Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

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What Man United should do with seven players whose contracts expire next year

4 min read

Paul Pogba

Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United transfer saga has for once taken the spotlight away from Paul Pogba’s future. The Frenchman dominated the headlines last summer after stating his desire to leave the club in search of a new challenge. However, an exit failed to materialise and Pogba returned to a resurgent United side after recovering from a number of injuries following the June restart.

His agent Mino Raiola confirmed Pogba would be staying at United this summer and confirmed talks will soon begin over a new contract. His current deal is set to expire next year but United are in no danger of losing him for free given they have the option to extend it for a further year. Nevertheless, tying the World Cup winner down to a long-term deal would be a statement of intent.

Decision: Offer new contract.

Jesse Lingard

Raiola added another United player to his clientele back in January when Jesse Lingard appointed the Italian as his new agent. Naturally, his decision sparked rumours that he could be set to leave Old Trafford after slipping down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The 27-year-old opened up on his struggles off-the-field in an emotional interview back in July but finished the season on a high by scoring against Leicester.

Lingard impressed during the Carabao Cup win against Luton and Solskjaer praised his efforts but refused to comment on his future. Tottenham were reportedly keen to sign the midfielder but MEN Sport understands those reports were wide of the mark. Lingard may have a role to play as a squad player but he should be allowed to leave if he wants guaranteed first-team football. Triggering the extension clause in his contract would enable United to protect his value.

Decision: Trigger extension clause.

Juan Mata

One man who won’t be leaving this summer is Juan Mata.

Mata remains a useful rotation option for United and his experience will be invaluable to their young players. For now, triggering the extension clause in his contract makes the most sense rather than offering him a new long-term deal given his age.

Decision: Trigger extension clause.

Marcos Rojo

United’s decision when it comes to the future of Marcos Rojo couldn’t be much easier. The Argentine left for Estudiantes on loan in January but featured only once before returning to Manchester. It’s clear he no longer has a future at the club and should be offloaded at the earliest opportunity.

If he isn’t sold this summer or in January, he will depart for nothing next summer. United must learn from their mistakes and not offer him extended terms.

Decision: Release if not sold.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

United fans were surprised to see Timothy Fosu-Mensah make his first appearance of last season during the win against Crystal Palace at the expense of Diogo Dalot. Solskjaer’s options in defence were depleted after injuries to Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams and Dalot seemed the obvious replacement but it was Fosu-Mensah who was handed the starting berth.

The Dutchman started the 3-1 defeat to Palace in September but is yet to feature again after Aaron Wan-Bissaka returned to the side. Nevertheless, given he is only 22 years old, it would make sense to offer him a new deal. Solskjaer is clearly a fan and his versatility means he is able to cover a number of positions. Even if he is sold at a later date, allowing him to leave for nothing would not be wise.

Decision: Offer new contract.

Sergio Romero

Dean Henderson’s return to Manchester United was welcomed by supporters given David de Gea’s inconsistent form in recent months. The 23-year-old penned a new contract following an impressive loan spell with Sheffield United which effectively ended Sergio Romero’s United career.

The Argentine performed admirably when called upon last season and remains one of the best back up goalkeepers in the Premier League. He deserves to be playing regular first-team football and is likely to leave this summer. If not, United should not stand in his way of departing for nothing.

Decision: Release if not sold.

Lee Grant

Another goalkeeper who could leave is veteran Lee Grant. The former Stoke City man extended his contract back in March despite having made only ever made one appearance for the Reds. Grant is working towards his coaching badges during his time at Carrington and it remains to be seen whether he will be offered a role in Solskjaer’s setup.

With Nathan Bishop providing cover to Henderson and De Gea, Grant’s time as a United player should come to an end.

Decision: Release.

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