New contract not an immediate concern for Ashley Young

Following an impressive season, Manchester United’s versatile man wants more improvement

Ashley Young has still not signed a new deal at Manchester United and admits that his future depends on the decision of Louis van Gaal.

Young re-established himself last season under the Dutch manager, his fine form moving Wayne Rooney to vote for him as his player of the year at United’s end-of-season awards. Yet despite the 30-year-old’s contract expiring next summer, Young has yet to have any advanced talks regarding extending his stay at a club he joined in 2011.

Young, who is on United’s tour of America, is keen to remain. “I’m at one of the biggest clubs in the world so I want to stay here as long as possible,” he said. “That’s exactly what I want to do. I think a lot of people thought I had it done [a new deal] but I haven’t. It’s in the club’s hands now so I will have to see how it goes.”

Young is relaxed about the situation. “Of course. I want to go out and play and at the moment I am on tour so I am trying to enjoy myself,” said Young, though he said there was a long way to go. “I hope we can sort things out. There have been preliminary talks so I am just looking to go out on the pitch and leave my agent to take care of that.”


Impressive form

Pressed if the contract would be finalised soon, Young said: “You will have to ask the club that.”

After last year’s impressive form Young wants to look forward. “I was delighted with how things went last season but that was last season,” he said. “This is a new season and I have to take the confidence that I had and build on it again. I hope it will go as well as last season. He [the manager] picks 11 players and I hope I will be one of them.”

Angel Di Maria was bought for €85 million last summer and posed a direct threat to Young. Yet it was the latter who became first choice as the Argentinian was dropped. “It’s one of those things – it’s competition,” Young said. “I’m getting to the back end of the [age] scale and I am beginning to feel it. But I still want to play every week.”

United beat Club America 1-0 in Seattle last week and San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 here on Tuesday. Van Gaal has limited his outfield players to a half per match.

‘Match fitness’

“Everyone wants to impress,” Young said. “You go out there and want to do as well as you can. That’s what it was like last tour and it’s the same this time. It’s about fitness but, us being Man United, we want to win every game. It’s going well, not bad. Another 45 minutes. In the first half we created chances. We were disappointed to concede [against Earthquakes] but we won.”

Last season Van Gaal played Young at wing-back, left-back and in midfield, as well as in his recognised wide attacking role. “These days you have to be able to play in one or two positions and last season the manager wanted me to play as a wing-back,” Young said.

“I think I adjusted to that well. When you have quality from back to front and have players who can play in different positions, then that can only be good for the squad. I just want to go out and give 100 per cent.”

Meanwhile, Van Gaal has claimed that he may not be in the market for a striker and that the “surprise” acquisition the manager has previously mentioned plays in another position. After his team defeated San Jose, Van Gaal said: “I don’t know if I want to buy a striker. I have read in the media that a striker is the surprise. No, that I have not said. You are saying that, because my answer is like that. No, I mean something else.”

Goals from Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Andreas Pereira ensured United made it two victories from two tour outings.

(Guardian service)