Kagawa not here to sell shirts while Napoli enters race for Baines

Kagawa not here to sell shirts while Napoli enters race for Baines

Paper Round-up 18 Comments

Despite the fact that England’s first game at Euro 2012 is only five days away, the back pages have little time for line-ups and strategies as they continue to focus on the week’s big story – Rio Ferdinand’s omission from the England squad.

Robbie Fowler might not be much loved around Old Trafford but, through the pages of the Guardian, claims that John Terry is the only reason for Ferdinand exclusion which had nothing to do with the “football reasons” cited by Roy Hodgson, who by now must be wondering what he’s let himself into.

The Guardian and the Sun both report that an activist anti-racism group has demanded an explanation as the Kick It Out campaigners (who are partly funded by the FA) have accused the England manager of “messing it up”, while, through the pages of the Mirror, Danny Welbeck thanks Sir Alex Ferguson for lifting his spirit.

The England striker was victim of a terrible challenge by Nigel de Jong in the derby at Eastlands and thought he would miss the tournament through injury, but Fergie proved to be a strong psychological support and Welbeck has now fought his way back into the team.

Away from the circus that is the England team, the news of the day as far Manchester United fans are concerned is the signing of Shinji Kagawa.

The Japanese international is introduced by the main newspapers, albeit in different ways. While the Guardian focuses on the player and the fee United will have to fork out for him (which could rise up to £17 million), the Sun and the Mirror both report that the former Dortmund playmaker hasn’t been signed purely to sell shirts in the far East.

United’s commercial director Richard Arnold told the Sun that: “We don’t sign players to sell shirts. We are reliant on 25 players and they are all massive stars,” while on the Mirror Bundesliga expert Ross Dunbar dismisses Kagawa as a mere money-making machine as “his dynamism, drive and skill will add just as much to United’s midfield as his shirt sales will to their balance sheet.”

Eurosport UK‘s blog Early Doors offers its views on the transfer, dismissing claims of Kagawa a “consolation prize” and instead pointing out that the Japanese playmaker is a back-to-back title winner in Germany and deserves some respect.

In other transfer news, both the Guardian and the Daily Mail report that United’s target Leighton Baines might be on Napoli’s radar.

However, the Everton fullback is valued at £20 million which is likely to put Napoli, and perhaps even United, off.

Dan (@MUFC_dan87)




Dan is a freelance journalist, whose passion for European and South American football is only bettered by his love for United. He covers opinion columns and players profile and he's been published on The Guardian and various websites and blogs.


  1. ash is the man June 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I have a good feeling about the summer. I think fergie is keen to strengthen the squad and will do us proud. However I do feel we wont sign both tiote and modric, it will be one or the other, I feel fergie will not want to sign so many players in the same postion ( c m ) BUT who knows he might surprise us. We definetley need a player like tiote and although I love modric we not sign him because of kagawa.

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  2. Dan
    Daniele June 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    A player like Tiote is a must, we’ve been outmuscled way too many times recently. I’m happy with Kagawa, despite all the accusations describing as a plan B, he’s been quality for Dortmund for the last two seasons.

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    • Stephen June 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      @Daniele: Tiote would be a terrific signing, we haven’t had a player like him since the early days of Roy Keane. We don’t get into the faces of sides anymore, bully teams which helps us control the tempo of the game. Fergie’s seems to have a blind spot with centre of midfield, he has either been quite lucky there, Butt, Robson, Fletch, Scholes and Giggs or bought well in Keane, Ince and Carrick. This position for me is where he has had most failures, Veron, Webb, Phelan, Anderson, Kelberson, Djemba Djemba and Liam Miller. He has also tried to convert Alan Smith with no success and Giggs, with some success to play there. For me sometimes I feel he gets somewhat nervous, or doesn’t quite know what he wants in there, hence his reluctance to invest in that position there of late

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  3. ash is the man June 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    but realistically do we have a chance of signing tiote? like will newcastle sell? Alan pardew will be reluctant

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    • Stephen June 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      a href=”#comment-189382″>ash is the man: It will be up to the player mate, if he wants to move enough than as we know player power rules.

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  4. Craig Mc June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I am very much against buying Modric at the Spurs price of 35 million plus – after all he is fookin nearly 29 years of age isn’t he?, or am I wrong on that one. Anybody else feel the same way about this? I watched the England/Belgian game, and on that showing I found Dembele better than Hazard, and thought he outshone Hazard. In fact Dembele impressed me. I don’t think we should buy Baines either, as he is 28 now, but I would love Fellaini if we are going to buy anyone from Everton. 😀

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    • Moscow June 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      @Craig Mc: I think Fellaini would match Yaya Toure, so if we also match the creativity of David Silva our midfield will suddenly pull even with City. Modric fits the side perfectly, the only like for like replacement for Scholes in my opinion and if aided with Carrick and Fellaini we’d have an amazing midfield unit with power, style and creativity. After that, a world class striker (or just play Rooney up front FFS) would pull us ahead of City. Scholes saved our season (almost) so signing his replacement would save us for the next few seasons and £35 million is well worth it if the price tag is true.

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  5. Owen June 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    He is only 26.

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    • Moscow June 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      @Owen: 26 is too old, younger players like Anderson at 24 is much better 🙂


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  6. JARaven June 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I doubt we will have another midfield signing, especially if Fergie is really shopping for a left back and a striker. Baines seems like an expensive replacement at 20mil. Is Fryers ready to make the leap into first team action with Fabio out on loan?

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  7. Craig Mc June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    We could get Danny Simpson back on a free as his contract is up and he wants out at Newcastle – anybody think he would be a good get back signing?

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  8. Craig Mc June 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I love Chris Smalling, but he is going to have to become rough house and give it some welly with his defending, especially in the box where his clearances at set pieces particularly are too weak. He allowed that clown from City to get the drop on him for the goal from the corner at a very important time in the game. Toughen up Chris, and practice strengthening your header clearances out of the box, because they are not strong enough – but I think if this happens the lad can be so very excellent for us. Jonesy I am not sure where the feck he will fit in for us.

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    • Yang June 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      @Craig Mc: All of our CBs are very young, Smalling made few mistakes in the box, but you cannot expect perfect performance from youngster, I agree with you about Smallling’s clearing, Dirk Kyut toyed Smalling so badly in the past for example. at least Kyut gone to Turkey ;). Team defending has been a big mess in this season.

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  9. colver June 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I see Jones as the next Johnny O’Shea. Jack of all trades master of none. Useful player to have in a squad but we definitely overpaid for him.

    Kagaya looks a good deal if he can stay injury free. Although I don’t really see him fitting into a 4-4-2. Hopefully the plan is to buy another central midfielder and play him just behind the striker.

    Apparentely both Tiote and Baines are quoted at around £20 million and Ferguson isn’t interested in paying that kinda money.

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    • Yang June 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      @colver: I hope that John settle in one or two positions asap, John’s performance drop quickly because Fergie overuse him. It is very dangerous thing to do. We overplay for him but I think his attitude will drag him to the place at least very good player.

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    • Ian June 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      I’ve heard SAF is sounding out the possibility of bringing Victor Wanyama to OT instead as Tiote is too pricey. 🙂

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  10. adie June 7, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Paul Pogba ! Signs 4 year deal with Juve !! atleast thats wat a lot of twitter accounts say !

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  11. Craig Mc June 7, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Please Sir Fergie – I beg you to go and get Fellaini before Chelsea do. He would be brilliant in MF for us, and Chelsea know how good he is, and want him for 20 million.

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