All posts by Abdullah Mulla

Sports Writer and Manchester United fan

Man Utd battling with rivals for Christian Pulisic

Manchester United are monitoring the situation of Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic as manager Jose Mourinho ponders a move for the American in the summer, according to a report on the Daily Mail.

Pulisic has made a name for himself in the German Bundesliga by putting in some phenomenal performances which have seen his value increase drastically.

United are willing to challenge fellow Premier League club Liverpool for the youngster as well as Bayern Munich, who are also interested in securing his services.

Christian Pulisic is wanted by a number of clubs. (picture: goal.com)
Christian Pulisic is wanted by a number of clubs. (picture: goal.com)

If United are to submit an offer, it is likely to be in the region of £40m but Dortmund are keen to keep hold of the 19-year-old.

However, with the signing of Alexis Sanchez, United have incredible depth in attack so it may be difficult to fit Pulisic into the team. Pulisic currently has a contract with Dortmund until 2020 and the German club are eager to get him to extend his deal.

Pulisic has played 81 times for the German club and has managed to find the back of the net 11 times. He is well-known for his ball control and dribbling, as well as his lightning pace on the counter-attack.

Should United submit a bid for him?

Would you like to see him at United?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media!

 

Mata reveals he is fully committed to United

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has revealed that he is fully committed to the club and has rubbished talks about him potentially leaving the Red Devils, according to a report on GOAL.

With the addition of Alexis Sanchez to the United squad, it looks like Mata will be the one to be dropped to the bench by manager Jose Mourinho for the remainder of the season.

Juan Mata's contract is expiring at the end of the season. (picture: manutd.com)
Juan Mata’s contract is expiring at the end of the season. (picture: manutd.com)

However, the Spaniard can still expect to be heavily involved with United still challenging in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup and he himself is remaining positive about the remainder of the season.

He said:

Being part of this club is something very special and I can assure you that I keep enjoying every single game like I did with my debut against Cardiff. I’ll never stop thanking you for your support day after day. Thanks to you, being part of this club is really special.

Mata has been linked with a move back to the Spanish La Liga and with his contract expiring in the summer, his future seems uncertain.

United are yet to offer him a 12-month extension option which is in his contract and could lose him for free but the player himself is eager to continue playing for the club.

Mata has hit form in recent months and has been linking up well alongside Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku, which has been pleasing to see for the United fans.

Moreover, Mata will be itching to play as much as possible to ensure he plays a role for the Spain national team in the upcoming World Cup in Russia.

Sanchez deal is a straight swap for Mkhitaryan – No fees included

Manchester United are negotiating a straight swap with fellow Premier League side Arsenal for Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez, which would see Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to the Emirates, according to a report on Sky Sports.

The Red Devils have been working on a deal for Sanchez for several days now but it has now come to light that there will be no transfer fee included in the negotiations.

Arsenal initially had an asking price of around £30m for Sanchez but with Mkhitaryan being added to the deal, that fee has been scrapped.

Manchester City dropped their interest in the winger as it would cost the club too much, but the fact that United are close to signing him without any transfer fee at all shows that the deal may not be as costly as expected.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be on his way to Arsenal. (image: Skysports.com)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be on his way to Arsenal. (image: Skysports.com)

Arsenal want to offload Sanchez this month or else they will lose him for free in the summer and Arsene Wenger looks like he is going to be getting a very good deal if Mkhitaryan agrees to join the Gunners.

Mkhitaryan hasn’t hit the heights with United as he did for Borussia Dortmund which saw him win the Bundesliga Player of the Year, but he will get another chance to prove himself in the English top flight.

The Armenian, on his day, can be unplayable, as United saw at the beginning of this campaign when he was picking open opposition defences comfortably.

The Gunners are now negotiating personal terms with Mkhitaryan and if he agrees, then Sanchez will be given the green light to make the move to Old Trafford.

Signing Alexis Sanchez would be a real signal of intent from United and with the gap at the top of the Premier League cut down to 12 points, the Red Devils will feel confident of piling the pressure on for the title before the end of the season.

Three ways United can exploit City

Manchester United take on rivals Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils knowing that a win will take them only five points behind Pep Guardiola’s men.

City have looked vulnerable in recent weeks, but have continued to pick up crucial wins. Huddersfield Town, Southampton and West Ham United were all unlucky not to gain anything against City but those matches are a source of encouragement for Jose Mourinho.

City showed elements of weakness in those games and if United target these certain areas, then the three points could be won.

1) Set Pieces

It is a well known fact that Manchester City aren’t the best at defending set-pieces and have looked extremely shaky when opposition sides put balls into the box.

United need to have immaculate set-piece deliveries on Sunday and can’t afford any corners or free-kicks failing to beat the first man. Getting a corner against City will be hard enough so when the opportunity arises, the delivery has to be accurate.

