Manchester United were handed a relatively group in today’s Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland. David Moyes’ first European campaign in charge of United will see them facing Shakthar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad.
The meetings against the Spanish and Ukranian sides will represent a first for United, while the trip to Leverkusen will evoke bad memories in many Reds, as United were knocked out in the Champions League semifinal by the Germans in 2002.
With the transfer window entering its final five days, Manchester United have been dealt a new blow as Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil has insisted he has no intention to leave the Spanish capital, meaning that David Moyes will have to look elsewhere if he is to bolster his midfield between here and September 2.
Ozil was thought to be open to a move away from the Bernabeu after doubts were casted over his position in the starting XI this summer, following the arrival of Spanish wonder-kid Isco from Malaga, while new Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti looks keen to resurrect the career of Brazilian playmaker Kaka.
Yesterday, David Moyes announced that United might not sign anyone in the remaining nine days between now and September 2, a news that wouldn’t have surprised many United fans, considering the way the club has conducted its business throughout the summer.
Today, however, some of the back pages suggest that United might indeed land a signing this summer, as they prepare a bid for Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil, whose time on the pitch at the Bernabeu has been limited after the arrival of Isco and could shrink even further if Real Madrid are to complete the signing of Gareth Bale.
It was the news many knew was coming but nobody wanted to hear. After spending the summer chasing unrealistic, and probably ill-advised targets, David Moyes has admitted that United might not sign anybody between now and the end of transfer window.
“There is no pressure to do it. I have an idea of where I’d like to strengthen. If the right players are available, then great, but there is a possibility nothing may happen,” said the United manager today.
Just when one thought Ed Woodward was a mythological figure borne out of the fantasy of some over zealous fans and sold to the media as United’s chief executive, it turns out that Woodward does indeed exist.
However, the United chief executive has been unable to complete any transfers because his time has been spent writing letters to other Premier League clubs, it seems. Having written to Everton to apologise for the way United handled the appointment of David Moyes, Woodward has sent another letter, this time to Chelsea.
With only ten days to go before the transfer shuts on September 2 there might, at long last, be some positive news for Manchester United and for those who consider Marouane Fellaini to the cure to the club’s terminally ill midfield.
This week United had a £16m offer for the Belgian rejected by Everton, who deemed the bid “derisory and insulting” as they value the Belgian at more than £23m, a price-tag David Moyes and Ed Woodward seem to consider too hefty for the 25-year-old midfielder, hence their decision to let Fellaini’s release clause expire.
As the Wayne Rooney saga rumbles on, an unexpected twist could soon change the landscape of United’s business this summer and it could also go a long way in determining the outcome of the Premier League season.
Despite United’s stance that Rooney is not for sale at any price, the latest reports suggest that United might be ready to do business with Chelsea, but only if David Moyes can find a replacement for the England striker which, considering United’s fortunes in the transfer window so far this summer, is far from guaranteed.
The next two weeks will go a long way to determine Wayne Rooney’s future, as Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho revealed that he’ll submit a third and final bid for the United striker before the end of the transfer window.
United host Chelsea on Monday night and the Portuguese manager has refused to rule out a third bid for the 27-year-old, who returned to action against Swansea on Saturday, providing two assists for United’s third and fourth goal, before seemingly avoiding to join his team-mates in celebration.