Despite a frustrating first Champions League outing for Manchester United, losing 2-1 away in Switzerland against the BSC Young Boys, the team has made a flying start to their Premier League campaign. While the English title will be one of the top priorities for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, securing the long-term commitment of key players is also a major objective on the agenda.
The latest English Premier League odds currently value the Red Devils as fourth-favourites contenders with odds of 38/5, although local rivals Manchester City remain firm odds-on favourites to retain the title, priced at 27/20 odds. Nevertheless, Premier League betting tips note that having won three of their opening four league encounters and drawn once, United have made an unbeaten start to the campaign, whereas City have already lost one game. Perhaps this could be a sign of the tables turning?
There are plenty of solid players on the squad: Paul Pogba has already contributed seven assists in just four Premier League games, while Bruno Fernandes has four goals in four appearances. Both players have demonstrated exceptional quality and form thus far, and this has encouraged the paymasters at Old Trafford to push along with contract negotiations, as the club seeks to lock down their long-term futures.
Talks ongoing since July between Manchester United and Bruno Fernandes agent. Positive discussions underway – Bruno wants to stay, Man Utd want him to sign new deal by the end of the year. 🔴🇵🇹 #MUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 13, 2021
Bruno’s contract is now considered the ‘priority’ together with Pogba. pic.twitter.com/t0Pr0zXuRx
According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, positive talks have already commenced with Fernandes, with Manchester United eager for him to sign a new and improved deal by the end of this year. Since arriving at the club in January 2020, the Portuguese playmaker has made an impressive impact.
Interestingly, contract information published by Transfermarkt shows that Fernandes already has a contract until June 2025, which also features an option for the player to extend that deal by a further year. However, it appears that Manchester United are willing to reward the quality of his performances, which means wage parity with some of the top earners at the club.
Fernandes has made 85 appearances for Manchester United in total, netting 44 goals and providing 26 assists, both of which are amazing numbers for an attacking midfielder. The Portugal international is widely considered to be one of the best players in the world, therefore the club’s keen to avoid his head being turned by any potential interest from elsewhere.
Paul Pogba has SEVEN assists in four Premier League games this season ✨ pic.twitter.com/Ap791iR5Zn— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 11, 2021
Meanwhile, the contract situation surrounding Pogba continues to drag on without resolution. Manchester United appear willing to make him the highest-paid player at the club, even taking the recent arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo into account, although the French international doesn’t want to rush things just yet.
Appearing on the Spanish football show El Chiringuito recently, older brother Mathias Pogba hinted that Paul “has not decided yet” whether to stay at Manchester United, albeit with the addition that he’s “feeling very good” at the moment. Given the Premier League giants are desperate to resolve the situation, they will be pushing for a more immediate answer.
Pogba is out of contract at the end of the current season, which means that from next January, he will be able to hold talks with any potential suitors. Given the precarious nature of transfers, the best bet will simply be to wait and see as any matter of surprise developments could occur over the next six months.