Aug 16 2016

Liverpool legend labels Manchester United star as rough diamond

Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Eric Bailly

Liverpool legend Jamie Redknapp has labelled Manchester United new star Eric Bailly as a “rough diamond” and has backed the defender to become a fan favourite at Old Trafford.

The Ivory Coast international became Jose Mourinho’s first signing since he was appointed as the Red Devils’ manager in May. He arrived in the Premier League from Villarreal and has started in all the matches, including the pre-season fixtures, the Community Shield and even the Premier League opener against AFC Bournemouth.

While on the pitch, Bailly has been impressive and his display in the first Premier League match of the 2016-17 season saw him bag the man of the match award as United sealed a 3-1 win at the Vitality Stadium. 

Redknapp has been closely following the centre-back since the pre-seasons and has been impressed with his playing style. He also added that his ability to move forward with the ball will help the midfielders at Old Trafford.

“I was so impressed with Bailly. He’s a rough diamond. We all make mistakes. He’s raw, he’s quick. I watched his first game against Wigan and he kept diving in and I thought he’s got a lot to work on,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“But he’s a midfielder’s dream because he can also play. He’ll pop the ball into midfield at times, he’s got great pace, he’s uncompromising. Man Utd fans are going to love him.

“He is a very, very good defender. He doesn’t mess around – when it’s got to go, he’ll kick it forward. He is very strong and could be money well spent.

“[He played] Alongside Daley Blind, who I also thought played very well today. Before the game, I thought they’d have problems with the front three of Bournemouth but they didn’t really. They were composed and I was very impressed with Bailly.”

Chris Smalling was suspended for the clash against Bournemouth. It should be seen whether the England international will partner Bailly in the heart of the back four for United or will he play alongside Blind in the upcoming fixtures.

Aug 14 2016

Mourinho explains how his strategy helped Manchester United to complete summer signings

Tag: Manchester United @ 7:00 am


Jose Mourinho has expressed his delight after Manchester United’s transfer strategy paid off in the current summer window. He admitted that he analysed the Red Devils’ squad since he was sacked from his post at Chelsea last December and suggested how that helped the 53-year-old coach in completing his transfer business. 

The Red Devils have added four quality players this summer, which includes the likes of defender Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and midfielder Paul Pogba.

Pogba, who left United as a free agent in 2012 rejoined them from Juventus for a world-record fee of £89 million and was the Old Trafford club’s fourth addition of the summer transfer window.

Despite not being in the Champions League, United were able to attract star players. They are arguably, if not the best, but one of the best in the respective leagues they played in the last season.

In his first press conference, Mourinho admitted that he wanted to bring in four players. The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager is delighted to have completed those business even before the start of the new season.

“First of all, I didn’t buy these players. I don’t have enough money to pay these amounts! Credit should go to the club and the potential the club has, not just financially, but in what the club means to the world of football, which helps attract players,” Mourinho explained, as quoted by United’s official website.

“I think I gave a contribution because I was very objective. I think some managers have doubts and find it difficult to decide. The clubs get the impression that you are not so sure on a signing. I was objective from day one.

“Of course, I have been in the country for many years  and was able to watch United many times from December, so I had an idea about the squad. When I arrived, I was ready to be objective and could say what I wanted to have and explain the numbers I wanted for each position. That way, if you could not get option one, you go for the second or third.

“Every time, I made a written report to the board, the board could feel consistency in the analysis,” he continued. “The targets were there on the table, so, after that, the club’s powers did everything. They were very strong, doing everything before the 14th. They could do it by 30 August, but no, they did everything much earlier. I am very happy with the market.” 

Aug 12 2016

Photo: Manchester United star signing Paul Pogba’s first training pictures

Paul Pogba

Manchester United completed their fourth signing of the summer transfer window as Paul Pogba returned to Old Trafford from Juventus.

The 23-year-old left the Red Devils as a free agent in 2012 and joined the Turin club, where he won four league titles along with other silverware. His form for both club and also France attracted interest from the Premier League giants.

United re-signed him for a world record fee of £89 million on the day after they defeated Leicester City 2-1 to win the 2016 Community Shield. Jose Mourinho’s side take on AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League opener later this Sunday and the France international will not feature against them.

Pogba has already started training with the Old Trafford club and has reunited with some of the former players at United. In addition to this, he has also joined other players at United’s first team training session on Friday.

