Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is planning to secure Manchester United’s long-term future by rewarding four stars with new deals – and hope remains they can still persuade Paul Pogba to commit to a new deal.
The Red Devils started the 2021/22 season in the best possible fashion with a 5-1 rout of Leeds. The win – courtesy of a Bruno Fernandes hat-trick – will give hope that United can end their five-year wait to win a trophy.
Solskjaer has been rewarded for his progress at United with a bumper new contract of his own. That provides him with security and stability as he plots to close the gap on champions Manchester City.
Now the United boss is confident of tying down four of his most important starts to new deals. As per The Sun, Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford are all in line for increased salaries.
First on the agenda is star man, Fernandes. Having joined from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, he has been a revelation at Old Trafford. In 81 appearances for the club, he already has 43 goals to his name – a strike-rate better than 1 in 2. He also has 25 assists in that time, equalling a stunning 68 goal involvements in 81 games for the club.
And despite being contracted to Old Trafford until 2026, he only earns around £100,000 a week. Now the club is looking to more than double his wages. Indeed, they state any new deal will earn him between £200,000 – £300,000 a week – fitting reward as one of their star men.
England trio Rashford, Maguire and Shaw all earn between £180,000 and £200,000-a-week. Now The Sun claims they will also be offered similar terms to Fernandes.
Rashford and Shaw’s deals both end in two summers’ time – though United do retain one-year options. However, the pair can both expect an extensions to their agreements as well as an increase.
Maguire’s deal currently runs to 2025.
Solskjaer also remains determined to tie Pogba down to a new deal. With his contract now having less than 10 months to run, there’s been a flurry of speculation over his future of late.
Pogba served notice of his quality with one of his best ever games in a United shirt on Saturday. With four assists to his name, he has already bettered his tally of three in the Premier League last season.
Furthermore, he is also the first Manchester United player – and just seventh overall – to achieve such a feat in one Premier League game.
United do, however, remain hopeful that Pogba will sign a new deal. Performances like Saturday’s will certainly help.
Furthermore, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano insists talks are continuing between United and his agent Mino Raiola.
Now Solskjaer is ready to play an ace card by informing Pogba he can become the main man at United. He wants to grant the midfielder a free role and without the limitations Jose Mourinho placed on his game.
He will also inform the midfielder that he may not get the same guarantee at a club like PSG or Real Madrid. Furthermore, he will reinforce the message to Pogba that the club are now going places.
With Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane ready to add to the mix, hopes burn bright for a strong push for trophies at Old Trafford.
Gary Neville drops Pogba bombshell
Despite all that, Gary Neville insists he has a strong feeling that Pogba will be on his way next summer.
“Leeds are the perfect opponents because they play one-on-one. Manchester United pulled them apart,” he said on Sky Sports.
“Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba were outstanding and it was a really good start from Manchester United.
“It’s an absolute given that if Fernandes and Pogba are at Manchester United, they will both play.
“But l think what we will see is Pogba on the left of a front three for big games. And he may play deeper in some games at Old Trafford when they need to unlock teams. He will create chances.
“Manchester United need one outstanding season from Pogba because he is going to leave next summer.
“I think Pogba will be excited by the team United are building but he has a decision to make. Does he want to commit his future to Manchester United?
“If it’s a new contract, it will be for three or four or five years. And that means the best years of his career will be at Manchester United.
“I think Paul Pogba has an ambition to play somewhere else – and that’s been clear for the last couple of years. His agent has told us that and I think he will take that opportunity.
“I think right now he will be thinking, ‘I like this team but I do want to go to Real Madrid or Paris’.”