Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd labelled ‘a joke’ after announcing one-year contract extension for defensive star who is ‘not United standard’

Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof Man Utd

Victor Lindelof has extended his contract at Man Utd

Manchester United have been labelled ‘a joke’ for opting to extend experienced defender Victor Lindelof’s contract until 2025.

Lindelof’s current deal at Old Trafford was due to expire next summer, but United had the chance to extend it a further 12 months and have opted to do so.

The Sweden captain has been Erik ten Hag’s most-used central defender so far this season, making 18 appearances in all competitions.

You could argue that has been by default at times though, given injuries to the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane this season.

The 29-year-old is at least regularly available for selection for Ten Hag, who has also been forced to use Jonny Evans at times due to his defensive issues.

The fact that Lindelof can also be utilised at left-back does make him a key cog in Ten Hag’s squad, having joined the club from Benfica in 2017 for £31million. He has gone to make to make 171 Premier League appearances in that time.

However, the deal has not gone down well with many United fans, who feel that the club are rewarding mediocrity and not improving the overall quality of Ten Hag’s squad.

One tweeted, when hearing the news: “We are a joke! He’s not good enough we need better quality players!”

Another agreed, adding: “This is why we will remain in mediocrity, keep extending contracts of players that aren’t anywhere near good enough.”

A third commented: “Would have liked to see him go tbh he’s not United standard.”

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United still have big calls to make on several stars

United must now decide what to do with other players whose contracts will be running out this summer.

Tom Heaton, Evans, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial and Hannibal Mejbri will also be out of contract in June. Bar Heaton and Evans, United retain an option to extend all of those contracts by a further year.

The loan deals of Sofyan Amrabat and Sergio Reguilon are also due to expire next summer, although neither player is expected to sign permanently.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag has already expressed his excitement at the chance to work with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS at United, saying on Friday: “They want to work with me and I want to work with them”.

It was announced on Christmas Eve that the British billionaire had finally agreed a deal to purchase a minority stake in the club that will give INEOS control of football operations at Old Trafford.

However, United are not expected to truly benefit from boyhood United fans Ratcliffe’s influence until the summer, with any additions in January more likely to be loan deals – as they were last January.

The Red Devils will be back in action on Monday January 8 when they head to Wigan in the FA Cup third round.

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