Belfast Telegraph

Veteran Ashley Young to be rewarded with a new Manchester United contract

Loyal servant: Ashley Young is set to extend his stay at United, having been at the club since a 2011 move from Aston Villa
Loyal servant: Ashley Young is set to extend his stay at United, having been at the club since a 2011 move from Aston Villa

By Simon Peach

Ashley Young is set to extend his stay at Manchester United beyond the summer.

Signed from Aston Villa in 2011, the 33-year-old has won the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League and League Cup during his time at Old Trafford.

Young has successfully transitioned from winger to full-back in recent seasons, as well as taking up a leadership role and regularly wearing the captain's armband for United.

And he is now set to stay at Old Trafford for at least one more year amid interest from elsewhere.

Young's current deal expires in the summer but it is understood that talks are progressing well over a new deal, making it seem a case of when rather than if an announcement is made.

Asked about his contract status in December, the full-back said: "That's up to the club. I feel as fit as when I was 21-years-old.

"As long as my legs can keep taking me up and down the pitch I'd love to stay here."

An important part of the England side that reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, the full-back has made 25 appearances in all competitions for United this season.

Young has started all but two of United's matches since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's arrival as caretaker manager and skippered the side to a 1-0 win at Leicester on Sunday.

"Ashley's wearing the armband, yes, because Antonio's struggled with fitness as well, in and out," Solskjaer said last month of United's captaincy structure with Antonio Valencia regularly absent.

"But Antonio's still the club captain, but Ash is wearing the armband when he's playing.

"I've never been a fan of 'you're this and you're that'. Once in a while, say, David (de Gea) was captain in one of these games when Ash didn't play."

Meanwhile, Lucas Torreira believes Arsenal "deserve" to be playing Champions League football because of the club's status.

The Gunners, who have failed to qualify for Europe's premier club competition for the past two seasons, are currently off the pace in the battle for a top-four Premier League finish.

Unai Emery's side sit sixth on the back of Sunday's 3-1 loss at champions Manchester City, a point below Manchester United and three behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Uruguay midfielder Torreira admits his team must improve their recent form, which has seen them collect only 10 points from the last 21 available, if they are to achieve their primary objective.

"Just a few weeks ago, United were behind us but it's happened and it's something we have to deal with," the 22-year-old said. "We don't want that form to happen again. As players, you always need to be fighting for an objective when you walk out onto the pitch and for us that means qualifying for the Champions League.

"We know it's not going to be easy, that's for sure, because we are up against some great teams such as Chelsea and Manchester United but we need to try and stand firm as a team and as a group and battle in every game.

"The squad is focused on qualifying for the Champions League because a big club like Arsenal deserves to be playing in that competition."

Elsewhere, Newcastle's record signing Miguel Almiron was due to train with his team-mates for the first time yesterday after being awarded his work permit.

The 24-year-old Paraguay international, who completed a deadline day move to St James' Park from Major League Soccer side Atlanta United, had to leave the country while the paperwork was completed.

However, Almiron is back in the north east and was expected to join his colleagues at the club's Darsley Park training headquarters yesterday.

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