Rob Dawson, CorrespondentJan 18, 2024, 11:07 AM ET
Manchester United are considering a revamp of their defence in the summer, a source has told ESPN.
United insist it’s “business as usual” as they wait for INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% stake to be ratified by the Premier League and have started drawing up plans for the summer transfer window.
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The deal is expected to get the green light in February and INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford has been involved in meetings at Carrington during the interim period. Brailsford is looking to make appointments in key recruitment positions but football director John Murtough and manager Erik ten Hag are already looking ahead to the summer.
According to a source, there have been conversations about making changes to United’s defence with players both leaving and arriving.
Manchester United have conceded 29 goals in their 21 Premier League games this season. Getty
Raphaël Varane’s future is up in the air after United decided not to trigger a one-year extension in his contract and the Frenchman could leave Old Trafford as a free agent in June.
Jonny Evans is also out of contract in the summer while Victor Lindelöf and Harry Maguire could also leave if significant offers arrive.
United, according to a source, hold an interest in Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt and Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo.
Galatasaray right-back Sacha Boey also has admirers after impressing in Champions League clashes against United this season.
Ahead of the summer, United are also paying particular attention to players who will be out of contract in June 2025.
Mason Mount was signed last summer as the England midfielder entered the last year of his contract and Chelsea and United believe they can take advantage of similar situations at the end of the current campaign.
Meanwhile, a United source has denied claims that Anthony Martial has been exiled from the first team squad by Ten Hag and ordered to train alone.
The Frenchman has missed more than a month because of illness and injury and has been linked with a move away from the club in January. He is out of contract in the summer but is set to stay at United beyond the transfer deadline on Feb. 1.