Erik ten Hag delaying contract decisions on Marcus Rashford and David de Gea

Sport

Erik ten Hag is yet to decide whether David de Gea and Marcus Rashford will be offered new contracts, with Manchester United’s manager choosing to focus on performance.

De Gea, who made his 500th appearance for the club in Sunday’s draw with Newcastle, and Rashford each have deals that expire in June, though the club have an option of a further year for both. Rashford is 25 on 31 October.

Asked about De Gea, who will be 32 in early November, Ten Hag said: “We didn’t make a decision on him but what I can say is that I am really happy with David de Gea as a keeper. His first two performances of the season were not his best but after you see he brings us a lot for the defence department, gives stability and as a person I like him – I can cooperate with him really well. But first we go to the winter and then we will talk about how to deal with this.”

Ten Hag was asked whether the same applied for Rashford, Fred and Diogo Dalot who, like Luke Shaw and Cristiano Ronaldo, are also out of contract in June.

“In this moment we only think about performing,” he said. “We have a lot of games to go, so I don’t want to get that interfered by talks.”

He denied the players’ futures were unresolved in order to motivate them. “Some players get motivated when they play for a contract,” he said. “But it is not why we handle it like this. We just want to restore Man United, develop the squad, bring everything to a better level.

“We work on a way of play and also on the culture and we need quality players who are highly motivated. Such players we are looking for and luckily we have them in the squad so I am happy with the squad and the motivation they all have. The cooperation is quite good.”

United host third-placed Tottenham on Wednesday after taking 16 points from nine matches. Ten Hag was asked whether he was happy with the team so far, considering the rebuild required.

“That is a good question,” he said. “There are obviously many problems and we had to integrate many players, deal with problems offensively from the start: Cristiano Ronaldo was unavailable [in pre-season], Anthony Martial was not on the pitch and [then] didn’t play a full game until now. I’m sure with two No 9s present and fit in a good combative shape, the results will improve.”