Manchester United make key stars wait for contract talks

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Football News

Manchester United will make up to 10 players wait to find out if they have a long-term future under Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal, including Robin van Persie, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young.

That is according to ESPN, who claim that United have no plans to offer any player out of contract in 2016 a new deal until this summer at the very earliest, other than David de Gea.

Van Persie is the most high-profile star affected, putting further doubt over the long-term future of a player currently earning a whopping £250,000-a-week at Old Trafford. There's also the issue of a £10 million loyalty bonus should he see out the full duration of his four-year contract, something United could certainly do without despite their vast resources.

Centre-back situation needs to be sorted

United's stance over a top earner not playing to his maximum in Van Persie is understandable, but a lack of clarity when it comes to the future of arguably their three best central defender is far more surprising.

Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are the men in question, all fast entering the final year of their current deals with no sign of talks over a new one.

Van Gaal has to let one of them go

There's no question that Van Gaal is in the market for a commanding, top-level defender this summer, which effectively means that one of Jones, Evans and Smalling will have to go to make room when the current campaign concludes.

Van Gaal only signed Marcos Rojo last summer and clearly likes the Argentine international, so his place is relatively safe for now.

That means the pressure is definitely on for United's current crop of centre-backs, who have actually coped well over the last few months with constant tinkering in terms of formation and personnel.

Evans looks the most vulnerable, fallen well below the standards set throughout his time at the Theatre of Dreams since Van Gaal took charge.

The Northern Ireland international could well be forced to deal with the reality of searching for a new club in June alongside the lesser lights of Javier Hernandez and Anders Lindegaard, the same goes for Van Persie.

Do you United fans think Van Persie has a future at the club beyond this season? Who should be sold if it comes down to a straight choice between Smalling, Jones and Evans this summer? Have your say on both issues in the comment box below.

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Robin Van Persie
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