By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Follow us on Twitter @footyinsider247

Manchester United are hopeful of tying Luke Shaw down to a new contract, Football Insider sources understand.

The injured left-back’s current £154,000-a-week deal runs 2018 and has the option of a year’s extension.

United do not want to risk a situation where the England international, 20, enters the final two years of his current deal and have made the first moves to extending his deal.

A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that United have opened preliminary discussions with Shaw’s representatives about a five-and-a-half-year contract on the same basic £8million-a-year terms as his current package. The total deal they are ready to place on table would be worth £44million.

Shaw signed a four-year deal when he joined United from Southampton in the summer of 2014 for £27million.

He had a mixed debut season at Old Trafford but began the current campaign in excellent form before suffering a horrendous injury during United’s Champions League clash at PSV Eindhoven in September.

Shaw broke his leg in two places and is facing an uphill struggle to play again this season.

However, the United staff, including manager Louis van Gaal, have total faith that the left-back can develop into one of the world’s best left-backs when he returns to full fitness.

Van Gaal, who revealed earlier last week week that Shaw has gone on holiday as he takes a break from his rehabilitation routine, has spoken warmly of the defender this season after being frustrated with his fitness and weight issues in 2014/15.