All posts by Ben Parsons

Sports Writer- The United Stand

Fred ‘delighted’ to join United in 5-year-deal

Manchester United have announced Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred as their second signing of the summer. The deal was finally announced by United today, with the Brazilian joining Jose Mourinho’s side on a 5 year deal.

25 year old Fred is currently still at the World Cup with the Brazil squad, but is excited about his future at Old Trafford:

“This is the biggest club in the world and I am delighted to be a part of this amazing team,

To work with Jose Mourinho, who has won so many trophies in his time as a coach, is an opportunity not to be missed.”

United manager Mourinho was pleased about the addition of the Brazilian: “Fred will complement our other midfielders’ qualities, which we need; his creative brain and passing vision will give us another dimension to our game.”

During his time at Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred contributed to three league titles, three Ukrainian cup and triumphs and a further four Ukrainian Super Cups. He joins young Portuguese full-back Diego Dalot at Old Trafford, United’s only other summer signing who signed from Porto in a deal believed to be worth around £20m.

Fred will team up with Mourinho’s other midfield options, including Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Scott Mctominay and Paul Pogba. The United manager will be hoping these midfield options will be able to compete in a potential title challenge with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Maraoune Fellaini’s future remains uncertain at the club with his contract running out at the end of this month. A contract remains on the table for the Belgian, currently at the World Cup, with Arsenal and AC Milan also linked as potential suitors for the midfielder.

United close in on Porto full-back Diogo Dalot

Manchester United are close to making Portuguese u21 international Diogo Dalot their first summer signing, with United expected to trigger the player’s £17.5m release clause. The deal for Dalot is expected to be finalised in the coming days.

Jose Mourinho believes Dalot can provide competiton for ageing right-back Antonio Valencia, as well as providing back up in the left back position. The 19 year old will replace Matteo Darmian as defensive cover who is set to join Italian Champions Juventus after an unsuccessful spell at Old Trafford. Daley Blind is also likely to leave the club this summer having failed to impress Mourinho last season.

Despite just making six full appearances for Porto last season, Dalot is regarded very highly and has the potential to become one of the world’s best full-backs. He is described as a modern day versatile full-back, who has pace and the ability to deliver a good cross.

This signing raises doubts over Timothy-Fosu Mensah’s future, having spent the season out on loan at Crystal Palace last year. The Dutch defender may have expected to be Antonio Valencia’s understudy for the new campaign but will now have to work even harder to prove his worth to Jose Mourinho.

United are also working on deals to sign Shaktar midfielder Fred and Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld before the World Cup starts, with the players likely to cost a combined £100m.

 

 

Jose will sanction Zlatan exit

Jose Mourinho will allow  Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United if reports are true that the Swedish striker wants to leave the club. Widespread reports have stated MLS club LA Galaxy are in pole position to sign the 36 year old and a deal could be completed shortly.

Mourinho was asked about Ibrahimovic ahead of United’s important Premier League game against Tottenham on Wednesday.

“Zlatan is in the last year of his contract. If that is true and Zlatan wants a future in another club in another country, we are here to help and to create conditions for that to happen, not to make his life difficult.”

“But Zlatan told me he wants to recover and feel ready to help the team.”

“He’s working hard to be fit. I wouldn’t say he’s injured.

“He is in a moment of trying to feel really ready for demands of Premier League football.”

Any deal between United and LA Galaxy could take place before the end of the January transfer window. Ibrahimovic has only scored 1 goal this season in a total of 7 appearances. The striker has been plagued by injuries in his time at Old Trafford, and has not played for United since aggravating his knee ligament injury on Boxing Day in United’s 2-2 home draw with Burnley. The injury was first sustained against Andrelecht last season and he has not quite recovered since.

Zlatan was United’s star man last season leading them to Europa League and League Cup glory, scoring 28 goals in the process. However, the fan favourite’s United career could be coming to the end. The Swede has not been able to justify the huge wages he earns in the one year contract extension signed at the end of last season due to not staying fit. There is a feeling amongst United fans that is now time for Zlatan to move on. We are now looking to the future with the Lukaku United’s number 9.

 

 

 

Tuanzebe joins Aston Villa on loan

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has joined Championship side Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season. The 20 year old will link up with former United player Steve Bruce in his loan spell as well as ex goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

The England under 21 defender made his United debut in United’s 4-0 win over Wigan last January but has yet to establish himself as a first team regular under manager Jose Mourinho, making just 8 appearances.

