A look at United's six 2022 expiring contracts and predicting what's next

Six senior Manchester United players are set to enter the final six months of their existing contracts at Old Trafford heading into the new year.

Here we take a look at which players’ contracts expiring whilst making a prediction on their futures…

Paul Pogba

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Where else to start but the World Cup winner who as it stands looks set to leave Manchester United on a free transfer for the second time in his career.

Pogba and his outspoken agent Mino Raiola will be able to negotiate pre-contract terms with overseas clubs from New Year’s Day regarding a potential free summer transfer.

The Frenchman has yet to feature under the club’s new interim boss following the thigh injury he sustained on international duty.

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

With the 28-year-old likely to return to action in the new year, a lot is likely to depend on how United finish the season under Ralf Rangnick.

If Pogba plays an influential role in helping United lift the FA Cup alongside a strong Champions League run and a top four finish, he may commit his long-term future to the Reds.

However, if United’s season peters out with no trophy and at the very worst, finishing outside the Champions League places, Pogba will no doubt leave.

Prediction: Pogba to surprise everybody and sign a new deal following the conclusion of the season.

Jesse Lingard

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

The latest reports suggest that the England international will wait until the end of the season before making a decision on his future.

After a rejuvenating spell on loan at West Ham last season, Lingard will no doubt be frustrated by his lack of first team action since returning to the Theatre of Dreams.

The 29-year-old’s game time is unlikely to improve, especially in Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 formation.

Prediction: Leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Edinson Cavani

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

It would be foolish of United to allow the great Uruguayan to leave England in January, as he still has so much to offer to this United side.

It’s been frustrating seeing Cavani constantly be unavailable with niggling injuries, but he could be crucial in the second half of the season.

We got very lucky with El Matador signing another one-year deal and we should enjoy him while we can. Hopefully in Rangnick’s new system, Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo will be seen alongside one and other more frequently.

Prediction: Leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Juan Mata

Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It seemed more of a token gesture than footballing reasons when the 33-year-old was handed a new one-year deal in the summer.

If January interest does materialise, then it would probably be in everyone’s best interests that the former World Cup winner embarks on his next footballing chapter.

He may return to the club in an ambassador role in the future, but it’s hard to see where his next appearance on the pitch is going to come from.

It’s time for Mata to step aside and allow the club’s next generation the chance to battle for first team minutes.

Prediction: Leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Tahith Chong

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The Dutchman is ahead of schedule with his injury recovery, following a freak training ground injury which resulted in the youngster requiring surgery on his groin.

The injury cut short his season-long loan at Championship side Birmingham City, but Blues manager Lee Bowyer is hopeful that Chong could yet feature before the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

Although the 22-year-old’s current contract is set to expire in the summer, Manchester United have the option to trigger a one-year extension.

A lot may depend on whether Chong believes there is a realistic chance of him breaking through at United, or whether he feels his career would benefit from leaving United.

Prediction: United don’t trigger extension and Chong leaves on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Lee Grant

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The veteran certainly benefitted from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being in charge and similar to Mata, it was baffling to see Grant sign a new one-year deal with the club.

But Rangnick has already made it clear that the 38-year-old is not under first team consideration which indicates he will probably leave the club in the summer.

Grant has not played a first team game for Manchester United for over two years now, going back to the 2019 defeat against Astana.

Prediction: Leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.