Manchester United's wage bill has reportedly dropped below Liverpool's

Manchester United’s wage bill fell by almost £45 million last season, according to the Independent.

United’s outlay on player wages dropped from £287.4 million to £242.5 million last term – for two main reasons.

The first was apparently because no bonuses were paid out for playing in the Champions League.

Also, getting the likes Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez – both of whom joined Inter Milan – out of the club helped.

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For so long, United have led the way in terms of having a sky-high wage bill without building a title-winning team to show for that outlay.

While silverware still awaits, United paid out less than both Manchester City and Liverpool last season.

City paid out £276.9 million on wages last term, and are still looking at a deal to bring Lionel Messi – and his staggering salary – to the Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool have been praised for their Moneyball approach but shelled out £276.2 million on wages for their squad.

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The figures show the impact of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s transfer strategy at Old Trafford.

He has tried to move United away from the model of paying high wages for players who don’t necessarily fit into a clear playing style and focused on bringing in younger, hungrier players on the whole.

United will of course be paying out Champions League bonuses this season – and they will hope to do the same in 2021/22 as well.

That will inflate the wage bill again, but Solskjaer hasn’t finished clearing the deadwood from his squad either.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.