MANCHESTER UNITED may have celebrated the signing of Dan James yesterday — but the future of their three biggest stars is still up in the air.
Paul Pogba, meanwhile, wants to start afresh elsewhere after three mediocre seasons mired with problems.
There was a time when Paul Scholes would just ask where to sign when a new contract was offered.
Those were the days when players desperately wanted to be at a club that was winning honours for fun.
Right now nobody at United has fun — and as for top trophies, well, that is a very distant dream.
United used to click their fingers and players would come running.
It is proving difficult for United to even keep players. When you cannot convince Ander Herrera to stay, you know you are in trouble.
Juan Mata cannot come to an agreement to extend his stay either.
But it is the situation with De Gea and Rashford that is more worrying.
Both Spanish giants are interested in Rashford. In January he was flattered by that news but had his heart set on staying.
However, he wanted to put off contract negotiations until the end of the season.
Since then his mindset has altered and while the likelihood is he will stay it is no longer a given.
His form, like the rest of the team’s, suffered. It is not about the money with Rashford, it is about where he is playing his best years.
Can United match his ambitions in its current state of uncertainty? Through the chaotic years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired there has been one constant.
That is the form of De Gea, but even he ended last season with questions asked about whether boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should even pick him.
He dropped high-profile clangers, not least in the Champions League quarter-final to Barcelona. Body language suggested he was not happy.
With his contract up at the end of next season, if United want to cash in the time is now.
The fans will cut De Gea some slack but that is not the case with Pogba.
He finished the season being heckled as he headed towards the tunnel.
He had bust-ups with former boss Jose Mourinho and invited criticism for his social media stunts.
The Frenchman could be off to Real Madrid but the club would be happy to let Alexis Sanchez go.
most read in football
Who on earth, though, is going to match his £505,000-a-week wages?
The Sanchez factor has been the problem with contract negotiations at United as players compare themselves to the Chilean.
Problems, problems. Ones that will test even Solskjaer’s cheery demeanour.
This post written by ian tuckey originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.