A statement on United’s official website read, “New Manchester United signing Paul Pogba was part of the squad that featured in a session at the Aon Training Complex on Friday morning, as the Reds continued preparations for the opening Premier League fixture against Bournemouth on Sunday.”

Here are some of the pictures from the training session:


 Paul Pogba

 Paul Pogba 

Paul Pogba

Aug 11 2016

Manchester United stars linked with move away from Old Trafford

Adnan Januzaj 2014

Manchester United stars Adnan Januzaj and Juan Mata are seeking move out from the club, according to The Times.

The report claims that Januzaj feels “humiliated” by manager Jose Mourinho after the latter was demoted to train with Under-21 side and also pushing him towards  exit. He is not included in the Red Devils coach’s plan at Old Trafford for the upcoming season.

The Belgium international  is set for a transfer to  Sunderland on loan this window after the manager  dropped him from United’s first team squad and forced  him to train with the Under-21s. Mourinho has stripped the 21-year-old winger of club legend Ryan Giggs’ iconic No 11 jersey.

Sunderland are managed by David Moyes and the Scot was in charge during Januzaj’s breakthrough season. He is now the winger to the Stadium of Light on loan until the end of the 2016-17 season.

The Times have also reported that  United have indicated that Mata is not up for sale but he is expected to try a move out  after being subbed off by  Mourinho just after 27 minutes on the middle,  in the Community Shield at Wembley against Leicester City. Everton being one of the suitors and their manager Ronald Koeman is looking at the option of signing the Spaniard.

Everton are  reportedly  pondering over  signing  Mata with it appearing that the Red Devils attacking midfielder has no future at Old Trafford with the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the rise of the likes of Jesse Lingard.

Should the report be true, Mata, with the history and Januzaj with the current ”humiliation” will probably join the outgoing list of United stars with Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Aug 11 2016

How tactfully Mourinho bagged Manchester United transfer revealed

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Borussia Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke  has revealed the back end story of Henrikh Mkhitaryan transfer to Old Trafford, in an interview with SportBild and how polite and cordial was Jose Mourinho, when he made a phone call to Watzke regarding the move.

The Armenia international has been one of the most eye-popping marquee signings of Mourinho as Manchester United boss.

Initially, Dortmund were reluctant to sell the 27-year-old and were adamant that the player must see off his contract at the club, which was set to expire next summer as he refused to sign a contract extension. The Bundesliga were reasonably disinclined to let Mkhitaryan go, as the forwards scored 23 and assisted 32 goals for the German club last season.

Watzke and the United boss are very good pals and  SportBild asked the Dortmund chief if the friendship got estranged  when the Red Devils  and  Dortmund were engaged in transfer talks. The German side’s chief admitted that he had a telephone call with the former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss ensured things to  remain cordial.

As translated by Sportwitness, Watzke said: ”Of course we have personally talked about it, and for me a remarkable statement by Jose remained hanging, about which I have been thinking a lot.”

”He (Mourinho) said: ‘At the end you decide. And no matter how the thing goes – the important thing is that our friendship does not suffer. Because there are many more good players than good friends. He’s absolutely right.” 

Mourinho might give the impression of being an arrogant manager at times, but during the time of need, the Portuguese coach reacted in an intelligent way, as he decided to talk directly with his friend Watzke and conducted the transfer talks in a very cordial and polite manner. As a result, Dortmund decided to sell Mkhitaryan for £26 million to the Manchester club. 

Aug 11 2016

Photo: Manchester United confirm two new signings

Tahith Chong-Joshua Bohui

Manchester United have confirmed two more summer recruits, academy signings they are though. The Red Devils have added to the list of eight new  scholars in the club’s academy with two new signings in Tahith Chong and Joshua Bohui, before the season opener against Derby County on 13th August.

“Manchester United have added to the list of eight new first-year scholars in the club’s Academy with two confirmed signings processed in time for the season opener against Derby County on Saturday,” a statement read on United’s official website.

“Tahith Chong has completed his move from Feyenoord with the exciting left-winger winning the individual trophy for best attacking player at the Otten Cup last weekend. Another new face is forward Joshua Bohui after the England Under-17 international sealed his switch from Brentford and was also part of the squad that finished runners-up in the Eindhoven tournament.”

