The above quote, published by Mark Ogden, will no doubt attract criticism and ridicule on social media but is it really that far wide of the mark? Continue reading Is a Zlatan return a good thing?
Marcus Rashford’s career at Old Trafford started better than anyone could have imagined. From trying to break into the U21 team to starting and scoring twice to help United beat FC Midtjylland. The young striker made a habit scoring on every debut he ever made. Continue reading Does Rashford need a move?
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.
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.
The 26 year old Brazilian born is a reported target for Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United with rumours that all have scouted the midfielder this season.
Interest in the Italian International is ever-growing with his fine displays in the middle of the field continue to be crucial for Napoli who currently sit at the top of the pile in the Serie A.
Jorginho has two years left in Naples but his agent believes the midfielder would quickly settle in the Premier League but also refused to confirm nor deny a £60 million valuation set by Napoli.
‘I follow the Premier League. I’m sure Jorginho has the characteristics to play there. He runs more than 13 km every game and he has a great technique. I don’t have a figure in my mind, the price is set by the president.’
Despite this, Joao Santos has admitted there isn’t anything ‘concrete’ at this moment in time but tells the media that ‘It’s normal for top European clubs to keep players of this type on their radars. ‘We’re waiting for May. We hope Napoli can win the league. Then if Napoli wants to renew the contract, we can talk about it.
‘The same if they want to sell Jorginho. There are no official and concrete proposals for him from UK. ‘We are available to deal with [Napoli]. He has become Neapolitan and is in a family. He is a top level player.’
|UEFA Champions League||2||162||1||–||–||–||1||84.9||–||–||7.38|
|UEFA Europa League||0(1)||8||–||–||–||–||–||92.3||–||–||6.42|
|Total / Average||28||2130||3||4||4||0||0.6||89.1||0.5||0||7.09|
While Man City continues to impress and dominate every week in the Premier League questions are beginning to be asked of Jose Mourinho and his players; are they good enough to challenge next season? As Man City are set to strengthen to their already world class squad, who are the weak links in the Manchester United squad that the club cannot afford to have next season?
Two of those whom don’t meet the requirements to play for this club are:
Transfer fee: £27,500,000
Marouane Fellaini has been a controversial signing ever since he walked through the doors of Carrington alongside ‘The Chosen One’ David Moyes.
The Belgium International has been used as a somewhat go to player under José Mourinho’s tenure so far with direct plays and long balls being used as a way back into the game. However, the 6’4 midfielder never has had the skill or the ability to play for a club of Manchester United’s stature.
He was a panic buy from the Scotsman who missed out on targets such as Cesc Fabregas and by doing so over spent for a mid-table wreckless midfielder. Fellaini will always be a liability to the defence with his wreckless challenges and flailing arms. With rumours a new contract is trying to be negotiated for him the Belgian is playing hardball and is demanding a higher salary than what has been offered.
My Verdict: He never has and never will be good enough to play for Manchester United and therefore should be let go in the summer. If Mourinho needs a tall bushy haired midfielder; we have an exciting 6ft tall teenager, Tahith Chong who every fan would rather see step onto the Old Trafford turf alongside the first team.
Transfer fee: £17,000,000
Ashley Young, bought in his prime in 2011 from Aston Villa by Sir Alex Ferguson he was used sparingly as an in and out left winger. Of late the experienced ex England International has been playing in deeper wing back roles and on either flank.
The transition from right midfield to right back for United skipper Antonio Valencia has been a revelation with the Ecuadorian finding his feet and putting in mammoth performances every week for the past few years, becoming an integral rock in the united defence. However, the transition for Ashley Young has not been quite as smooth. With a few months of fine performances almost solidifying his left back position under Louis Van Gaal delivering fine crosses into the box on either foot making the defence guess was a joy to watch for the small period that he produced it.
But with poor performances being turned out each week the fans are left questioning why Mourinho keeps starting the aging Englishman over the young and exciting Luke Shaw who has bags of potential but is just not been shown the same faith from the manager as is from the fan base.
My Verdict: Ashley Young is now too old and doesn’t have the nohow to play in the left back role. His defensive positioning is terrible and recovery is not good enough. His recent performances remind me of an even worse aging Patrice Evra who just didn’t have the legs to get back anymore. The difference is the fans still love Patrice whereas i don’t fully think Ashley has ever won over the fans at Old Trafford in his seven year stint. He needs to leave and allow Luke Shaw and others such as Joe Riley a chance and let the club grow and get stronger especially in the defensive areas.
Manchester United’s squad is full of talented and quality international players, all competing to make the starting lineup. But Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind seem to have fallen out of favour with the manager recently and have seemingly been forgotten by the footballing world.
Matteo Damian and Daley Blind have fallen out of favour at United recently.
The Decline of the Defensive Duo
Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind were signed by former manager Louis Van Gaal and both enjoyed favour under the Dutch manager. Blind, who was signed in 2014, made 24 league appearances and even claimed 2 goals in his first season. His popularity under Van Gaal continued into his second season with the reds, where he made a further 35 league appearances and helped United to win their first silverware in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era. Italian full-back Matteo Darmian enjoyed similar favour and popularity under Van Gaal, making 25 appearances after signing in 2015. Both Darmian and Blind were clearly valuable players in Van Gaal’s eyes, making a combined 60 appearances in his final season with United. Both defenders also featured in the FA Cup final, with Blind playing the full game and Darmian coming on a substitute. This good fortune and popularity would not last for the defensive pair though.
In Mourinho’s first season neither Darmian nor Blind dramatically fell out of favour. Both still made a respectable number of appearances across all competitions and played the whole game in the 2017 Europa League Final, but things have been very different this season.
