Making eye-catching signings to strengthen their squads is one priority for the Premier League’s big six, but ensuring the contracts of their star assets don’t run down has become equally important.
Due care and attention needs to be taken when it comes to contract expiry dates to ensure nobody is poached for below their market value. With that in mind, we take a look at the players at the Premier League’s top six whose contracts are due to expire either next summer or in 2020.
United remain confident that their goalkeeper David de Gea will sign a new contract but time is very much of the essence given the Spaniard’s current deal expires next summer.
Back in the summer, it looked as though De Gea was poised to sign for another five years, but an impasse has been reached because he is holding out for a £350 000-a-week salary, putting him on a more equal footing with top earners Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.
The Old Trafford club are also in talks with French forward Anthony Martial, whose existing contract also expires next summer.
Martial became caught in the middle of the tension between manager Jose Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Mourinho was happy for Martial to depart in the summer window, questioning his attitude and contribution, while Woodward wants the 22-year-old forward to realise his obvious potential at United.
Though Martial’s deal does expire next summer, the club do have an option to extend it for another year.
Spanish midfield duo Juan Mata and Ander Herrera both see their deals run out in 2019. Herrera wants to stay at United but has yet to agree fresh terms.
United were open to offers for Mata over the summer, having triggered a one-year extension back in January to stop him departing for nothing, but none were forthcoming.
Decisions will have to be made sharpish about the future of United’s back line because the contracts of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young all run out next summer.
Darmian and Young have contracts which include the option of a further year but there is a very high likelihood that United’s search for new defensive players will become very urgent a few months from now. – Daily Mail