With speculation growing that defender Gerard Pique is pondering an Old Trafford exit, Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that the club cannot always tie down the players they want to long-term contracts.
While Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted to confirm earlier this week that Manchester United are close to signing Rio Ferdinand on a new long-term contract, another defender, Catalonian defender Gerard Pique, could be moving one. And Ferdinand's new deal could help sway Pique's decision.
The Scot told Sky Sports News, "We always try to get players on new contracts. Sometimes we maybe slip up but not often."
Among those slips was losing Gabriel Heinze last summer.
Another full-back, Wes Brown, is out of contract in the summer and thus free to sign, for another Premiership club in two months' time.
And Pique and Patrice Evra are out of contract at the end of next season.