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Two veteran stars still in negotiation with Manchester United despite contract expiration

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Two veteran stars still in negotiation with Manchester United despite contract expiration

Manchester United in talks with Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton over new deals

Manchester United have confirmed they are talking with veterans Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton about extending their second spells at Old Trafford.

Jonny Evans, 36, returned to Manchester United last summer after the expiration of his contract at Leicester City, initially to help manager Erik ten Hag during pre-season.

However, the experienced Northern Irishman eventually signed a one-year contract as a back-up for the existing crop of central defenders. An unprecedented injury crisis at the back meant Ten Hag had to rely on Evans more than he had expected at the start of the 2023/24 campaign.

Jonny Evans has been a valuable squad member for Erik ten Hag's Manchester United. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Jonny Evans has been a valuable squad member for Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

The 36-year-old made 30 appearances across all competitions on his return to Old Trafford after a decade, including coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 FA Cup final win over Manchester City.

Manchester United also want to keep Tom Heaton, while academy kid Omari Forson has been offered a new deal. Heaton, 38, made his return to the club in 2021 after initially leaving in 2010. The English goalkeeper was demoted to third-choice after the arrival of Altay Bayindir from Fenerbahce last summer.

The 38-year-old has featured just three times since re-signing for the Red Devils three years ago. He failed to make a single appearance last season as Ten Hag maintained his faith in No.1 Andre Onana despite tough times.

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While neither Evans nor Heaton are first-team players and should not be at this ripe age, they should be kept for another season by Man United. The two veteran stars have enjoyed strong careers both at Old Trafford and elsewhere, which makes them extremely valuable members to have in the dressing room.

Before Man United released their retained list this week, Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial had already announced their departures at the end of the season.

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The French duo have been joined by Brandon Williams, Charlie McNeill, Marcus Lawrence and Kie Plumley as other notable exits, as INEOS looks to make a mark in their first transfer window and reshape the squad after a disastrous 2023-24 campaign.