As we gorge ourselves on the hourly rumors circulating during the January transfer window (Bruno anyone?), we may forget that some current squad members have expiring contracts on June 30th. Who gets the boot and who do we negotiate with?
Currently, six first team members have less than six months left on their contract: Grant, Young, Matic, Borthwick-Jackson, Bailly, and Fosu-Mensah. Let’s go one-by-one and figure out who stays and who goes.
Grant (36 y/o)
Mourinho brought Grant, who will be 37 years old in two weeks, in the ’18 summer window. It was going to be difficult to get minutes when you’re the third option behind arguably the one of the best GK in the league and best back-up GK, respectively. However, Grant has not played in a Premier League match during his tenure with United and started in net for our lone Europa loss to FC Astana. While Dean Henderson is absolutely killing it on loan with Sheffield and poised to compete for minutes, it’s safe to say that MUFC will not be extending Grant’s contract.
Young (34 y/o)
Ash is a divisive player amongst Red Devil fans. Some love his drive, intensity, and clubhouse leadership (let’s not forget that he still has Salah in his pocket). Others cannot stand his inaccurate crosses and that he takes playing time from our younger players. Young played a key role in our squad immediately upon joining in ’11 from Aston Villa, playing in over 260 matches with 19 goals and 43 assists. Regardless, rumors of his imminent departure to Inter Milan, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, and others make it seem like a forgone conclusion that Ashley Young will not be with United after the summer.
Matic (31 y/o)
Matic was another Jose signing, in the summer of ’17, due to their time together at Chelsea and he immediately impressed supporters with his command of the midfield. Those were the good Ole days, days that now seem so long ago and as though it were another player. Granted, he has kept two clean sheets in recent weeks since Scotty’s injury; but he was lack luster and ineffective in our loss to Arsenal and has only made three additional starts this season. However, the Metro posted today that contract extension discussions have begun with Matic due to the amount of injuries we’re facing in the midfield (i.e., Pogba, Scotty, and Lingard). My bet is that Matic will not be with the squad after this season because of his age, immobility, and potentially incoming signings.
Bailly (25 y/o)
When Bailly came on to the scene in ’16 on a four-year contract, we all beamed with excitement. He had pace, a ferocious tackle, and commanded the defense with Smalling. Bailly’s ferocity caught up with him unfortunately as he’s been continuously injured in recent seasons. I cannot see Bailly staying with us after this season given the emergence of Axel, the solid partnership of Slabhead and Ice Man, and the uncertainty of Smalling’s loan deal.
Borthwick-Jackson (22 y/o)
Cameron has had extremely limited exposure with the first squad along with multiple unproductive loan spells ever since his 10-match campaign with United back in 15/16 under LvG. Although we recalled him from his loan at Tranmere Rovers last week, I do not see Cameron getting much playing time with our current squad and do not expect United to offer him a new contract in the summer.
Fosu-Mensah (22 y/o)
Since the 16/17 season, Timothy has been on season-long loans at Crystal Palace and then newly promoted Fulham side. Comparable to Bailly, Fosu-Mensah has been prone to injuries including a serious injury involving severe ligament damage. Fosu-Mensah still has a good deal of promise and I believe United will offer him a club-friendly deal.
What are your thoughts? GGMU