Fred and Dalot reportedly set for new United contracts
Fred and Diogo Dalot are among the Manchester United players set to enter the final year of their current contracts this summer.
ESPN report that both men are expected to be rewarded with new deals, having impressed under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Of course, it is still unknown who the new manager of United will be, with a permanent appointment expected to be made ahead of the summer.
But Dalot is apparently viewed at the club as a long term option at right-back, and while midfield is viewed as an area of priority in the next transfer window, United want Fred tied down too.
Dalot reborn under Rangnick
Before Rangnick’s appointment, Dalot was very much second choice to Aaron Wan-Bissaka under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He had not started a Premier League game, after Solskjaer failed to land Kieran Trippier in the summer to offer a more attacking alternative on the right of his defence.
Dalot started Rangnick’s first game in charge, the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and impressed and he has not looked back since.
The German recently praised Dalot’s ability going forward, stating he was happy with the Portuguese international while still pointing out the need for him to improve his defensive work.
His Old Trafford career has had a new lease of life and that looks set to result in a new long-term deal.
Fred pushed further forward
Fred’s deployment further up the pitch began under caretaker boss Michael Carrick, who praised his ability to win the ball high up the pitch after he did exactly that to set United on their way to a crucial 2-0 away win over Villarreal in December.
He is tending to play as a box-to-box player in United’s 4-3-3 now, and he made a goalscoring contribution to the victory at Leeds on Sunday.
Roy Keane acknowledged the recent improvement in a player he has been critical of in the past but there will still be plenty who do not think Fred is good enough to get United where they need to be.
After a summer of investment in midfield under the new manager, it is to be hoped that come the start of next season, Fred would be more of a squad option than a regular starter.
He is an energetic midfielder, who is clearly a positive influence on the dressing room. That is exactly what Ander Herrera was, and United should have tied him down before he left to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in 2019.
With midfielders Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic mooted for exits on free transfers in the report, United understandably don’t want another senior option in the engine room leaving on the cheap.
But even if Fred signs the new deal as reported, improvements are still needed in that area of the pitch.