Three players Manchester United should sell this month

Whilst the January transfer window is not often one which is utilised by Manchester United, there needs to be activity this month.

United are not only missing a key profile in the middle of midfield but also have a bloated squad that needs trimming down, as Ralf Rangnick has recognised.

“This is not only an issue with a club like Manchester United when you have a big squad – and we have a big squad,” Rangnick explained when asked about players being unhappy in the squad.

“If you have that many players and only 10 outfield players can play, and three being substitutes, then, of course, you have quite a number of players – in our case, 12, 13, 14, who don’t even play or are not even in the squad.

“We have players with contracts expiring in the summer, we have maybe also one or two players who want to leave and are under contract.”

While the summer window will likely be when most of United’s outgoings happen, there is no reason that they can not make life easier for themselves by selling this month.

1. Juan Mata

With one match played so far this season, there is no reason for Juan Mata to prolong his stay at Old Trafford.

The 33-year-old has his contract running out in the summer but is currently blocking the pathway for players such as Amad and Hannibal Mejbri.

Despite not making a single appearance in the Premier League this season, Mata has appeared on the bench 11 times for the Reds. Meanwhile, since returning from injury, Amad has featured in the squad just once.

This, of course, could be an issue resolved in six months time; but it seems quite pointless for everyone involved if Mata continues to warm United’s bench when other, more exciting talents can be gaining more experience.

The Spaniard would also be able to rescue an extra half-season of football that he’ll be able to play, rather than being stuck watching from the sidelines.

2. Anthony Martial

It’s clear that Anthony Martial wants out this month, but United are currently pricing him out of a loan move to Sevilla, who are unwilling to pay his full wages, as well as a loan fee.

With United stacked for options in the forward positions, it seems a good time for the player to part ways with the club, even if it’s just for the remainder of the season until the new manager decides whether the Frenchman would be in his plans or not.

An opportunity to build his form at a club elsewhere would only benefit United, who could either sell him on at an increased price in the summer; or bring him back into the fold if he impresses.

3. Jesse Lingard

This is perhaps an example of where United have gone wrong in departures in recent years. Jesse Lingard should have left at the start of the season, for a decent price, after his successful loan at West Ham.

However, he’s instead played a handful of games for United and now is looking to leave on a free at the end of the season.

While the club is unlikely to receive bids similar to those in the summer, due to his expiring contract, it’s another case of a player who has no future at the club blocking younger players pathways.

Hannibal has proven to be quite the talent, after a brilliant Arab Cup with Tunisia. He would benefit from more squad experience once he returns from the African Cup of Nations.

Lingard, meanwhile, is the opposite and needs game-time right now in his career. It was a mistake not selling in the summer, but United should cut ties now, rather than wasting six more months to sell a player who is clearly not going to stay beyond his current contract.

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