All posts by Abdullah Mulla

Sports Writer and Manchester United fan

Manchester United ready to trigger Sergi Roberto’s release clause

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is prepared to trigger Sergi Roberto’s £36.5m release clause in his contract after the defender was angry at not starting the Spanish Super Cup first leg against rivals Real Madrid, according to a report on the Mirror.

The right back, who can also operate as a central midfielder, was upset at being left out of the starting XI and has made up his mind to leave the Spanish giants. The 25-year-old has attracted interest from United and fellow Premier League club Chelsea and it seems both clubs will battle for his signature.

The Red Devils are looking to bring in at least one more player before the transfer window slams shut and Mourinho is looking to provide some cover for Antonio Valencia. Roberto can also play in midfield and with United playing in numerous competitions, squad rotation will be key to challenge for silverware.

Sergi Roberto has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League. (picture: goal.com)
Sergi Roberto has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League. (picture: goal.com)

The defender may decide to stay in Spain if he gets the assurance that he will be a starter for Barcelona but if not, then he is open to a move to the Premier League.

In my opinion, Roberto would also not be a starting player every week at Old Trafford, however he will get plenty of games due to United having a very busy fixture schedule. Antonio Valencia is very fit and healthy but he won’t be able to play every weekend and midweek, which is why signing Roberto will provide some top quality cover in that position.

Our midfield is really strong but Mourinho can’t always use the same 3 men in midfield in all competitions so Roberto would fit in nicely there too but if he is leaving Barcelona to get first team action week in week out, then I don’t think United is the best place for him.

What do you think? Should United sign Roberto?

Let us know in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter!

Mourinho orders Ed Woodward to complete £40.6m deal for Fabinho!

​Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho has ordered the club to force through a £40.6m deal for Monaco midfielder Fabinho as he looks for one last signing before the transfer window closes, according to a report on the Express.

A move for Fabinho seemed off the cards after United secured the signing of defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic from Premier League rivals Chelsea, but Fabinho is still a target for Mourinho but for a very different reason.

Mourinho is targeting Fabinho to play in a right-back position after the manager openly said that the Red Devils wanted to add a wide-player. 23-year-old Fabinho has played in a right-back position before and can compete for a place with Antonio Valencia as well as deputising in midfield whenever needed.

Mourinho wants Fabinho at Old Trafford this season. (picture: skysports.com)
Mourinho wants Fabinho at Old Trafford this season. (picture: skysports.com)

The move makes sense as Fabinho is still young and in a few years he can become the main defensive midfielder and with United competing in every competition this season, the versatile Fabinho will be very valuable.

Monaco will prove to be stubborn to break down as they claim that they are not going to sell any of their main players anymore. However, Mourinho is hopeful that a £40.6m offer will be too good to refuse. The Red Devils had attempted to sign Fabinho earlier in the transfer window to play as the holding midfielder but ended up signing Matic, who has made a good impression as a United player already.

The Brazilian was one of the key players for Monaco last season on their road to the Ligue 1 title. It is likely that Mourinho wants Fabinho to compete for a position with Antonio Valencia and Fabinho can also play on the right side of a back three should Mourinho alter his formation.

What do you think of Fabinho in right-back?

Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!

Manchester United given fresh hope of signing Bale!

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is on full alert after being informed about the possibility of Real Madrid offloading Welsh forward Gareth Bale to fund a move for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, according to a report on the Daily Star.

Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that Real Madrid want to fund a move for Mbappe without breaching Financial Fair Play rules and therefore need to balance the books by selling a player.

This player could end up being Bale as manager Zinedine Zidane isn’t keen on having four big players competing for three positions. Karim Benzema is likely to be offered a new deal at the club which leaves Bale as the odd man out.

Bale may be driven out of the Bernabeu this summer. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)
Bale may be driven out of the Bernabeu this summer. (picture: dailymail.co.uk)

Mourinho has talked about how he wants a winger before the transfer window slams shut and Bale would be available for about £90m. United are keen to sign a wide-wan because Mourinho may use different formations depending on the teams that he is facing and a player like Bale would be perfect for lightening counter attacks.

