Manchester United are hopeful of securing first team players Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rashford to new long-term contracts with the club in the coming months, 90min understands.
Dalot and Rashford are among nine United players who will see their contracts expire as it stands in summer 2023, though the club hold options to trigger one-year extensions on most of those deals.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Fred, David de Gea and Luke Shaw are among the other names with less than a year to run on their United contracts, though it’s Dalot and Rashford in particular who have impressed in the first six matches of the new Premier League season – to the point where the club are considering tying both down for the long term.
Rashford has three goals – coming in games against Liverpool and Arsenal, no less – in the opening weeks of the domestic season, with an additional two assists to his name. The 24-year-old’s form has picked up under new manager Erik ten Hag and his assistant Steve McClaren after a full pre-season and regular football at centre forward and from the left side of attack.
But for another injury sustained recently, Rashford had been expected to return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming internationals with Italy and Germany, and has played himself back into contention to make the Three Lions’ World Cup squad with recent club performances.
Rashford had lost his place in the team after a poor spell of form last season under managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, while the player has been suffering with injuries for large spells in the last couple of seasons.
McClaren’s input and championing of Rashford behind the scenes has played its part in his revival, and Ten Hag has been won over by his application and desire to improve. United started the season in terrible fashion, losing to Brighton and Brentford, but tables have turned in the matches since. Rashford has more than played his part.
United do have the option to trigger the extension in his deal but it’s understood that the best option all round would be to agree a new long-term deal to draw a line under past struggles and move forward.
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Dalot, meanwhile, has finally overtaken Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the club’s first choice right back in the opening weeks of this season, while he was favoured too by Rangnick during his spell in charge.
Signed under Jose Mourinho, Dalot had initially failed to make his mark on the United first team, often seen as an understudy to Wan-Bissaka, and he even spent the 2020/21 season on loan with Milan.
It’s in recent Premier League matches however where Dalot has excelled, providing an assist for Bruno Fernandes in the win over Southampton and a regular threat down the right hand side, as well as a solidified defensive presence in a new-look back four – alongside Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.
United were in the market for a new right back in the summer and have recently been linked with free agent Santiago Arias, though Wan-Bissaka staying and Dalot’s improved form means a move for now is likely unnecessary. It could be a position the club revisit strengthening if and when Wan-Bissaka departs in a future window, however.
Decisions are expected to be taken over the course of the season on other players who are out of contract next summer, though it’s likely that Phil Jones’ spell at United finally ends in 2023 after he was recently left out of the club’s Premier League squad.