Mourinho urges contract talks with two key players
It was a good weekend for Jose Mourinho as he saw his Manchester United side overcome former employers Chelsea in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Sunday, a victory that saw the Reds establish a six-point lead over Antonio Conte’s fifth-placed men. Despite that victory, the Portuguese boss is not content with the amount of time it’s taking for some of his players to be offered extensions on their current deals. Anthony Martial, who created Romelu Lukaku’s equaliser on Sunday afternoon, is one such player Mourinho would like to see extend his stay at Old Trafford. According to the Daily Mail, the France international held talks with the United hierarchy over a new deal back in December but is yet to be offered fresh terms. Martial, along with centre-back Marcos Rojo, will see his current deal expire at the end of next season and whilst the club has the option to extend their respective deals by a further year, Mourinho would like to get this sorted sooner, rather than later. United are already increasingly likely to lose one player on a free transfer this summer. Marouane Fellaini, who has proven to be one of Mourinho’s trusted lieutenants, is rumoured to be on his way out of Old Trafford, with a move to Italy, Spain or Turkey being mooted.
United legend Gary Neville names the current side’s only world-class individual
Despite bringing in the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic over the last 12 months, Red legend Gary Neville believes that United have just one world-class player in their ranks and that is goalkeeper David de Gea. The Spaniard is widely considered to be the world’s best goalkeeper and has once again put in a string of unbelievable displays this campaign, most recently during the Reds’ goalless draw away to Sevilla in last week’s Champions League last-16 first-leg clash. However, the former right-back has stated that Sanchez will be considered to be at the same level as his Spanish teammate once he puts in the kind of performances that convinced United to swoop for the Chile international. “De Gea’s the only world-class player Manchester United have got,” Neville is quoted as saying by Goal. “You could maybe say Sanchez, but not at Manchester United yet, even if he has been at a level for the last five or six years that you would say is world class. But to me, de Gea is their stand-out player in terms of world standard at the club without a shadow of a doubt.”
Matic heaps praise on midfield partner Scott McTominay
Meanwhile, United academy graduate Scott McTominay has been tipped to go on to become a ‘big player’, according to teammate Nemanja Matic. The 21-year-old central midfielder started both of United’s last two crunch fixtures, away to Sevilla and home to Chelsea, putting in a fantastic performance on both occasions. McTominay did a superb job in man-marking Eden Hazard at Old Trafford on the weekend and Matic was keen to sing the praises of his midfield partner. “He is amazing,” the Serbia international is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “He is 21 and to play like that and control the game like that is impressive. He will be a big player for Manchester United. I like him because he is a very nice guy and he doesn’t have a problem to ask before the game and I am always there to help him. When I came to Manchester I saw within a few days he would become a top player.” McTominay, who made his 15th appearance of the campaign against the Blues, will be hoping to retain his place in the starting XI for Monday night’s potentially tricky trip to relegation candidates Crystal Palace.