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Manchester United trio out of contract next Summer; Who will stay and who will go?

The Summer transfer window of 2018 may appear to be in the far distant future, but in the footballing world, where deals and transfers can continuously be making progress behind closed doors, a lot of things can happen during this nine-month gap from now until the 1st July. Although modern-day transfer windows are predominantly plagued with ludicrous transfer fees and sums, there is still the odd bargain to be made here and there.

However, for Manchester United, there is a current risk that they will be the ones on the wrong side of a potential bargain, with Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata, and Ander Herrera, all being out of contract come next Summer. This potentially means that all three players could be leaving on a free transfer in nine months, so what are the chances of all three players leaving the club?

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Ander Herrera

Likelihood of leaving: 3/10

Last season’s Sir Matt Busby’s Player of the Year award winner has found himself in a new role this season, with Jose Mourinho preferring to use Herrera’s services in a more pragmatic manner. The Spaniard has certainly established himself as a useful tool for Mourinho, as the fiery, but yet a disciplined midfielder shares the same attitude and desire to win, as the manager himself.

As mentioned, Herrera has however found himself in a more squad rotational role this season, as opposed to last year, when he was arguably one of the first names on the team sheet. Despite this, Herrera admitted himself back in September that he still feels like a valued member of the squad, as he certainly is a player that is eager to help his team in any way that he can.

It is also worth mentioning that Herrera does have an option to extend his current deal by an extra one year, which can be automatically triggered at any point during the season. The Spaniard is certainly still valued by Mourinho, who appreciates the type of player that Herrera is – one that doesn’t complain and is simply happy to play any part for the team. It would certainly be a big surprise to see a player like Herrera let go and one would certainly expect the one-year extension option in his contract, to be triggered.

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Marouane Fellaini

Likelihood of leaving: 2/10

One player on every United fan’s lips at the moment is undoubtedly Marouane Fellaini, as the Belgian midfielder has certainly been one of the players of the season so far, for Manchester United. Under Mourinho, Fellaini has certainly won over the majority of his critics and is now back looking like a player full of confidence, similar to how he was during his time at Everton.

Similarly to Herrera, Fellaini has certainly established himself as a player that the manager can trust, whether it is sitting deep in the midfield area, or playing in behind the striker, the Big Belgian has proven himself as a useful and versatile player, for the side. Particularly following Paul Pogba’s injury, Fellaini certainly now looks to be the first choice midfield partner alongside Nemanja Matic and one would expect these recent performances to be rewarded with a new contract.

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Juan Mata

Likelihood of leaving: 4/10

When Jose Mourinho was appointed as United manager back in 2016, there was, of course, serious question marks surrounding Mata’s future, as the two endured a rather strained relationship during their time at Chelsea together, as it was Mourinho who allowed Mata to leave Stamford Bridge and join United back in 2014.

However, rather ironically, Mata has in fact been one of the most consistent performers for United, during Mourinho’s tenure at the club. After scoring ten goals across all competitions for the Reds last season, Mata registered himself as the side’s second top scorer and has already enjoyed a rather productive start to this new season.

The versatile playmaker, similar to both Fellaini and Herrera, is again a player that Mourinho trusts, as Mata is certainly one of the team’s most consistent performers. Despite Mata falling out of favour under Mourinho at Chelsea, the Spaniard certainly holds a starting spot in Mourinho’s lineup at United and again, it would undoubtedly be regarded as a shock if he were to leave Old Trafford.

All three players mentioned all seem to hold a similar trait – they are all players who have flourished under the management of Jose Mourinho. It would therefore undoubtedly come as a surprise if either of the three were to leave United next season and fans will certainly be hoping that this won’t be the case.

Written by Joshua Gmerek-Iftakhar

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