Ashley Young is facing an increasingly uncertain future at Manchester United and could be sold by David Moyes next year after sparking more controversy with his apparent dive against Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

Young is battling to repair his reputation following his theatrical reaction to a slight tug by Sociedad’s Markel Bergara, which earned his side a penalty that was subsequently missed by Robin van Persie.

The England international has already earned a public and private rebuke from Moyes this season after a similar incident against Crystal Palace in September and his manager is expected to discuss the matter with the winger at training today.

Moyes had backed Young in San Sebastian, insisting there was definite contact from Bergara, but the growing criticism of the 28-year-old’s antics leaves United in a difficult position.

Awkwardly for Moyes, he was highly critical of divers last year ahead of Everton’s derby against Liverpool when he claimed players “who con their way to results” would drive supporters away from the game. He also fined Phil Neville a week’s wages for simulation in the same game.

Young was also warned by Sir Alex Ferguson two years ago after he tumbled to the ground against Queens Park Rangers and Moyes will want to find a solution quickly before the problem escalates further.

The former Aston Villa winger has more than 2½ years left on his estimated £75,000-a-week contract and may be made available in the January transfer window, though with Wilfried Zaha expected to go out on loan, a summer exit is far more likely.

Young could also feel there is no future at United, especially after slipping out of contention with both club and country, and he is understood to be concerned that a lack of opportunities are harming his hopes of making Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.

He was substituted early in the second half by Moyes in the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City and has been used sparingly since, failing to start a league game. Adnan Januzaj’s stunning emergence over the last two months has also pushed Young further out of the picture and United are likely to seek a buyer next year while they can still demand a significant transfer fee.

Former United players, including Roy Keane, Ray Wilkins and Paul McGrath, have all criticised Young for his antics, while Dietmar Hamann, the former Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder, went even further.

“Ashley Young is much worse than [Luis] Suárez has ever been,” Hamann told talkSPORT. “It’s blatant cheating to try to win a penalty. I’m always defending players. Gareth Bale got a lot of stick last year but you’ve got to be very careful, because sometimes it’s about protecting yourself in anticipation of a challenge.

“If someone comes to clatter you, your first instinct is to jump in order to protect yourself. Yesterday [with Young] there was no protection [issue], it was a slight touch on his arm and he stated rolling over.”