Zidane has previously said that Bale is not for sale and the player himself has stated that he is happy but Zidane prefers to move for Mbappe over keeping Bale, which is what could drive the Welshman out of the Spanish capital.

Do you think United should offer £90m for Bale?

Let us know in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter @UnitedStandMUFC or my personal account @AbzMulla6!

United hope to complete Morata signing this week!

Manchester United are hoping to finalise the highly anticipated signing of Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata this week, according to a report on the Manchester Evening News.

The Red Devils are hoping to secure Morata’s services before they fly out to the United States for their pre-season tour on Sunday.

The 24-year-old striker is reported to be itching for a move to the Premier League and the Old Trafford club seem to have persuaded him to do so.

The player wants the move but the two clubs have found it hard to agree on a price for the forward. United weren’t keen initially on paying a huge fee for the forward, but after number one target Antoine Griezmann decided to remain at Atletico Madrid, United chose to pursue Morata.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to keep Morata at Madrid and feels he can have a huge impact at the Spanish Champions but the Morata wants to be the main striker, which is something that Zidane can’t promise him.

However, at United, Morata will be the main forward and will be expecting to start every game. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving, the Spaniard can be the one to fire United to glory for the next couple of years. The Reds are confident that they can tie up the deal quickly and unveil their new signing before Sunday.

Morata recently got married and has been on holiday in Ibiza, where he reportedly made calls to Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid to speed up his transfer to United so he can prepare himself for the new challenge that he faces.

 

Real Madrid consider swapping star player for De Gea

Real Madrid are currently considering whether to include French defender Raphael Varane or Spanish forward Alvaro Morata in a potential deal to lure David De Gea to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to the Metro.

The Spanish Champions are desperate to seal a deal for the shot stopper, but United are standing firm and are adamant not to sell their star keeper. The Spanish giants have made De Gea their number one transfer target and they know that they have a difficult task to convince United to sell the player.

David De Gea is Real Madrid's main target this summer. (Picture: skysports.com)
David De Gea is Real Madrid’s main target this summer. (Picture: skysports.com)

The Red Devils have put an £80million price tag on De Gea, however Real Madrid are hopeful that with the addition of Morata or Varane to the deal, the price will decrease significantly.

Varane worked with Mourinho previously and could be included in a swap deal. (Picture: Marca.com)
Varane worked with Mourinho previously and could be included in a swap deal. (Picture: Marca.com)

United have been linked strongly with Varane this week, with Sky Sports breaking the news that the Europa League Champions are interested in the defender, who became the youngest player ever to win three Champions League winner’s medals as Madrid tore apart Juventus in Cardiff.

Morata is also an option for United, with the striker confirming yesterday that reports of a done deal with AC Milan were false. To buy either player without De Gea as part of the deal would cost Jose Mourinho a huge sum of money, so this swap deal may interest the United boss.

Morata may also be used in a swap deal for De Gea. (Picture: sky sports.com)
Morata may also be used in a swap deal for De Gea. (Picture: sky sports.com)

The Daily Mail is claiming that Mourinho is willing to sell the Spanish keeper, but only if he has secured an adequate replacement first. United already have Argentine Sergio Romero, who in my opinion is good enough to replace De Gea ,as he has been impressive this season whenever he has played.

In my opinion, United should only accept an offer of £60million plus Varane, and this is just the minimum. De Gea is possibly the best goalkeeper in the world and will be for next decade or so which means he is worth about £100 alone.

What are your thoughts? How much would you allow De Gea to leave for?

Would you rather have Varane or Morata if there was a swap deal?

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

Zlatan will play again!

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola says the Swedish striker has undergone successful knee surgery and “will make a full recovery”.

The 35-year-old suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in the Europa League victory of Anderlecht. Raiola emphasised that the Sweden international’s injury was not career-threatening. Ibrahimovic’s one year contract at Manchester United is coming to and end and is yet to agree an extension.

He has been a valuable asset to the United team by scoring 28 goals this season and has begun rehabilitation in Pittsburgh, USA.

After his horrific injury, there have been questions about whether the Swede would ever return to play but this news shows that the striker isn’t ready to give up on the beautiful game just yet.

