Manchester United: Mata and Herrera contract latest; superstar regrets turning down United; Zlatan scouts French star
Despite speculation to the contrary, the Manchester Evening News report that the club are in no rush to discuss terms with Spanish pair Juan Mata and Ander Herrera over new deals as both enter the final 18 months of their current contracts and continue to enjoy fine form at the heart of Jose Mourinho’s team. The MEN claims that both players have an option to extend their current deal included in their contracts by the club, which the Red Devils can take up at any time, which removes the risk of the players running down their contract and leaving for free in the near future.
However, it seems likely that the club will want to begin talks with the players sooner rather than later, with Herrera proving to be the perfect foil for Paul Pogba in midfield as the Frenchman has enjoyed much more freedom and better performances as a result alongside the Spaniard. Mata has also proved the critics wrong with a number of important goals in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The club once came close to signing former Balon D’Or winner Pavel Nedved according to Czech newspaper Idnes, as the former Juventus star explained that he wished he had the opportunity to play for the club, saying:
A regret? That I never played for Manchester United. I’d have liked that. The transfer was never on the table though, there was only Chelsea [interested in me]. I liked the generation of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, whom I admired. I was a little bit jealous of Karel Poborsky, who played in Manchester and experienced great matches. I know he still feels that love.
The thought of Nedved in one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s great teams is one which will likely leave United fans regretting that their club never made a move for the winger too, but fans would struggle to look back on that era of the club’s history and find fault.
Two of the biggest stars of the club’s current era, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, would have been set to clash in a World Cup qualifier in November had the Swede not retired from international football after Euro 2016. However, Metro report that he could still play a role for his country as coach Janne Andersson revealed that he may ask the striker for advice, when asked about whether he would use Zlatan to determine some of Pogba’s weaknesses, he said:
Yes, there may well be. I have not thought about it that much yet. But if we need his help, we’ll do it. He would say yes right away! Some of the players want to have a close eye on the players they should meet. As a coach you want to know everything and we will soak in everything about France in the near future.’
The two currently enjoy a great relationship in Manchester, but Jose Mourinho will likely be glad that he won’t have to risk injuries to both players in November in what is likely to be a hard fought affair.
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