Manchester United have seemingly failed to learn their lesson from the saga around Paul Pogba’s contract after it was revealed they face a nine-man exodus. The Red Devils will see a sizeable chunk of their squad leave for free if they take no action before the end of next summer.
Football director John Murtough is set to be a busy man on the contract front with nine members of Ralf Rangnick’s squad seeing their deals expire in the summer of 2023.
In fairness, some of the nine will be expected to leave, with Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic unlikely to be handed new contracts.
But the group also contains regular starters such as David de Gea, Luke Shaw and Cristiano Ronaldo.
United will also be keen to keep Marcus Rashford, Diogo Dalot, Tom Heaton and Fred at Old Trafford beyond the end of their current deals.
But Murtough will face a difficult challenge if he is to bring back all the players United want to keep, due to the position they have put themselves in.
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The stand-off has continued into this season and despite making him a number of offers, have been unable to convince Pogba to stay.
It means that United will fail to recoup any of the £89million fee they paid to sign him in 2016, which represents a major mistake.
That is exactly the situation that the Red Devils are facing once again within the next 18 months with the group of nine.
There is also another problem that United have created by failing to learn their lesson with Pogba, that of keeping players who don’t want to be at the club.
That is a problem that interim boss Ralf Rangnick recently highlighted when asked about Pogba’s contract situation.
“I wouldn’t say he is not worth keeping but players need to want to stay and play for the club,” Rangnick said.
“If a player doesn’t want to play for a club like Manchester United, even in the long term, I don’t think it makes sense to convince him to change his mind.
“This is such a massive club, with fantastic support, I don’t think anyone at the club should try to convince a player to stay.”