Manchester United have 12 players who could leave the club for free at the end of the season, and Erik ten Hag has said he’s undecided who will stay.
Ten Hag started his rebuilding job of United in the summer, with several players moved on and others coming into the club, although he didn’t get all his targets.
The Dutchman wanted another midfielder capable of breaking defences, other than Christian Eriksen, but missed out on Frenkie de Jong, and it was evident against Newcastle United why they needed one of those, with Fred’s performance utterly panned.
Another striker, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo wanting out of the club, and a right back were also on Ten Hag’s shopping list.
Next summer could be an even bigger overhaul of the squad for the former Ajax boss, with as many as 12 players available to walk out once their contracts expire at the end of the current campaign.
Amongst the players whose deals are in their final eight months are Ronaldo, David de Gea and Marcus Rashford, but the manager isn’t rushing to sign them up.
According to the 52-year-old, he hasn’t decided on players’ futures and is instead still concentrating on performances.
“In this moment we only think about performing,” the United boss said in his pre match press conference, ahead of Wednesday’s game vs Tottenham Hotspur.
“We have a lot of games to go, so I don’t want to get that interfered by talks.
“We have to focus on football, on performances, not on negotiating, that’s what we are doing now.”
De Gea and Ronaldo could both leave in the summer. Image: AlamyRonaldo’s deal has an extra optional year on it, after his initial two year deal, but it looks unlikely that either party will want to trigger it.
He has been unhappy about not starting in previous matches and the 37-year-old was fuming when he was removed during the second half of the 0-0 draw with Newcastle, as was his sister.
De Gea is a more intriguing situation, having been in poor form at the start of the season, but starting to look closer to his best in recent weeks,
Ten Hag though, seems happy enough with his current number one, adding, “We didn’t make a decision on him but what I can say is that I am really happy with David de Gea as a keeper.
“His first two performances of the season were not his best but after you see he brings us a lot for the defence department, gives stability and as a person I like him – I can cooperate with him really well. But first we go to the winter and then we will talk about how to deal with this.”
Ten Hag sounds very relaxed about his players contracts. Image: AlamyThose whose deals are up in the summer will be able to start negotiating with teams outside of the Premier League from January, and can sign pre contract agreements.
As well as the headline names, Fred, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe, Tom Heaton, Phil Jones, and young prospect Alejandro Garnacho are all out of contract in the summer.