Belfast Telegraph

Paddy McNair facing uncertain future at Manchester United with no new deal

By Graham Luney

Paddy McNair's future at Manchester United is hanging in the balance.

The Northern Ireland international has failed to agree a fresh deal with the Premier League giants, sparking speculation he could leave Old Trafford.

Ballyclare man McNair and his defensive colleague Tyler Blackett have both broken into the United first team this season but they are now free to talk to other clubs.

McNair, 19, made his 10th senior appearance in the FA Cup tie at Yeovil, whilst Blackett, 20, reached the same landmark as a substitute in the Premier League defeat by Southampton.

United have refused to discuss whether they intend to make further offers to the defenders.

The door has opened to McNair this season after a series of injuries to United defenders including Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans.

Midfield prospect Andreas Pereira, 19, another academy graduate, is out of contract at the end of the season and in the same position.

United boss Louis van Gaal hauled off McNair after only 38 minutes in a Premier League game against Southampton last month explaining "he played without confidence."

Van Gaal added: "He gave already three chances away.

"But he shall survive. It's only one moment in a lifetime. One match, nothing more."

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill knows McNair has a big future ahead at both club and international level and he will be keen to see the promising youngster secure a deal which will lead to regular first team football.

McNair was called into the Northern Ireland squad by O'Neill for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania in November.

Fernando Torres struck his first goals since returning to Atletico Madrid, his double securing a 4-2 aggregate win over Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey last night.

Atletico led 2-0 from last week's first leg and Torres stunned the Bernabeu after just 49 seconds last night, smashing in a left-foot volley.

A Sergio Ramos header levelled matters on the night but in the first minute of the second half Torres beat Pepe to slide in a second and virtually kill off their derby rivals.

Real needed three goals to win after Ronaldo headed in Gareth Bale's cross but Atletico reached the quarter-finals with a bit to spare ahead of Sunday's La Liga programme.

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