By Dave Marshall
According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, English giants, Manchester United have activated 12-month extension clauses in the contracts of four first team players who all have 6 months left on their current deals. The quartet of Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Ashley Young now have contracts running till the end of next season, meaning that the club can’t be afraid of losing them on a free transfer this summer.
The futures of all four are yet unclear, but in activating the clause, we have put ourselves in a string position should we still decide to sell them. Young has established himself as the club’s first choice left back this season as the likes of Shaw and Blind have struggled to impress in that position. However, with the England international turning 33 this summer, he is not the long-term solution in that department and has been linked to a return to former clubs such as Aston Villa and Watford.
Blind is expected to leave Old Trafford sooner rather than later after failing to impress Jose and has been admired by Real Madrid and Barcelona, who want him as cover as he can play a number of positions. Despite winning the Player of the Year award at the club last season, Ander Herrera has fallen down the pecking order due to a culmination of factors including injury, the arrival of Nemanja Matic and most shockingly, poor form.
He is attracting attention from Atletico Madrid, but it is expected that he will stay and fight for his place. The case of Mata is curious given his performances but it is pertinent that the club have not failed to extend his current deal, instead activating the 12-month extension option. He has always endured a fractious relationship with Jose and after four years at the club, could look for more opportunities elsewhere.
It is smart business by The Red Devils who don’t want to lose these players on a free transfer or for ridiculous prices.