Jose Mourinho relaxed over player contracts at Man Utd

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Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho does not envisage any problems with players running down their contracts at Old Trafford – because the club has the bulk of the squad “under control”.

Last week Arsenal sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, cashing in on the England international with his contract due to expire in the summer along with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

The latter duo have remained at Arsenal amid continuing uncertainty over their futures and Mourinho is sure there will be no such issues at Old Trafford any time soon.

Juan Mata, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Sam Johnstone have just a season remaining on their United deals, but the Portuguese points to the one-year extension clauses included within them.

The biggest question marks regard the future of injured striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and captain Michael Carrick, with the veterans’ contracts due to expire next summer.

“Of course it makes a difference [to have a one-year option],” Mourinho said.

“When the club has a one-year option, it means that the players have one more year of contract so nobody is in the last year.

“The two players are in this situation are Zlatan and Carrick – two players that at the end of the season who are going to sit and to analyse what they did and what they want to do.

“But just Carrick and Zlatan, all the other players are under the club control until end of the 18/19 season, so we are speaking about June ’19. No player ends his contract.”

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Mourinho appears to have forgotten that Marouane Fellaini is another whose contract expires next summer, with United having invoked the extension clause in his deal in January.

The towering midfielder has had an impact off the bench in all three of United’s Premier League matches to date – games that have brought three wins, 10 goals and a hat-trick of clean sheets.

“We try to play the best we can,” Mourinho said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stoke.

“We know that if you look in a pragmatic way and you see the last winners of the Premier League, they didn’t play attacking football.

“They all played defensive football and counter-attack football.

“So that is according to the results the best way to win the Premier League.

“We try to play according to the qualities of our players. We try to play positive, we try to play good, but we try to win.

“And if one day to win we have to play defensive football, we have to do it.

“But if our opponent is better than us and dominant, we are humble enough to transform our way of playing to play for a result.”

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