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Seven Manchester United players free to talk to European clubs from January

by Alex Browne

Many Manchester United fans will be dreaming of a busy winter window that will kick-start their season domestically and abroad.

However, the major stories from transfer windows are not always about who your clubs brings in, but also on who they decide to cut ties with.

Man United have seven players who have contracts ending in June 2024 and face an uncertain future beyond the end of the current campaign.

The Mirror has drawn attention to the players that could be moving on to new pastures in the summer. One rule of the transfer window is that “any player looking to move from one English team to another as a free agent can only open talks after entering the final month of their previous contract”. However, they can negotiate with foreign clubs from the January previous to the expiry date of their deal.

Safe in this knowledge, let’s take a look to see which of the seven Red Devils may opt for this route.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The Mirror are downbeat on Wan-Bissaka’s chances of staying at the club. They sum him up as a player who has “veered from dependable player to a lightning rod for fan criticism”. The publication believes it is unlikely he will be offered a new deal. At the start of the season the English fullback seemed a shoe-in for a new contract but things on that front have certainly cooled down of late.

Consequently, The Peoples Person has reported that Ten Hag is interested in bringing in his own right back but many would argue that Wan-Bissaka may provide more effective backup than Diogo Dalot. Additionally, Wan-Bissaka would most certainly be of interest to English teams such as West Ham, so it is improbable that he would lack attractive offers from mid table Premier League clubs if United decide not to renew his deal. Unlikely to go.

Victor Lindelof

The Swede is another name that could depart the club in the summer. The Swedish captain has had plenty of admirers from abroad such as Atletico Madrid, so if he were to desire a new challenge, he would have numerous options as a free agent. However, Lindelof has already played 15 times for the club this season due to the defensive injury crisis and even scored the winning goal against Luton. Nonetheless, Victor may fall down the pecking order as United have been linked to many new central defenders including Jean-Clair Todibo, so the Swedish defender may choose this path, as he is certainly the most sought after of the seven. Likely to go abroad

Antony Martial

The French forward is probably a much clearer case. While Wan-Bissaka and Lindelof remain relatively popular players where you could envision a future back-up role at the club, Martial does not enjoy this reputation among supporters. The Frenchman has been heavily critiqued and has seemingly lost largely everything that made him winner of the Golden Boy award in 2015. Not many English clubs would be willing to sign the attacker but as long as he asked for sensible wages, a list of European clubs would most likely be attracted to him. The Peoples Person recently stated that Inter Milan and PSG are among such teams. Likely to go abroad

Hannibal Mejbri

The 20 year old Tunisian Mejbri is enjoying something of a breakthrough year, having played 5 times already for the Red Devils in this campaign and also having scored a wonder goal against Brighton in September. United do have an option to extend for a year and it is hard to see them not at least taking up this option. The Tunisian is hot-tempered and still has much to learn but it is unlikely that club or player are willing to give up on each other yet. Unlikely to go just yet

Jonny Evans

The Northern Irishman was a surprise signing during the summer but like Lindelof, has had to fill in more than he had probably anticipated due to the injury-ravaged defensive department. Despite admirably deputising, future summer signings at centre back, again like Lindelof, will most likely see Evans leave the club. He could decide to retire as he had contemplated before joining United or play for a lower division English team. Likely to go, but not abroad

Tom Heaton

The 37 year old keeper saw the arrival of two new keepers in the summer and has not played yet this season. The United academy graduate almost joined Luton Town in August but this deal collapsed. Heaton will most definitely leave unless offered some sort of coaching job, but again, he is unlikely to try and secure a deal abroad at this point in his career. Likely to go but not abroad

Alvaro Fernandez

The young Spanish left back will probably have developed the taste for first team football. Last season he played 42 times for Preston in the Championship and has been a regular for Granada in La Liga this year. He is highly rated at United and it is likely the club would love to tie him down to a new contract. However, with Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and possibly even Sergio Reguilon potentially in front of him, he may not have the patience to wait for his chance. Especially as the youngster is from Spain, he could well try and pursue a move to his homeland or elsewhere in the winter. Likely to go abroad

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