3 dream Man Utd players Ratcliffe could sell to fund January spending spree

    The wait continues at Manchester United to see just when Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s impending investment with be confirmed, with the British billionaire seeking to take a 25% stake in the Old Trafford outfit.

    For those of a United persuasion, the hope will be that such an act will help to spark the beginning of the end for the wretched Glazer ownership and help to revive the club’s fortunes on the pitch, with Ratcliffe – as per the Telegraph – said to be keen to oversee a ‘radical overhaul’ once he officially arrives through the door.

    While the Ineos chief will likely have a long-term plan to ensure that the Red Devils can once again challenge for the top honours, both domestically and in Europe, in the short term the focus may well be on trying to strengthen Erik ten Hag‘s hand in January, with the Dutchman having overseen a drab start to the season that has left the club outside the top-four berths.

    Some supporters may be anticipating an instant injection of cash in order to sign new recruits in the winter window, yet with FFP (Financial Fair Play) restrictions still to consider, it is likely that the Premier League side will have to sell first in order to buy, particularly considering the bloated nature of the current squad.

    With rumours already rife regarding who could be snapped up in the New Year – including Nice’s, Jean-Clair Todibo – the focus must also turn to who could depart the Theatre of Dreams to help recoup some much-needed funds, with there seemingly a trio of high profile figures who should be moved on as a matter of urgency.

    Jadon Sancho

    There are no prizes for guessing who is first on this list, with Jadon Sancho the most obvious candidate to be sold after being exiled by Ten Hag in the early months of the season.

    The former Borussia Dortmund man – who joined United on a £73m deal in 2021 – has not played for the club since publicly biting back at his manager over criticism of his training performances back in early September, with that outburst having come after the 23-year-old was left out of the eventual defeat to Arsenal.

    While the misfiring winger subsequently removed his Twitter post which appeared to hit out at the former Ajax boss, there has since been no improvement in the strained relations, with Sancho now completely cast out of the first-team squad after reportedly refusing to apologise.

    As such, a return to Dortmund has been mooted in January, while Serie A side Juventus – as well as clubs in Saudi Arabia – are also said to be interested in rescuing the Englishman from his Old Trafford hell.

    Although it is a loan exit that has been suggested, reports in the summer indicated that United were looking for around £60m for their underwhelming talent amid interest from Tottenham Hotspur, with the hope being that they can recoup somewhere close to that £73m fee.

    Sancho’s league record at Dortmund & Man United

    Dortmund (Bundesliga)
























    Man Utd

















    Stats via Transfermarkt

    Any 2024 exit would bring to an end what has been a hugely disappointing stint at the club for the one-time Manchester City man, with the £250k-per-week enigma – who takes up 6.29% of the total wage bill, as per Capology – scoring just 12 goals and contributing six assists in 82 games for the club, the same number of goal involvements that Dan James recorded from fewer games (18 G/A in 74 games).

    Such a dismal return is not what the club had expected when the fleet-footed winger was signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over two years ago, with it now time to cut ties sooner rather than later.

    Anthony Martial


    Unlike the man above, Anthony Martial is unlikely to rake in much of a transfer fee with only six months or so left to run on his current deal, yet any bid received will seemingly be better than the prospect of seeing the long-serving dud depart for nothing in the summer.

    While the striking department is one in which United are not particularly strong, with summer signing Rasmus Hojlund still finding his feet after failing to score a league goal so far, it has come to the stage in which keeping Martial around as a backup is almost futile, such is his lack of impact.

    As was evident last term, the 27-year-old is routinely unreliable due to his persistent injury woes, with Ten Hag having overlooked the former Monaco man for much of this season so far, despite indicating that the team play their “best football” with the Frenchman leading the line.

    While now injury-free, the fact the United boss has rarely looked the way of the experienced striker – who has made just four starts all season – is a reflection of just what a spare part Martial has become, with the polarising asset scoring just 11 league goals since the start of 2020/21.

    The fact that he remains the club’s number nine despite that woeful record is symptomatic of all that is wrong with the Red Devils at present, with treble-winner Andy Cole only recently stating that his fellow striker has had “more than enough time” to show his worth at Old Trafford.

    Currently also taking up 6.29% of the wage bill, like Sancho, Martial is a costly and draining figure who needs to be cast out elsewhere, with The Sun only recently reporting that a belated exit could be in store in January, after previously being touted for a move over the summer.

    Raphael Varane


    As that Sun report claimed, Ratcliffe could look to also oust Antony, alongside Martial and Sancho, yet whether Ten Hag would so willingly part ways with his former Ajax asset is another matter, despite the Brazilian failing to score or assist this season.

    With that in mind, the final name on the list of outgoings could well be Raphael Varane, with the World Cup winner having slipped down the pecking order of late, behind the likes of Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans.

    While Ten Hag spoke of the tactical reasoning behind leaving out the Frenchman in the Manchester Derby, the fact that the ex-Real Madrid man was usurped by the ageing Evans is a stark indication of his standing under the United boss.

    As the 53-year-old coach has revealed, Varane is not seen as a suitable option at left centre-back – nor is Maguire – and is thus fighting it out with the Englishman on the opposite side, with the former Leicester City man currently winning that individual battle.


    What has not helped the four-time Champions League winner is his repeated absences throughout his time in Manchester due to injury and illness, with the towering defender notably making just 24 appearances in the league last season and only 22 prior to that.

    As has become apparent, Ten Hag cannot rely on the £43m signing across a consistent period, hence why cashing in during the winter window – with Saudi interest said to be brewing – could be a wise move to kickstart the ruthless Ratcliffe regime.

    With Varane also reportedly on a £350k-per-week wage to take up 8.55% of the squad salary – taking it to roughly 21% in total, including the two men above – easing that financial burden by moving him on would represent good business.

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