Manchester United have confirmed that Facundo Pellistri will spend another season on loan at Alaves.
Pellistri was a deadline day signing for United in October 2020 and was initially promised a first-team role. However, those plans changed and the youngster instead featured for the under-23s. Eager to progress at senior level, he moved to Spain to play for Alaves on loan in January.
The stint was more successful and a better match for Pellistri’s own plans. He ended up making 12 appearances for them in La Liga as Alaves finished 16th – four points above the relegation zone.
There were some doubts over whether Pellistri would be able to spend another season at Alaves, which seemed his preference all along. He began pre-season with his parent club and even scored the winner in their first friendly against Derby County.
But Man Utd’s signing of Jadon Sancho has added further disruption to the Uruguayan’s hopes of first-team football at Old Trafford.
Therefore, the clubs have come to an agreement to grant the teenager his wish. Pellistri will be an Alaves player again for the 2021-22 season.
However, United have still given him an indication that he could have a first-team future with them. There is no option to buy in the loan agreement.
Pellistri is under contract in Manchester until 2025, so still has plenty of time to prove himself. The upcoming year, back in familiar Spanish surroundings, should be a crucial one for his development.
Alaves will be paying Pellistri’s salary in full, so the move also reduces United’s wage bill. But they still have several other players they need to shift before the transfer window closes.
Everton urged to make Man Utd raid
A more senior star who could be on his way out of Old Trafford this month is Anthony Martial.
Sancho will likely be a guaranteed starter in a front four alongside Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford when he returns from shoulder surgery.
Behind that impressive foursome, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has outstanding depth to fall back on. Martial, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Mason Greenwood have all shone at times in the Premier League. Additionally, Juan Mata and youngster Amad Diallo are on the books.
But having so many viable options has presented the Red Devils boss with a unique issue. A recent report suggested Man Utd could axe as many as 10 first-team stars to help fund a final double splash this summer.
With so many forwards at their disposal, it came as no surprise to see Frenchman Martial namechecked.
The 25-year-old has attracted fleeting interest from Premier League quartet Tottenham, Everton, West Ham and Aston Villa.
But it is Rafael Benitez’s Toffees that one pundit would like to see hand Martial a lifeline…