As tough as buying players is for Manchester United, for the second summer running, selling them is even harder.
Despite having millions of pounds worth of talent available for transfer, United’s summer exits have failed to raise much money at all.
Johan Guadagno left the club’s academy for FC Copenhagen, with no fee announced. It is likely to have been less than the £750,000 raised from selling Charlie McCann to Rangers. Those two academy departures are the only sales this summer so far.
To raise money, United are looking to loans. Five young players have already left the club on loan, and talks are ongoing to allow two senior players to leave. United are planning to charge substantial rental fees.
The Telegraph report United want £5 million for Axel Tuanzebe to go on loan, amid interest from Newcastle United and Aston Villa.
The same outlet reports United are seeking £3.75 million for Brandon Williams, with Southampton and Norwich City linked. The fees also cover wages for the two players.
Can United get away with it?
United are asking for these ‘loan fees’, simply because they can. The players are of high quality to play for the Red Devils in the first place, and Premier League clubs are seeking their signatures. It is supply and demand. If a club is willing to pay up, then the asking price will be justified.
From United’s perspective it is a sensible move. Both Williams and Tuanzebe are on substantial wages and loaning them out while still paying for their salaries would be bad business.
United have no intention of actually selling Williams or Tuanzebe this summer, but neither will have big roles to play, combining for just six Premier League starts last season.
This is not uncommon either. Loan clubs have been paying the wages of players they are signing for years, it is just now, it is being reported differently, as it so often is with United, and rounded up into an up-front fee.
There will be more too
United will eventually sell a handful of players, hopefully, but if not, the loan fees help raise money.
There will be more to come from other loanees too, with James Garner and Diogo Dalot among the most wanted players in United’s squad.
A loan fee could even be asked of Phil Jones if United can find a taker, to subsidise his wages.
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