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Manchester United report: Erik ten Hag "desperate" to offload unwanted pair to make space for South American duo

Manchester United report
(Image credit: Getty)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is said to be "desperate" to sell forward Anthony Martial and defender Eric Bailly to free up the space and wages required to bring in key targets. 

That is according to the Sun, who claim the Red Devils have offered Martial to potential buyers for as little as £20m, while Bailly is available for just £8.5m. The decision represents a massive fall from grace for Martial in particular, who was hailed as a generational player after bursting onto the Old Trafford scene in 2015. 

Martial was considered such a prospect at former club Monaco, that the French side inserted a clause into the deal which saw him move to Manchester which stipulated that they'd receive a lofty sum if he were to win the Ballon d'Or. That now seems a pie in the sky ambition for a player who has been pushed to the fringes of the Manchester United squad, after failing to make an impact on loan at Sevilla last season. 

It was believed the 26-year-old might be offered a fresh chance to impress by the new manager, but Ten Hag has made his feelings clear. Bailly, meanwhile, was deemed by the United faithful to be a shrewd signing when joining from Villarreal in 2016. Yet his fitness issues, and rash defensive style have left him equally unwanted by the new coach. 

Ten Hag is believed to be keen to replace the duo with Brazilian forward Anthony and Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez – both of whom he coached while Ajax manager. But he feels unable to bring in either unless room is made in the current squad. 

The 52-year-old United boss is yet to land his first signings at Old Trafford, but has been linked with a number of stars, including Frenkie De Jong of Barcelona, and Christian Eriksen, who returned to football last season with Brentford following his collapse at Euro 2020. Ten Hag is also reportedly also in the market for a defensive midfielder, a left-footed centre-back and a right-back. 

With rivals Liverpool and Manchester City having already made massive signings this summer, the Manchester United fanbase is beginning to get restless as the search for new players goes on. Liverpool splashed €100m on Benfica star Darwin Nunez, while City have brought Erling Haaland – who was one of the world's most coveted strikers – to the Etihad. 

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Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Key FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.