All posts by Ben Parsons

Sports Writer- The United Stand

Rose open to United move!

Danny Rose has come out in an extraordinary interview with the Sun claiming he wants to play again ‘up north’ and is quoted  as saying “I’m not saying I want out, but if something came to me that was concrete, I’d have no qualms about voicing my opinions to anyone at the club.” This suggests Rose is open to a move away from Tottenham and he is exceedingly unhappy with his club’s lack of business this summer having sold right back Kyle Walker to direct rival Manchester City and not bringing in any new players to improve squad depth.

“I am not playing as well as I have done not to get paid what I think I am worth.”

“If I get to levels I reached last season — and this goes out to everybody — I will make sure I get what I am worth. I don’t know how much longer I might have at this level. I’m not going to be stupid enough not to try and get the most out of it — medals, trophies and salary.”

Rose, 27, clearly feels he is underpaid, rumoured to be on a salary of around £60,000 a week. Moussa Sissoko is a player who has failed to impress at White Hart Lane but is on a higher weekly salary than Rose.

Manchester United and Chelsea are the clubs rumoured to potential suitors for the left-back, however a hefty fee would be required to prize the first choice England fullback away from Daniel Levy’s Tottenham. Rose wants trophies and it is clear that Mourinho could offer him that having secured two last year. Mourinho is a proven winner whereas Spurs manager Pochettinho is yet to win anything in his managerial career.

With Rose seemingly putting himself on the market, it remains unclear whether United manager Jose Mourinho wants to sign Rose but United have the financial backing to be able to bring the Englishman in. Rose offers pace and attacking threat for United in a position currently occupied by defensive minded fullback Matteo Darmian. The 27 year old would be perfect in the left wing back role in a 3 at the back system giving balance to United’s side matching the pace of Antonio Valencia on the opposite wing. Rose would give healthy competition in the left back role at Old Trafford.

However many United fans have no interest in Rose, as we already have a highly talented young English left back in our ranks in Luke Shaw. Shaw has the potential to be a better player than Rose and fight him for the England left back spot at the World Cup in the summer. But Shaw is injury prone and it is no guarantee that he can play to his potential when fit having suffered these long term setbacks. Signing Rose would be taking a player from a direct rival, weakening Spurs but immediately giving a boost to United’s squad.

What do you think about Rose? Do you want him at United? Leave a comment down below or let us know on twitter @UnitedStandMUFC !

Juan Mata’s gesture a touch of class in sport dominated by greed

Juan Mata has recently pledged to donate 1% of his  United salary to Common Goal, which is run by the organisation streetfootballworld,  helping over 120 based football charities. The United midfielder has also encouraged more football professionals to do the same:

“I am leading this effort, but I don’t want to be alone,”

“I am launching something that I hope will change the world, even if only in some small way.”

The Spaniard has created a Common Goal ‘starting 11’ in which he wants 10 fellow professionals to step forward and donate a fraction of their salary to charities across the world. There is no doubt that this money will change the lives of many football fans across the world and I feel it is appropriate for more footballers earning these huge sums to step forward and lead by example. In a month in which we have just seen the first £200 million transfer in Neymar to PSG it is mind boggling to think where money could take football in years to come. The money made from footballers can change the lives of the less fortunate with actions such as those of Mata, but is now up to other elite stars to follow in his footsteps. Neymar is set to earn £515,000 a week after tax at his new club PSG, and it would be ridiculous to suggest this extortionate salary was not one of his main draws to the French capital. If Neymar was to also donate 1% of his salary then he would be giving over £5,000 a week, incredible as so many of us would dream to earn that fee in a month. You begin to wonder if footballers are just selfish individuals driven by money and ego. Recent moves to China from high profile Premier League players such as Ramires and Oscar show earning potential can easily have more importance than football ambition. Don’t get me wrong, I understand these players are guaranteeing financial security for their families for generations to come but even a small donation like Mata said, can change the world.

