Paul Scholes has claimed that Wayne Rooney might have already reached his peak and that Ed Woodward will have a lot to answer for if United do not complete a couple of world class signings this summer.
Rooney looked set to leave United last summer after relationship between him and Sir Alex Ferguson broke down, but was convinced to remain at the club by David Moyes and ended up signing a new five-year deal which will probably keep him at Old Trafford for the remainder of his career.
Manchester United have agreed a £20m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder and German international Toni Kroos, according to reports on today’s backpages which, quite frankly, seem too good to be true.
Kroos has been on United’s radar for a long while and United were thought to have approached both Bayern and Kroos’ agent after the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final in April even though there seemed to be no valid reason for the 24-year-old to leave the Bavarian giants.
Having finally been named as Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal seems determined to get one over Liverpool as quickly as he possibly can, by entering the race for one of Brendan Rodgers’ main transfer targets – Dnipro’s winger Yevhen Konoplyanka.
The Ukrainian international looked set to move to Anfield this summer for around £10m, even though Dnipro are reportedly unhappy with Liverpool’s attempt to lure one of their prized assets away from Ukraine on the final day of the January transfer window – a move which backfired in spectacular style for Rodgers, as Konoplyanka ended up remaining in Ukraine.
Destiny, like many other words, is a term often overused in football, but it’s difficult to dismiss it when it comes to Manchester United.
The 1999 Treble was clinched on what would have been Sir Matt Busby’s 90th birthday, while had George Best not departed this world, he would have enjoyed the celebrations for his 62th birthday as United lifted the European Cup in Moscow in 2008.
How apt then, that 12 months on from Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge, United decided it was time to unveil the man tasked with the gargantuan job to restore the club in the upper echelon of English and, hopefully, European football.
Football’s worst-kept secret was finally revealed today, as Manchester United confirmed Louis Van Gaal as their new manager, after two weeks in which both parties involved had disguised themselves behind the usual smokescreens, with the Dutchman and United both happy to decline any agreement was in place.
However, less than a month after David Moyes was handed his P45, United have today confirmed that the Holland manager has signed a three-year deal with the club and will take charge after the World Cup, while Ryan Giggs has been confirmed as his assistant manager. The 62-year-old Dutchman will be joined at the club by Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout as assistant coaches.
Once he’s finally announced as David Moyes’ replacement, Louis Van Gaal will keep players at Manchester United on a very tight leash, according to Dutch football expert Marcel Van der Kraan.
Van Gaal should be formally unveiled as United’s new manager this week but his reputation for demanding total control over his players and for being strict and hardworking almost to the point of being obsessed have preceded him to Britain and might spell news for some of the players who have been stealing a living at the club.
Louis Van Gaal might not yet have been officially appointed as David Moyes’ successor, but the 62-year-old manager dropped his biggest hint yet as to who he’d like to see wearing the armband next season.
Wayne Rooney was widely expected to replace Nemanja Vidic as captain next season, particularly after Moyes described him as the perfect man to lead the team – and to trouser £300,000-a-week – but it seems as Van Gaal has other ideas and could instal Robin Van Persie as his on-pitch lieutenant.
Manchester United must again make Old Trafford a place feared by other teams if they’re to return to winning ways next season, according to Juan Mata. United number 8 claimed that the home form this season played a major role in the dismal campaign endured by the club which culminated in United missing out on European football for the first time since 1990.
United lost seven games at Old Trafford this season, their worst return on home turf since they lost the same number of games in the 1973-74 season, as Manchester City and Liverpool thrashed the Reds 3-0 while Everton picked up their first win at Old Trafford in over 20 years and Newcastle and West Brom clinched three points in United’s backyard for the first time since 1972 and 1978 respectively.