Manchester United remain the biggest club in England, but as a player, are they much fun to play for these days?
It would appear not, according to David de Gea, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw; they are all stalling on a new Old Trafford deal.
Some will cite Jose Mourinho as the reason, others will just want a better chance of challenging for major honours; but all seem reluctant to commit their long-term future to the Red Devils.
That is a hugely worrying trend and Ed Woodward has to come under the spotlight once more. We’ve had a closer look and examined whether it’s a symptom of a deeper malaise…

 

Woodward’s role

(Photo by Manchester United/Man Utd via Getty Images)


Woodward is not a football man, but he is a great businessman. Despite a prolonged period of poor on-pitch performance, Red Ed has boosted United’s profits.
He has created more and more sustainable revenue streams; even if he has been unable to secure the deals for some players his three post-Fergie managers wanted.
So this latest failing is arguably his worst yet; a business brain is letting valuable assets decrease in value before his very eyes.

(Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)


Even if Mourinho or Woodward want to offload any of the above, it makes sense to tie them down to preserve their market value; the contract extension offered to Marcos Rojo is one example of that in action.
But leaving the club in a position where they have no bargaining power with players, just as they did with Marouane Fellaini last season, is a shambolic state of affairs. It is embarrassing and it is only going to cost the club money; losing players for basement prices and replacing them is not a cheap or easy task.

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