Juan Mata, however, epitomises the perfect professional. He is the ultimate nice guy of football and it is hard to think of a player who could move from one high profile club to another in Chelsea and United without being hated by one set of fans, but he is adored by both. His interaction with the fans is rare but is important to him, as he remembers being one in Spain many years ago. Mata writes his own blog for United fans to read during the week, inspiring many across the world and gives an insight into being such an elite footballer. I would highly recommend United fans checking it out if they have not already. These money-driven  footballers should look at the Spaniard in the classy manner he conducts himself and learn a thing or two.

Mata oozes class both on and off the pitch and United fans or football fans in general should respect and admire the true professionalism he shows, rare in this money driven world where footballers are lost in the amount of zeros added to their pay check.  We are lucky to have him!

 

Fosu-Mensah having medical at Crystal Palace ahead of loan move

Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah is to undergo a medical today at Crystal Palace ahead of the season-long loan move to the London club.

The 19 year old  is set to link up with fellow countryman and Crystal Palace manager Frank De Boer. De Boer has prioritized the versatile Dutchman as a key signing this summer having been also linked with another Dutch United player in Daley Blind.

Fosu-Mensah was starved of first team opportunities in Mourinho’s side last year only making 10 appearances last term. With the depth of United’s squad improved from last season, it was unclear how many minutes the Dutchman would play which could hinder the development of a player many United fans would like to see be the dominating force of their midfield in years to come. United fans have seen glimpses of Fosu-Mensah’s talent in the Louis Van Gaal era where he impressed but struggled to break into the first team last year under Mourinho, blighted by injuries and lack of opportunities.

However a move to Crystal Palace could be the perfect way for the youngster to develop, playing regular first team football in a Premier League side. Fosu-Mensah was used as right-back cover last season under Mourinho but could be deployed in different positions in a 3-4-3 system in which De Boer is likely to play. The 19 year old’s preferred position is central midfield and could also play as a centre back in the 3 at the back formation.

This is seen as the next step for Fosu-Mensah to becoming a United first team regular following Andreas Pereira in having a season-long loan move away from the club. Pereira is now likely to be in Mourinho’s first team plans having impressed in his season at relegated Granada and a superb season at Crystal Palace for Fosu-Mensah would force himself into Mourinho’s plans.

A move for Fosu-Mensah could also free up space in the squad for PSG fullback Serge Aurier who United have been heavily linked with in recent days. The Ivorian wold suit United playing at right wing back in the 3-5-2 system and also provide competition to Antonio Valencia. However a deal for Aurier is uncertain due to an impending court case deciding whether the defender can enter the UK.

Matic holds key to United’s Title Charge

Jose Mourinho has conquered domestically in the first two seasons at each club he has been at. Now, at United it is one of his previous warriors that could prove to be imperative in this campaign, 29 year old Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic.

Matic is a signing that divides opinion from United fans, however one thing that is clear is that Mourinho has full faith in him to be the anchor of United’s midfield. Mourinho first signed Matic when the Serb played for Benfica in a deal worth £21m in 2014. He started all but 3 Premier League games in Chelsea’s stroll to the title in the 2014/15 season, the unsung hero in the Chelsea side led by Willian, Diego Costa and the brilliant Eden Hazard, giving him a place in the PFA team of the season. It is also easy to forget his role in Antonio Conte’s side last season starting 30 of the 38 Premier League games. Matic was overshadowed  by the PFA player of the year N’golo Kante but was the rock in Chelsea’s midfield. Matic made 121 appearances for Chelsea in his 3 year stay, proving to be a reliable, ever-present top tier Premier League midfielder. Many questions have been asked about Matic’s price tag which is believed to be around £40m.

However in a hugely inflated market in which Manchester City have spent over £100 million on two new full backs, I see the price fee for Matic relatively acceptable. He knows Jose well and also knows how to win a Premier League title. Alternative such as Eric Dier would have demanded a heftier fee and would also have been more of a risk, still not proven at only 23 years old in a Spurs side that is still trophy less despite two promising campaigns. Matic offers security, assurance and quality to United’s midfield.

