Manchester United have many player who will be out of contract in the summer, but the Old Trafford club seem to be dealing with the contracts of the players they wish to keep with Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair already signing contract extensions. In the summer of 2016, many players including David De Gea, Rafael da Silva, Robin van Persie, Jonny Evans, Michael Carrick, Víctor Valdés (could be offered a further year extension), Nick Powell, Anders Lindegaard and the three players rumoured to be handed contract extensions by the Mirror; Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Obviously the likes of Robin van Persie, Jonny Evans, Rafael da Silva and Anders Lindegaard could be sold in the summer if Louis van Gaal feels they are surplus to requirements, which is something we shall have to wait and see. Also Nick Powell is currently under the microscope after a failed end to his loan spell with Wigan Athletic last season and the failure that was his loan to Leicester City this season. David De Gea is also a player that the club want to extend the contract of, but that does not look like something that will be sorted in the near future with United uncertain of the Spaniards future at the club.
The Mirror state that United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has apparently opened up negotiations with the representatives of all three players, which will be down to their current form. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have formed a central defensive partnership in the last two matches; the 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur and the 2-1 victory over Liverpool. Ashley Young is a player rejuvenated under Louis van Gaal, with his Old Trafford future up in the air before the Dutchman’s arrival, which is good to see. All three players could be offered contract from three to four years, which may not be something that many supporters will be happy with, but all three will be utilised in the coming season, especially if European football makes its return to the Old Trafford club, which is looking likely at this moment in time.
Whilst Jones and Smalling may never be the best defensive pairing the club may see, especially with the likes of Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce and more recently Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, both will add strength in-depth to the squad, especially if Louis van Gaal fortifies his defence, which is something that he is tipped to be doing this summer with the likes of Mats Hummels, Nicolas Otamendi and now Stefan De Vrij being linked by the media, whether it be true or not, the defence is an area that requires a leader and when you look back at the likes of Ferdinand and Vidic who left last summer, that sort of leadership needs to be replaced and Smalling and Jones may not be the players that can bring that, but they can bring stability in the defence, especially during an injury crisis, if they are not involved in that of course.
Marcos Rojo was the only central defensive addition last summer, and at times this season, most of the season actually, he has been the clubs best defender, but has suffered from injury himself, which is why he was absent from the starting eleven for the last two matches, returning late in the victory over Liverpool. Ashley Young has been like a new signing this season, playing as a wing-back during pre-season, and for many matches this season, more recently being utilised as a winger and showing some potential. His crossing may not be the best, but cutting in from the left, or even the right and shooting, he has dealt some troublesome shots for the opposition to deal with.
It is clear that Manchester United are adapting for the future and there will probably be more exits from the club this summer as many players have been shown the door last summer and during the winter transfer window. United will also need to bring in the players that they are lacking at this moment in time, with Memphis Depay and Paulo Dybala, among others, but we really do not know exactly who Louis van Gaal is looking to but in the summer and the first thing we will probably hear will be when the club announces a new signing. It will be another interesting summer at Old Trafford.