Matteo Darmian has only made 4 league appearances so far this season, compared to almost 30 in his first season. Blind has similarly fallen out of favour, making only 5 league appearances so far. The last time Darmian made an appearance for the reds was in late January against Yeoville in the FA Cup. Blind has similarly only really clocked up minutes in cup competitions, with his last United appearance being in early January in United’s victory against Derby. The defensive pair are undoubtedly struggling at United now, yet Mourinho has held onto both of them through the January transfer window.
The revival of Luke Shaw’s career may have contributed to the decline of the pair, Blind especially, as he often occupied the left back position. However Ashley Young has even enjoyed playing in this position, highlighting how Blind truly has fallen out of favour and faces substantial competition to get in the team.
The revival of Luke Shaw’s career may have contributed to Blind’s decline in popularity. However he also faces competition from the likes of Ashley Young.
Blind and Darmian have shown that they can slot in practically anywhere in defense when the opportunity arises. This may have been one of Mourinho’s main reasons for keeping the defensive duo at Old Trafford. Given the injury struggles the team has endured over the past few seasons, Mourinho may recognise the worth that having two flexible defensive players adds to the team. As United battle on in three competitions having two versatile players, who can slot into the squad. Injuries, squad rotation and fatigue will mean that having players like Blind and Darmian can take some of the pressure off the regulars and clock up some valuable minutes on the pitch.
Additionally it is entirely possible that Mourinho could already be thinking about next season. With the retirement of club captain and fan favourite Michael Carrick looming, Mourinho may be eyeing Blind (who is in fact actually a defensive midfielder) up as a possible successor or at least a possible reserve defensive midfielder.
The defenders were reportedly being pursued be multiple teams, with Roma and Juventus amongst the rumoured suitors. However Mourinho has kept a firm hand on the defensive pair. Whether they last in Mourinho’s United team or do eventually get sold in the summer, for now, as the fixture list grows busier and busier keeping players like Darmian and Blind could prove to be the difference between being able to keep the team afloat and performing at the best possible level, as the reds move forwards in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
Toni Kroos is Manchester United’s number one summer transfer target according to Miguel Delaney in the Independent.
There had been rumours circulating last week that Paul Pogba could leave Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer, but contrary to those reports Mourinho apparently wants to bring Kroos to Old Trafford to play in a midfield three with Pogba and Matic, not to replace Pogba.
Mourinho has made it clear in the last few weeks that his priority this summer is a midfielder and has even gone as far as to say there will be no attacking additions, as he focuses solely on midfield and defence.
Kroos would be a stunning signing for Manchester United, considering he’s arguably one of the world’s top midfielders, at the peak of his powers playing for the world’s best side. However, United fans will also be weary of any transfer business involving Real Madrid due to their long held interest in David De Gea. Could United really expect to sign Kroos and retain De Gea?
What is undeniable is that a sea of change is coming to Real Madrid this summer. Whilst they may retain the Champions League and become the first club to win it three years in a row, there’s no escaping the embarrassment of effectively losing the La Liga title to Barcelona with half the season still to go. Madrid will busy in the transfer market this summer as they look to bounce back from that humiliation and Manchester United may see that as a chance to swoop in and sign Kross?
Whether they can or not remains to be seen. Don’t miss our three midfielders Manchester United must sign this summer video here
Mauro Icardi could sign for Manchester United this summer according to the Guardian.
Inter Milan are desperately trying to pin Icardi down to a new contract but fear the spending power of a Manchester United or Real Madrid could be too much for Icardi to resist. Added in to that Icardi also has a 90 million Euro release clause that comes in to play in July. When that clause was originally set it was seen as massively prohibitive to any club who came looking at Icardi. But with prices escalating as they have over the last 18 months, 90 million Euro for one of the world’s best forwards would be a bargain.
Turning 25 in the next few days, Icardi is at the peak of his powers and is about to enter his prime years. Already this season he has 18 goals in 24 games and his speed, intelligence and tenacity would be a perfect fit for the Premier League.
Icardi’s wife acts as his agent but the Guardian report that Mino Raiola, the agent who has brought Zlatan, Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku to Manchester United in the last 18 months alone, is looking to broker the deal. If that is the case then Icardi could be wearing a United shirt sooner than anyone expected.
Marouane Fellaini has agreed to join Besiktas this summer according to reports from Turkey. The BBC Gossip page reports that “Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has agreed a deal to join Besiktas at the end of the season. The Belgium international, 30, is out of contract at the end of the season and could leave on a free transfer.”
Whether Fellaini’s departure would be celebrated by Manchester United fans remains to be seen? Fellaini was David Moyes first signing and to many fans Fellaini is seen as a symbol of what Manchester United have become since the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson – slow, unimaginative, and ultimately not good enough for a side that should be winning titles.
Regardless of what United fans think though, Jose Mourinho is a huge fan of Fellaini – Not once in his tenure has Fellaini been the victim of one of Mourinho’s famous outbursts – and Mourinho will take Fellaini’s departure hard. Which in itself makes Fellaini’s leaving even more remarkable. To walk away from the biggest club in the world with a manager that’s spent months begging you to stay is quite a statement.
So why would Fellaini leave United? Well maybe that was his plan all along? If rumours are to believed an offer of a new contract has been on the table for months and Mourinho has been eager for Fellaini to sign. But at 30 years of age and out of contract the financial packages on offer to Fellaini from abroad are probably way more than United can offer.
If he does go it will be a huge kick in the teeth for Mourinho. For Fellaini to turn his back on Mourinho and United for money abroad after Mourinho has gone against many fans wishes and begged Fellaini to stay will be a big defeat for Jose.