Manchester United have had a bid for Palermo’s striker Paulo Dybala turned down, according to the Serie A club’s president Maurizio Zamparini.
Zamparini told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that he had rejected a bid from United for the Argentinian, insisting that he’s worth more than €40m (£31m), though he added he would speak again about Dybala with United “in six months.”
Paul Pogba has insisted that Manchester United still have a special place in his heart and that his decision to leave Old Trafford was motivated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s reluctance to give him an extended run in the side.
Pogba’s acrimonious exit from Old Trafford has been well documented as the Frenchman, frustrated by the lack of first team opportunities, decided to move to Juventus on a free transfer after United declined to meet his financial demands.
Adnan Januzaj is set to be loaned out in the January transfer window as the Belgium international clearly does not feature in Louis Van Gaal’s plans.
One, if not the only, positive of David Moyes’ tenure at Manchester United, Januzaj has struggled for opportunities under Van Gaal, starting only two Premier League games and playing a meagre 27 minutes from the first week of November, despite the catalogue of injuries that affected United.
Lou Macari and Ron Atkinson have criticised Manchester United’s performance against Southampton on Sunday, claiming that Louis Van Gaal must ensure his philosophy translates to results on the pitch.
Despite having an almost fully-fit squad for the first time in months, United conjured to deliver arguably their worst performance of the season, failing to register a single shot on goal as Southampton ran out deserved winner, after Dusan Tadic made the most of some typically catastrophic defending.
United’s 10-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end against Southampton, as the Reds were totally outplayed by Ronald Koeman’s men, who deservedly clinched a 1-0 win.
United looked bereft of ideas, devoid of momentum and struggled to create any meaningful chances, in fact they failed to register a single shot on goal in 95 minutes and produced arguably their worst performance under Louis Van Gaal, who’s likely to come under intense scrutiny after this result.
Here’s five things we’ve learnt from Sunday.
Manchester United have officially confirmed the signing of former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who has signed an 18-month deal with the club with the option to extend it for a further year.
The 32-year-old had been training at Carrington since October in a bid to recover from a serious knee injury that had seen his proposed move to Monaco collapse last summer and has impressed Louis Van Gaal enough to convince the United manager to offer him a contract.
Louis Van Gaal’s first six months at Old Trafford have been difficult to judge. It feels as if United are still to fully reap the benefits of the summer spending spree, as injuries have hampered all the new arrivals, forcing Van Gaal to constantly reshuffle his team, though after a difficult start United are unbeaten in 10 games in all competition and sit third in the table.
However, while the unbeaten run has included seven wins and United are on track to achieve their target of returning to Europe next season, their performances have been unconvincing and have betrayed a vulnerability that must surely be addressed if a title challenge is to be mounted next season.
Wayne Rooney has been voted Manchester United’s Player of the Month for December, as United ended 2014 in third place on the table on the back of an eight-game unbeaten league run.
With 46% of the votes Rooney finished just ahead of Michael Carrick and Ashley Young, both influential figures during United’s streak which included six consecutive wins across the last two months of 2014.