Manchester United face stiff competition from Barcelona in the race to sign Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, according to reports in Spain that claim the Catalans’ interest in Vermaelen has increased in recent weeks.
The Belgian centre-back has been linked with a move to United for over a month now, with suggestions that Louis Van Gaal sees the Arsenal man as the perfect candidate to replace the departed Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, while Vermaelen’s versatility and his ability to play as left-back mean he could even provide cover for Luke Shaw.
Ryan Giggs has compared new Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, to Sir Alex Ferguson, claiming both men have a special aura about them and both understand what it takes to make a team successful.
Van Gaal has only been in charge for nine days but that didn’t prevent him from getting his United career off to a flying start as the Reds trounced Los Angeles Galaxy 7-0 in their first pre-season friendly on Thursday, and Giggs believes what he’s seen of the Dutchman so far has a lot in common with what he experienced during the 23 years he played under Fergie.
Louis Van Gaal has vowed to stick with the 3-5-2 formation that marked United’s 7-0 win against LA Galaxy earlier this morning, as the Dutchman made his debut as Manchester United manager in the first pre-season friendly.
Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young both grabbed two goals apiece, while Danny Welbeck was also on the scoresheet but the biggest point of focus of Van Gaal’s first game in charge was the 3-5-2 formation he opted to field, with Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at centre-backs and Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia at wing-backs.
The Louis Van Gaal era is up and running after United dismantled Los Angeles Galaxy 7-0 in their first pre-season friendly of the season earlier this morning to kick off their US tour in perfect fashion. Resounding though the result might be, United will have to face much sterner tests on this tour but Van Gaal’s debut was as slick as he could have hoped for.
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring, before Wayne Rooney netted twice in the first half, while second half substitutes Reece James and Ashley Young grabbed two each as United trounced the MLS outfit.
Here’s five things we have learnt.
There is very little rest for the wicked, it seems. There’s definitely been almost none for Louis Van Gaal who, less than two weeks on since his Holland side dismantled Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup third spot playoff, will take charge of his first ever game as Manchester United manager tomorrow morning at 4.10am UK time when the Reds take on Los Angeles Galaxy.
The game at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl – the same ground that hosted the 1994 World Cup final – is the first friendly of United’s US tour, which will also see them facing Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup over the next eight days.
Galatasaray’s president Unal Aysal has confirmed the Turkish giants are yet to receive an offer for Manchester United’s target Wesley Sneijder and has insisted that the Dutch playmaker will be allowed to Istanbul if his release clause is met.
The Dutchman has been more or less constantly on United’s radar since 2009,when, having been made surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, he looked to be the perfect answer for the lack of creativity that afflicted United’s midfield, only for him to opt to join Inter Milan instead.
Luke Shaw claimed he didn’t have to think twice at the possibility of joining Manchester United, once he was made aware of the club’s interest a few months ago and the 19-year-old said replacing Patrice Evra won’t add pressure on his shoulders, as he’s relishing the opportunity to impress Louis Van Gaal on United’s pre-season tour.
United had been monitoring Shaw’s progress since the turn on the year but the England international looked poised to join Chelsea, the club he had supported throughout his childhood, until United beat them in the race for Shaw’s services. The 19-year-old, however, insisted that there was only one club he ever wanted to join.
Louis Van Gaal has been told by Manchester United that he’s free to break the world transfer record this summer to bring his intended targets to Old Trafford this summer.
United kick off their Premier League season against Swansea in less than a month but Van Gaal has effectively been in charge only for a week and a lot is expected to happen between now and August 15th, as far as both arrivals and departures are concerned. Alex Buttner, Federico Macheda and Patrice Evra have joined Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand out of the club with Anderson, Bebe and another couple of players expected to follow suit.