How will he fit?

Matic is likely to sit as a defensive midfielder for United accompanied in a midfield 3 by Ander Herrera and club record signing Paul Pogba. His ability to hold his position and make key interceptions will allow Paul Pogba to move defence to attack quickly as United go on the counter, which could be seen frequently in big away games in the famous Mourinho smash and grab victory. Matic’s movement across the ground in order to reach key interceptions and turn over the play in his sides favour. This is an improvement on Michael Carrick who is now clearly declining and is not as influencial to United’s midfield as he once was. The Serbians ability on the ball will also allow United’s attacking 3 time and space. Matic had a pass completion percentage of over 87% last season, with 7 Premier league assists not to be underestimated from a deep lying role. He is unlikely to pop up with goals but showed many what he is capable of with his strike against Spurs in the FA cup semi final last season.

The 29 year old could also feature in a 352 system that Mourinho has been deploying in some pre-season games on the US tour. He would have more freedom to influence the game in a more offensive way in a 352 system knowing he has 3 centre halfs in Lindelof, Bailly and perhaps Smalling or Jones to cover in deep lying areas allowing Matic to venture further forward. Matic’s comfort in possession is a huge advantage to Mourinho’s United, who I felt were very one dimensional last season having to resort to long floated balls to Marouane Fellaini’s chest to begin attacks in what was a very immobile United midfield. The balance Matic gives United will allow our attacking players such as Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitayran to prosper both domestically and on the European stage. The least United fans expect this season is a title challenge and Nemanja Matic could be the final piece of the puzzle, being the balancing act that would take United to their 21st Premier League title.

 

 

Chelsea to start Lukaku bidding war?

Chelsea have matched Manchester United’s offer of £75m for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku. Antonio Conte is said to be furious that United have potentially hijacked a deal for the Belgian and have ordered senior Chelsea officials to match the lucrative offer made by the Old Trafford club.

Manchester United’s camp remains confident that a deal for the striker will get over the line, with the club embarking on their US pre-season tour this weekend. Lukaku was reportedly set to undergo a medical in LA, where he is currently holidaying with potential teammate Paul Pogba, before joining his new colleagues on the tour. However a new bid from Chelsea has matched United’s, leaving the decision up to Lukaku on which club he chooses.

A factor in Lukaku’s decision is Mino Raiola, his agent who would be set to make far more money off a move to Old Trafford than a move to Chelsea. Whether this is a factor that will affect the striker’s decision is unclear.

Wayne Rooney’s Everton move could still give United another advantage in their attempts to seal their 2nd deal of the summer having bought Benfica defender Victor Lindelof for £31m.

News broke on Thursday morning that Everton had agreed a deal with Manchester United that would see the Belgian striker move to Old Trafford for a fee of around £75m. United are still confident the deal will be done but it is not ideal for Jose Mourinho, desperate for a number 9 after the exit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Lukaku, having scored 25 goals in the Premier League last season, is Mourinho’s preferred choice as his new striker.

Morata ‘set to sign’ for United

Alvaro Morata is on the verge of signing for Manchester United in a deal worth up to £70m according to widespread reports in the Spanish media. A deal for the Spaniard has been on the cards for weeks, with Real Madrid holding out for a higher price for their striker.

Spanish paper MARCA claim a deal for Morata is likely to be agreed within the coming hours, with United just £3.8m short with their fee with a bid of £65m. The Spaniard is set to earn 25million euros over a huge 5 year contract at Old Trafford.

Morata has been top of Jose Mourinho’s summer transfer targets and a deal for the player he once worked with is finally set to get over the line. This deal will appease many United fans who have grown frustrated from United’s lack of transfer activity, having only signed defender Victor Lindelof so far for a fee of around £31m.

Reports have also broken late on Wednesday night concerning a potential world record move for Romelu Lukaku so it is unclear whether both strikers will be signed which would signal a huge sign on intent from CEO Ed Woodward and co. Both strikers could fetch a combined fee of £170m, taking United’s summer spending over £200m as Jose Mourinho plans his title charge.

