Strategic Missteps and Sky-High Salaries: Unraveling Manchester United’s Transfer Struggles

Manchester United struggles to make profitable player sales due to a lack of strategic coordination in the club's management, compounded by their status as a top destination for players and a high wage bill

In the world of football, player transfers form an integral part of the club’s finance and strategy. However, Manchester United appears to be finding it difficult to keep pace with their rivals in this aspect. This summer, the club managed to sell six of their first-team stars, raking in a total of just £22million, with the lion’s share of that amount coming from Anthony Elanga’s move to Nottingham Forest.

While new manager Erik ten Hag is keen on further thinning his squad in the ongoing transfer window, the club has struggled in finding buyers. Currently, Scott McTominay, Fred, Eric Bailly, and Dean Henderson have all been made available for transfer by the club.

Interestingly, United’s performance in terms of sales in the 2022/23 season was lackluster compared to their competitors. They managed to gain a mere £10 million from player sales during that period. Moreover, key players such as Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard were allowed to leave without securing a transfer fee, further highlighting the challenges the club has been facing in their transfer strategy.

Kieran Maguire, a renowned finance expert, suggests that the primary cause behind United’s struggle to sell their players lies in the club’s management. According to Maguire, the lack of coordination among the decision makers at Old Trafford in recent years has led to a series of unfavorable business decisions.

Further exacerbating the situation is Manchester United’s standing as a coveted destination for many players. Coupled with the club’s record of having the Premier League’s highest wage bill in the 2021/22 season at £384 million, the club has inadvertently created an environment that does not incentivize players to leave.

All these factors contribute to the club’s struggle in making profitable sales in the transfer market. Going forward, it would be crucial for Manchester United to revisit their strategy and make the necessary adjustments to keep up with their counterparts.

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