Most of Man Utd’s players ‘for sale’ – including Rashford – as reports claim only three ‘safe’ from INEOS summer overhaul

Most of Man Utd's players 'for sale' - including Rashford - as reports claim only three 'safe' from INEOS summer overhaul

Manchester United are open to selling most of their first-team squad this summer, according to reports.

The football club are said to be open to bids for most of their players, including England forward Marcus Rashford, who has struggled for form this season.

Only three players are reportedly “off limits” and definitely safe from the axe – youngsters Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund.

Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho (right) celebrates scoring with Rasmus Hojlund (centre) and Kobbie Mainoo. Pic: Reuters

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of the INEOS conglomerate, completed a deal to buy a 27.7% stake in the club in February. Part of the deal saw him take over control of football operations at Old Trafford from the American Glazer family.

Newspaper reports say United fan Sir Jim and INEOS want to build a new “winning team” around Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund, while looking to add a new central striker, midfielder and central defender in the summer transfer window.

But the team are unlikely to qualify for the Champions League – Europe’s top club football competition – next season, which will limit the club’s income, spending power and appeal to players.

File photo dated 17-03-2023 of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has completed his deal to purchase a stake in Manchester United, the club have announced. Issue date: Tuesday February 20, 2024.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe – a Man Utd fan – wants the club to win the top trophies again. Pic: PA

Could Rashford really leave Man Utd?

Marcus Rashford, 26, is the most high-profile player INEOS are apparently willing to listen to offers for.

French champions and Champions League semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are believed to have shown interest in signing Rashford in the past.

Pic: Reuters
Marcus Rashford had been seen as a homegrown star of the side for years to come. But in the 2023-24 season, he has often been criticised for an apparent lack of effort. Pic: Reuters

PSG’s representatives reportedly sounded out a deal for Rashford two years ago. They are perhaps the only club that could match his £75m valuation.

But a complicating factor for INEOS is that PSG are thought unlikely to make an offer this summer, having since signed other players in similar positions to Rashford.

However, the Parisian club are likely to lose star man Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid at the end of the season, with his contract due to run out. Some media reports suggest they could still target Rashford as a replacement.

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Rashford’s departure is far from a certainty. United have invested heavily in him over the years and have publicly insisted that Rashford is part of their plans for next season and that they believe in him.

In Erik ten Hag’s first season as Man Utd manager, Rashford scored 30 goals in a single campaign for the first time.

This season, however, he has just seven goals in 31 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils.

He has also found himself facing criticism from fans and pundits alike, for an apparent lack of effort in some disappointing United performances.

However, the club do not have a good recent track record of making money from players.

The last time United sold a player for more than £20m was in 2021, when winger Dan James joined Leeds United for £25m.

Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag waits for the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Manchester United at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Erik ten Hag is under pressure as Man Utd manager. Pic: AP

Who else could go?

Even Bruno Fernandes – one of United’s more consistent performers and Ten Hag’s captain – is apparently not guaranteed his place in Manchester, the latest reports claim. But it would take a major offer for the club to sell him, they add.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana and full-back Diogo Dalot are also thought likely to stay.

Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay, two of this season’s better players at Old Trafford, are also mentioned as two the club could cash in on this summer. Both nearly left in the summer of 2023.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire. Pic: Reuters
Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire. Pic: Reuters

The talk of sales is fuelled by United’s disappointing performance on the pitch impacting their ability to buy new talent.

After spending more than £550m over the last three summers, a failure to qualify for European football is likely to leave the club needing to sell in order to buy.

The Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) – also known as Financial Fair Play – are intended to stop clubs from spending more money than they make. Everton and Nottingham Forest have had points deducted in the league this season for rule breaches.

Man Utd are currently sixth in the Premier League with four games to play. They play rivals Man City in the FA Cup final on 25 May.