Chris Smalling rising to head the ball from a set-piece. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)
Chris Smalling rising to head the ball from a set-piece. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)

Also, besides Vincent Kompany, City don’t have the biggest players, which automatically gives us an advantage. The likes of Chris Smalling, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku should all feel confident in the air going into this game and of course, there is Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who can also be a nuisance in the air.

City conceded from corners against Huddersfield and West Ham, so it’s their obvious weak spot.

2) Attack their left-side of defence

Losing Benjamin Mendy was a real blow for City. Fabian Delph has covered into the left-back position but when he has come up against good wingers, he’s looked vulnerable. Danilo is also an option to start, but he has struggled to settle in since he moved to City.

Lingard wheels away to celebrate after scoring against Watford. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)
Lingard wheels away to celebrate after scoring against Watford. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)

The likes of Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku need to peel away onto Delph (or Danilo) and run directly at him to get him on the back foot. Lingard should be confident of beating Delph with ease.

Also, Leroy Sane doesn’t have the best record of tracking back and helping out his full-back so if United try to attack down City’s left as much as possible, it could open up an opportunity to score.

3) Nullify De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne has the keys to unlock every defence in the Premier League. However, take him out of the picture and City will have a huge creative hole in their side.

United need Ander Herrera or Nemanja Matic to follow the Belgian everywhere he goes. Herrera may be better suited as he has already done the same job on Eden Hazard last season.

Ander Herrera may have a tough task of man-marking Kevin De Bruyne. (picture: football whispers.com)
Ander Herrera may have a tough task of man-marking Kevin De Bruyne. (picture: football whispers.com)

De Bruyne has eight assists in the league but without his creativity, City will find it hard to give service to their strikers and wingers, who thrive off his through balls.

Keep him quiet, which is easier said than done, then we have a great chance of inflicting a first defeat of the season on City.

 

What do you think? How do you think is the best way to exploit City?

Leave a comment below or get in touch on social media!

Mourinho attended Sweden playoff to scout Emil Forsberg

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was present to witness Sweden defeat Italy in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup playoff, but the Daily Mail have revealed that the Portuguese was keeping a close eye on attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg.

The RB Leipzig attacker put in an eye-catching performance in the first leg and picked up the Man of the Match award as he helped his side to a narrow 1-0 victory.

His movement on and off the ball has attracted Mourinho, who is looking for a player to operate just behind forward Romelu Lukaku to provide him with the service he needs.

Forsberg could be that man. The 26-year-old created an incredible 94 chances in the German Bundesliga last season as Leipzig finished second in the table.

Emil Forsberg has been one of RB Leipzig's most influential players over the past 2 seasons. (picture: independent.co.uk)
Emil Forsberg has been one of RB Leipzig’s most influential players over the past 2 seasons. (picture: independent.co.uk)

His forward passing is also highly accurate, with the Swede clocking up a 79% pass accuracy showing that he rarely misplaces a pass.

The form of Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan has visibly dropped, which has had a detrimental effect on Lukaku’s scoring chances with the Belgian hardly getting any goalscoring opportunities in the past couple of weeks.

Forsberg can also operate on the wing and has been capped 32 times for his country. Mourinho is now contemplating a move for him in January but if Leipzig don’t agree to this then he will wait till the summer to make his move.

Leipzig have already agreed to offload Naby Keita to Liverpool and could lose more players by the end of the season, including Forsberg.

Do you think Mourinho should try to sign Forsberg?

Let us know in the comments and on social media!

The fear factor is coming back to Old Trafford!

Ex-Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan believes that the fear factor that was present during the days of Sir Alex Ferguson are returning to Old Trafford under Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho, according to a report on Sky Sports.

Phelan spent 14 years at Manchester United and won various titles with legendary United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and he is seeing certain similarities in the team now.

“I think they are getting that (fear) back slowly because now at Old Trafford there is an atmosphere, there is an expectation and the players are reacting really well to it,” said Phelan.

Right now he’s building something, he’s got off to a terrific start and he will want to continue that,” he continued.

Mike Phelan believes that the fear factor is coming back to Old Trafford. (picture: independent.co.uk)
Mike Phelan believes that the fear factor is coming back to Old Trafford. (picture: independent.co.uk)

Mourinho has recruited well during his time as manager of the Red Devils and their blistering start to the season has sent a message to rest of the title contenders in the league that United mean business.

Mourinho’s men face possibly their toughest task yet as they travel to Anfield on Saturday to face Liverpool, with United being the favourites for the win.

Teams visiting old Trafford will certainly be more fearful of United’s lethal attack this season, something which was not the case under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal.

The ruthlessness of United this season so far has impressed me. The players are not happy with simple 2-0 leads and continue to push for more goals, no matter what minute it is.

Do you think the fear factor is back at Old Trafford?

Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Danny Rose wants Man Utd move over Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur left-back Danny Rose would choose Manchester United over Chelsea if he was to leave the London club, simply because he would rather play for Jose Mourinho than Antonio Conte, according to a report on the Daily Star.

