Aug 03 2016

Manchester United v Everton, Wayne Rooney’s testimonial: Confirmed XI

Wayne-Rooney-celebrates-a-009

Wayne Rooney’s testimonial will see Manchester United take on the England international’s former club Everton at the Red Devils’ home ground, Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.

The fixture will see Jose Mourinho take charge at Old Trafford for the first time since he was appointed as the Premier League giants’ manager in May. The former Chelsea manager replaced Louis van Gaal at United after the Dutchman was relieved from his duties after he guided them to the FA Cup triumph.

United have signed Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovi? and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer transfer window. The trio could be seen in action when the 20-time English champions face the Merseyside club.

It will be the Red Devils’ last friendly fixture, before they take on Premier League champions Leicester City in the Community Shield at the Wembley Stadium later this weekend. Rooney admitted that he could be emotional before and after the match.

Confirmed lineups

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Lingard, Rooney, Martial, Ibrahimovic 

Everton: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Baines, Funes Mori, Stones, Holgate, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku.


Aug 03 2016

Manchester United edging closer towards completing fourth summer signing

Paul Pogba

Spanish newspaper AS has gone on to the extent of claiming that Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has agreed a world-record move to rejoin Manchester United.

 According to the outlet, the Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and manager José Mourinho are hopeful that the French midfielder will complete his €120 million to Old Trafford, where he will sign a five-year deal.

While Pogba will earn around  €20 million a year as wage, his agent Mino Riola is also set to pocket a handsome figure of around €24 million. Read Madrid were also interested in the France international, but going by the reports of Spanish outlets, Zinedine Zidane was not ready to pay such astronomical transfer fee. 

Another factor might have been instrumental in Pogba’s decision to choose United, that is, according to new tax rules of Spain, the player would have to pay 54% of his earnings as tax, had he gone to the Spanish club like Real.

The inclusion of Pogba would certainly bolster United squad for the new season. Pogba has the physicality, height, strength, agility, balance, power and synergistic movements to succeed in the Premier League. His dribbling skills can’t be questioned.

Instead of penetrative dribbles, the 23-year-old performs technical quick link-up play higher up the pitch and he showboats his best dribbling from deeper areas. He dribbles to shield the ball, to keep possession and to bring his teammates into play.

Pogba’s acceleration, deceleration, body feints and receiving moves have bamboozled many defenders and deep lying midfielders. He has a decent technique to back his passing; back-heel passes, outside of the boot passes- you name it and the entity is there in Pogba’s book. Juventus star’s vision and diagonal play making can make difference in the Premier League and for United.  


Aug 02 2016

Manchester United legend reveals reason for rejecting Liverpool

Vidic

Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic has revealed he was on the verge of joining Liverpool before making a move to Old Trafford.

The 34-year-old Serbian, who joined the Red Devils from Spartak Moscow in January 2016 went on to become one of the star players under Sir Alex Ferguson.  Liverpool, who were managed by Rafael Benitez then wanted Vidic to join the Merseyside club. However, the 34-year-old joined their arch-rivals after snubbing a chance to join the Anfield outfit.

In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, Vidic said: ”Yes. Rafa Benitez called me and I nearly went there [Liverpool]”

”I was interested in going but my English wasn’t good and I was struggling to communicate. ‘Then Manchester United came. Fergie called me at my apartment and said: ‘I watched you play for Serbia against France – I want you here. ‘United were decisive. Everything was done very quickly, within two days.” – concluded Vidic.

The centre-half, who formed an outstanding CB partnership with Rio Ferdinand and went on to win five Premier League titles, one Champions League and three League Cups with the Red Devils, has also expressed his desire to become a manager.

“I would like to be a manager, but only if I had the opportunity first to be a coach and learn from someone for maybe one or two years,” he added.

United’s current manager Jose Mourinho signed  Eric Bailly from Villarreal in the summer transfer window. The Ivory Coast international earlier admitted that Vidic was his favourite Red Devils player and is hoping to emulate what the Serbian has done at Old Trafford.

“I like John Terry but, especially, Vidic. I watched them both on television when I was in Spain. They are very strong and powerful, like I try to be,” Bailly told The Sunday Times.

