Manchester United have allowed the contract situations of many key players to dwindle and Ed Woodward faces a busy few months ahead in an attempt to rectify the situation.
With David de Gea, Phil Jones, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera among the players who are coming to the end of their current deals, the current United situation is beginning to resemble the early 2010s at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.
Even if some of the above players are not viewed as integral part of Jose Mourinho’s plans moving forward, it is better to have them tied down – like Marcos Rojo is – in order to preserve their value.
That’s because in the modern era, even squad players are expensive to acquire, so letting some leave for nothing at the end of their contract is not good for the balance books.
Fan favourites are a worry
De Gea has been United’s best player for the last half a decade or so, so obviously he is one that the fans will not want to see their club lose.
But there is perhaps an acceptance that he has given enough to the club and allowing him to move back to Spain to be closer to family and challenge for the Champions League is just reward for that sustained excellence.
Marcus Rashford is another case entirely. The local boy is a key player for club and country and the supporters would absolutely hate to lose one of their own because of bungling over his contract.
What’s the latest?
The Daily Star report that United were stalling on talks over Rashford’s new contract at the end of last season due to concerns over his continued contribution to Mourinho’s plans.
But now Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid are reportedly circling with a view to a summer swoop and Ed Woodward is now scrambling to begin negotiations over extending Rashford’s deal.
He must press on and hope that Rashford’s commitment to his boyhood club is enduring, because the fans will not be happy if the delay ends up with the fans’ favourite leaving the club.