Manchester United are expected to trigger one-year options in five players’ contracts before the January transfer window closes.
David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Fred and Marcus Rashford have all technically entered the last year of their contracts but United plan to exercise their option of an additional year with each player.
According to Manchester United Evening News, United currently have no intention of allowing any of the quintet to leave on a free next summer, especially as each player retains resale value should they not earn a renewal.
The club are yet to open discussions with the representatives of any of the players about a new contract, having focused on recruitment since Erik ten Hag took over as manager in April.
Rashford, 24, has scored three goals and assisted two in his last four games after his brother and representative, Dwaine Maynard, met with officials from Paris Saint-Germain last month.
Sources questioned the timing of the meeting as the transfer window was open for only three more weeks and Rashford had indicated his preference to stay at United.
The suspicion from some was that Maynard arranged the meeting as a negotiation tactic to put pressure on United to offer Rashford a new contract.
With Cristiano Ronaldo likely to leave United next year, it is anticipated United will attempt to tie down academy graduate Rashford on a new long-term contract.
Dalot, 23, could also be in line for an improved contract, having established himself as a first-choice right-back this year. Sources close to Dalot were relaxed about his future due to the plus-one option in his deal.
Shaw, 27, has been ousted from the starting XI by new signing Tyrell Malacia and could face an uncertain future if his form does not improve this season.
Shaw does not turn 28 until after his contract’s expiry date of June 30 and United’s provisional plan is to extend it, regardless of his standing in Ten Hag’s squad.
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United extended the contracts of academy players Dylan Levitt and Tahith Chong earlier this year in order to obtain a fee for both players. Levitt joined Dundee United for £300,000 and Chong moved to Birmingham for £1.5million.
David de Gea is 32 in November and is United’s second-highest earner after Ronaldo. While not an obviously sellable asset in the current market, De Gea remains the United No.1 and the club have not identified a potential long-term replacement.
De Gea said in July he wants to end his career at United: “Yeah, if it’s possible, of course. If they let me stay here I will stay here, for sure. I’m really comfortable, really happy and hopefully before I leave we can win something.
Fred will be 30 next summer and excelled under Ten Hag during pre-season but was dropped after the 4-0 thrashing at Brentford on August 13 and was only recalled for the Europa League defeat to Real Sociedad.
United usually move to extend a player’s contract by January at the latest to prevent any chance of them agreeing a pre-contract with an overseas club.
Phil Jones will almost certainly be released when his contract expires next year as he has only started in two games in the last two-and-a-half years. Axel Tuanzebe could also be let go after another injury-plagued year.
Tom Heaton celebrates his 37th birthday in April and is contracted to United until the end of the season but could be retained amid uncertainty in the goalkeeping department, with Martin Dubravka only on loan and Dean Henderson out on loan at Nottingham Forest.