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

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.”


Jul 29 2016

Photo: Manchester United launch third kit for 2016-17 season

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Manchester United have launched their third kit for the 2016-17 season on 29 July, Friday.

The Red Devils’ kit manufacturer adidas have manufactured the kit as they head into the second year of 10-year contract, which is worth £750 million. They have taken inspiration from the club’s early years as Newton Heath LYR Football Club for the third kit.

The new kit pays homage to the club’s illustrious history in which it rose from humble beginnings as a local railway workers’ team to become the biggest and best known football club in the world. The transformation from their humble beginnings to the globally renowned “Red Devils” is represented through each of the new 2016/17 kits.

The white kit with black accents takes inspiration from the City of Manchester’s Coat of Arms which features a worker bee, a symbol of the city’s history as a leading-light at the forefront of the UK’s industrial heritage.

Adidas has incorporated this symbolism into the new design as a Badge of Honour to demonstrate that, through hard work, a ‘never say die’ attitude and audacious football, Manchester.

The white kit with black accents takes inspiration from the City of Manchester’s Coat of Arms which features a worker bee, a symbol of the city’s history as a leading-light at the forefront of the UK’s industrial heritage.

Adidas has incorporated this symbolism into the new design as a Badge of Honour to demonstrate that, through hard work, a ‘never say die’ attitude and audacious football, Manchester United have evolved to become pioneers of the international football game. The kit will be worn in the club’s first way game of the season against Bournemouth on Sunday August 14.

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Man_U_3rd_Kit_INSTA_03


Jul 28 2016

Photo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes part in his first Manchester United training session

Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Phil Jones

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was Manchester United’s second signing of the summer transfer window and he moved to Manchester in the last few days.

The 34-year-old took part in his first training session since joining the Red Devils. Jose Mourinho’s side played Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium and Borussia Dortmund in China in the pre-season.

Their clash against Manchester City was cancelled due to bad weather and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward expressed disappointment after the fixture was cancelled.

Ibrahimovic was not a part of any of these matches as Mourinho handed him an extended break following his participation in the Euro 2016 with Sweden, which was his final appearance for the national side as he announced retirement from international football.

United will take on Turkish giants Galatasaray in the upcoming pre-season fixture in Sweden on Saturday. The former Juventus and Barcelona striker could feature for the first time in the Red Devils’ shirt in his homeland. The pictures from Ibrahimovic’s first training session is shown below.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Eric Bailly

Zlatan Ibrahimovic


Jul 27 2016

Manchester United’s hope of signing midfielder ended by manager

Nemanja Matic

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has handed Manchester United a transfer blow after suggesting that midfielder Nemanja Matic is an important player at Stamford Bridge, ruling out any potential transfer away from the west London club.

The Serbian international played a key role in the middle of the pitch in helping the Blues win the title in the 2014-15 Premier League season, when Jose Mourinho was their manager. However, he lost his place in the starting lineup after a dip in form. Simultaneously, even Chelsea were struggling, which led to the Portuguese coach’s sacking last December.

Mourinho returned to management after United announced him as Louis van Gaal’s successor in May. The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager wanted to bring Matic to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window, according to the Mirror.

Matic’s future at Chelsea became uncertain after Conte signed France international N’Golo Kante from Leicester City. However, the ex-Juventus and Italy coach has other plans and admitted that the midfielder is a key part of his plan for the upcoming season.  

“Matic is an important player for me, a very important player. In my idea of football he is an important player and he knows this,” Conte said, as quoted by Chelsea’s official website.

“I am delighted with his attitude and behaviour and I see in him a great commitment. I know with his work he can become a fantastic midfielder, one of the best in the world in my opinion.”


Jul 27 2016

Photo: Mourinho’s Manchester United midfield target in Spanish giants’ shirt

Andre Gomes

Manchester United’s hope of signing Andre Gomes has been crushed after the midfielder left Valencia and completed a move to Barcelona.

The 22-year-old was a key part of Portugal squad that won the Euro 2016 after beating host nation France in the final. They won in the extra time, courtesy to Eder’s goal, which was the difference between the two sides. He was also impressive for Valencia in the 2015-16 season.

