As the international break continues to drag on and on, like a seemingly endless bus trip, there is, at last, something to be cheerful about, as United are expected to announce that Michael Carrick has signed a new contract by the end of the week.
Talks between the Geordie midfielder and the club had continued over the last couple of weeks and both parties seem to be satisfied with the terms of the new deal, which will keep Carrick at Old Trafford for another two and half seasons at least, with the option to extend the contract for a further 12 months.
Nani has spoken out in favour of David Moyes, claiming he’s received a much-needed confidence boost since the Scotsman replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in July.
Timely though the confidence boost might have been, United are still to reap the benefits, with Nani starting only five Premier League games this season and, much like fellow wingers Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, failing to impress this season.
After a poor start to the season, Manchester United have seemingly started to pick up some momentum, winning three league games in a row and going nine games unbeaten in all competitions, as David Moyes looks to have finally found his feet at Old Trafford.
Sunday’s 1-0 win against league leaders Arsenal put United within five points of the North Londoners and only a point behind Chelsea, while despite losing 4-1 to Manchester City in September, the Reds are now a point ahead of their big spending neighbours, whose shaky form away from home shows no signs of improving.
Manchester United are set to add the Premier League’s head of elite performance John Murtough to David Moyes’ staff at Old Trafford, with Murtough set to be reunited with the former Everton manager, under whom he worked at Goodison Park.
Murtough was in charge of the academy at Everton during David Moyes’ tenure on Merseyside, a position he held in two separate spells at Goodison Park. In his first sting at Everton, Murtough was responsible for developing the likes of Wayne Rooney, while after returning to Merseyside in 2008, he oversaw the development of Ross Barkley, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman.
Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Sporting Lisbon’s winger Carlos Mane, after the 19-year-old impressed with at the Next Gen series and scored once in four games for Portugal at the U19 European Championship this summer.
United have obviously got a long history in terms of signing players from the Portuguese giants, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani both developing through the ranks of Sporting’s academy before joining United and the Mane could be the latest talented winger to emerge from the green and whites’ youth system.
Manchester United are reportedly considering the option of submitting an offer for Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta in January, as David Moyes has been made aware of a simmering malaise between the Spanish midfielder and the Barcelona hierarchy.
With United’s midfield now down to bare bones given the injury that will sideline Michael Carrick for the next six weeks, signing Iniesta would be an incredible coup for David Moyes, for the Spaniard has consistently been one of the world’s top players for the last five or six seasons.
Just when United’s season seemed to have picked up speed, courtesy of three consecutive league wins and a nine-game unbeaten record, the Reds have been dealt a serious blow by the news that Michael Carrick could miss up to six weeks, with a persistent achilles injury likely to be the source of his problems.
Carrick and Danny Welbeck withdrew from the England squad due to face Chile and Germany at Wembley, but while the latter’s absence was somewhat expected given he’s been nursing a knee injury for the last three weeks, Carrick’s setback was a surprising one and one that could keep the mercurial midfielder sidelined until after Christmas.
Jonny Evans has praised Wayne Rooney’s performance against Arsenal on Sunday, hailing the United striker as an example for all his team-mates this season.
After a turbulent summer, during which he seemed set to depart United, Rooney has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in form and Sunday’s performance against the league leaders proved again just how valuable the 28-year-old is to David Moyes and Manchester United, as Rooney put in an impressive shift as well as providing the assist for Robin Van Persie’s winner.