Ashley Young has fast gone down the pecking order at Manchester United. He has made only one appearance since the turn of the year and it was in the FA Cup against Reading. The 31-year-old has now become the latest high-profile player to be linked with a move to China. The Chinese Super League may not be able to splash out on as many players as they previously did, as the league has capped the maximum foreigners to three players each season. Yet, it does not seem to be an issue for Shandong Luneng, who have been linked with a move for the former England international, The Express reports.
Young has a contract with the club until the summer of 2018. After featuring in a versatile role under Louis van Gaal, Young was expecting more of the same under Jose Mourinho. Yet, the winger has slowly become a forgotten man. His first-team opportunities have become especially limited since November, with his only Premier League appearance since then being a start in the 3-1 win over Swansea. It is clear that he is no longer in the plans of Mourinho, and the position may not change unless the United squad is hit by several injuries.
Young does not stand to receive the astronomical wages being paid out to existing foreign players. It is reported that Shandong Luneng have made an offer of around £5.3 million per year. The length of the contract appears to be the key aspect in the deal, as Young may receive a three-year contract. Even though the figure would only match his existing wage, the 31-year-old stands to make £16 million over the next three seasons. With his United contract running out in 2018, he can only hope for an additional year from the Old Trafford outfit.
Even if he moves to any other Premier League team, it may be on a two-year deal at the most considering his age. For this reason, the switch to China may seem appealing. However, Shandong Luneng have to come in with at least a £10 million offer in order to sign the player, who cost United £17 million from Aston Villa in 2011. Shandong Luneng are managed by former Fulham boss Felix Magath.