Ibrahimovic celebrates for Man Utd (picture: skysports.com)
Ibrahimovic has been prolific this season for Manchester United (picture: sky sports.com)

He recently said on Instagram, “I will go through this like everythings else and come back even stronger. Giving up is not an option.”

The decision for Manchester United now is whether they should offer Zlatan a new one year contract or allow him to become a free agent in the summer. The forward has shown that he can still score goals and is also a crucial part in the development of youngster Marcus Rashford.

I think we should sign one striker in the summer and give Rashford the starting position up front. In recent weeks he has shown that he can cause problems to defenders in the Premier League as well as in Europe. With quality service I believe Rashford can become a prolific goalscorer for Manchester United.

Do you think we should keep Ibrahimovic?

If no, then who should we replace him with?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Derby day draw – Match report and analysis

Marouane Fellaini received a straight red card for a headbutt on Sergio Aguero as Manchester United defended resolutely to earn a point in a disappointing goal-less Manchester Derby at the Etihad stadium.

The Belgian midfielder had a minute to forget as he received a yellow card for fouling Aguero. Seconds later, he fouled the striker again who got up in anger and squared up to Fellaini, who lost his cool and pushed his head into the Argentinian. Martin Atkinson had no choice but to show a straight red card with six minutes remaining.

Marouane Fellaini sent off for headbutt on Aguero. (picture: the guardian.com)
Marouane Fellaini sent off for headbutt on Aguero. (picture: the guardian.com)

City created the first clear cut chance of the game as Aguero hit the outside of the post from four yards out. United could have taken the lead as Claudio Bravo was typically hesitant at dealing with a looping ball and slapped it into the path of Armenian Mkhitaryan, who fired straight into the grateful arms of the keeper.

The best chance of the game fell to the unmarked Ander Herrera who directed his header wide of the post from an in-swinging delivery from the lively Marcus Rashford.

Gabriel Jesus had the ball in the net with a couple of minutes remaining only for the linesman to put his flag up for offside. City hardly tested United goalkeeper De Gea as the Reds move to 24 games unbeaten in the Premier League.

United remain fifth, one point behind City and two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.

Post-match reaction

United boss Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports: “We wanted to do more in terms of attacking and to explore more of the counter attack. In the first half we had good control but the second became more difficult. We had to make a decision to play for the draw and had to fight hard to take a point.

“I didn’t watch the Fellaini incident on TV but I spoke with Fellaini. I guess it’s a bit of a red card and a bit of a very smart, very experienced Argentinian player.”

Manchester United captain Michael Carrick on Sky Sports: “It’s a point gained. We thought we could catch City on the break and we did have a couple of chances. It makes things more difficult when you go down to 10 men.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola on BBC Sport: “I am satisfied. I know how difficult it is to play against Manchester United. Every game until the last game now will be a final.”

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany on Sky Sports: “We got a point. It’s not bad but we never felt like the game was difficult. Rashford and Martial have so much ability and such a bright future ahead. They are lightning quick and with a bit more experience can cause a lot more trouble.”

Analysis

United will feel that decisions went against them from referee Atkinson, as Mkhitaryan and Rashford were fouled cynically by Fernandinho and Otamendi, who both escaped without a yellow card. Herrera was also angered by a fierce challenge from Fernandinho, who surprisingly went into the interval without a booking.

It seemed to be a City tactic to disrupt the runs of Rashford off the ball, with many instances of shirt pulling going unseen by the officials. Rashford was constantly in the ear of Atkinson telling him to keep an eye out for challenges off the ball but the referee didn’t seem to spot anything.

Anthony Martial was also on the receiving end of an off the ball foul from Kompany and the tactic was hugely frustrating for the United attackers.

The red card for Fellaini is a difficult one. The Belgian does lean his head into Aguero and makes contact, and as Jose said it was very clever from the striker to get Fellaini to react. I think it was a red card and it was in the heat of the moment but we showed that defensively, we can get the job done.