Gomes’ form for both club and country saw him attract interest from clubs across Europe. According to the Mirror, the Portuguese international was wanted by the Red Devils in the summer transfer window and he hailed United manager, Jose Mourinho.

The Daily Mail reported even Champions League winners Real Madrid were also interested in signing the midfielder. However, Gomes rejected both United and the Spanish capital club to join the latter’s arch-rivals Barcelona.

Gomes completed his medical and has already signed a contract with his new club. A statement on Barcelona’s official website read, “André Gomes is officially an FC Barcelona player. On his second day at the club, the new midfielder had final medical checkups before heading to the club offices.”

“The Portuguese international signed his new contract just before midday at the club’s headquarters alongside president Josep Maria Bartomeu before heading to the Camp Nou Platea for a photo session.”

United are also chasing Juventus star Paul Pogba. The France international has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, the club he left to join the Turin club in 2012. The Red Devils are not the only side interested in signing him as even Madrid are also looking at the option of signing him. Their manager Zinedine Zidane confirmed his side’s interest in Pogba.


Jul 27 2016

Manchester United attacker should emulate ex-Arsenal star says OT legend

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Manchester United earlier this month after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired at the end of June. The striker has become the Red Devils’ high profile signing this summer and Old Trafford legend Bryan Robson remains hopeful the Swede can emulate what Robin van Persie did in his first season at the club.

Van Persie moved to United from Arsenal after Sir Alex Ferguson convinced the Dutch international to snub Manchester City to join his side. He was a key player as his goals helped the 20-time English champions win the Premier League title in 2012-13 season. It was United’s record title.

Ibrahimovic was the star player and the 34-year-old has only improved his goal scoring rate in the last few seasons. He scored 50 goals in all competitions for the Ligue 1 winners in the previous campaign and Robson remains hopeful the former Swedish international can replicate his PSG form at United in the upcoming season to help United win the title.

“Zlatan is 34 and it would have been nice to get him at 28 or 29, something like that, but the way he played for PSG last year showed he has a lot to offer still and he looks really fit,” Robson told MUTV.

“I think back to Sir Alex’s last year when everybody talked about Robin van Persie’s age and his injuries when he joined, but he won us the title with his goals that season. Hopefully Zlatan can do the same.

“He will take the pressure off Wayne Rooney as well. Every time we’ve had a bad result the excuse is that Wayne didn’t play particularly well. The pressure has always been on him to perform and Zlatan will take that away from Wayne a wee bit, so Wayne can relax and enjoy his game.

“Zlatan gave a great interview when the reporter told him that he’d previously described himself as 10 out of 10 and asked how he would rate himself now… Zlatan said 11 out of 10!”


Jul 27 2016

Real Madrid looking to block Manchester United’s fourth summer signing

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Juventus v Bayern Munich - Juventus Stadium

Real Madrid are looking to block Manchester United’s move in signing of Paul Pogba after their manager Zinedine Zidane revealed his side’s interest in Juventus midfielder.

The 23-year-old’s contract with his current employers runs down in the summer of 2019. He joined the Turin club from the Red Devils on a free contract in 2012. Since joining them, Pogba has become one of the star midfielders in the world.

Juventus star was part of France squad in the Euro 2016 in his homeland. Disappointing it was for Pogba as he saw his national side suffer a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal in the final as Eder’s goal in the extra time saw Portugal beat France to win the European championship.

Pogba is currently on a holiday and is expected to join Juventus’ training session next month. He has been linked with a world-record move to Old Trafford. United are ready to break the bank and pay a fee of £100 million in landing the talented midfielder, according to the Daily Mail.

“In this moment we are still working [on a move for Pogba], and I cannot say anything more,” Zidane explained.

“Until August 31 anything can happen, but today he is not a Real Madrid player and I cannot talk about what will happen.”

“I always say how things are, but now is not the time to talk about this. A lot of clubs are interested in Pogba.”

“Real Madrid always want the best players. But we owe Juventus respect, and I can’t say anything more out of respect.”

Zidane’s latest comments could only complicate it for United as they had set their sights on making Pogba as their fourth summer signing. Jose Mourinho has already helped the Red Devils complete three signings as Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have all moved to Old Trafford this summer.



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