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Manchester United 2015-2016


Alfrescian (Inf)
Daniele Rugani transfer news: Arsenal and Manchester United 'interested' in Juventus defeder Daniele Rugani
Rugani is not in Massimo Allegri's current first-team plans but Juventus see the centre-back as part of their future


Out-of-favour Juventus defender Daniele Rugani is being linked with a move to the Premier League with both Arsenal and Manchester United set to be eyeing January moves for the centre-back.
21-year-old Rugani joined the Serie A champions permanently in the summer after they bought out Empoli’s half of their co-ownership deal. But despite being one of Italy’s most promising young prospects in their youth ranks, Rugani has not made a single league appearance this season under Massimo Allegri, and his only outing came in as 89th-minute substitute in the Champions League.
The belief in Turin is that Rugani still remains a key figure in Juventus’s future, but Italian newspaper Tuttomercato reports that Arsenal, United and Napoli are all interested in signing the defender.
Arsenal are currently level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City, but their defence was horribly exposed by Bayern Munich in their Champions League meeting at the Allianz Arena that saw the Bundesliga champions run out 5-1 winners.
With both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny over 30 years of age, Arsene Wenger appears to be keen to bring in young talent for the future, having already invested in the likes of Calum Chambers and Gabriel Paulista.

United are also still looking for their perfect defensive combination despite over a year of heavy investment by manager Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman looks to have settled on a centre-back pairing of Daley Blind and Chris Smalling, but the broken leg suffered by Luke Shaw during a Champions League encounter with PSV Eindhoven has forced a reshuffle with Marcos Rojo now being deployed on the left.
With the Argentina helping to plug a back-four that has seen Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young share responsibilities at right-back, Van Gaal looks set to bolster his options in the January transfer window to add to his only other option in Phil Jones, and while Paddy McNair could be called upon this evening he has not convinced Van Gaal that he is the long-term answer.




Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

Barclays Premier League
Venue: Vicarage Road Date: Saturday, 21 November

Watford v MU


Watford could be without Sebastian Prodl on Saturday after he suffered a calf injury playing for Austria.
Midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado's hamstring injury is unlikely to have cleared up in time to play.
Manchester United's Michael Carrick is set to miss out after picking up an ankle injury on England duty.
Anthony Martial's foot problem will be assessed, while Chris Smalling and Marouane Fellaini will also face fitness tests.

Jonathan Pearce: "I have a vested interest in Watford's Premier League survival. The Lily Foundation set up in memory of my baby niece to fight Mitochondrial Disease is an official charity partner of the Hornets for the second year running.
"When promoted, they could have dumped us for a bigger name, but they've stayed with us and for now keep coming up with enough good results to suggest they'll win their battle to stay up.
"They'll have to end a nine-match losing run against United to get something from this game though, where the first goal will be crucial.
"Watford have only scored three home goals. Van Gaal's durable side haven't conceded in 555 minutes. If United go ahead, they won't lose."


  • Manchester United have won all four previous Premier League meetings between the sides, and the last nine in all competitions.
  • United have won on their last four visits to Vicarage Road in all competitions.

  • Watford have not suffered back-to-back defeats so far in this season's Premier League.
  • Eleven of the 12 league goals they have conceded this season have come in the second half.
  • The Hornets have scored an average of 0.92 goals a game, the second-lowest figure in the top flight.
  • Odion Ighalo has scored seven Premier League goals this season - only Leicester's Jamie Vardy has more.
Manchester United

  • United have the best defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded eight goals in 12 games. They have kept clean sheets in five of their last six Premier League matches, and have gone 555 minutes without conceding in all competitions.
  • Louis van Gaal's side have kept eight clean sheets in the league this season already - they kept 11 in the whole of last season.
  • According to Opta, the Red Devils have converted a league-high 20% of their chances this season.
  • However, they have failed to score in three of their last five top-flight games.
  • Wayne Rooney needs one more goal to move into second place outright in Manchester United's all-time goal-scorers list. He is currently level with Denis Law on 237; Sir Bobby Charlton is top with 249.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson


Man Utd gossip: John Stones could be bought for £45m

Manchester United would be prepared to spend a British record transfer fee for a defender of more than £45m to sign Everton's John Stones, reports the Manchester Evening News.

They claim manager Louis van Gaal has had the Everton and England centre back watched this season ahead of a potential summer bid.

It is also reported with Chelsea and Barcelona targeting the 21-year-old, Everton are refusing to let him go on the cheap. but that United would not be put off by their £45m asking price.