United ‘closing in’ on £100m Lukaku

Manchester United are closing on a sensational move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku just hours after a deal for Wayne Rooney to return to his boyhood club had been revealed as reported by the Mirror. 

Mourinho believes Wayne Rooney could be used as a negotiating  tool in order to get the deal for the Belgian striker over the line. Lukaku is a proven Premier League goalscorer and could fit perfectly into United’s team, despite Mourinho once letting him go in his time at Chelsea.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright met with Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford yesterday in London and is desperate for Rooney’s return to Goodison Park. It is thought that a deal for Lukaku would not directly involve Rooney but it could help for United in negotiations for the Belgian if United were to compete with Chelsea.

Lukaku’s agent is Mino Raiola who has strong connections with the Old Trafford club having been involved in huge deals which brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to Manchester last summer.

A fee of £100m would be required for United to secure Lukaku’s services and would represent a huge coup for United who have grown frustrated at their lack of transfer activity this summer. However, a deal is not certain as United are already in advanced talks for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata who would himself demand a fee of up to £70m. Signing two strikers of such pedigree would show a real sign of intent from United in a window where both fans and manager Jose Mourinho have become increasingly frustrated. United would also have to see off strong interest from Chelsea to sign the Belgian goalscorer.

 

Smalling to hold ‘showdown talks’ with Jose Mourinho

Chris Smalling is to hold talks with manager Jose Mourinho about his future as he seeks regular first team football. The 27 year old centre back is targeting a place in England’s squad at next summer’s World Cup in Russia and feels playing first team football is essential.

However, having brought in Swedish defender Victor Lindelof, it is unclear whether Smalling is in Mourinho’s plans for the new season. Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Lindelof, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe are all recognized centre backs at Old Trafford and it is thought that Mourinho would be willing to let at least one of them go.

Smalling fell out of favour last season in a campaign blighted with injuries. The defender came under public criticism from manager Mourinho who questioned his desire to play through his injury to his foot. Marcos Rojo and Bailly became the main defensive pairing and it is likely Mourinho will choose Lindelof and Bailly as his first choice pairing.

Smalling did however play in both the Europa League and EFL cup success so there is potential for Smalling to fight his way into the boss’ plans for the new season ahead. He has already spent 7 seasons at Old Trafford having initially joining from Fulham, winning 2 Premier League titles.

There is rumoured interest from Premier League clubs such as Leicester City and West Ham, but newly wedded Smalling believes as an established England centre back that he is good enough to play European football. Arsenal, who have also been linked, would be a suitable move if it turns out that the defender is not in Mourinho’s plans.

Who will fill United’s 7, 9 and 10 shirts?

With club record goalscorer Wayne Rooney’s departure to boyhood club Everton imminent, the number 7, 9 and 10 shirts are now all vacant at Old Trafford. United are now moving forward and it will be now interesting to see who will fill the void of these famous shirt numbers.

Number 7

The number 7 shirt at Old Trafford has been the most famous shirt in football, having been worn by George Best,  Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Bryan Robson and Cristiano Ronaldo

At the start of the summer it was expected that French star Antoine Griezmann would take the number 7 shirt previously filled by Memphis, however his loyalty towards Athletico Madrid caused him to stay after their transfer ban was upheld. The number 7 shirt could still be reserved for Griezmann next summer but there are also other options who could fill the most famous shirt of all.

Marcus Rashford is the rising star at Old Trafford and many United fans feel the local boy has earned the number 7 shirt. The 19 year old is certainly marketable enough to take the shirt number instead of wearing 19, however it remains to be seen if this would be a step taken too soon as Rashford is not yet a regular starter under Jose Mourinho. Rashford may also be more suited to the number 9 shirt as a natural centre forward.

