Manchester United are set to offer contract extensions to Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young.
The Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has opened talks with representatives of all three players, according to the Mirror, after Louis van Gaal gave the green light to tie the trio down to new long-term contracts.
Van Gaal has reportedly been impressed with the players since arriving at Old Trafford last summer, and is keen for them to follow the lead of Michael Carrick, who signed a new one-year deal last week.
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Three and four-year deals lined up
It’s understood that the trio will earn between three and four-year extensions, keeping them tied to the club until the summer of 2018 at the earliest.
Whether this will directly affect Manchester United’s summer transfer plans is currently unclear, but Van Gaal has been given some food for thought in recent weeks because of the improved performances of Smalling and Jones in particular.
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Jones and Smalling have won over Van Gaal
Earlier this season it was reported that Van Gaal had serious doubts over the two aforementioned English centre-backs, plus Jonny Evans, who is currently serving a six-match ban after being found guilty of spitting at Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse.
However, Jones and Smalling - since playing alongside each other in central defence - have stepped up in recent weeks, keeping Tottenham at bay for 90 minutes and limiting Liverpool to just the one goal on Sunday afternoon.
The England internationals have not only started to win over many United supporters, who were beginning to lose faith in the defensive duo, but more importantly it also appears they have finally managed to convince Van Gaal.
Jones: Smalling and I compliment each other
Speaking out about their on-pitch partnership, Jones told the Mirror: “It had been documented that me and Chris were going to be the next centre-backs at United, but it’s not gone how we would have liked it.
“Somebody told me the other day that we have actually only we played alongside each other about four times in four seasons. You can’t build a partnership on four games.
"Hopefully, now we’ve had back-to-back games together we can keep it going and keep playing well together. We complement each other well.”
Revitalised Young also deserves new deal
As for Young, the much-maligned winger has transformed his reputation at Old Trafford since Van Gaal’s arrival and now has the full support of the Manchester United faithful.
The 29-year-old has adapted to his new wing-back role with consummate ease and will do any job that Van Gaal asks of him.
Last summer Young was expected to be one of the first casualties of Van Gaal’s tenure, but the former Aston Villa star has more than repaid his manager’s faith over recent months and thoroughly deserves a new deal.
Manchester United fans: do Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young all deserve new contracts? Have your say in the comments below!