Manchester United have triggered options to automatically extend the contracts of three more players, according to the latest reports, preventing them from leaving for nothing this summer.
The Manchester Evening News [MEN] claimed on Wednesday afternoon [28 February] that senior first-team duo Ashley Young and Daley Blind were both now tied to Old Trafford until 2019 having seen their expiring deals prolonged by a further 12 months.
Experienced campaigner Young has enjoyed a prosperous 2017-18 to date, establishing himself ahead of the resurgent Luke Shaw as Jose Mourinho's first choice left-back and also occasionally slotting in on the opposite side of defence over the busy festive period while fellow converted winger Antonio Valencia recovered from a hamstring problem.
The 31-year-old's rejuvenation was recognised at international level in November, when he was recalled to the England squad ahead of high-profile friendlies against Germany and Brazil four years after his last Three Lions cap in a goalless draw in Ukraine.
While he will be expected to remain at United next term, Blind's future remains highly questionable with the versatile Dutchman having slipped behind Young and Shaw in the left-back pecking order and way down the list in terms of centre-back options.
The former Ajax stalwart has made just 14 starts across all competitions so far this term, three in the Premier League, with a lingering injury- described by The Times as ankle ligament damage sustained in training at Carrington - preventing him from featuring at all since the FA Cup third-round victory over Derby County on 5 January.
Blind was linked with a move away from United last month amid that lack of regular first-team football, with Sky in Italy reporting that Serie A outfit AS Roma entered talks to sign him on deadline day as a loan replacement for the Chelsea-bound Emerson Palmieri. However, father and agent Danny Blind claimed that the Red Devils were only interested in a permanent summer arrangement.
Sam Johnstone extended
MEN add that goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has also had his contract extended. The academy graduate and serial loanee is currently impressing during a second spell in the Championship with Premier League promotion hopefuls Aston Villa, for whom he has started every league fixture, drawing repeated glowing praise from manager Steve Bruce and owner Dr Tony Xia and prompting speculation that he could be recalled and sold to Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion in January.
Johnstone, a former England youth international, has been at United since the age of 10, though is yet to make his senior debut for the club and could join Villa permanently at the end of the season, with Bruce recently telling the Express & Star that "we hope he will be our keeper for the next five years".
Such a move is likely to depend on the former top-flight mainstays - now lying third in the second tier and four points adrift of the two two - winning promotion.
United have already extended the respective deals of Shaw, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera this season and this latest update means that Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - heavily linked with Besiktas and Los Angeles Galaxy - are now the only players set to be out of contract in the summer.
Captain Michael Carrick, meanwhile, will retire at the end of the current campaign and is expected to take up a role on Mourinho's coaching staff.