“Terry plays well and plays the ball well but Vidic was more hard and played really hard. He was my favourite player at Manchester United and in the Premier League. I want to be like him with my performances for United.”


Aug 02 2016

Photo: Manchester United summer target signs for Premier League rivals

Leroy Sane

Manchester City have managed to beat Manchester United in the signing of German international Leroy Sane.

The 20-year-old was spotted in Manchester after Schalke confirmed their player was in England ahead of his proposed move to the Premier League. According to The Daily Mail reported that the Red Devils were looking at the option of signing the winger in the summer transfer window in order to bolster their squad for the new season.

Sane was also wanted by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad. He decided to join City and became their fifth summer signing of the current transfer window.

The winger, who is one of the brightest prospects in Germany has left the Bundesliga outfit and signed a five-year deal to play under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager on Tuesday. Sane will be wearing No 19 shirt at his new club.

A statement on City’s official website read, “Manchester City are delighted to announce the signing of Leroy Sane from Schalke 04. The German international becomes our fifth signing of summer 2016 and will wear the No.19 shirt.”

“Sane has signed a five-year deal which will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until at least 2021.”

After signing for City, Sane expressed his delight on becoming Guardiola’s fifth signing at his new club. He said, “I feel really good, I’m happy to be here and happy that it has all worked out. Now I can settle here in Manchester and play for City.”

“One of the reasons I decided to join City was Pep Guardiola; he convinced me to come here and that I can continue to progress. I know I will learn a lot under him and now I can take the next step in my career.

“I followed Pep at Barcelona and at Bayern where he achieved a lot and worked really well with young players.

“I think he can make me a more complete player. I think I will need a bit of time to start with because it’s another league and there’s a different style of play but I think I can adapt very quickly.”


Aug 01 2016

Photo: United and City summer target spotted in Manchester, club also confirms

1 Aug 2016 - Manchester - UK  ** STRICTLY NOT AVAILABLE FOR MAIL ONLINE AND ANY ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS UNLESS FEE AGREED PRIOR TO USAGE***  **EXCLUSIVE ALL ROUND PICTURES**  Schalke and German International footballer Leroy Sane spotted in Manchester ahead of his reported 31 million pound move to Manchester City.  BYLINE MUST READ : XPOSUREPHOTOS.COM  ***UK CLIENTS - PICTURES CONTAINING CHILDREN PLEASE PIXELATE FACE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION ***  **UK CLIENTS MUST CALL PRIOR TO TV OR ONLINE USAGE PLEASE TELEPHONE 44 208 344 2007**

Manchester City are edging closer towards completing a deal in signing Manchester United summer target Leroy Sane in the summer transfer window after Schalke confirmed the player is in Manchester on August 1, Monday.

“Leroy #Sané is currently in Manchester and will not be travelling  with #Schalke to the training camp. #s04,” Schalke’s official Twitter account tweeted.

The 20-year-old has been linked with both City and United after his impressive display in the Bundesliga last term, which saw him score eight goals has seen him attract interest from both the clubs in Manchester. The Daily Mail report suggests the Red Devils were looking at the option of signing him, who is valued around £40 million this summer.

However, that Sane is set to snub Jose Mourinho’s side and BBC reports claim he will join their local rivals City this summer. Pep Guardiola even confirmed that the Premier League outfit are looking at the option of bringing the Schalke star to the Etihad in the current transfer window.

“Of course we talk to him – Schalke know we are interested but at this moment we don’t have many possibilities to get him,” Guardiola said.

“There is a difference [in opinion] between Manchester City and Schalke and it is quite big. I do not know what is going to happen but right now he is with Schalke,” the former Barcelona manager added.

There were even pictures of Sane spotted in Manchester, which was reported by The Mirror.

1 Aug 2016 - Manchester - UK  ** STRICTLY NOT AVAILABLE FOR MAIL ONLINE AND ANY ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS UNLESS FEE AGREED PRIOR TO USAGE***  **EXCLUSIVE ALL ROUND PICTURES**  Schalke and German International footballer Leroy Sane spotted in Manchester ahead of his reported 31 million pound move to Manchester City.  BYLINE MUST READ : XPOSUREPHOTOS.COM  ***UK CLIENTS - PICTURES CONTAINING CHILDREN PLEASE PIXELATE FACE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION ***  **UK CLIENTS MUST CALL PRIOR TO TV OR ONLINE USAGE PLEASE TELEPHONE 44 208 344 2007**


Jul 31 2016

Chief confirms Mourinho was desperate for Manchester United to complete £20 signing

Breel Embolo

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was desperate in bringing Breel Embolo to Old Trafford, Schalke sporting Christian Heidel has revealed.

