Man Utd transfer chief travels to Saudi Arabia to put 'four key players up for sale'

Man Utd transfer chief travels to Saudi Arabia to put 'four key players up for sale'

Manchester United football director John Murtough has reportedly visited Saudi Arabia as the club prepares to offload several stars in a bid to raise funds.

United have endured a tough start to Erik ten Hag's second season as manager, with seven losses in their opening 17 league games leaving them in seventh position in the Premier League table.

It's not like United haven't given the coach financial backing either - over the summer the Red Devils splashed almost £200 million on deals for Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana and Mason Mount.

In recent years United have earned a reputation for being rather reckless when it comes to transfer spending, and it's something that has now put them in a tricky predicament.

Ten Hag wants reinforcements, but United are going to have to sell before they can buy.

The club are believed to be close to the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules limit, and when it comes to UEFA financial rules, the Red Devils are already flying pretty close to the sun.

Last July United were fined £260,000 by UEFA for what was described as a 'minor break-even deficit' in the 2022/23 accounting period.

According to MailSport, United's football director Murtough went on a trade mission of sorts to Saudi Arabia earlier this month, with the intention of forging new relationships and offloading unwanted players.

United's priority for the January window is to offload Jadon Sancho, whose future at the club looks to be over following a falling out with Ten Hag.

United are also open to offers for Anthony Martial, Casemiro and Raphael Varane, although they aren't desperate to sell as all three have important roles in Ten Hag's squad. That quadruple cost the club £230m.

Unfortunately for United, Saudi Pro League clubs are unlikely to be able to sign any of their players in January as many have already filled their overseas player quotas. Murtough reportedly returned to Manchester without having made any agreements,

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe's £1.25bn investment - and expected staff shakeup - in United imminent, one of Murtough's final acts as football director could be forging relationships with Saudi sides that result in summer transfers.

Either way, Sancho looks certain to be the next failed big-money signing at Old Trafford.
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