Manchester United starlet Kobi Maino is putting pen to paper on a new four-year deal at Old Trafford as he continues to impress Erik ten Haag following his exit from the club’s academy.
- Manchester United star Koby Maino signs new long-term contract
- The 17-year-old made his full debut in the Carabao Cup win against Charlton
- Mainoo is understood to have signed a four-year deal with an option for an extra year
Manchester United teenager Kobi Maino has signed a new long-term contract at Old Trafford.
The 17-year-old midfielder, one of eight United academy prospects to feature for the first team this season, made his full debut in last month’s Carabao Cup win against Charlton.
Sportsmail understands Mainoo has signed a four-year contract with an option to extend for a further year.
United said: “Mainoo has played twice for Erik ten Hag’s side in 2022-23. He has been named in Erik ten Hag’s squad for six Premier League games as well.” United added: “Mainoo will look to improve his talents behind the scenes and maintain his development at the club in the coming months and years.”
Stockport starlet Mainoo is fast emerging as a player Ten Hag can also rely on.
Manchester United starlet Coby Maino has signed a new four-year contract with the club
Mainoo poses with United head of academy Nick Cox (left) and coach Erik ten Hag (right)
Made his first-team debut against Charlton Athletic in last month’s Carabao Cup quarter-final win, many executives felt the 17-year-old was “unlucky” not to have been handed the bow before then. He played just over an hour before being replaced by Casemiro, the winner he admits to studying closely.
A key part of the FA Cup winning side against Nottingham Forest last season, Mainoo has continued his upward trajectory.
As well as impressing Ten Hag in training, he was named man of the match in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Everton during the World Cup and scored against Cádiz during United’s warm-weather training camp in December.
After making his Carabao Cup debut, Ten Hag said the teenager had impressed at United’s winter training camp during the World Cup break, which earned him the opportunity.
“The most important thing is to win this game and get into the next round,” Ten Hag told MUTV.
Mainoo (centre) was handed his Manchester United debut against Charlton last month
We want to get to the semi-finals, so it’s a big game.
“For him (Mainoo) it’s a big opportunity, he did very well during the winter camp in Spain. He also did very well against Everton in a friendly.
“He deserved to play so I’m happy to give him the chance – he deserves it.”
Strong, quick and fearless, Mainoo initially played for Cheadle and Gatley juniors before being snapped up by United aged nine. He has drawn comparisons with another former United academy graduate, Paul Pogba, but admits he still has plenty of room to grow both physically and in terms of skills.
Indeed, despite the accolades he receives, one of Mainoo’s greatest strengths, staff say, is his willingness to listen.
Defender Harry Maguire took time to ease the youngster’s nerves ahead of his debut in January and Mainoo paid tribute to his established team-mates afterwards, saying: “I’ve trained with the lads quite a few times. Everyone made me feel welcome and everyone gave me advice and encouragement. So I felt at home.
Ten Hag is a big fan of Mainoo and the club have now given him a long-term deal
The 17-year-old got the start after impressing Ten Haag during winter training
To be able to watch Casemiro closely and watch him in training is an honor and for me it’s crazy that it’s coming.
“I looked at the team sheet and started. I was a bit shocked but I had to do my job. Yes, there were some butterflies, but it was more exciting.
A number of Europe’s elite sides have been monitoring Mainoo’s progress following some of his UEFA Youth League appearances, aware that his path could be complicated as United again push for big names such as West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer, but the homegrown teenager’s loyalty to United was never in doubt.
“Staying close to the first team and continuing to get more games is the ultimate goal,” he said. “I want to stay at this club, I’ve been here all my life.”