With an annual salary budget of £236m, Manchester United boast one of the most exorbitant wage bills across all sports. Nevertheless, the Red Devils do believe in conserving pennies in order to fund the big money moves they initiate in every other transfer window.
Their cost-cutting measures include player sales, sending promising youngsters on loans, and a balanced wage structure that has multiple entries over both ends of the spectrum.
Manchester United have multiple players out on loan at the moment
As mentioned earlier, United send away a lot of players on a temporary basis to let them gain some much-needed exposure, all the while saving money on their salaries. The 2021 transfer window was no different. Manchester United sanctioned loan deals for as many as five first-team players, freeing up space for their new arrivals in the process.
Versatile and budding full-back Brandon Williams managed to secure an interim move to Premier League newbies Norwich City. Meanwhile, 25-year-old United outcast Andreas Pereira was exiled to Flamengo for his second successive and fourth overall loan spell.
Elsewhere, Axel Tuanzebe returned to Villa Park for his third loan stint with Aston Villa. Youngsters Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri also procured temporary moves to Birmingham City and Deportivo Alaves, respectively.
With so many salary reductions occurring in the same window, Manchester United saved a lot of revenue on these transfers. Nevertheless, the Red Devils already have a number of notable players on considerably low wages. On that note, let's take a look at five of the most underpaid Manchester United players at the moment:
(Note: all wages are taken from spotrac.com)
#5 Victor Lindelöf - £120,000 per week
With the signing of Raphael Varane for €40m, Manchester United have all but confirmed their first-choice center-back partnership at the back. Club captain Harry Maguire and newcomer Varane will definitely be Ole Gunnar Solskjær's preferred defensive duo, leaving Swedish stalwart Victor Lindelöf on the bench.
The 27-year-old center-half was signed by Manchester United in 2017 for €35m. While Lindelöf is expected to play a rotational role this term, he has shown glimpses of his obvious talent in the past.
The winner of the best Swedish footballer of the year on two occasions, Lindelöf forged a decent partnership with Maguire last season, playing 35 of the designated 38 games.
Despite his continuous and consistent service, Manchester United have him on an average payroll, providing him with £120,000 on a weekly basis. Even though Lindelöf has had his sporadic struggles, the reliable defender has proved his worth time and time again.
However, with a clear upgrade in their hands, Manchester United are destined to undervalue the efforts of Lindelöf by giving him limited game time as well as wages.
#4 Diogo Dalot - £25,000 per week
Diogo Dalot joined Manchester United in 2018 as a highly-rated prospect. However, the Portuguese right-back could only spend two underwhelming seasons with the Red Devils, before being spat out on loan to AC Milan. With United announcing the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2019, most fans assumed it would be the end of Dalot's career in England.
Nevertheless, an inspiring loan spell in Milan has revitalized the youngster's career. Due to his impressive one-year stay in Italy, Dalot attracted a lot of interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan.
At the time of writing, the 22-year-old right-back is pocketing a paycheck of just £25,000 per week with Manchester United. However, if he can continue with the form that earned him some well-earned praise, the Red Devils will be obliged to give him a raise. Dalot's superb offensive skills could suit United's trademark style of counterattacking. But it remains to be seen if he can force his way into Solskjaer's thinking at Old Trafford.