Manchester United recently committed Bruno Fernandes to a new long-term contract. The Portuguese put pen-to-paper on a deal until June 2026 with the option for another year.
The extension was well deserved for his excellent goal contributions over the past two years. It now seems the club are focusing on handing new deals to other key players in the squad.
According to reputed journalist Fabrizio Romano, Luke Shaw appears the next in line for a renewal. The left-back currently has a contract until the summer of 2023 with a 12-month option.
His form has been patchy this term amid regular injury concerns, but United’s hierarchy are keen to highlight his importance by negotiating a new long-term deal with a likely pay rise.
Aside from Shaw, there could be contract talks held with other key stars. Marcus Rashford could be one of those despite experiencing a poor season by his high standards set over the past few years.
Rashford had an exceptional 2020/21 campaign, bagging 21 goals and 15 assists from 57 outings. Ahead of this term, he had a shoulder surgery which was anticipated to bring the best out of him.
However, that has hardly been the case. He has been playing in his shadows for most of the ongoing season. With just five goals and two assists from 27 games, he is no longer an assured starter.
There has been criticism from some section of the Red Devils’ fanbase, but the hierarchy are not prepared to give up on Rashford and believe he has the ‘makings of a very top player‘.
Hence, a contract extension won’t come as a surprise. While a new deal for Rashford remains debatable, the same can’t be said for Fred, who has been in top form under Ralf Rangnick.
The Brazilian has been offered more freedom to link up higher up the field. Fred has 10 goal contributions this campaign, the majority of which have come under the German tactician.
United will have a new manager at the helm in Erik ten Hag this summer, but the Dutchman follows a similar philosophy of gegenpressing, but with more attacking intent from his players.
Fred’s deal effectively expires in June 2024 (extension clause considered). He is 29, but Ten Hag has shown from his time at Ajax that he prefers a mixture of youth and experience in his XI.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk man could be a key figure in the centre of the park for United next term, but there are no doubts that the club need an elite defensive midfielder alongside him.
Scott McTominay has struggled to find consistency over the past 18 months. Nemanja Matic has been a decent solution, but his limited mobility may not suit the attacking brand of football under Ten Hag.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com