future before the season ended and Wan-Bissaka’s representatives saw the writing on the wall. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sought to replace the 24-year-old last year and Wan-Bissaka has been one of United’s poorest performers in a season he lost his place.

Wan-Bissaka has two years left on his contract, as well as the option of an additional year, and cost United up to £ 50million. If there is to be a permanent sale, it would be at a considerable loss for a player who is not in the top 10 English right-backs on Gareth Southgate’s radar.

Brandon Williams

Williams has not been assured of fulfilling playing time, with United open to signing a full-back and left-backs Luke Shaw and Alex Telles expected to stay. Williams played frequently on loan at Norwich and does not want a similar season to his second with United where he was limited to five starts.

The 21-year-old academy graduate is contracted to United until 2024 and started in all four semi-final ties in 2019-20, which strengthens United’s bargaining position should any club (s) wish to negotiate a fee.

Phil Jones

He ended the season as fourth-choice center-back but Jones has started two games in the last two years, came off at half-time in one of them and United want a new center half this summer.

Jones is out of contract next year and would be one of the handful of United players not to have their extension exercised. He has outstayed his welcome and could have been released three years ago, as per the terms of his previous deal.



Jones and Bailly, pictured after the League Cup defeat to Derby in 2018, started the 2017-18 season together
Jones and Bailly, pictured after the League Cup defeat to Derby in 2018, started the 2017-18 season together

Eric Bailly

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The 27-year-old has played 113 times for United in six seasons. That is an average of fewer than 20 appearances per season. Bailly played seven times for United in 2021-22; he made more appearances for Cote d’Ivoire during that time.

Bailly should have been sold last year but United caved in and gifted him an entirely new contract. The three-year length underlined their skepticism and the investment has not been vindicated. Bailly ended the fifth season in the central defensive pecking order and wants out.

Axel Tuanzebe

Like his Class of 2015 teammate Henderson, Tuanzebe’s season has been a write-off. Rejoining Aston Villa seemed beneficial until Dean Smith was sacked in November and his five months in Naples could hardly have gone any worse. Tuanzebe played twice and in his sole start Napoli shipped five goals.

Tuanzebe turns 25 in November and is under contract until next year at the very least. United need an athletic and dependable center-back to keep Harry Maguire on his toes but that option is unlikely to be internal and Tuanzebe can no longer be classed as a young player.

Andreas Pereira

But for Flamengo’s financial predicament, Pereira would have been off United’s books by now. He is on loan to the Brazilian club until July 31 but there is still uncertainty over his long-term future and it was reported last month the United football director John Murtough had informed Pereira he could be a part of Erik ten Hag’s plans.

That seems a stretch for a 26-year-old who has not played for United in almost two years and whose loan covers the entirety of the pre-season tour.



Pereira has form for thriving in pre-season
Pereira has form for thriving in pre-season

Anthony Martial

Martial has endured a dismal couple of seasons, scoring a meagre eight United goals. He only managed one on loan at Sevilla, who got more traction out of Martial online than on the pitch.

The 26-year-old has had two good seasons in seven for United and there is a point of principle to consider, given the watershed moment when the club backed Martial over Jose Mourinho four years ago. That eroded the manager’s authority and ushered in the four-year player-power era.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is United’s best player, he is under contract for another year and Ten Hag wants to keep him. But Ronaldo has only ever known Champions League football since he was an 18-year-old and the last time he played in the Europa League it was called the Uefa Cup and he was 17.

If there is an agent who can make the impossible possible then it is Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s representative. Rejoining Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti’s management is not beyond the realms of possibility now Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have slipped the net and Mendes has a finger in the Bayern Munich pie amid the possible departure of Robert Lewandowski.

United have clarified their position on Ronaldo and need him to sooner rather than later. He is due to speak to the press on international duty next week.

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