January is set to be a busy month for United as they look to bolster their attacking options. After Cristiano Ronaldo’s tumultuous exit, United want to sign a forward, and World Cup breakout star Cody Gakpo has been top of the list on the rumour mill ever since the Reds’ interest in the PSV star was revealed in the summer.
Loan agreements are likely to be priority, but some players could leave on a permanent deal if buyers can be found as Erik ten Hag’s major rebuild of the United squad continues..
But who could leave? We’ve rounded up some of the most likely candidates below.
After a campaign of regular football at Norwich last season, Williams will have found it hard to be frozen out under Ten Hag. The left-back is yet to feature competitively and has been sidelined since October with an injury, although did get a run-out on the mini-tour of Spain.
He could of course make a push for more game time in the second half of the season but with Luke Shaw an ever-present in the side and Tyrell Malacia impressing, it looks unlikely.
The 21-year-old is contracted to United until 2024, so they still have plenty of time to decide his future. A loan move to another lower league side is a likely option as he is undoubtedly Premier League quality. Teams such as Everton, Southampton and Bournemouth should be looking to bolster their defensive ranks and Williams would be ideal as cover or a starter.
He is unlikely to get a starting spot with such ease like at Norwich, but the academy graduate will be ready to prove his value wherever he goes.
The Manchester native has had a stop-start career so far, with previous loan spells at Derby and Birmingham hampered by injuries. His contract also runs until 2024 so he has time left to prove that he is United standard. Mengi has featured for the U21 side this season but loaning him to a senior club, most likely in the Championship, seems the correct decision for his development.
Mid-table sides such as Bristol City or Middlesborough are potential candidates, but a player of his quality would be welcome throughout the league.
The caveat here is that Mengi was injured and had to be carried off against Real Betis, so the severity of the injury may decide what happens to him for the remainder of the season.
Di’Shon Bernard finds himself in a similar situation to Mengi, with two loans under his belt at Salford City and Hull City. He made his senior debut all the way back in 2019 against Astana but game time is desperately needed, as he is yet to feature for the U21 side this season.
Expect a move to the Championship or possibly abroad for the centre-back. At 22 years old, he will have to make a great impression wherever he goes if he wants any chance of making any more appearances for the first team.
The £45million signing has found himself completely frozen out under Ten Hag, playing just four minutes in the 2-1 victory over Liverpool back in August. Barring an injury to Diogo Dalot, he is unlikely to feature in the second half of the season as well. Wan-Bissaka had a strong start to life in Manchester and was a starter in his first two seasons but lost his role after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal last November.
United are unlikely to recoup close to what they paid and are looking to sell him before his stock plummets even further. The 25-year-old was linked with a move back to Crystal Palace in summer but there doesn’t seem to be any solid interest yet.
A defensive-minded team such as Everton could benefit from his addition, but it is unknown what fee United will be looking to command, which could be a potential stumbling block.