Chelsea and Christian Pulisic Show Man United How It’s Done: A £160m Transfer Lesson
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Chelsea and Christian Pulisic Show Man United How It’s Done: A £160m Transfer Lesson

Manchester United are set to receive a financial boost as they look to offload some of their squad players. With no future ahead at Old Trafford, Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Fred, Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial are all viable candidates to be sold, with plenty of potential bidders both in the domestic market and abroad.

However, this is a situation which requires United to do something they have struggled with in recent times – selling well. In contrast to the scrutiny surrounding their transfer activity, the club’s record for success in selling players has been unenviable. Will they be able to turn it around this month? Only time will tell.

Chelsea have managed to make a tidy profit of £138 million this summer, successfully unloading five of their players. The sale of Kai Havertz for a hefty £65 million is particularly notable given he has an inferior goal ratio in the Premier League compared to Martial. Similarly, they’ve raised £15 million each for Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Christian Pulisic could be the next to leave with Lyon reportedly interested in a £25 million move.

In stark contrast, Manchester United have only made noteworthy profits from Dan James (£25 million) and Chris Smalling (£12 million) in the past four years. Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matić and Ander Herrera all left on free transfers despite being worth more than nothing collectively. It’s clear that something needs to change in order to maximize United’s potential earnings.

Manchester United are at risk of repeating the same mistake in the transfer market – selling their youth academy graduates and senior players for vastly reduced prices. Take Zidane Iqbal, a young prospect who may not have the credentials to go far in the elite level; yet he was sold for a mere £1million. Comparably, Manchester City’s James Trafford, who has never played club football above League One, is set to join Burnley for no less than £15million.

In this turbulent and ever-changing market, buying clubs hold all the cards – interest, wages, and desperation can all dictate price. Meanwhile, rival teams from the top six are demonstrating their ability to cash in on their squads, cashing in millions along the way.

But this wasn’t always the case for Manchester United. In the past they had an edge when it came to demanding high prices for their youth academy graduates such as Kieran Richardson or Adnan Januzaj; while Sir Alex Ferguson had a knack for knowing when to sell their senior players. Now, however, the team’s sales strategy appears incoherent – the departure lounge is crowded but the list of destinations is short.

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