IT COULD HAVE BEEN ARSENE

Martin Edwards, who was the chief of Manchester United in the early 2000s, has disclosed that a situation had arisen during his reign when Arsene Wenger could have been given the manager’s role of the Red Devils.

According to Edwards, when Sir Alex Ferguson conveyed to the board in the summer of 2002 that he did not intend to continue further at his post which he had held for the past 16 years, it took all the members of the board by extreme surprise. However, Sir Alex appeared to be very firm about it and the board finally had to accept that he could not be convinced to stay. Continue reading

Manchester United’s Transfer Targets

One of the major differences Jose Mourinho has brought to Old Trafford which few United managers have shared in recent years has been a matter of fact willingness to discuss potential transfer targets. As with any manager, he needs to be cautious not to be accused of ‘tapping-up’, however, the general consensus is that when the media are the ones asking then it’s perfectly fine to state a carefully worded reply. So far we’ve seen this as work in almost all of the transfers that he has made.

So far we’ve seen this as work in almost all of the transfers that he has made. The Lukaku saga dragged on for weeks, and in just a similar way to the latest speculation/courting of England defender Danny Rose. The only major deal that was kept hush-hush until just before it was announced was that involving Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, possibly because Mourinho (a long time fan of the player) couldn’t believe his luck that Chelsea was willing to part with him. Continue reading

Jose Mourinho Aims Dig at Antonio Conte

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho appears to have begun his mind games after he aimed a dig at Antonio Conte following his recent comments.


The Blues manager recently cited that he would like to avoid a ‘Mourinho’ season at Chelsea as he looks to keep hold of his position for the long-term. Chelsea finished a lowly 10th during the 2015/16 season where Jose Mourinho was sacked midway through the campaign, and the Special One replied to the Italian in a slightly different fashion.

Following United’s 3-0 friendly win over Valerenga in Oslo, Mourinho admitted that he was not annoyed by the recent remark, but he took a subtle dig at Conte’s restored hairline suggesting that he won’t be losing any hair speaking about the Blues head coach, he said:”I don’t know,” he said.”I could answer in many different ways but I’m not going to lose my hair to speak about Antonio Conte.”

United clinched yet another win in an impressive pre-season with Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini and Scott McTominay getting on the scoresheet, and with a friendly against Sampdoria left, the manager is content with the club’s preparations, he added: Continue reading

Jose Mourinho rules out summer move for Gareth Bale

 Jose Mourinho has insisted that Manchester United are not in the hunt to sign Gareth Bale during this summer’s transfer window.


The Real Madrid midfielder has been heavily linked with an Old Trafford move this summer with the Red Devils looking to bolster their attack front.

United have been largely unsuccessful in their quest to sign a new attacker with a deal for Ivan Perisic far off from being complete. Inter Milan are said to demand fees of at least £48m, and this is still far from United’s £26m offer for the Croatia international.

Mourinho had highlighted last week that a deal for Ronaldo is ‘mission impossible’, and a reported asked Mourinho whether he shares a similar stance with Bale, for which, he replied: “The same [as Ronaldo]. You have contacts and feelings, you understand things, and it was clear that Bale likes Madrid, the challenge and situation. They are in a very good situation now and I never felt a desire for him to leave, so why waste time on it? No.” Continue reading

Jose Mourinho open to new Zlatan Ibrahimovic deal

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has opened the possibility of offering a short-term deal to Zlatan Ibrahimovic once he recovers from a serious knee injury sustained in late April.


The big Swede was allowed to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer earlier this summer after it was known that the veteran would not be fit until the turn of the year.

Ibrahimovic has nevertheless been allowed to use the training facilities at Carrington, and he is evaluating his options for the future with a move to Major League Soccer also in the horizon. Speaking to reporters, via ESPN, Mourinho cited that the club would offer another chance to the experienced forward following his spectacular debut campaign in English football last term.

He said: “Possible, it’s open, of course we wanted to be honest and open and left everything for him to make the decision. At the same time let’s make a decision that makes us all happy and if that is for him to stay and for us to wait, let’s say in December maybe, because I don’t think before December he can get back to competitive football but why not wait for a player who gave us so much, we are changing ideas and it’s with Mr Woodward (Ed Woodward) and Zlatan’s agent but the final decision is the best for the player.” Continue reading

Gianluigi Donnarumma eyed as Manchester United mull over De Gea Replacement

Super-agent Mino Raiola has reportedly discussed the possibility of bringing Gianluigi Donnarumma to Manchester United amid the uncertainty over his position of current number one David de Gea.


The Spain international has been heavily linked with a return to Madrid, and his recent house-hunting expedition has posed further doubts about his future.

According to DiarioGol, the Mancunian giants are preparing for the worst after Raiola made contact regarding the availability of his client Donnarumma. The 18-year-old has turned down a Milan contract beyond 2018, and this will most probably see him being sold during the upcoming transfer window.

