Murtough could soon seal ‘perfect business’ at Old Trafford


Manchester United’s decision to place the option of an additional year into many players’ contracts makes ‘perfect business sense’, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Red Devils have made a habit of including a clause that allows them to keep hold of their star performers for a further 12 months into their deals, leaving them in a strong position around the negotiating table.

What is the latest news involving Man Utd?

New United manager Erik ten Hag began overhauling his first-team squad over the summer in what was his first transfer window at the helm of the 20-time English champions.

Big-money arrivals in the shape of Antony, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro were joined by Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Martin Dubravka in the red half of Manchester while several players departed.

Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic all exited for pastures new, and there could be another substantial wave of outgoings rather soon.

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That’s because Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fred, David de Gea, Phil Jones and Tom Heaton are all out of contract in the summer of 2023.

However, all of the aforementioned players have options in their contracts that could see them stay at Old Trafford for another year, giving United’s football director John Murtough more power should potential suitors try to prise them away from the club.

What has O’Rourke said about Man Utd?

While it seems inevitable the likes of Ronaldo, Jones and Heaton will be allowed to move on at this moment in time, Ten Hag may well be keen to keep hold of the other players who are nearing the end of their existing deals.

And O’Rourke believes it was a ‘good business’ move by the United hierarchy to include the clauses in their contracts.

In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “It makes perfect business sense. Man United do this a lot; they have options in their players’ contracts to extend for a year on their part. So, I think it’s good business sense from United.”

Who could Man Utd keep hold of?

Rashford, Dalot and De Gea have started all six of Ten Hag’s opening Premier League games in charge of United, illustrating that they are currently central to the Dutchman’s thinking.

However, Shaw and Fred have only featured from the off on two occasions each in the top-flight, throwing their long-term futures at the club into doubt.

Ronaldo expressed his desire to leave United over the summer in search of Champions League football and Jones and Heaton are way down Ten Hag’s pecking order, meaning their futures presumably lie elsewhere.

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