Manchester United eye £82m boost as more players set to follow David de Gea exit

The summer clearout at Old Trafford has finally begun following David de Gea’s permanent departure from Manchester United. After 12 years between the sticks, De Gea confirmed over the weekend he would be leaving for good following the expiration of his contract, signalling the end of an era for the club.

The 32-year-old was the last surviving player from the Sir Alex Ferguson era and was part of the last United side that lifted a Premier League title a decade ago.

De Gea deserves huge recognition for his world-class rise during those subsequent years, but there is no time for sentiment if United have any serious dreams of lifting the top-flight trophy again.

His departure feels long overdue and a step in the right direction of United’s gradual rebuild under Erik ten Hag, with the focus now on signing a replacement better-suited to the manager’s image.

Ten Hag is looking to streamline his squad by moving on players who don’t quite fit his style of play and replacing them with those who match his strict demands, whether that be as accomplished passers of the ball, or as industrious individuals capable of pressing with intensity.

United will find it difficult to directly replace every player they manage to move on this summer, not that they necessarily need to, but those who leave could actually help to finance any further arrivals.

De Gea reverted to being United’s highest-earner after Cristiano Ronaldo saw his contract terminated last season, and it was quite clear that he was not performing well enough to justify the £375,000-a-week wage any longer.

United sources insist no new contract was ever formally offered to him despite months of discussions. De Gea’s contract expired last week and United initially wanted to hold face-to-face discussions to determine their next steps.

His exit frees up a hefty weekly wage which totals £19.5million over the course of a calendar year. Figures from Sportrac estimate United could eventually save a whopping £1.57million-per-week from ten player departures this summer, which works out at roughly £82million a year.

It is not as straightforward as saying United now have all that money lying around to be spent freely, but it certainly helps them balance the books and plenty of it should be available for reinvestment into the playing squad. Even if these estimates aren’t quite correct – after all a lot of it is guesswork – it is undeniable that United could save a lot of money from moving players on.

United will save an extra £75,000-per-week from Phil Jones’ exit, though these initial wage savings could largely be wiped out by Marcus Rashford’s impending improved deal and the fact some players might be due bonuses after qualifying for the Champions League.

Elsewhere, a number of potential player exits could fee up further funds and significantly boost United’s transfer budget for the rest of the window.

Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly and Brandon Williams all look certainties to leave and currently earn an estimated £338,000-per-week between them.

It means that even if United struggle to shift some of their unwanted senior stars, they could still shave roughly £41m off their annual wage budget.

Of course, this could improve even further if they do indeed manage to sell others, with Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire, Fred and Donny van de Beek all candidates to leave should appropriate offers come in.

Not only would that potentially free up £82m in wages across the duration of a calendar year, but United would also receive substantial transfer fees for some of those players, giving them a further financial boost.

Given the limited transfer budget and the ongoing takeover uncertainty, it is clear to see why United are so keen to move on unwanted players this summer.

De Gea’s elongated exit was a step in the right direction towards making this a reality, but it is only the start of the squad rebuild that must be completed this summer.

United estimated wages per week 

  • David de Gea – £375,000 (released)
  • Jadon Sancho – £350,000
  • Harry Maguire – £200,000
  • Fred – £120,000
  • Donny van de Beek – £120,000
  • Dean Henderson – £100,000
  • Alex Telles – £93,000
  • Eric Bailly – £80,000
  • Phil Jones – £75,000 (released)
  • Brandon Williams – £65,000