In news that will surprise nobody, given the club’s ever-growing reputation for handling contracts issues with the same composure and efficiency of a man desperately needing the toilet while stuck underground on the Tube, Manchester United face losing Adnan Januzaj to Manchester City.
The Belgian was the latest academy product to make the step up to first team when he made his debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday, as he enjoyed an impressive 30-minute cameo after replacing Ashley Young.
Manchester United kick off their Champions League campaign against Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford this evening, the first time United enter the competition with a different manager other than Sir Alex Ferguson.
The game also marks David Moyes’ debut in the competition proper, as the former Everton manager’s only previous experience in the competition dates back to the 2005-06 season when the Toffees were knocked out in the third qualifying round by Villareal, who would then go on to reach the semifinals that season.
David Moyes has claimed that Wayne Rooney should set himself a target of around 30 goals per season and that he believes Rooney and Robin Van Persie could develop into a fearsome partnership, now that the England striker is seemingly on his way to redemption, after agitating for a move away from the club throughout the summer.
Rooney, who made an unexpected return to action against Crystal Palace on Saturday, opened his account against the South Londoners on the weekend with a brilliant free-kick and provided two assists in United’s first league game of the season away at Swansea, a respectable start to the campaign.
After a summer of disappointment, United fans might at last have something to cheer about as Robin Van Persie has announced that he’s keen to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond the remaining years of his current contract.
The Dutchman, who arrived from Arsenal for £24m in August 2012 and signed a four-year deal, won the Golden Boot in his first season at the club, proving a crucial factor in United’s title winning campaign and becoming the number one striker at the club.
David Moyes has stated he’ll have a word with Ashley Young after the United winger’s embarrassing behaviour saw him getting booked for simulation against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Young, who has developed a reputation for tumbling to the ground rather too willingly and rather too often, brought his personal pantomime to a whole new level against Palace as he stuck out his leg to make sure it made contact with Kagisho Dikgacoi’s shin, before theatrically and pathetically tumbling to the ground.
The transfer window might have shut two weeks ago, but the rumours surrounding players and clubs haven’t stopped and, if anything, are likely to grow increasingly louder between now and January.
Having been linked with a move away from the club over the summer, Wayne Rooney seems to be gradually endearing himself again to team-mates and fans alike (personally, the “Rooooooooooney”, “Rooooooooooney” chants remain utterly pathetic and are definitely premature) but he could find himself at the centre of another transfer saga this winter.
A promising debut for an 18-year-old, an exquisite freekick from a player who had looked poised to join one of United’s direct rivals throughout the summer and the first glimpse of the only significant signing to arrive in the transfer window would, normally, be enough reason to be cheerful.
Except that the 2-0 win matured against a newly-promoted side who spent the entire second half playing with 10 men after conceding a rather dubious penalty and that United barely looked to be playing with the handbrake on for large spells of the game.
Manchester United host Crystal Palace in today’s early kick-off looking to get their Premier League campaign back on track, after picking up only a point from the last two games and having failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since August 2007.
Having failed to significantly bolster their squad this summer, with the exception of Marouane Fellaini, and with the Manchester derby looming large on the horizon, David Moyes knows United can’t afford to slip up at home against newly promoted Palace, who boasted a rather unimpressive away record in the Championship last season, as they picked up 25 points from 23 games on the road.