Manchester United’s move for Donny van de Beek was confirmed this week, with the Dutchman signing a long-term contract.
Van de Beek’s deal runs until 2025, and there is an extra option to extend it until 2026.
United have the Dutchman’s future tied down for the next six years, which should be the best years of his career.
There has been some impressive work behind the scenes on getting the club’s key midfielders onto long-term contracts.
Manchester United’s midfield future
- Donny van de Beek
- Bruno Fernandes
- Scott McTominay
- Nemanja Matic
- James Garner
- Paul Pogba
Pogba is the odd man out
Manchester United’s midfield future is secure, apart from one player, Paul Pogba.
Next summer he will have just one year left on his deal, and it is important United do not let it get to this point.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola recently told Sky Sports that a contract extension could be in the pipeline.
He said: “Pogba is staying at Manchester United and I think they want to extend his contract. He is at the centre of an important project.”
The Sun even claimed in July that Pogba was on the verge of agreeing to a new five-year deal.
No agreement has been made yet, but if United can get the deal done, then the future of the club’s midfield will be totally secure.
Nemanja Matic’s contract ‘only’ runs until 2023, but at that point he will be 35, and a younger defensive midfield specialist will likely have been bought.
There is current speculation about Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, with ESPN reporting United have joined the race for his signature.
Thiago’s Bayern contract runs out next year, which is why the German club are struggling to keep him and considering cashing in.
This is a reminder to United that a deal for Paul Pogba must be a top priority to avoid being in the same scenario.
Beyond this, there is midfield talent in the academy, with players hopeful of following Scott McTominay’s path into the first team.
James Garner, Dylan Levitt, Ethan Galbraith and Hannibal Mejbri are among the most likely candidates.
Garner is under contract until 2023 and will be rewarded with a longer deal like McTominay’s if he earns it.
United now have stronger options in midfield than the side Sir Alex Ferguson left.
The Scot enjoyed unprecedented success as manager, winning titles right until the end, but in his final years, a lack of midfield strength was one of the weaknesses his team overcame.
Now United look stronger than ever in the position, and it is a key reason why fans should feel encouraged about the years ahead.
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