Gary Neville reacts to reports most of Man Utd’s squad are up for sale | Football

Manchester United legend Gary Neville is sceptical over the recent rumours (Picture: Getty)

Gary Neville has hit back at reports suggesting most of Manchester United’s squad are up for sale and is ‘not surprised’ that an irate Erik ten Hag has branded the rumours a ‘joke’.

United are set for a summer of upheaval in the wake of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 1.3billion partial takeover, with the club enduring a desperately disappointing 2023/24 campaign under head coach Ten Hag.

The Red Devils finished rock-bottom of their group in the Champions League – in what was their worst ever showing in the competition – and find themselves stranded down in sixth in the Premier League table, 13 points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Earlier this week, The Telegraph claimed that United are ready to listen offers for the vast majority of the first-team squad in the summer transfer window, with only Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho deemed untouchable.

However, facing the media this afternoon, Ten Hag vehemently denied the speculation surrounding his squad, labelling the reports ‘totally c***’ and ‘untrue’.

‘It’s a joke! As long as I worked here, every summer, 200 players are getting an interest from Manchester United, which is untrue. We did some research,’ the Dutchman replied when quizzed on the rumours.

‘Every summer, we sell every player in our squad. Which is untrue. Be calm and take responsibility when you take such a headline. It is totally c***.’

Manchester United players

United face a summer of upheaval (Picture: Getty)

Reacting to the rumours on Sky Sports News, legendary ex-United right-back Neville said it was ‘impossible’ that the club would be prepared to put the entire squad up for sale.

However, Neville believes a number of players are ‘under pressure’ and could be set for the exit door at Old Trafford over the coming weeks and months.

‘I’m not surprised [Ten Hag’s reaction] at that and I sat down with Ten Hag yesterday, I had a long sit down with him for Sky, and I asked him about that particular point and he said something similar,’ the former England full-back said on Sky Sports.

Ten Hag branded the recent reports a ‘joke’ (Picture: Getty)

‘He almost said, “If I had a pound for every time I saw a ridiculous headline”, and he said, “How can every player be for sale?”, he almost explained it.

‘And to be fair, you know it’s not true. I mean Mainoo is not for sale, there’s no way that man can be sold so every player can’t be for sale, it’s impossible. There’s no way United could sell their best young players. Rasmus Hojlund is not going to be for sale.

There’s more than two by the way, but my point is: Manchester United will make changes.

Neville is ‘not surprised’ by Ten Hag’s reaction to the reports (Picture: Getty)

‘There’s a lack of stability here at Chelsea at the moment, but there’s a lack of stability at United, obviously, Richard Arnold, John Murtough, Patrick Stewart, Cliff Baty, all the senior management, Darren Fletcher’s been moved to a different role within the club, Jason Wilcox has come in.

‘There’s a lot of change at the club that is happening. With that comes headlines like the ones that we’re seeing in the last few days and Erik ten Hag definitely rubbished that headline to me yesterday.

‘That interview will come out tomorrow and you’ll see it, but I’m not surprised that he’s called that a joke. It doesn’t feel right at all.

‘I can understand why there is quite a few players who will be under pressure and potentially would be sold, but I can’t believe it’s every player or anywhere near that.’

The reports claimed Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo were United’s only untouchable players (Picture: Getty)

Neville hopes United start next season with as close to a fully fit squad as possible and believes the addition of ‘two or three really good characters’ could be invaluable going forward.

Asked what an ‘ideal summer’ would look like for United, Neville replied: ‘I suppose the first thing is to get every player fit. Getting the likes of [Lisandro] Martinez back and [Luke] Shaw back, they’re massive losses.

‘Keeping the players that have got promise and potential. You look at that frontline of Hojlund and Garnacho, Mainoo in the midfield, there’s real potential there. They need another season.

‘The goalkeeper has, if you like, settled down in the second half of the season so let him have another year.

‘How do Manchester United sign the best players in the world? That’s not going to happen at this particular moment in time. I think we’ve even got problems with FFP.

‘But signing two or three really good characters to put around the experienced players they’ve got, to support that, and then letting the young players grow a year and then just trying to keep people fit as well.

‘Look, they’re not going to be title winners next year, I think Erik ten Hag has already said that himself, but they’ve got to get back into the top four and look like they’re progressing again and get the performance levels better.

‘At this moment in time, if they need a challenge at Manchester United, it’s to think about how, somehow, they can get close to Manchester City in that final and be in the game with 10-15 minutes to go so they can potentially win an FA Cup this season. That would still be a really good season, to win a trophy.’

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