Ten Hag: Martial can shine for Man Utd if he has the right focus
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has told Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe they’re all up for sale, according to reports. The Dutchman made it clear upon taking over that everybody would be given a clean slate at Old Trafford. However, he now appears to be ready to sanction three exits in the wake of Lisandro Martinez’s move to the club.
Manchester United confirmed on Sunday that they’d agreed a fee with Ajax for Martinez.
The Argentina international had previously been on Arsenal’s radar but, now, will be strutting his stuff at Old Trafford next term instead.
And the Daily Mail say that while Ten Hag has made it clear he was willing to give squad members a clean slate, Jones, Bailly and Tuanzebe are all up for sale.
United’s backline is described as being both ‘overcrowded and underperforming’, with the Red Devils shipping 57 Premier League goals last term.
And with Martinez now coming, three of their current centre-backs have been deemed surplus to requirements.
Bailly has impressed going forward with the ball during pre-season.
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But injuries and inconsistencies remain issues with the Ivory Coast international, who was signed by Jose Mourinho back in 2016.
Bailly has made it clear he wants to stay at United and fight for his place, especially given he’s under contract for another two years.
Yet Ten Hag seems to have other ideas and a parting of the ways is now on the cards.
Tuanzebe endured disappointing loan spells at Aston Villa and Napoli last term, struggling to make the starting XIs of both teams.
He’d previously been tipped for a bright future by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially after shining in a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain nearly two years ago.
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But Tuanzebe is now on the market and it’ll be interesting to see what teams come forward.
Jones, meanwhile, has been linked with a move to DC United following their decision to appoint Wayne Rooney as manager.
Rooney wanted the England international when he was at Derby, only for the centre-back’s £15million asking price to scupper his hopes of a reunion.
The pair previously spent six years playing together at Old Trafford, winning the Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup during that time.
And Rooney is hopeful of bringing Jones to America as a result.
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United hadn’t originally intended to sign a new defender this summer.
But Ten Hag knows Martinez well from their time at Ajax together and is a big fan of the Argentine and his mentality.
United’s recruitment department actually preferred Pau Torres, who remains at Villarreal despite links to European giants around the world.
Yet Martinez is now poised to complete his move once a medical is conducted.
Regarding Jones, meanwhile, former Leeds star Danny Mills said earlier in the year that he was stunned the England international was still at the club.
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“To be honest I have no idea how he’s still at the football club,” he said.
“I know he’s had his injury problems but surely he would want to be getting away and playing.
“I just find it bizarre and incredible that he’s still there and hasn’t wanted to leave and go and play, even if that’s a loan deal somewhere.
“He clearly was once a fabulous player but we don’t know if he’s still a fabulous player because he hasn’t played much.
“He needs to play football, he’s not particularly old. Get out and play some football.”
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