A new star surprise signing could be given the number 7 shirt. Colombian sensation James Rodriguez is one of the most marketable players in world football with a huge global following, and could be perfect to wear the 7 shirt and reignite a stop start career so far at Real Madrid. Rodriguez would also be suited to the number 10 shirt as a playmaker but it would be difficult for United to prize both Rodriguez and first choice striker target Alvaro Morata away from the Spanish capital. A shock signing who could also fill the number 7 would be Alexis Sanchez, who despite appearing to be on his way out of Arsenal,  looking  as if he will be on his way to Bayern Munich or Man City.

Number 9

The number 9 shirt was left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season having scored 28 goals in the shirt. A new striker signing is a must for United who would have only Rashford and Martial as striking options if Rooney was also to leave. United should bring in 2 strikers for the new season as one would simply not be enough if the new signing picked up an injury.

Alvaro Morata is the transfer saga of the summer and the deal has been seemingly imminent for weeks. A price for the Spanish striker can not be agreed but the Real Madrid striker is Mourinho’s first choice striker and is most likely to take the number 9 shirt next season with a deal for Morata hopefully to be concluded before United set off on their US tour.

Torino striker Andrea Belotti is also on Mourinho’s radar and could also fill the 9 shirt, but could be brought in as a second striker so it would be unlikely for him to take the number 9 shirt. Mourinho has interest in the Italian and it is rumoured that a bid has been placed, and may be first choice if a deal for Alvaro Morata can not be agreed.  The 23 year old forward scored 26 goals for Torino in Serie A last season.

Romelu Lukaku could also become United’s number 9 and be the big marquee signing of the summer. Lukaku has already said that he has agreed a deal with a new club and his most likely destination is old club Chelsea. I think despite his critism, the Belgian striker would be a fantastic addition, having pace and power in abundance, and is also a proven Premier League goalscorer. Many fans have questioned whether Rooney’s move to Everton involves an agreement for Lukaku, or Ross Barkley.

An outsider for the number 9 shirt would be 18 year old Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe who would demand a fee from Monaco of over £100m. However it is thought Real Madrid will sign the youngster when they receive the money from United for Alvaro Morata.

Number 10

The number 10 shirt could be given to a player already in United’s squad. Paul Pogba’s marketability is clear and he would fill the number 10 shirt easily. Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan could also fill the shirt having previously worn number 22 last year.

A new creative player brought in could wear the 10 jersey left by the likely departure of Rooney such as Rodriguez from Real Madrid or Lukaku, who despite being a striker wore the number 10 shirt at Everton.

It is unclear who United will fill these shirt numbers  with but with Rooney’s likely departure, United fans can be excited that a big new signing could be heading to Old Trafford.

 

United Set to Reignite Belotti Interest

Manchester United have made a move to sign Italy forward Andrea Belotti according to reports in Italy. The 23 year old has been a wanted man having scored 26 goals for Torino last season, and is seen as one of the most promising strikers in European football.

According to tuttosport, the initial move for Belotti has been knocked back, with Torino holding out for the Italians 100 million euro release clause (£88m). United’s new head scout, Javier Ribalta, who arrived from Juventus just last week is said to be at the forefront of negotiations.

The Italian striker is currently on holiday in Ibiza so any move would not happen immediately, with Milan and PSG also interested in the frontman.

Many United fans would love to see Belotti at Old Trafford, his aerial dominance and finishing prowess just what United need to replace the void filled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season. However it is unclear whether an offer will be made that will force Torino to sell their star man.

Alvaro Morata is also high in Jose Mourinho’s transfer list and a deal could be done shortly after the Spaniard cut short his honeymoon to try to speed up negotiations to leave the Bernabeau. The striker wants a move away from the Spanish capital to improve his chances of featuring in the World Cup for Spain next year. It is thought that Mourinho has promised Morata the number 9 shirt next season and the appeal of regular first team football has enticed him to United.

It is unclear whether United would sign two forwards this summer, however a move for Morata would leave United still short up front, with Rashford, Martial and Morata the only recognizable number 9’s. This may cause Mourinho to dip into the transfer market for another forward to bolster his striking options ahead of the new campaign.