Chong has completed his move from Feyenoord. The talented  left-winger has won the  trophy of best attacking player at the Otten Cup last weekend. The left forward Chong’s technique, oversight, vision and pace are fantastic. He is comfortable with both feet.

Last season, he took everyone by surprise within his elegant dribbling, calculated crosses and a tally of 15 goals in 21 matches. Chong can play  as inverted winger and also as the focal point of the attack. His acceleration, dynamism, flair, finishing and ball control makes him a special player but his defensive contribution and tactical awareness have been found wanting.

Another signing is teenage forward Joshua Bohui. The England Under-17 international moved from Brentford and was also part of the   runners-up squad in the Eindhoven tournament. His work rate is top notch.

The eight first year academy scholars of the Red Devils’ 2016-17 are: Aidan Barlow, Jake Barrett, Max Dunne, Luca Ercolani, Angel Gomes, Lee O’Connor, Harry Spratt, George Tanner.

Aug 10 2016

Mourinho aims dig at Arsenal and Liverpool managers


Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at Liverpool and Arsenal managers Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger yet again.

The Mourinho-Wenger rivalry, the push-gate affair and most certainly their continuous swipes at each other, certainly make the duel between the managers more crispy. As United have completed a world record €105 million transfer of midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus, Mourinho taken a jibe at Klopp and Wenger. As reported by Goal, the Arsenal boss branded the eye-popping Pogba transfer as ”completely crazy”.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Klopp remarked on Pogba’s transfer:”If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney. The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.”

”Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money,” he added.

Mourinho has taken jibes on the rival manager duo now and suggested both Arsenal and Liverpool are not capabe of smashing the world-record fee.

“I know the discussion, I understand that, sometimes in football, things happen and the club breaks the record, but this is only possible at clubs like Man United,” Mourinho remarked in an interview with MUTV, as reported by Goal.

“When I heard some of the comments and heard some of the managers criticising that, I don’t think they ever have this problem because, to have this problem, you need to be at one of the top clubs in the world. So at Man United it can happen.”

According to the Liverpool Echo, the Red Devils’ boss had some particular words for Klopp. On the ”Normal One”, the ”Special One” told reporters:”You are right, he (Klopp) was one of them (who had spoken) but I don’t comment.”

”He made comments about us but I don’t comment about him. Or about his club.”

”I heard already two of my colleagues from other clubs speaking about us. I do not like that. It is not ethical. There are things that when I do (them) are not ethical, and when others do it everything is normal.”

”All that matters is what happens in my house, not in my neighbours’ house”- concluded Mourinho.

Taking swipe at Klopp and Wenger and implying Arsenal and Liverpool are not big enough to get a world class player like Pogba, is typical Mourinho. Love him or hate him, you can not ignore his gift of the gab.

Probably it was a timely dig at Wenger for the backlash he is getting for not being active in the transfer market. But hours after  Wenger’s  “We have Mourinho, Conte, Guardiola and Klopp. It’s a world championship of managers” comment, where he puts Mourinho in good light, how “ethical” was it of Mourinho to take jibe at Wenger, one may question. 

Aug 10 2016

Mourinho starts Manchester United clearout by sanctioning sale of two players

Paddy McNair

Summer exodus by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has begun as Paddy McNair and Donald Love are all set to join Sunderland after both clubs zeroed in on a fee, as reported by Sky Sports.

Northern Ireland international featured several times under the guidance of the former anager Louis Van Gaal. United signed Ivory Coast centre-back Eric Bailly and his arrival has strengthened their back four, but also increased competition for a place in the starting lineup

McNair is not included in Mourinho’s plans for the 2016-17 season and the Red Devils manager is looking to sanctioning his sale.

Scotland Under-21 international full-back Love, who made his last two appearances in United shirt, back in February, was also certain to fall beneath the pecking order further, as left-back Luke Shaw has returned to fitness.

Thus, a deal for the duo looks to be beneficiary for both the clubs, as current Sunderland manager David Moyes has decided to raid his former club, United, to settle the defensive woes at the Stadium of Light.

Sky Sports reveal that the Black Cats will  pay an initial £5 million fee for McNair, which could rise to £7 million with add-ons, with a four year contract on the cards, while  Love could cost the Black Cats £1 million. Reportedly both players will have medicals in Sunderland.