Football

Manchester United yet to offer Phil Jones or Chris Smalling new contracts

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Manchester United are yet to open talks with defensive duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, putting them at risk of losing the pair for nothing at the end of next season. 

The duo are Louis van Gaal's first-choice centre-backs, however both are out of contract next year and according to the Daily Mail no attempt has been made by the Red Devils to open talks.

Performance

Smalling and Jones both featured for Manchester United in their 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday - perhaps the club's finest performance of the season as they go in search of Champions League qualification.

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Arsenal have been linked with a swoop for Smalling in recent months and it was suggested earlier this week that the Gunners were lining up a £12 million bid for the England international. According to the Mail, Manchester United are relaxed about the situation and don't want to lose the pair. 

Contract

However the fact they are close to entering the final year of their contract is likely to alert potential suitors, and could well work against them when it does come to open talks over new contracts.

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Arsenal were linked with Smalling while he was still with Fulham, however Manchester United beat them to the punch in 2010 by wrapping up a 10-year deal. 

Hype

Jones meanwhile hasn't been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, but is yet to really live up to the hype that followed his £17 million move from Blackburn to Manchester United in 2011. 

Van Gaal is likely to be in the market for a new centre-back in the summer and has been linked with a £30-plus swoop for Borussia Dortmund ace Mats Hummels. With the arrival of Marco Rojo last time round, the Dutch boss may be tempted to offload one of the two in the next window to free up space in his squad.

Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte is also suggested as a summer target for the Red Devils. 

Opinion

Manchester United paid big fees for both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, but the feeling remains that neither have fulfilled their potential yet. 

Both are still young at 23 and 25 and have plenty of time to turn things round. Indeed Smalling has looked much more assured in recent games and if one were to stay, at the moment the smart money would be on the former Fulham man.

If one of Smalling or Jones had to leave Manchester United - who would you prefer?

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Phil Jones
Manchester United
Chris Smalling

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