Jose Mourinho is said to be demanding a world-record £100m for the sale of his key goalscorer, but this valuation could come down significantly if United manage to reach a breakthrough with Real Madrid in the pursuit of Alvaro Morata. Morata is currently valued at £70m by Los Blancos, and this has put a stall on the proposed agreement with United only willing to pay a £65m sum. Continue reading

Manchester United open to selling Ander Herrera to Barcelona on one condition

Manchester United are willing to part ways with Ander Herrera to Barcelona, should they receive Jordi Alba in a straight exchange deal.

 

The 27-year-old had a top season with the Red Devils last term as they celebrated an EFL Cup and Europa League double under Jose Mourinho. As a result, the Spaniard was named the club’s Player of the Season as he put in a real shift in central midfield alongside veteran Michael Carrick.

Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that the Mancunian giants could end their association with Herrera with the midfielder yet to extend his contract beyond next season. New Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde worked alongside Herrera for a single campaign(Athletic Bilbao) between 2013 and 2014 before the midfielder left for United, and the manager is now eager on a reunion at Camp Nou.

There have been talks over a four-year contract on the table for the former Basque player, but this has not diminished speculation about his future with Barcelona an admirable option for any top player in professional football. Herrera struggled to make the starting lineup on a regular basis under former boss Louis van Gaal, but the arrival of Mourinho has done wonders to his careers after he settled to a deeper holding midfield role.

Carrick has duly delivered in a similar position for the Red Devils, but Herrera appears to have made the spot his own with Mourinho looking to slowly drift the former from first-team duties. Carrick, 35, inked a one-year extension at United recently, but he may not expect as much playing time as he earned during the course of the previous campaign. Herrera bagged exactly 50 appearances for Manchester United, who will back in the Champions League next term.

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ON THE DEFENSIVE

Manchester United, in need to backup their future as Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s career grew towards the twilight, threw their money at Chris Smalling seven years ago. Throughout his professional life the former Fulham man gave out displays that showed that he was capable of being a decent reliable defender and had potential to be up there with the very best. Smalling is known for his ability to read games, his positional sense and his penchant to start forward plays right out of the defence.

However, despite all these attributes, it is safe to say that the Englishman failed to become the player with which United can build their ever wavering future on. It can be argued that the troubling post-Ferguson era would have been too much for any player to handle, but the thing is, it is in the moments of great adversities that players prove themselves the most – and the Englishman utterly failed to do so.
There is a reason each coach that joined the fray at Old Trafford since the legendary Scot’s departure has made the signing of a new centre-back his priority – the ones they met (including Smalling) simply weren’t good enough. Continue reading

UNITED CAN’T EAT RASHFORD’S CAKE

Marcus Rashford broke into the first team of United in unlikely circumstances. Louis van Gaal was head coach at the time and the Red Devils were in a injury crisis involving most of the first teamers.


Prior to his debut, Rashford was largely unknown to most of the United supporters despite his terrific performances with their reserves. However, it didn’t take long for the football world to know of his special abilities as 4 goals in his first 3 matches did the announcement

Mou’s appointment as head coach in the summer of 2016 did pose a threat to the youngster’s cocoon-to-butterfly journey. The Portuguese is an unrepentant advocate of experience over youth, a special signature to never have the patience of giving team reserves enough time to prove their worth. From letting Lukaku leave for Everton while he was working at Chelsea, to loaning Madrid homeboy Alvaro Morata to Juventus during his time at the Spanish capital.

The signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic despite having two potential world class strikers in the mould of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford re echoed the legendry stubbornness of old habits. Continue reading

ALL CHANGE UPFRONT

The current Manchester United football club squad will most likely be a completely new side next season as manager Jose Mourinho continues to reshape the team, with many comings and goings, particularly in attack. The latest reports in England claim that injured Swede star Zlatan Ibrahimovic might not remain in the team when the Premier League resumes in August, whilst Wayne Rooney will almost certainly be on his way out too.

The top side won two major trophies in the EFL Cup and the Europa League title but they ended up sixth in the league. Mourinho is working towards changing that, and fast too. Some team members would need to make room for the incoming talents, and it just seems 35-year old Zlatan would be heading out.

The player’s contract with the management would end in June but so far no talk of contract negotiations as the striker works on his recovery. The former PSG star has a bleak future as the knee injury he sustained threatens to end his career earlier than expected.

He was the alternative forgone as the Red Devils cruised to a victory against Anderlecht in April in a Europa League clash. After a successful surgery, the giant star has stated his rehabilitation. He is not expected to return until the New Year and who knows if he would pick up form before the season ends – a season Mourinho is expected to challenge for the league title after huge spending?

He has been linked with a move to the Major League Soccer (MLS). Los Angeles Galaxy and a few other sides that can afford him have been named as likely suitors but the player’s agent Mino Raiola says the star would likely remain in Europe. Raiola admitted that it might not be United. Whilst some of the bookmakers have a move to the MLS as the favourite option at 2-1, our guidance and advice is to check all markets – and consider France as an potential option.

ROONEY OUT OF OLD TRAFFORD?
This summer one of the biggest things to look out for is if Jose Mourinho would eventually sell off 31-year old liability Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United skipper looks out of place in the set-up but he continues to earn humongous salary despite his poor stats.