Tuanzebe was excited for the remainder of the season with his new club:

“We need to push for second place, I think we have a good enough squad,” 
“I would like to help the team win promotion and check in with a few goals.
“The lads here are good quality, a good passing side. They like to play it and that’s what intrigued me to come here.”

Tuanzebe is struggling to get any first team football at United, behind the likes of Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Victor Lindelof in Mourinho’s pecking order. However, the United manager still sees Tuanzebe’s long term future at Old Trafford as he looks to gain valuable experience at Villa Park. United fans would love to see more youth challenging for regular first team spots. Timothy Fosu Mensah and Andreas Pereira, on loan at Crystal Palace and Valencia respectively, are also due back at the club at the end of the season as they look to nail down places in the already strong first team squad.

The loan move for Tuanzebe could hint at a return for Eric Bailly after a long term injury layoff, with Mourinho willing to let go one of his options for defensive cover as he searches for regular first team football. Bailly has been rumoured to be back in time for United’s Champions league tie against Sevilla on the 21st of February.

 

 

 

Jose confirms Sanchez involvement

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Manchester United’s new signing Alexis Sanchez will be in the squad for Friday’s FA Cup tie against Yeovil. The Chilean forward is expected to make his debut as he looks to settle with new teammates ahead of United’s crucial Premier league game away to Tottenham at Wembley.

Mourinho was very happy with the signing of United’s new number 7, and also insisted he is pleased for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his move to Arsenal.

“I saw him successful with every manager with every position,” he said. “He’s a player that becomes more than a player because he can play in every position in attack.
“Alexis changed from a fantastic club to a giant club, and Mkhi changed also for a fantastic club. It was a great deal for everybody.”

The United manager is also content at the state of his squad for the remainder of the season with United still competing in three competitons.

“I’m very happy and have to say with pride the evolution of Lingard, Martial, Scott McTominay and these kind of young guys.

“At the same time you need a combination with players like Matic and Alexis people that have experience in where we want to be fighting for titles.
“Now we have five attacking players of quality, Mata, Marcus Rashford,  Lukaku, Martial, Alexis and it’s fantastic for me and for the team, if the players one day are on the bench and they don’t like it, I’m happy with that.”

Alexis is likely to make his United debut tomorrow, but it is uncertain whether Mourinho will give a start to United’s statement signing. There is no doubt Sanchez will be eager to play the game as he looks to impress and excite the United fans early on. The 29 year old should be in good condition having missed Arsenal’s couple games due to his impending move.

Mourinho extends United stay

Jose Mourinho has signed a contract extension at Manchester United until 2020, with an option to extend this a further year. The United manager’s current deal was to run out in 2019.

Mourinho was delighted to remain at Old Trafford for another 2 years:

“I would like to say a big thank you to the owners and Ed Woodward”

“We have set very high standards winning three trophies in one season but those are the standards i expect my team to aim for.

We are creating the conditions for a brilliant and successful future for Manchester United. I love my players and it is a please to know we are going to be together for at least the next three years.”

Chief Executive Ed Woodward heaped praise on the United manager, picking out his ‘exceptional workrate’ as well as embracing the clubs desire to promote young players.

“He has brought an energy and a sense of purpose to everything that he does and I am sure that will continue to bring results for the fans and the club”, Woodward said.

Rumours emerged earlier in the season that French club PSG were looking to appoint Mourinho at the end of the campaign, but Jose looks completely content at United.

The United manager has guided United to a League Cup and Europa League title in his first year at the club, and now sets his sights on the FA Cup with the club in action against Yeovil on Friday night.

 

Sanchez officially signs for Man Utd

Manchester United have confirmed they have now signed Alexis Sanchez, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Arsenal. The deal has been well documented over the past week and United have finally revealed Alexis, one of the biggest transfers in Premier League history.

United manager Jose Mourinho had this to say on the straight swap deal:

“Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players. He will bring his ambition, drive and personality, qualities that make a Manchester United player and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige.

“I would like to wish Henrikh all the success and happiness that I am sure he is going to get. He is a player that we will not forget, especially for his contribution to our Europa League victory.”

Sanchez was very excited to join United:

“I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans. 
“The chance to play in this historic stadium and to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down. I am very proud to be the first Chilean player ever to play for United’s first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here.”

The Chilean forward has been given the famous number 7 shirt at Old Trafford, previously worn by United legends David Beckham, Eric Cantona, George, Best, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bryan Robson. Alexis is likely to begin his United career at Yeovil in Friday’s FA cup tie.