The 19-year-old came up through the ranks of Swiss club FC Basel and after impressing in the youth teams, he was promoted it to the first team in 2014. He spent two seasons with them and his impressive form saw him make debut for his national side last March.

Embolo was also a part of Switzerland side that lost to Poland in the Round of 16 of the recently concluded European championship. After his national side were knocked out of the Euro 2016, he signed a five-year deal with Schalke for a reported fee of £20 million.

The Switzerland international had attracted interest from United, while Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were also in the race for his signature. However, the forward rejected a chance to move to England in order to join the Bundesliga club. Heidel admitted that Schalke were forced to make a quick approach in order to beat competitions from other top clubs from Europe.

“There are a number of reasons why we signed Embolo,” Sky Sports quoted Heidel as saying.

“First and foremost, there are sporting reasons. It’s nothing new that he is a great player. There is a reason why Mourinho desperately wanted to sign him for Manchester United.

“But we also see him as a player the Schalke fans can identify with, a bit like Benedikt Howedes, Leroy Sane and someone like Ralf Fahrmann.

“Embolo had a similar role at Basel, where 80 per cent of the shirts they sold had his name on it. He is very open, is always smiling and makes it easy for people to like him.”

“When we realised there was a possibility that we could miss out on signing him due to other clubs’ interest, we had to move fast..

“President Clemens Tonnies happily made his plane available. We flew out to Montpellier at 1300 CET and returned five hours later. We had wrapped up the deal in that short period,” he added.


Jul 30 2016

Manchester United v Galatasaray, pre-season: Confirmed XI

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Jose Mourinho has taken his men to Sweden as Manchester United will face Galatasaray at the Nya Ullevi, Gothenburg in the pre-season fixture scheduled between the two clubs.

The Old Trafford club’s star signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic is yet to feature for his new club. The 34-year-old striker joined his new teammates in the training earlier this week and he could feature for United for the first time against the Turkish giants in his homeland on Saturday.

The Red Devils saw their last pre-season fixture against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in China cancelled due to bad weather. That leaves United playing only two matches so far, which came against Wigan Athletic and Borussia Dortmund.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager will be keen on giving his first team players some playing time for the start of the new season. After the clash against Galatasaray, United have two fixtures before the start of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

United take on Everton in the next clash and following that, they face Leicester City in the 2016 Community Shield clash at Wembley. The confirmed lineup for United’s clash against Galatasaray is given below:

Manchester United XI: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Herrera; Mkhitaryan, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic

Galatasaray XI: Muslera, Linnes, Chedjou, Hakan, Carole, Selçuk, Dzemaili, Yasin, Sneijder, Bruma, Sinan.


Jul 30 2016

Mourinho confirms injuries to Manchester United duo, reveals star will miss season opener

Chris-Smalling-and-Ander-Herrera

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed defenders Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Chris Smalling are sidelined with minor injuries, which has ruled them out for the upcoming clash against Galatasaray.

The Red Devils take on the Turkish giants in the pre-season fixture scheduled between the two sides in Sweden on Saturday. The Dutch defender and the former Fulham man have not travelled with the squad to face Galatasaray.

Fosu-Mensah had a breakthrough season after making his first team debut in February in United’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal. His rise has seen him backed to be one of the standout players for the Red Devils in the future.

Smalling, on the other hand, was in fine form alongside Daley Blind in the heart of the back four. The England international picked up a red card in the last season’s FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace and that will see him miss the season opener against AFC Bournemouth.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has provided a latest update on the duo’s injuries.

“Fosu-Mensah is not so much injured. But he has this little thing that we want to be careful with given that he is young. He is separate from the group until he is 100 per cent back,” Mourinho told MUTV.

“Chris Smalling has had a recurrence of an old injury from the previous season. We shall see what happens, but already he is suspended for the first game against Bournemouth.”