Manchester United have reportedly extended the contracts of Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young and Daley Blind until the end of next season.
The quartet would have become free agents this summer but United have moved to secure their immediate futures and bolstered their transfer values into the bargain by triggering clauses that extend their deals by a further 12 months until June 2019, according to the report in The Telegraph.
United had already triggered the 12-month option in Luke Shaw’s contract, but the long-term futures of Shaw, Blind, Mata and Young are less clear – particularly with Jose Mourinho expected to spend big over the next two transfer windows.
One player who now seems certain to move on, either this month for a cut-price fee or on a free in the summer, is Marouane Fellaini.
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The Belgian has rejected the club’s offer of a new deal and is expected to end his five-year Old Trafford stay, with clubs in Turkey leading the chase for the 30-year-old.
As for the quartet who have extended their stays, Blind has hardly figured for United this season, while Young, Mata and Herrera have all been key members of Mourinho’s first-team rotation.
Indeed, Young, who turns 33 in July, has been a standout in the troubled left-back spot but could himself back on the bench again if United land either of their top two targets in Juventus star Alex Sandro or Tottenham’s Danny Rose.
Blind has been mentioned as a potential target for Barcelona, while Inter Milan are known admirers of Mata and Herrera’s ability to play several central midfield roles will be become even more important once Michael Carrick hands up his boots, as expected, at the end of the season.