 

Juan Mata’s future in doubt as Alexis arrives at United

Juan Mata’s Manchester United appears to be in doubt with the Spaniard’s contract running out in the summer. United manager Jose Mourinho has the option to extend Mata’s contract for another season, however this decision has not yet been made. Valencia have emerged as possible suitors for Mata, which would mean being reunited at his former club. The Spanish club would be able to sign the 29 year old playmaker on a free in the summer if Mata’s contract is not extended.

Mata spent four successful seasons at Valencia before moving to England and signing for Chelsea in 2011. He was then sold by current United boss Mourinho two years later. Many thought Mata would be one of the first departures under Mourinho at Old Trafford, however he has played a pivotal part in Jose’s reign so far. He has been influential this season, notably scoring two superb goals in United’s draw against Leicester. However, he has not been able to secure a place in his preferred position (no10) because of the form of academy graduate Jesse Lingard. Mata has been operating from the right hand side for the majority of his United career, under 3 different managers, with many United fans thinking it is time for more natural pace down the right wing.

Enter Alexis Sanchez. It is unclear yet where Mourinho will play the Chilean, but with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard both in outstanding form, you would feel it’s Mata’s place that is most likely to come under threat. Sanchez is more of a natural threat from the right wing and played there for Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. This would push fan favourite Mata to the bench, already filled by Marcus Rashford, so Mata could be starved of game time due to Sanchez’s arrival.

However, United are still involved in 3 cup competitions and need strength in depth, so there could yet be a role to play for the Spaniard. Mourinho gave his reasoning for wanting Sanchez after his side’s 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor:

“In this moment there is no competition for places,

we have four attacking players for three positions, three are starting, one is on the bench, Zlatan for the whole season was not available.”

It seems that Mourinho still feels he is light in attacking options so one more may need to come in the summer if Mata is to depart.

As a huge fan of Juan Mata it would be a shame to see him go, and he still has that ability to change a game single handily.

Mata could still have a future at Old Trafford but it depends if the Spaniard see’s his future elsewhere.

 

 

Michael Carrick to retire and join United’s coaching staff

Michael Carrick will retire as a Manchester United player at the end of the season, but has taken up a chance to remain at the club as a first team coach. Carrick was was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm following tests last year but has had a procedure to correct the issue. He is now back in training for United but has only managed one first team appearance all season, coming in a victory over Burton in the Carabao Cup.

Mourinho was asked whether Carrick ,36, will take up a coaching role next season:

“When he wants it, yes.”,

He’s a very important player for us. I think the decision – to be made at the end of the season and not last week – is a good decision for the team and a good decision for him to finish playing football and not injured or with some problem.
“So we are all happy and in the end of the season I expect him to join, unless he changes his mind, but the club would be very happy for him to do that. I would be very happy also for him to do that.”

Carrick has enjoyed a hugely successful career at Old Trafford since joining in a £16 million move from Tottenham in 2006. His United career has brought five Premier League titles,  Champions League, Europa League and the Fifa Club World Cup. In his twelve years at the club, including 316 appearances,  Carrick has become a fan favourite for his consistent yet classy performances, most notably under Sir Alex Ferguson in United’s period of dominance. The 36 year old midfielder has been through the lot with the club during his stay and can be no doubt considered a United great.

 

Sanchez set for United Medical

Alexis Sanchez’s impending transfer to Manchester United has edged closer after a breakthrough in negotiations late last night. The Chilean forward is now free to have his medical  in Manchester after days of talks between United and Arsenal, involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola. A deal has finally been struck with a swap deal involving Mkhitaryan suiting both parties.

United had missed the 12pm deadline on Friday for Sanchez to be available for their trip to Burnley today and some feared Sanchez could be seen in an Arsenal shirt again after manager Arsene Wenger said he would be selected for their home game against Crystal Palace if a deal was not finalised. However, developments in the move have meant Sanchez is likely to be confirmed as an official United player this weekend. It is a deal that has been dragged out after it was revealed United were in pole position to sign the 29 year old forward early this week, jumping ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign the forward. Many United fans have grown frustrated that it has not yet been confirmed. Complications in the swap with Mkhitaryan going the other way seemed to delay the transfer but it seems likely that the deal is now imminent

It is still unclear whether United will hand Alexis the famous number 7 shirt, which has not been worn since United sold Memphis Depay to Lyon last year. Sanchez has all the attributes needed to take the responsibility of the shirt which United have yet to find a suitable replacement for since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club. He is a world class player, bringing flair and confidence to Old Trafford and is incredibly hard working which both United fans and manager Jose Mourinho will appreciate. Sanchez is expected to make his debut next Friday in United’s FA Cup tie away to Yeovil.