The Englishman has been out with injury since January but is close to a return after participating in training with the first team squad.

Rose looked set to leave the north London club in the summer when he made remarks about the wage structure at the club and how he felt that he deserves more money. Rose also had a dig at the club for not winning any trophies but was fined by the club and issued an apology.

Danny Rose would prefer a move to Manchester United over Chelsea. (picture: standard.co.uk)
Danny Rose would prefer a move to Manchester United over Chelsea. (picture: standard.co.uk)

United and Chelsea were quick to register their interest in Rose and it is now understood that the full-back is itching to work under Mourinho. The Portuguese is said to be preparing a £45m deal to bring the defender to Old Trafford in the January transfer window, but is expecting Spurs to be stubborn about selling a key player to a direct rival.

The left-back spot at United is up for grabs, with Ashley Young deputising fantastically in that position so far. However, if United sign Rose, it could spell the end for Luke Shaw at the club.

Do you think United should sign Rose?

Let us know in the comments or get in touch on social media!

Mourinho livid at Martinez over Lukaku selection

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is furious with Belgium manager Roberto Martinez for using Romelu Lukaku as a late substitute in their meaningless final World Cup qualifying group game against Cyprus, according to a report on the Independent.

Lukaku came on and managed to find the back of the net but Mourinho was far from pleased to see his star striker on the pitch just four days before the crucial clash against rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

Lukaku missed the earlier Belgium match with a slight ankle problem but the medical staff passed him fit for the Cyprus game. Martinez brought him on even though Belgium had already qualified for the World Cup.

Romelu Lukaku scored for Belgium against Cyprus in the closing minutes. (picture: dailystar.co.uk)
Romelu Lukaku scored for Belgium against Cyprus in the closing minutes. (picture: dailystar.co.uk)

Mourinho will be relieved to know that Lukaku finished the game without picking up an injury but this is the second time that Martinez has risked a Man United player during this international break.

Marouane Fellaini was also not 100% fit but Martinez selected him, only to see the towering Belgian leave the pitch early after picking up an injury which is likely to keep him sidelined for a few weeks.

I strongly believe that Martinez had no need to bring on Lukaku, although the goal will give the front-man some confidence, this was an opportunity for a young player to earn a cap for his country.

Plus, it isn’t like Lukaku is short on confidence. The striker has netted seven times in the Premier League for United so far this season and will be hoping to add to his tally at Anfield on Saturday.

Is Mourinho right to be angry?

Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Jose Mourinho set to make shock move for Mesut Ozil!

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho wants to sign Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil in the January transfer window, with the German international set to leave the Emirates, according to a report on the Independent.

Ozil’s contract with Arsenal expires in the summer but Arsenal would rather sell Ozil for money in January than lose him for free at the end of the season.

Mourinho is reportedly interested in a reunion with Ozil following their time working together in Spain at Real Madrid.

If the Red Devils fail to secure his signing in January, then it is understood that Mourinho will make a move in the summer where Ozil will have the freedom of choice to decide his next destination.

Manchester United are being strongly linked with a move for the German. (picture: independent.co.uk)
Manchester United are being strongly linked with a move for the German. (picture: independent.co.uk)

Arsenal have been working tirelessly to persuade the German to sign a contract extension with the North London club but so far, their efforts have failed.

Mourinho and Ozil had a healthy relationship during their spell at Real Madrid and the Portuguese manager has always been on good terms with the attacking midfielder.

Mourinho is a fan of Ozil’s tactical ability but the interest in Ozil has raised questions over the futures of current united attackers Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Personally, I’m not in favour of a move for Ozil as I feel that we have achieved the perfect balance between our midfield and attack. Also, Mata and Mkhitaryan have been hugely impressive at the start of this season and have been creating numerous amounts of chances for our forwards.

The addition of Ozil may take away the flow away from our attacking play, however, their is no doubt that he is a class player but I not so sure he can replicate his form for United that he had at Real Madrid.

What do you think?

Get in touch below or on Twitter, @AbzMulla6

 

Manchester United reveal Old Trafford expansion plans

Manchester United officials are currently looking at plans for an extension to Old Trafford, which would see an extra tier added to the Sir Bobby Charlton stand, making the Theatre of Dreams’ capacity 88,000, according to a report on the Daily Mail.

The Red Devils currently have a capacity of 75,643, but should the plans go ahead then they will boast the third largest stadium in Europe, behind Barcelona’s Nou Camp and Wembley stadium.

Previously, United have been reluctant to look at plans for expanding the stadium because of concerns regarding the train line, which is directly behind the stand.

Manchester United are considering the expansion of Old Trafford. (image: express.co.uk)
Manchester United are considering the expansion of Old Trafford. (image: express.co.uk)

However, due to advancements in technology, the club can now look at extension plans without fear of causing disruption to houses or the railway line.

Should the plans be given the green light, Old Trafford will surpass the San Siro, Bernabeu, Stade de France and Westfalenstadion in Europe in terms of maximum capacity.