Erik ten Hag decides six Man Utd defenders are ‘surplus to requirements’

Erik ten Hag has reportedly decided that six of his Manchester United defenders are surplus to requirements.

The United boss is understood to be willing to offload a number of players before the end of the summer transfer window as he continues to overhaul the squad he inherited at the end of last season. According to the Daily Mail, as many as six defenders have been told they are free to leave Old Trafford, either permanently or on loan.

It's claimed Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Ethan Laird and Phil Jones have all been urged to find new clubs before the window closes.

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Telles has fallen down the United pecking order since Ten Hag's arrival, with the new manager making full-back Tyrell Malacia the first signing of his tenure.

As a result, Telles, who signed from Porto in 2020, is now third choice at left-back behind Malacia and Luke Shaw. Sevilla are said to be interested in a move for the Brazilian.

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On the opposite side of the defence, Wan-Bissaka cost the Red Devils £50million just three years ago when he joined the club from Crystal Palace. His departure is unlikely to recoup anywhere near what the club paid for him, with an initial loan back to Palace looking his most likely move.

Central defender Jones, 30, made a return to the first team last season after a two-year layoff with a knee injury. However, his 11-year stay at United appears to be nearing it's conclusion. He has been linked with a reunion with former team-mate Wayne Rooney in the MLS with D.C. United.

Fellow centre-back Bailly has a host of potential suitors, having found himself behind Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and new signing Lisandro Martinez in Ten Hag's pecking order.

Former United boss Jose Mourinho is said to be keen to reunite with Bailly at Roma, while both Fulham and AC Milan have been linked with a move. Youngsters Laird and Tuanzebe are also free to leave this summer, with the former expected to only do so on a temporary basis. A loan move to relegated Watford is close to being finalised.

As for Tuanzebe, who spent time on loan at Aston Villa and Napoli last season, he is a target for newly promoted Bournemouth.

It is understood that United will look to re-invest the money saved from their departing players' wages to boost Ten Hag's transfer budget. He has so far only added Malacia, Martinez and Christian Eriksen to his squad since replacing interim boss Ralf Rangnick.


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