Former manager David Moyes believes Manchester United fans could have a wait before seeing their side return to the top of the game, reports the Sun.

Moyes was sacked after just ten months in charge at Old Trafford after succeeding Alex Ferguson.
Former England striker Gary Lineker tells Four Four Two he almost joined Manchester United before moving to White Hart Lane in 1989.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United starlet Jesse Lingard in line for a bumper new contract after impressing Louis van Gaal


Talks will begin on an agreement that could double the 22-year-old’s weekly wages to £50,000 after Christmas.

Jesse Lingard is in line for bumper double-your-money talks on a new Manchester United contract.
Lingard and his representatives have been invited to open negotiations on a fresh deal as a reward for breaking into the first team and being called up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad .

Lingard, 23 next month, is reportedly earning £25,000-a-week on an incentive-based contract which rewards the attacking midfielder for first team appearances. But talks will begin on an agreement that could double Lingard’s weekly wages to £50,000 after Christmas.

Warrington-born Lingard has impressed boss Louis van Gaal and his No.2 Ryan Giggs as well as former Old Trafford icon Paul Scholes.

The youth team product has muscled his way ahead of £31million summer signing Memphis Depay.
Lingard made the vital match-winner against CSKA Moscow, and scored his first Premier League goal for United in the 2-0 win over West Brom.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson


  • Venue: Old Trafford
  • Date: Wednesday 25 November
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is fit for Wednesday's Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven but may not start, says manager Louis van Gaal.

Rooney trained on Tuesday after missing Saturday's 2-1 win over Watford with illness.
But asked if Rooney would regain his place in the XI, Van Gaal said: "No, not automatically."

Striker Anthony Martial is also fit, but midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Phil Jones are unavailable.
Marouane Fellaini, who also missed the Watford match, has recovered from a calf injury.

But Van Gaal said the Belgian midfielder, Martial and Rooney would have to "show on the training ground" that they deserved a starting place for the Group B match. Group B leaders United will progress to the knockout stage with victory, though PSV will have other ideas as they seek the win that could take them top of the section instead.

United were beaten 2-1 in Eindhoven in the reverse fixture and Van Gaal described that match as "very disappointing", not just because of the result but also because of the loss of Luke Shaw to a broken leg.

"For me and for us he is a very important player," Van Gaal said. "I said in advance that he would be the revelation of this season and he was on his way to doing that."

The United manager revealed that he has given Shaw some time off this week from his recovery routine.
"Shaw was fed up with the daily routine and I saw why he was fed up, maybe because it was PSV," Van Gaal said.
The England international will have a scan on Friday to see how his leg is recovering.

Midfielders Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick also remain unavailable for United.



Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

In Pictures: Remembering George Best ten years after his death

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best died in hospital at the age of 59 after suffering multiple organ failure on 25 November 2005.
He is remembered for his dazzling skill on the pitch and for his champagne lifestyle away from it.
Best once said: "I was the one who took football off the back pages and put it on to page one."
Ten years on from his death we look back at his life.


The Belfast-born player made his debut for Manchester United at the age of 17 in 1963


May 1968: Pat Crerand, left, and George Best hold the European Cup with manager Matt Busby at Euston station in London, ahead of the team's departure for Manchester


Best is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have graced the game
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Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

George Best v Cristiano Ronaldo: Man Utd wingers in quotes


Manchester United fans will mark the 10th anniversary of George Best's death with a special tribute during Wednesday night's Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.

In the seventh minute of the match, fans will unveil a banner and turn on their mobile phone torches to light up Old Trafford in honour of the legendary number seven.

Best is widely regarded as one of United's best ever players and with rumours of a return of another former great in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo, BBC Sport takes a look at how the two wingers compare in their own words.

"I think I've found you a genius" - telegram sent to Manchester United boss Matt Busby by talent scout Bob Bishop after watching 15-year-old Best playing for Cregagh Boys' Club.
Ronaldo moved from Sporting Lisbon to United for £12.26m within days of starring in a pre-season friendly game against Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
"He was up against John O'Shea. Sheasy ended up seeing the doctor at half-time because he was actually having dizzy spells," said former United captain Roy Keane.

Ferguson added: "'John O'Shea's ended up with a migraine,' I said. 'Get him signed.'"

Best v Ronaldo: Old Trafford careers compared
First Division x 2, European CupTrophiesPremier League x 4, FA Cup, Champions League, League Cup x 2
1968Ballon d'Or2008
14 Sept 1963 v West BromDebut16 Aug 2003 v Bolton

Best: "If I'd been born ugly, you'd never have heard of Pele."
Ronaldo: "Maybe they hate me because I'm too good."

