INEOS select Man Utd star to be 'new face of project'

  • Man Utd in talks with Kobbie Mainoo over new contract
  • INEOS want midfielder to be core part of project
  • Current deal expires in 2027 but pay rise is on the cards
Mainoo's stock has risen
Mainoo's stock has risen / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Manchester United are in talks with Kobbie Mainoo over a new contract amid plans to make him one of the 'faces' of the club, according to a report.

Mainoo last signed a new deal with United in February 2023, agreeing terms on a contract running until 2027 with the option to extend by a further year.

But Fabrizio Romano claims the two parties are back in negotiations having held initial talks two months ago.

INEOS, the club's new minority shareholders through Sir Jim Ratcliffe, want to make Mainoo 'one of the faces of the new project' and are prepared to offer him a salary increase plus several bonuses.

The Ratcliffe era is underway / DARREN STAPLES/GettyImages

Mainoo had been linked with a move to rivals Manchester City last year, with the reigning Premier League champions retaining a long-term interest in the midfielder. A move away has never come close to materialising, however.

The 2023/24 season has seen the 18-year-old establish himself as an integral part of both United's present and future. He made three appearances in the 2022/23 campaign, while his beginning to this campaign was heavily delayed by a pre-season ankle injury.

But since making his return in November, Mainoo has been essentially undroppable and indispensable to Erik ten Hag's setup and he has already made 24 appearances across all competitions this season.

Mainoo has also contributed three goals, and two have come in dramatic circumstances. His first Premier League goal for United was a 97th-minute winner in a 4-3 victory at Wolves, putting the Red Devils back in front just seconds after they were pegged back to 3-3.

More recently, the new England international scored in United's 2-2 draw at home to rivals Liverpool, putting them 2-1 up on the day with a delicious strike from the edge of the box reminiscent of Federico Macheda's famous goal against Aston Villa in 2009.