Man Utd: Solskjaer previews upcoming Liverpool clash
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to accelerate his rebuilding job at Manchester United by looking to offload at least six more first-team players in 2021. On Wednesday United started the clear-out by selling Timothy Fosu-Mensah to Bayer Leverkusen for £1.8 million.
And The Telegraph have named six more players from the first-team squad which Solskjaer is keen to see leave the club.
Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo is set to depart at the end of this month once his loan comes to a close, returning to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.
The former Watford striker has only played for nine minutes in a solitary outing in the Premier League and featured for just one minute in the Champions League this season.
United are also welcoming offers for Argentine duo Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo this month, with both set to leave on free transfers in the summer.
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With Dean Henderson returning from his loan at Sheffield United, Romero has been relegated to third choice this season.
Rojo has not played for United since October 2019 after a string of injuries and spent the second half of last season on loan at his old club Estudiantes, where he was only able to make one appearance due to further injury problems.
The defender had trained in a separate bubble during the summer transfer window in the hope of finding a move but nothing materialised and is now a target for Boca Juniors.
Phil Jones is another player who has not played for the United first team in a year but like Rojo, he has struggled with injuries and on £120,000-per-week, might be hard to offload without subsidising his wages.
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The Telegraph also claim United would be open to selling Diogo Dalot and Andreas Pereira, who are both on loan in Serie A with AC Milan and Lazio respectively.
But one player who Solskjaer is believed to be open to keeping longer-term is Jesse Lingard.
The academy graduate recently signed a one-year extension at United but it is believed that was as much to protect the value of the player should they want to sell him, rather than because he is seen as a first-team regular in the coming months.
United are happy for the 28-year-old to remain with the club for the time being but are equally open to the player leaving on loan during the second half of the season.
Lingard has only been in the Red Devils’ Premier League squad for four games this season and was an unused substitute on each occasion.
But in December Solskjaer explained why Lingard was ‘unfortunate’ not to have secured more game time.
“He’s been working hard in training,’ Solskjaer said.
“He’s been unfortunate with having to isolate a few times, been in contact, or close contact with Covid, not even having it himself.
“He’s been very unlucky being away from the training ground a few times. He works really hard.”
In terms of incomings, United have already strengthened their squad in January with the signing of winger Amad Diallo from Atalanta in a £37 million deal.
It followed summer arrivals Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani and youngster Facundo Pellistri.
And Solskjaer said: “I think the signings that we made in the summer strengthened the squad really well. Good signings, good characters, good players.
“January is always difficult, but if something comes up that you think about the long-term and is a long-term target anyway, that’s another scenario.
“But not many teams would like to lose their players in January.
“So [it is] unlikely something will happen on the incomings, but there might be two or three going out.
“They deserve to play more football for their own good and for their own careers.”
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