Seven transfers, £70 million: are reports of a Man United clear-out realistic?

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Manchester United could look to cash in on seven players this summer to raise nearly £70 million in transfer fees, according to The Express.

In a speculative piece, reporter Lewis Winter has identified David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata as potential sales.

Winter used the players’ market values on to arrive at would-be fees, putting De Gea at £19.8 million, Dalot at £9 million, Jones at £4.5m, Matic at £9m, Lingard at £13.5m, Pereira at £7.65m and Mata at £5.4m, for a total of £68.85 million.

There are issues straight away with the logic on which the article is based. Recent reports claim that United would be looking for £50 million and £30 million, respectively, for De Gea and Lingard, way above those Transfermarkt values. De Gea’s long contract and £375,000 per week wages are also a complication. They are also unlikely to let Dalot leave for £9 million as they will feel he has the potential to become a top full-back and still has two years remaining on his United deal.

Matic recently signed a new contract and is unlikely to find any club at this stage in his career that will meet a £9 million asking price and his £120,000 per week salary. Jones would also struggle to command any kind of transfer fee after his lengthy and ongoing injury woes, especially given his £75,000 per week wages.

Mata’s contract expires in June, so he can leave the club as a free agent. If United were to trigger the one-year extension written into his contract, they could then demand a transfer fee for him, but the buying club would then need to match his £160,000 per week wages, which seems like a tall order.

The article also does not mention Paul Pogba, who will need to be sold this summer if a new contract can’t be agreed. His contract extension has already been triggered so it’s now or never if United are to avoid losing him on a free transfer for the second time.

It is almost certain that there will be a number of departures this summer and much of United’s transfer business could be in the outgoing players department. But it is highly unlikely that the Red Devils will shed seven first team squad members in one window, especially at the prices quoted in Winter’s article.