Manchester United has already released Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the January transfer window, and Erik ten Hag has identified another player with whom he is willing to part ways in the coming months.
The Dutchman is set to continue reshaping his team once the market reopens following the World Cup, and while incomings are thought to be the major focus, others are expected to join Ronaldo in exiting Old Trafford ahead of the second half of the season.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one name who has been on the outside looking in since Diogo Dalot’s comeback. And the former Crystal Palace man appears to be on his way out.
According to a source in The Telegraph, Ten Hag regards Wan-Bissaka as a “surplus to requirements.” The former Ajax manager wants to add another right-back to compete with Dalot in January, but any transfer will be contingent on getting Wan-Bissaka off the books.
Wan-Bissaka has struggled to live up to expectations since joining the Eagles for £50 million in the summer of 2019. The 24-year-old has only played four minutes this season under Ten Hag and was linked with a return to Crystal Palace in the final days of the summer transfer window.
Ten Hag was willing to let the defender go until being swayed by football director John Murtough – but Wan-Bissaka is unlikely to get another reprieve in the new year.
This season, both Tyrell Malacia and Victor Lindelof have started at right-back ahead of Wan-Bissaka, highlighting how far the former Palace man has slid down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have been linked with AS Monaco right-back Vanderson and Barcelona’s Sergio Dest in the past. However, it is unknown whether United intends to revive its interest in either player or whether new targets have emerged.
Ronaldo’s surprise departure, disclosed in a statement on Tuesday night, is likely to offer Ten Hag some leeway in the transfer market.
Following Ten Hag’s arrival, United invested heavily throughout the summer. Over £200 million was spent on six new recruits, although other fresh faces were always set to arrive in future transfer windows.
Ronaldo is expected to lose roughly £16 million in pay after agreeing to terminate the final six months of his lucrative two-year contract signed last summer – cash that might potentially be turned over to Ten Hag in the New Year to help United finish in the top four.