A contract crisis could be looming for Manchester United with as many as 11 first-team players out of contract at the end of this season.
David De Gea, Anthony Martial and club captain Antonio Valencia are all in the final years of their current deals, though United have the option to extend their current deals beyond summer.
However, fellow first-team stars Luke Shaw, Juan Mata and Ashley Young have no such ‘roll over’ options for next season. Five more squad members could also depart for free in the summer, or depart for a cut-price deal in January.
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So who is out of contract at Old Trafford? And who is likely to stay or go?
David De Gea
Arguably United’s most important player, De Gea is in the final year of his contract with the club holding an option to extend it for next season. However talks to extend the goalkeeper’s deal beyond next season have reportedly stalled potentially leaving United a tough decision: cash in this summer or risk losing him for free in 2020? Boosting the Red Devils though is that long-term admirer Real Madrid have just signed Thibaut Courtois.
Potentially the highest-value United star set to become available given his age, initial fee and potential. Like De Gea, a contract extension can be triggered, however also like De Gea, Martial’s fractious relationship with manager Jose Mourinho could still see him leave.
United’s faithful captain will complete a decade of service at Old Trafford at the end of the season, and like the previous two seasons, the 33-year-old’s deal should roll over into next season.
The third player that United have an option to excise, the fullback has enjoyed a welcome return to form under Mourinho but his rolling contract is renewed based on the 33-year-old’s performances.
The full back is finally showing a return on the £30m outlay United made on him in 2014. Still only 23, Shaw has forced his way back into England contention and should be offered fresh terms this season.
Juan Mata’s case is intriguing, as he was allowed to leave Chelsea when Mourinho was manager at Stamford Bridge back in January 2014. The Spaniard, 30, is already in his option year. Having failed to hit the heights he did at the Blues, his hopes rest on a knife edge.
Ander Herrera is keen to stay but has recently been linked with a return to former club Athletic Bilbao. The arrivals of Nemanja Matic and Fred have seen him only feature twice in the Premier League this season.
Now into his eighth year at Old Trafford, Jones is in the final year of his contract but United don’t see renewing his deal as a priority with Mourinho still in the market for more central defenders.
Like his defensive partner Jones, Smalling’s deal is not seen as priority for United and he could leave after nine years at Old Trafford.
After successful loan spells with Girona and Valenica in LaLiga, the midfielder has been rewarded with more opportunities under Mourinho which could lead to new terms.
Failed to leave over the summer and now the Italian fullback looks set to leave for a cut-price deal in January or on a free in summer. Napoli were reportedly interested in taking him on loan pre-season.