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Herrera, De Gea and Mata feel 'treated differently' to English team-mates

Herrera, De Gea and Mata feel 'treated differently' to English team-mates

21/04/2019 at 16:55Updated 21/04/2019 at 20:27

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces the first significant test of his authority as Manchester United manager after revelations that his Spanish contingent are growing disillusioned by delays to contract talks.

The deals for Ander Herrera, David de Gea and Juan Mata are all up for renewal this summer, although United have the option of triggering a one-year extension in De Gea's current contract.

But the Mail On Sunday are reporting that the trio feel their English counterparts are receiving preferential treatment when it comes to negotiating terms on prolonging their stays at Old Trafford.

United have lost their last four away games in all competitions - the first time they have suffered such a run since 1999 - but it is not just matters on the pitch that are currently causing concern for the club's hierarchy, and for Solskjaer.

David De Gea is yet to sign a new contract with Manchester United

David De Gea is yet to sign a new contract with Manchester UnitedGetty Images

Dressing-room harmony was at an all-time high following the miraculous Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain in March, but United's familiar old failings have returned during a run of five defeats in seven games - and Solskjaer's attempts at restoring a feel-good factor to Carrington is being undermined by a 'home-based' strategy first deployed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

A rather damning statistic that emerged in midweek was that in Ferguson's penultimate season, United's Champions League group-stage exit confirmed by defeat in Basel in December 2011, saw no fewer than four of the current squad playing in the 3-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young - along with De Gea - have somewhat surprisingly survived three managerial reigns in the seven-and-a-half years since the 2-1 defeat to the Swiss club - and all three Englishmen have indeed signed new contracts this season.

Ander Herrera looks to be heading for the Old Trafford exit door

Ander Herrera looks to be heading for the Old Trafford exit doorPA Sport

United are keen to promote members of their academy, and the Mail On Sunday claim that the stance on overseas players has left Paul Pogba 'with a foot in each camp' having developed as a youngster at United whilst forming strong relationships with the club's Latin players - whose representatives believe they are being treated differently.

Herrera is widely reported to be close to agreeing terms with Paris Saint-Germain after talks stalled with United, while the future of De Gea will come back into the spotlight in January, when the goalkeeper will be allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement with European clubs ahead of a free transfer in summer 2020.

Juan Mata's Manchester United expires this summer

Juan Mata's Manchester United expires this summerGetty Images

Juventus, PSG and Real Madrid are all interested in De Gea’s services, while Mata is expected to leave this summer with the 30-year-old used sparingly by Solskjaer.

Alexis Sanchez remains the highest-paid player in British football history, sitting on his £26m-a-year wages, and the Chilean heads a list of senior players that United will seek to offload this summer.

Solskjaer's side are sixth in the Premier League but can go level on points with third-placed Tottenham with a win against Everton at Goodison Park later on Sunday.

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