Rooney’s role at Old Trafford reduced and it has even affected his selection in the Three Lions squad as boss Gareth Southgate prefers younger, in-form options. With the Portuguese tactician keen on adding more faces to the dressing room, Rooney’s hopes grow slimmer.

After lifting the Europa League title – defeating Ajax 2-0 in the final in Stockholm – many expected that Rooney would read the handwriting on the wall and leave the club. While he is not obligated to leave as he still has a deal, it is obvious that a prolonged stay would damage Rooney’s legacy at the club.

After leaving his boyhood club to join Sir Alex Ferguson as a youngster, Rooney quickly developed to one of the best English players in history. His stats as a young player are overly impressive. He is the club record scorer but it is best he leaves now to protect his legacy. He possibly has dreamt of ending his career at United but it is not working that way. Many believe he would eventually leave this summer but nothing is sure for now.

The player is poised to play in his teammate Michael Carrick’s testimonial match on June 4. It would be the best decision of his current career to part with the club that day and look elsewhere for a retirement package. The likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard move to the MLS in America but there should also be a huge pay check in China.

Mourinho is already shopping for replacements – a top proven striker. Antoine Griezmann might be the eventual man but there are still a lot of hurdles involved in getting him.

MOURINHO FOCUSING ON MBAPPE
One of the other stars United have been linked with (and there have been numerous stars so far this summer; from Antoine Griezmann to Alvaro Morata to James Rodriguez and many other top football talent) is Mbappe. It seems the former Chelsea manager is prioritizing the deal for Monaco teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe.

Gianluca Di Marzio claims United wants the French star even ahead of Griezmann’s deal. Atletico Madrid are appealing a case against FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The results of that appeal would determine if the Griezmann deal would eventually happen.

Mourinho wants a proven striker and the French star fits the profile after his record at Atleti. Recent links that Alexandre Lacazette and Griezmann would pair up under Coach Diego Simeone might be responsible as Mourinho gives the Griezmann deal lesser priority. There are reports that Simeone might sell Griezmann but get Lacazette. There are talks that Chelsea striker Diego Costa might return to the club even as Simeone is constantly drawn into talks about Torino striker Andrea Belotti.

Mbappe would likely break Paul Pogba’s world record transfer deal if the move goes through. Monaco would demand over £100 million for the highly-rated 18-year old. Mourinho should be wary of such a deal with his huge budget already but he seems resilient on landing Mbappe, according to reports.

Monaco would get a replacement for him in the team if United land him. The coach and management are keen on building something long lasting at the club. They reached the last four in the Champions League and won the Ligue 1; many would advise Mbappe to remain at the club and develop but that is a difficult thing particularly with the record amount involved. He would be thrown under serious pressure in England to justify the fees as Pogba and it could be detrimental to his career if he fails compared to other established acts.

MAN UNITED FOCUS ON MORATA?
Another strikerbeing linked to United is Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. Reports in Spain say manager Jose Mourinho met with the star striker, holding secret talks with the hope of getting assurances that he would come to England.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long term injury has put pressure on the Red Devils boss to get a top striker for the role next season. Morata fits this and as he is frustrated by lack of game time by Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu, he could be open to the move.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is positively predisposed to the player. They were together at Juventus after Conte signed him before exiting to manage the Italian senior team. AC Milan and Arsenal have been linked with him as well.

Zidane would likely not let the player leave as he favours team rotation. The success he has enjoyed this season would be testament that it is effective. However, if Mourinho convinces the player of his intentions and he puts in a transfer request, forcing the move, United can end up with a new man to lead the attack in August.

Morata wants where he can play regularly so he would have a strong chance of making the Spanish side that would feature in Russia next year. United seem to be the right path if he wants to play in the World Cup but it can also end up as a first-option buy-back deal like his last spell in Juventus. United might also asks for a loan deal but Madrid would likely not consent to that. This summer promises excitement as more and more speculations fly about.

SPANISH YOUNGSTER ROBERTO GONZALEZ
Finally, Manchester United are reportedly keen on landing Spanish youngster Roberto Gonzalez this summer. The Real Betis prodigy is making a lot of waves in the football community. The 16-year old soccer player is believed to be one of the brightest prospects in Spain.

He was called to the Spanish Under-16 last year. He is likely to make his senior debut soon. The Sun claims United would make a move for him this summer, while offering compensation to his parent club. The youngster is believed would join the ranks at the club’s academy if the deal is successful. There were reports that Gonzalez visited United’s training base at Carrington this year. The deal could eventually happen this summer.

He can feature as a lone striker or in auxiliary capacity. He is gifted in playing using any foot. As coach Jose Mourinho works on the short term plan for the club, he is building a team of talented stars for the future. Gonzalez could be one of such if the deal happens.

Mourinho is one of the most buzzed names in the transfer market. He has been linked with all sorts of players as United are surely set to spend heavily on reinforcements and reshuffling this summer. Anthony Martial could go out on loan after an underwhelming season. His deal costs the club so much but he has not been able to repay the expectations.

If Mourinho get any of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Alvaro Morata, it would be a negative tick on Martial’s continued stay at the club. Mourinho is under pressure to defend his budget and reputations this summer after being disgraced from Chelsea in his second spell and finishing sixth in the league this term.