While teams will be busy figuring out what business they can conduct in the current transfer window, many, including Manchester United, should be having an eye on the summer already.
While there is a lot of football left to be played this season, teams are putting in the work now to make sure that any deals they hope to get over the line in the summer go as smoothly as possible.
United themselves will have targets that they want to bring to Old Trafford once this season is concluded, but given the financial situation in world football it’s not known how strong their budget will be.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could look to sell a handful of players at the end of the campaign in order to bulk up his transfer kitty, and enable him to bring in players that are more likely to improve the first-team.
Here are five players which United could consider letting leave the club on a permanent basis in a few months time.
Ever since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes 12 months ago, the bar for playing in attacking midfield for United has been raised. Sadly for Lingard, he has not yet managed to reach it.
The 28-year-old has not featured once in the Premier League this season, and only has two Carabao Cup appearances to his name, as well as a single outing in the FA Cup.
A problem that United have is that Lingard’s value will have fallen dramatically over the past season and a half, and it also begs the question of what club would sign a player who has had very little game time this season.
If United can find a suitor either this month or in the summer, they will certainly try and find a new home for Lingard.
Another player who has fallen down the pecking order after a big-money signing. Since Harry Maguire arrived in the summer of 2019, first-team opportunities just haven’t come Jones’ away.
Like Lingard, he has not managed to feature at all in the Premier League this season, but also hasn’t even been considered for any of the domestic or European cup competitions.
Given that Jones is now 28 and his value is likely to be at it’s peak for a centre-back, the time may be approaching for United to consider letting him leave on a permanent basis.
If a club is willing to sign him over the course of the next few months, United would be wise to get a deal done as soon as they can.
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Manchester United beat Fulham 2-1 thanks to goals from Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.
Pogba once again turned in a high-class performance as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side reclaimed top spot in the Premier League. Now United turn their attention to another clash with rivals Liverpool, this time in the FA Cup fourth round.
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If you go back one or two years, Romero was arguably the best understudy goalkeeper in the Premier League. Regularly featuring in the cup competitions for United, and very rarely did he put in a bad performance.
However, since Dean Henderson has returned following his two years on loan at Sheffield United, chances for Romero to impress have not come his way. Henderson has been established as the No.2 goalkeeper behind David de Gea at Old Trafford, leaving Romero to ponder his future.
There will be quite a number of clubs would could do with as new goalkeeper, or will when the summer rolls around anyway, and there could be an opportunity to Romero to move on then.
While it’s not through not being good enough that Romero has fallen down the pecking order, he will know that Henderson’s younger age and potential to develop make him the more sensible option for United to commit to going forward.
Another centre-back who has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford thanks to both impressive performances from the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, as well as the arrival of Maguire.
Rojo is currently 30-years-old and his value is likely to only decrease as time goes on, especially if he can’t get any minutes on the pitch. Injuries haven’t helped his situation this season, restricting him to zero first-team appearances and just one league outing for the club’s Under-23 outfit.
While Rojo is unlikely to attract the biggest of transfer fees at United, there is also his wages to consider which would be very handy to put towards a new signing, as well as the transfer fee that United would recoup.
Pereira has been a player that has been in and out of the first-team picture at United for a number of years. After breaking into the side as a teenager, he was the shipped out on loan at Granada and Valencia.
Then under Jose Mourinho, he had a mini resurgence, featuring heavily in the 2018/19 campaign and then in 2019/20 under Solskjaer. But the arrival of Fernandes, like with Lingard, has raised the bar and he was not given the chance to reach it, before being sent out on loan against last summer to Lazio.
While it remains to be seen whether Lazio would consider signing him permanently, Pereira will know that his long-term future is unlikely to be at Old Trafford, especially if Fernandes keeps up his sublime form.
Given that he’s in his mid-20s and has quite a lot of experience under his belt, Pereira would likely attract a reasonable transfer fee, and United should certainly consider that option when he returns from his loan at the end of the season.