One needs only a glance at the Manchester United squad to appreciate they’re hardly short on talent.
Jose Mourinho boasts one of the most expensively assembled squads in not just the Premier League but all of Europe.
While the Red Devils have spent roughly £400 million since the Portuguese took over, the likes of Fred (£52.5 million), Paul Pogba (£89 million) and Romelu Lukaku (£75 million) account for a significant portion of that sum.
That suggests Mourinho and his superiors have the kind of relationship in which the former has enough influence to get the players he wants in the transfer market.
If that’s the case, though, why is he stuck with such a large chunk of his players at risk of moving on for free at the end of the season?
It could be down to a variety of factors, but the reality is United are set to find themselves scrambling to avoid a sizeable summer exodus unless action is taken.
Thankfully - or perhaps not for some - Manchester Evening News claim the club are willing to offer contract extensions to all eight of the soon-to-be free agents.
That includes David de Gea, defenders Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian, midfielder Andreas Pereira and forwards James Wilson and Anthony Martial.
The source suggests United have an option to automatically keep the aforementioned players on the books for another 12 months.
It’s an option they’re most likely willing to take in order to avoid shedding too much of their squad in one hit come July.
While one-year deals make sense for particular members of that group, others - like De Gea and Martial - are sure to demand more rewarding terms in exchange for sticking around.
At least it’s a situation United have experience wrestling with after triggering renewals for six players over the course of the last campaign.
Mourinho also faces the additional challenge of Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera being free to speak with suitors this January pending any successful negotiations before then.
The former Chelsea boss is virtually guaranteed to want another marquee signing or two throughout the season, so he might be wise to let go of some of his highest-earning fringe players.
Similar to the summer window just gone, Mourinho is probably craving defensive reinforcements after seeing his men ship seven goals in first three league matches.
Does Mourinho need to sell before he can buy big again? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.
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