Manchester United are ready for the business end of the season as they begin negotiation of new contracts with players and Ashley Young seem to have made the list of players they want to keep.
Ashley Young is running down the final year of his present deal at Old Trafford and United have offered him a new one-year renewal, reports Manchester Evening News.
Young, 33, has worn the armband for the Red Devils in their last six games but will be free to negotiate with other clubs in the winter transfer window as he will be in the final six months of his present deal at the club.
However, the clubs has initiated contract talks with the England international’s agent in a bid to keep Young faithful to Old Trafford till 2020. Young came into the Premier League club from Aston Villa for £16million in 2011 and is running down hos eight season with the club.
United acquired right back Diogo Dalot in a deal worth £19m from Porto this summer and left back Luke Shaw committed himself to a new five-year deal the previous month but Jose Mourinho seem to have preference for Young’s seniority in the dressing room. Young had a beautiful summer under the Portuguese tactician and started five of England’s seven World Cup fixtures.
Juan Mata and Ander Herrera are the only other players whose contract expires in the summer and without the option of an extension. United are believed to be working out new deals with other players and Mourinho confirmed in September his desire to keep the Spanish duo and Young from heading towards the exit doors come season end.
“I hope they will stay,” Mourinho said. “We had a similar conversation last season about Marouane and I was always saying I hope he stays, I believe he stays.
“I say the same. I hope they stay. Of course, I am happy with the players. Juan and Ander, even if they are not playing or not playing a lot, not starting matches, by the personality point-of-view and character point-of-view, by what they represent in the modern society in football, they are almost unique pieces that I also don’t want to lose.”
United are expected to capitalize on advantageous one-year options on the contracts of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Andreas Pereira, Matteo Darmian and James Wilson to retain their signatures at Old Trafford until 2020.
David de Gea and Anthony Martial are also technically in the final year of their contract but United are still contemplating long-term arrangements and the club has the option of an additional year with the duo.
After the loss to city rivals Manchester City, Young said: “A really disappointing end to a week of tough away games. We know what yesterday meant to our fans and rest assured that during the international break we’ll be doing everything to make sure it’s three points next time out at Old Trafford.
Young’s performance made him a transfer target for clubs like Watford, Swansea, West Ham and Everton midway through Mourinho’s first season but has established himself in the starting lineup of the top six club over the last year at left-back and right-back. Young, at the moment, has displaced club captain Valencia, who is having a time out on the sidelines.