Roma owner James Pallotta has told Manchester United that Kevin Strootman is not for sale at any price and that Louis Van Gaal will have to look elsewhere to strengthen his midfield options in January.
United have been linked with a move for the Dutchman in the winter transfer window, with many suggesting that Van Gaal sees Strootman as the missing piece of his midfield jigsaw, but Pallotta said that once Strootman returns to full fitness following his cruciate ligament injury, he will do so in the Eternal City.
Roy Keane has reopened his war of words with Sir Alex Ferguson by giving a typically forthright version of the events that led to the Irishman leaving the club in 2005.
In his new biography, The Second Half, Keane claims that he felt stitched up by Fergie and Gill, who simply wanted to force him out of the club in the wake of an interviewed he had given to MUTV, in which he had criticised some younger players. Keane insists that Ferguson and Queiroz simply needed an excuse to get rid of him and the decision had been made before he showed up for a meeting with the former United manager and Gill.
After their spending spree this summer, Manchester United have assembled so much attacking talent that the comparison with the Harlem Globetrotters has been almost impossible to escape.
United, however, could move a step closer to the famous American basketball outfit if plans to play lucrative overseas friendlies during the course of the season is to go ahead.
Wayne Rooney has apologised for getting sent off against West Ham on Saturday, a red card which means he will now miss games against Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, though he’ll be back in time for United’s first derby of the season, away to City on November 2.
Showing a remarkable lack of leadership, the United captain lashed out petulantly at Stewart Downing and was rightly sent off, though he has since admitted his was an error of judgment and accepted Lee Mason made the right choice by sending him off.
Having conjured to spectacularly self-implode against Leicester a week ago, United were back to winning ways against West Ham on Saturday, registering their second consecutive home win and, crucially, conceding just once.
What looked to be a fairly routine win after 20 minutes, however, turned out be anything but as United made things complicated for themselves yet again. Here’s five things we have learnt from Saturday.
Manchester United face a defensive crisis as Louis Van Gaal’s already thin defensive options have been further stretched by Chris Smalling’s umpteenth injury.
Smalling suffered a thigh strain in training on Wednesday and is unlikely he’ll be fit to face West Ham on Saturday, leaving Van Gaal without a recognised centre-back, given Jonny Evans and Phil Jones are also sidelined, while Michael Carrick, who had been touted as a possible short-term solution in the role, is still two weeks away from return.
With Tyler Blackett suspended, Marcos Rojo could be given the nod at centre-back alongside Daley Blind with Luke Shaw making his official debut at left-back, though Van Gaal could also opt to temporarily return to a three-man defence if Smalling fails to recover.
It was fun while it lasted, then it unravelled in catastrophic fashion but, bad as it was, there were some positives to be taken from United’s defeat on Sunday. Here’s five things we’ve learnt from Leicester away
Louis Van Gaal has criticised his Manchester United squad for committing “big errors as a team” and allowing Leicester City to turn a 3-1 defeat into a 5-3 success, United’s second defeat in their opening five league games of the season.
Having been 2-0 ahead with less than 20 minutes played, United allowed Leicester back in the game almost immediately, before then stretching their lead to 3-1 with just over 30 minutes left, only to then collapse and concede four goals in less than 25 minutes, as Leicester ran riot.