How Man Utd's latest transfer decision could make them millions in the future as Chelsea example followed

Man Utd's transfer business has been purely outgoings this month with Erik ten Hag trimming the fat of his squad.

Manchester United chiefs predicted a quiet January and so it has come to pass. There have been no incomings and nor does there look like being any, bar an odd loan that may present itself between now and January 31.

For many, January is about cutting the fat and at United it has been no different. Elimination from the Carabao Cup and Champions League - a bottom-placed finish in the latter ruling out any Europa League football - has eased the 2024 fixture schedule significantly to the point in which there will be only three games this month.

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Erik ten Hag no longer needs the squad depth he did between August and December and so the only business done in Manchester is that of the outgoing variety. Jadon Sancho's loan to Borussia Dortmund was the headline while Donny van de Beek's move to Eintracht Frankfurt benefits everyone - but decisions made on Hannibal Mejbri and Alvaro Fernandez are notable in their own right.

Hannibal joined Sevilla on loan at the start of the week and there is an option for that to be made permanent for £17million. Likewise, Fernandez heads to Benfica and could stay there for the price of £5m - an option which will become an obligation once a certain amount of games are played.

What is interesting in both deals is the insertion of a significant sell-on clause. The exact percentage is unknown but it is high enough that United can feel comfortable knowing that if Sevilla or Benfica make a hefty profit, they will too.

Such deals have become commonplace since Ten Hag's arrival. Mateo Mejia joined Hannibal in Sevilla on Thursday and United will bank 25% of whatever the Spanish side might sell him for in the future. They will get 40% of any profits FC Utrecht make on midfielder Zidane Iqbal - sold for £850,000 in the summer - and they will also take a chunk if Birmingham City sell Ethan Laird.

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The likelihood of all being sold on for big money is low, and if every young player United offloaded went on to the top-level then questions would need to be asked of those decisions. But by playing the numbers and inserting such clauses into as many young exits as possible, they stand a greater chance of unexpected profit - which in the new world of Financial Fair Play could be crucial.

Chelsea are regular users of the sell-on clause and got their big-money return in August with the sale of Tino Livramento from Southampton to Newcastle. Livramento hadn't played a single senior game for the Blues and so a £5m move to the south coast benefitted everyone.

They inserted a sliding scale sell-on fee that essentially their percentage increase as the selling fee did. And so when Newcastle signed the full-back for £32m, £15m of that went straight to Stamford Bridge and their profit on an academy graduate went from £5m to £20m.

Liverpool look set for a similar windfall this summer if Bournemouth are to sell Dominic Solanke. Jurgen Klopp's side banked an initial £19m, plus £5m in bonuses and a 20% sell-on clause. Reports linking Solanke with a move to Newcastle and suggestions it could cost them upwards of £50m will be music to the ears of those on Merseyside.

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That is the kind of money United will hope to bank in the future and the talents they have moved on this month have the ability to hit that level. And what a convenient little earner that may prove to be in the future.

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