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Erik ten Hag ‘wants to offload three more defenders after Eric Bailly’

Erik ten Hag ‘wants to offload three more defenders after Eric Bailly’

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly instructed the club to secure exits for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe in the latter stages of the summer transfer window.

Eric Bailly has agreed to join Marseille on loan for the 2022-23 campaign, while there is a mandatory purchase clause of around €10m (£8.4m) providing that the French club qualify for next season’s Champions League, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

However, Man United are still said to be working on exits for three more defenders, with the club needing to make space for potential new signings before the transfer deadline.

According to The Telegraph, Wan-Bissaka, Jones and Tuanzebe could all be on their way out of Old Trafford over the next week.

Man United have boosted their defence this summer with the arrivals of Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia, and both players starred in Monday’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in the Premier League.

Manchester United's Phil Jones applauds fans after the match on January 3, 2022© Reuters

Jones only made five appearances in all competitions last season, and the 30-year-old, who has seen his career stall due to injury problems, has entered the final year of his contract.

The centre-back’s large wage packet will make it difficult for clubs to afford him, but there have been claims that he could move on loan, with a number of sides keeping a close eye on the developments.

Tuanzebe – also in the final year of his contract – struggled during loan spells at Aston Villa and Napoli last term, meanwhile, and the 24-year-old is not in Ten Hag’s plans at the club moving forward.

Neither Jones or Tuanzebe have been involved in the squad in the early stages of the 2022-23 campaign, but Wan-Bissaka was a late substitute against Liverpool in the league on Monday.

The 24-year-old is still firmly behind Diogo Dalot in the pecking order for the right-back spot, though, and he is said to be free to leave before the end of the transfer window.

Manchester United's Axel Tuanzebe pictured in May 2021© Reuters

Crystal Palace are believed to be keen to re-sign their former defender, but any move would see the 20-time English champions make a huge loss on the £50m that they paid for him in the summer of 2019.

Wan-Bissaka has featured on 127 occasions for the club and was first choice during his first two seasons at Old Trafford but first lost his starting role to Dalot in the second half of last term.

The Eagles are only allegedly prepared to pay around £10m to re-sign him a permanent deal, but a return to Selhurst Park on loan is also believed to be a possibility at this stage of the transfer market.

Brandon Williams has also been linked with an exit, but a departure for Wan-Bissaka could see the Englishman remain at Old Trafford to provide back up for Dalot.

Man United continue to work on new additions this summer, with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, Ajax’s Antony and PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo all said to be targets late in the window.

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