Mourinho started Rashford out wide, but throughout the half the front three of United kept rotating positions. This was disrupting the City defence and it ultimately led to United’s first half chance of the game as Rashford got beyond Kolarov and laid the ball off to Herrera, who curled the ball towards the back post which Zabaleta had to turn behind for a corner. City had been given their first warning sign.

They didn’t learn and were nearly punished when Rashford outpaced Otamendi to the ball and was racing through only for the defender to get a crucial touch on the ball to send it out for a corner kick.

The interchanging of the United attackers kept the City defenders guessing and also helped out the United fullbacks defensively. Each player was taking turns in the wide role to track the attacking City fullbacks whilst the centre forward would get somewhat of a breather. The tactic worked well as United shut off the supply lines from wide areas which restricted City’s chances of scoring.

It was clear to see that United were missing the presence of Paul Pogba in midfield as we could hardly string together 10 passes in the second half. The Frenchman would have added flair in the midfield and given us more in an attacking sense. The front three put a really good shift in and their attitude was spot on throughout the game.

Pep Guardiola showed that he trusts Claudio Bravo by selecting him to start in goal but the Chilean made an absolute howler which nearly resulted in a United goal. It seemed like a deflected cross would be a routine catch for Bravo, who instead flapped the ball straight into the path of Mkhitaryan, but the Armenian fired straight into the arms of the relieved Chilean.

Ander herrera wastes a brilliant opportunity by heading wide. (picture: the guardian.com)
Ander herrera wastes a brilliant opportunity by heading wide. (picture: the guardian.com)

City had majority of the possession but could not find a way through United’s solid backline. They were limited to long range efforts which were comfortable for David De Gea. Even in the absence of Rojo, Smalling and Jones, United were solid at the back with Daley Blind fitting in perfectly at centre back.

Overall, the result keeps us in the hunt for a top 4 position, with a win in our game in hand taking us above Liverpool. United face Swansea next at Old Trafford this Sunday in a must win game.

Your thoughts

What did you think of the game? A point gained or two points dropped?

Did Fellaini deserve the red card?

Let us know by leaving a comment below, or by tweeting us @UnitedStandMUFC or my personal account @AbzMulla6.

 

 

“Shaw’s future depends on proving Jose wrong” – United legend

Luke Shaw has been warned by United legend Gary Neville that his reputation will be severely damaged if he doesn’t respond to José Mourinho’s criticism of his commitment to Manchester United.

Shaw wasn’t in the squad during Saturday’s frustrating goalless draw with West Brom. The left-back’s future looks uncertain after Mourinho said he cannot compare his attitude with those of United’s other left-backs, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young. The Portuguese said Shaw was a “long way behind” in terms of commitment, focus and ambition.

The manager’s criticism has raised the prospect of the England defender leaving United this summer, with Spurs reportedly monitoring the situation. However, Neville, who worked with Shaw on the National team, has urged the 21-year-old to prove his manager wrong.

“The reality of it is Luke Shaw will be given a chance to play in a few weeks time and it’s his performance on the pitch that will count. He has the talent to play for Manchester United,” said Sky Sports pundit Neville.

“Players have got to be able to handle it. He’s playing for Man United and he’s got to fill that shirt and have broad shoulders. It’s worked with Mkhitaryan and Martial, they’ve responded, and Luke Shaw needs to respond in the same way.”

One thing for sure is that before Shaw suffered the horrendous leg break last season, he was an asset to the side. However, it seems that the injury has pushed him two steps backwards in terms of confidence and quality, which is why he needs to work hard to regain his form.

At just 21 years of age, Shaw has plenty of time to become a regular in the left-back spot at Manchester United and I strongly feel he could hold down that position for several years.

The worst thing for us to do at this point is sell Luke Shaw. Selling him would mean splashing the cash on yet another unproven young left-back, which is totally unnecessary seeing as we have one already. Shaw proved that he can live up to his potential in his first season at United and I am certain that he can regain confidence and become one of the best left-backs in the Premier League.

Is Neville right?

Should United sell Luke Shaw?

Was Jose correct to publicly criticise the young fullback?

Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Man United win thrilling EFL Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th minute winner as Manchester United overcame a spirited Southampton side at Wembley in an entertaining EFL Cup final.

