Manchester United are definitely going to offload two centre backs – Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe – this summer.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claimed today that the decision has been made to let both players go, although unlike the recently announced departures of Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, the two defenders are still under contract.
This means that they will almost certainly be sold rather than released.
Both Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are set to leave Manchester United this summer – decision made. 🔴 #MUFC
Diogo Dalot’s expected to stay at Manchester United this summer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has chances to leave waiting for new proposals – as reported yesterday ⤵️⌛️ https://t.co/jR5OIDxbay
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 3, 2022
Bailly’s deal runs for another two years but after a bright start to his United career he has hardly featured for the first team due to a series of injuries and the arrival last summer of Raphael Varane.
The talented Ivorian started only six games for the Red Devils in 2021/22.
Academy product Tuanzebe is another star who failed to fulfil his potential after an exciting start to his career.
He made his United debut in January 2017 aged just 18 and looked set to challenge for a regular first team place, but was unable to kick on in 2017/2018.
The England U21 international was then loaned out to Aston Villa, where he held down a regular first team place until a broken ankle saw him miss most of the second half of the season.
He then stayed at Old Trafford in 2019/20 but was dogged by a number of injuries that ruled him out for most of the season.
2020/21 saw better times including a man-of-the-match display against Paris Saint Germain at the Parc des Princes.
But the then manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave him few opportunities after that, preferring the Victor Lindelof/Harry Maguire partnership in defence.
This saw Tuanzebe return to Villa in 2021/22 but further injuries and poor form led to him being sidelined for much of the season.
The Congolese-born player has one year left on his United contract.
Romano also confirmed that United are planning to sell full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as we reported here yesterday.
Another centre back, Phil Jones, is also widely tipped to leave as new boss Erik ten Hag continues his clearout.