Manchester United are said to be planning to extend the contracts of five players in the coming months in order to keep them from leaving for nothing next summer.
Marcus Rashford, David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, and Fred’s contracts are all set to expire in June, but United have the option to extend each of them for another year, which they intend to do. According to the Manchester Evening News, all of the extensions will be finalized before the end of the January transfer season.
United fans will welcome an extension for Rashford in particular. Since Erik ten Hag’s hiring, the England star has enjoyed a renaissance in form. Rashford was linked with a summer move to Paris Saint-Germain, but it never looked like he’d leave Old Trafford.
According to the MEN, Rashford’s brother and agent Dwaine Maynard spoke with PSG executives three weeks before the transfer window closed, however, it is believed he did so as leverage to enhance their negotiating position when it came to discussing a new contract. Meanwhile, De Gea remains the club’s No. 1 goalkeeper under Ten Hag and is the club’s second-highest earning, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo, whose contract is also set to expire.
Despite United’s option, it is doubtful that Ronaldo’s contract will be extended. The Portuguese striker attempted to quit United this summer and has found himself on the bench in Ten Hag’s first few games as questions about his role under the Dutch coach continue.
It remains to be seen whether the other players will remain at United in the long run. Diogo Dalot has been a consistent starter for Ten Hag this season, but it is no secret that United was looking for a new right-back in the summer. Luke Shaw’s position is also in jeopardy after losing it to new acquisition Tyrell Malacia, while Fred’s role at United is under continual criticism.
United held off on giving new contracts to Shaw and Fred in May while they awaited Ten Hag’s approval. By tying all of the players to contracts, United will have the option of selling them for a profit next summer if they so desire. Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe appear set to be released on free transfers, while Tom Heaton’s contract expires in June.
Ten Hag has done an excellent job of refreshing his squad following a £230 million transfer spree. United apparently understood that they were overpaying for £86 million striker Antony and £60 million midfielder Casemiro, but were persuaded to do so after seeing how determined both players were to wear a United shirt.
Malacia and Lisandro Martinez, for example, have already forced their way into Ten Hag’s starting XI following a rocky start in the Premier League. Ten Hag has also demonstrated his willingness to use the free transfer market by signing Christian Eriksen, who is becoming an increasingly crucial player for the Red Devils with each passing week.
Transfer costs have been a problem for United in recent years, with Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, and Edinson Cavani all leaving for nothing in the summer, something the club will be careful not to repeat in the future.