The £48.1million a year in wages Man Utd have got off the books in 2022

Quick Reads
Manchester United's Paul Pogba playing in a Premier League game at the King Power Stadium. October 2021.

Manchester United are making a lot of changes this summer and they’ve already been able to trim their eye-watering wage bill.

United had an annual wage bill of just under £215million in 2021-22 but five players have already announced that they’ll be leaving the club this summer. 

Using data from Capology, we’ve taken a look at how much United will save in wages from the players that are leaving on free transfers.

Paul Pogba – £15,080,000

Pogba rejoined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-world record fee of £89million and agreed to sign a five-year contract worth £290,000-a-week.

The midfielder got £15.08million a year and United triggered the one-year extension in his contract, taking his total earnings at Old Trafford to £90.48million. He’ll also receive a £3.75million loyalty bonus when his contract expires at the end of the month.

In return, Pogba has helped United win two trophies while registering 39 goals and 51 assists in 233 appearances in all competitions.

According to The Daily Mirror, United offered the France international a new deal worth a whopping £500,000-a-week in a bid to stop him leaving on a free transfer.

But the decision is said to have caused fury within the United dressing room as some players felt he didn’t deserve such a massive pay hike. 

United’s offer stayed untouched on the table and Pogba will now leave Old Trafford on a free transfer for the second time.

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have both been linked with his signature but neither are likely to offer close to his current salary.

Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov, Paul Pogba, Ji-Sung Park and Danny Welbeck at the final whistle of their win over Leeds. Elland Road, Leeds. September 2011.

READ: Where are they now? The Man Utd Xl from Paul Pogba’s debut in 2011

Edinson Cavani – £13,000,000

Despite joining United on a free transfer in the summer of 2020, Cavani has still cost the club quite a lot of money.

The Uruguay international signed an initial one-year deal at Old Trafford and became their joint fourth-highest earner on £200,000-a-week. 

He enjoyed an impressive debut season at United in 2020-21, scoring 17 goals in all competitions and establishing himself as a fan favourite at Old Trafford. 

Cavani was reportedly keen on a return to his native South America in 2021 but United bumped his salary up to £250,000-a-week to persuade him to remain at the club for another season.

The Red Devils are probably regretting that decision as a series of injuries limited Cavani to just two goals in 20 appearances in 2021-22. He’s now leaving on a free transfer and has been linked with Serie A side Salernitana. 

“I wanted to contribute more this season,” Cavani said in an interview with the club’s website. “One of the things that has left me with a slightly bitter taste is that when we had a highly enjoyable and pretty decent [2020-2021] season, we weren’t able to have the supporters along with us.

“And now, this season, with the fans coming back into the grounds and stadiums, I haven’t really been able to have the kind of campaign, if I’m being honest, on a personal front that I would really have liked.”

Juan Mata – £8,320,000

Mata, who joined United from Chelsea in a £37.1million deal in January 2014, has publically admitted that footballers are paid too much.

“Football is very well remunerated at this level,” Mata said in 2016. “It’s like we live in a bubble. With respect to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It’s unfathomable.

“With respect to the world of football, I earn a normal wage. But compared to 99.9% of Spain and the rest of the world, I earn an obscene amount.

“The barometer we use for measuring our salaries is comparing them to those of our team-mates and what other players are earning elsewhere.

“I live in a bubble. Real life is the one my friends live. They’ve had to look for work, sign on to the dole and emigrate. That’s normal life now. My life as a footballer is not normal. It scares me sometimes to think about just how protected I am.”

He’s since co-founded Common Goal, a charitable organisation that encourages professional football players, managers and clubs to donate a minimum of one per cent of their earnings.

The former Spain international received £140,000-a-week from United during 2021-22 but started just two Premier League games over the course of the season.

Mata is reportedly open to joining another Premier League side at the end of his United contract and has also been linked with a move to MLS.

Manchester United's Juan Mata celebrates scoring against Fulham at Old Trafford, Manchester, 08 December 2018

READ: Seven reasons why Juan Mata has a place in every football fan’s heart

Nemanja Matic – £6,240,000

After playing under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Matic reunited with him at Old Trafford in 2017 and joined United in a £40million deal.

The midfielder, who earned £120,000 a week, was initially one of the first names on the team sheet at United but has become a bit-part player in recent years.

He penned a two-year contract extension in the summer of 2020 and there was an option to extend it by one more year. But Matic has opted not to exercise the option and will leave this summer, saving United £6.24million in wages.

The 33-year-old is reportedly set to link up with Mourinho for the third time and will join Roma on an initial one-year contract. 

Jesse Lingard – £3,900,000

Lingard joined United at Under-9 level in 2001 and worked his way through the academy, making his senior debut under Louis van Gaal in August 2014. 

After scoring in the 2016 FA Cup final and 2017 League Cup final, he was rewarded with a new four-year contract in April 2017 and received a wage of £75,000-a-week.

But the England international fell out of favour during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign and often found himself sitting on the bench.

United triggered the one-year extension option in his deal before allowing him to join West Ham on a six-month loan deal in January 2021.

After returning to Old Trafford, the midfielder rejected United’s contract offer over concerns about a lack of playing time, and he started just four games in all competitions in 2021-22.

Lingard’s departure at the end of June 2022 will bring to an end his 21-year association with United and the likes of West Ham, Everton, Roma, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan have already expressed their interest. 

According to reports, he wanted £150,000 a week and a huge signing-on fee to join Newcastle but they baulked at his demands.

Lee Grant – £1,560,000

Grant joined United from Stoke City in the summer of 2018 and became their third-choice goalkeeper behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero.

He made just two first-team appearances for the Red Devils, coming off the bench in an EFL Cup tie against Derby before starting against Astana in the Europa League group stage.

Having earned £30,000 a week in wages during his four years at Old Trafford, the 39-year-old got £3.12million per appearance. Not bad.

Grant decided to retire at the end of the 2021-22 season and has since been appointed as a first-team coach at League One side Ipswich Town.

More Manchester United

An amazing Xl of players already linked with a transfer to Man Utd

Can you name Man Utd’s XI for Louis van Gaal’s first game as boss in 2014?

The story of Nick Culkin at Man Utd and the shortest ever Prem career

Where are they now? Man Utd’s XI from Jesse Lingard’s debut in 2014