United took the lead through a powerful Ibrahimovic free-kick which flew past the diving Fraser Forster.

Jesse Lingard added a second with a composed finish from 12 yards as United looked to cruise to a comfortable victory.

But Southampton roared back in added time of the first half as Gabbiadini pulled one back with a cheeky finish through the legs of De Gea from point blank range.

Southampton started the second half on the front foot and got the equaliser through a fantastic on the turn finish by Gabbiadini again.

United were on the back foot as Southampton looked the most likely to snatch victory. Romeu came closest for the Saints as his header cannoned off the post.

But it was Zlatan who stole the show at Wembley as he powered in a header to seal the victory for United. Ander Herrera delivered an enticing cross and Zlatan converted the chance expertly beyond Forster to break Southampton hearts.

Wayne Rooney lifts the EFL Cup for Manchester United (Picture: guardian.com)
Wayne Rooney lifts the EFL Cup for Manchester United (Picture: guardian.com)

Southampton will feel angry after Gabbiadini had a goal ruled out wrongly for offside when the game was scoreless.

The win secures Jose Mourinho’s first major trophy in his first season as manager of United, a record which no other United manager has achieved.

This silverware is proof of the apparent improvement under Mourinho who has instilled the will to win into the squad, who also have the ability to grind out victories.

The absence of Mkhitaryan meant the fluidity in attack was removed, with Juan Mata being ineffective in the first half. Mourinho hauled off the Spaniard at half-time and introduced Michael Carrick for his calming presence in midfield.

Southampton created all sorts of problems for United, and can feel proud of how hard they fought against a very strong United side, but ultimately the difference in class showed as Zlatan powered in the winner.

Match winner Ibrahimovic said, “This is a team effort. This is what I came for – to win and I am winning. The more I win the more satisfied I get.”

United boss Jose Mourinho commented, “I’m a bit emotional yes. It’s not easy to win titles and so many times. Winning is always special. The day I don’t get emotional when I win is the day to go home.”

This victory will give the players a massive confidence boost to push on in our charge for a top 4 finish. I seriously think that we will finish second in the league, and of course we’re still well in contention in the FA Cup and Europa League.

How do you think this Cup final victory will impact our league form? Is a second place finish in the league too far fetched?

Leave your thoughts below!

Atletico Madrid and Man United reportedly agree deal for Antoine Griezmann

Manchester United and Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal in principle for French sensation Antoine Griezmann, who is ready to join the Red Devils in the summer, according to reports in France.

United are still to agree a deal with the forward, but it is thought that he is desperate to join United and play with compatriot and close friend Paul Pogba.

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has promised to try his hardest to keep Griezmann at the club after admitting that United were one of the several clubs trying to lure the forward away from the Los Rojiblancos.

Griezmann signed a new contract last June which ties him to Atletico until 2021, but the contract contains a £85 million release clause, which if triggered, leaves Atletico helpless in keeping their star man.

Griezmann and Pogba share a joke while on duty for France (Picture: thesun.co.uk)
Griezmann and Pogba share a joke while on duty for France (Picture: thesun.co.uk)

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has already given the green light for Griezmann to leave and has said that he won’t stand in the way of a potential transfer.

Simeone said, “I don’t tie anybody down. Griezmann is working well and is currently in great form. I’m not surprised that those that can afford him are seeking him.”

The price tag on Griezmann’s head shouldn’t be a problem for United, who have the financial capability to splash the cash on the Frenchman as the amount will almost be made back immediately through shirt sales.

The 25 year old is still below double figures for goals in La Liga this season, with a tally of eight so far in the league.

One thing for sure, the addition of Griezmann to the United squad would add more cutting edge up front. The Frenchman scored against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey semi final first leg on Wednesday as his side fell to a 1-2 defeat at home.

However, if United do sign Griezmann, then it will raise serious questions about the future of United’s all time top goal scorer Wayne Rooney, who has already been linked with a move away from United in the summer.

Can you see Griezmann in a United shirt?

What other signings does Jose need to make in the summer?

Let us know by leaving a comment below!