Who is on the Man United chopping block heading into January?

Man United’s £112m pair Casemiro and Raphael Varane could be sold to free up funds, while Jadon Sancho will look to end his Old Trafford nightmare – but who else is on the club’s chopping block heading into January?

  • A number of Man United stars could be set to leave the club during January 
  • Here, Mail Sport takes a look at the most likely players who could depart
  • On a packed train, how DO you ask a celebrity to move from a seat you have reserved? It’s All Kicking Off

It’s fair to say that the last few months have been a turbulent time for Erik ten Hag and his Manchester United side. 

From their disappointing 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth to their bottom-placed finish in their Champions League group, it’s certainly been difficult for the Red Devils.

Issues both on and off the pitch have continued to trouble the Red Devils – with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane reportedly falling out with the coach. 

It’s culminated in suggestions that a number of United’s first-team stars need to move on during the upcoming January transfer window. 

So, here, Mail Sport takes a look at which United stars could potentially be on their way out of Old Trafford next month. 

Manchester United’s early exit from Europe will have a knock-on effect on their finances

It could force Erik ten Hag’s side to cut their losses with multiple players in the January window

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Before we delve into which players could be likely to leave United in the transfer window, it’s important to understand why the club will need to sell. 

As Mail Sport reported on Wednesday, their European exit – after finishing fourth in their Champions League group – has left a £28m hole in their transfer budget.

That figure is based on United reaching the quarter-finals, as they always budget for.

Financial Fair Play [FFP] regulations restricted what United could spend last summer and precluded bids for £100m-plus players like Harry Kane and Declan Rice.

Next summer’s budget is also contingent on revenue earned from playing in Europe, so this is very bad news for Ten Hag or whoever is in charge by then.

United weren’t likely to be too active in the January window anyway with the budget squeezed by the signings of Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount and Andre Onana.

But there will now be more pressure to sell unwanted players in January in an effort to balance the books.

Perhaps the most obvious player who could be labelled as ‘unwanted’ within ten Hag’s squad is out-of-favour star Jadon Sancho. 

The winger has been in exile from the first team since his public dispute with ten Hag in September. 

The former Borussia Dortmund star, who joined the Red Devils for £73million in 2021, hit out at Ten Hag on social media after the manager claimed he was not working hard enough in training, and tensions have since reached boiling point following the winger’s refusal to apologise. 

Old Trafford outcast Jadon Sancho has not featured for Manchester United since September after being axed from the first team squad amid an ongoing feud with manager Erik ten Hag

Manchester United’s European exit – after finishing fourth in their Champions League group – has left a £28m hole in the club’s transfer budget ahead of a crucial January transfer window

He has been training on his own at Carrington on full pay, costing United around £4m in wages under the terms of his £275,000-a-week contract. 

Now, according to reports in Spain, Sancho has been offered to Barcelona in a shock transfer swap deal that could see former Leeds winger Raphinha return to England. 

However, according to Spanish outlet Sport, the 23-year-old could be set to end his Old Trafford purgatory and swap Manchester for Barcelona in January. 

It’d see United take a massive loss from the £73million which they parted ways with in order to sign for the former Manchester City star but, ultimately, would be the right call.

Sancho isn’t the only who’s fallen out with ten Hag however, with ex-Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane also have a rocky ride with the coach. 

The French World Cup and Champions League winner was hailed as a star recruit when he moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid in 2021, however has fallen out of favour with ten Hag.

Varane’s initial contract was revealed by the club to be a four-year contract, however, the finer details of the deal show it actually is only for three-years with the option of another 12 months, as reported by The Athletic.

United aren’t believed to be wanting to activate that option and Varane could leave as a free agent in the summer in what would be another damning review of the club’s recruitment.

Out-of-form Casemiro (L) and out-of-favour Raphael Varane (R) could be heading for an exit

Brazilian midfielder Casemiro has struggled to replicate the excellent form he enjoyed during his first season at Old Trafford, having enjoyed many trophy-laden seasons at Real Madrid

Should the club wish to recoup any of the £42million which they spent on him two years ago, they’ll need to cash in during the January window. 

Similarly, former Real Madrid star Casemiro could be another which the Red Devils look to shift during the winter transfer market.

The Brazilian looked short of form and fitness at the start of the season, and is out until after Christmas with a hamstring injury. 

He’s been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in January. Even if he stays, his future is likely to be up for discussion in the summer.

Meanwhile, Donny van de Beek, who was a star at Ajax under Ten Hag’s guidance, has agreed personal terms to join Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt on loan until the end of the season.

The 26-year-old has made just one appearance in the Premier League this term – which was a two minute cameo against Crystal Palace – and now the midfielder’s long-term future at United looks to be in doubt.

Former Ajax star Donny van de Beek has played a bit-part role at United since joining the club

Anthony Martial’s contract at United runs out at the end of the 2023-24 campaign

Looking past Van de Beek, there are a number of players who could be on their way out in January due to their respective contracts expiring in the summer. 

The likes of Victor Lindelof, Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Hannibal Mejbri all see their contracts end in 2024 – meaning the club will have to make a swift decision on their futures. 

Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka and Mejbri are all unlikely to leave in January and would, presumably, be offered new contracts before the season is up,  

However, according to reports, United do not intend to activate the option to extend Anthony Martial’s contract when it expires at the end of this season.

Martial signed a new five-year deal believed to be worth £250,000 a week with the Red Devils in 2019, which included a clause allowing United to extend his stay by 12 months. 

Given the fact United are hesitant to extend Martial’s deal, it could spell a potential January exit for the forward – although interested clubs will know he will be available for free in the summer.

Interestingly, two players who looked likely to leave the club during the recent summer window now look set to stay after working their ways into ten Hag’s squad. 

Both Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay had seemed destined for the exit door back in summer – after interest in both players from West Ham – but eventually ended up staying. 

Third-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton is another player who could soon be leaving the club


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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Maguire recently claimed the Premier League Player of the Month award, while McTominay has impressed this campaign – with five goals in 13 appearances.

The only other player within United’s squad who could be likely to leave in January is third-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton. 

Heaton, 37, has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Turkish shotstopper Altay Bayindir. 

Bayindir – signed from Fenerbahce for £4.3million in the summer – has yet to make an appearance but has been tipped to step-in for Andre Onana, should he ever need replacing.  

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