Best: "I spent a lot of money on booze, women and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
Ronaldo: "I've never hidden that it's my intention to become the best".


Best: "They'll forget all the rubbish when I've gone and they'll remember the football. If only one person thinks I'm the best player in the world, that's good enough for me."
Ronaldo: "I don't need to say 'I'm in the history of football, I'm a legend'. The numbers say everything."

On critics

Best: " People always say I shouldn't be burning the candle at both ends. Maybe they haven't got a big enough candle."
Ronaldo: "People whistle me because I am good-looking, rich and a great footballer. They are jealous of me."

In 2004, Best was named in the Fifa 100 list of the world's greatest players, past and present

On other players

Best: "Pele said he thought I was the greatest ever player. I have always thought I was the best ever player - that's the way you have to look at it. I have never looked at another player and felt inferior."
Ronaldo: "It's opinions, I respect the opinions. Maybe in your opinion Messi is better than me, but in my mind I am better than him. So it's simple."

Best on Best

"I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town."
Ronaldo scored 42 goals as Manchester United won the Premier League and Champions League in 2008
Ronaldo on Ronaldo
"In my head I am the best."

Best on Ronaldo, Ronaldo on Best
Best: "There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it's been a compliment to me."
Ronaldo: "I would be very proud if, one day, I'm held in the same esteem as George Best or David Beckham. It's what I'm working hard towards."

What their managers said

Sir Matt Busby on Best: "He was able to use either foot - sometimes he seemed to have six.
"We had our problems with the wee fella, but I prefer to remember his genius."
Sir Alex Ferguson on Ronaldo: "Cristiano Ronaldo was the most gifted player I managed. He surpassed all the other great ones I coached at United. And I had many."

And finally...

Best: "If you'd given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from 30 yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both."

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Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

]Talks will begin on an agreement that could double the 22-year-old’s weekly wages to £50,000 after Christmas.

After his piss poor performance last night, I doubt if LvG will want to even keep him on!

Yellow carded and missed a sitter!


Alfrescian (Inf)
From grapevine :wink:

Pep Guardiola sees Manchester United as his preferred next move

United would have to part with Louis van Gaal if they were to land Pep Guardiola but are unlikely to baulk at a pay-off of around £7m

Pep Guardiola is understood to see Manchester United as his preferred option when he makes his next move, potentially next summer, which would give the club a decision to make as to whether they part company with Louis van Gaal.

• Pep Guardiola - which clubs could he manage next season?

Bayern Munich, Guardiola’s current club, want to resolve his future over the winter break and would like the 44‑year-old to sign a new contract to follow his deal that expires next summer. However, the club that the German champions believe Guardiola has ambitions to manage above all are United, where Van Gaal is contracted for one more season after this.


Karl Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern president, said last week that the issue of Guardiola’s future would be resolved by the new year. Guardiola has proven notoriously difficult to pin down in the past, preferring to announce decisions at the last moment, but Bayern have indicated that they are not prepared to wait into the new season for an answer.


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal feels the strain

United would have to part with Van Gaal if they were to land Guardiola, although given Guardiola’s status, and the new culture of regular change at the top of Europe’s biggest clubs, it is unlikely they would baulk at a pay-off of around £7 million for their Dutch manager.

Manchester City and their director of football, Txiki Begiristain, consider Guardiola their priority appointment, although he has never given them any assurances about coming one day.

Reading the signs on Guardiola’s next move has always been a tricky science, but there is no question that the preoccupation in Munich is with his interest in United. Sir Alex Ferguson disclosed in his most recent book that he made an informal approach to Guardiola over dinner in New York in the September of his last season, 2012-2013. The younger man agreed terms with Bayern without further contact.




Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United: Can Louis van Gaal's 'boring' team win the title?


Manchester United missed the chance to go top of the Premier League after another colourless display from Louis van Gaal's side earned a point at Leicester City on Saturday.

United remain in third place behind Manchester City and Leicester - but are they betraying recent Old Trafford traditions with their conservative approach, and can they seriously expect to mount a title challenge playing in this manner?

Is it fair to call Manchester United boring?
It is the question that would never even have been considered in the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson when every United game, in a football context, contained an element of danger as they so often lived on the edge in the search for success.

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen recently explainedhow Ferguson felt a duty to attack.
"Sir Alex was very clear on this one," Dutchman Meulensteen told the BBC. "We want to be successful, we want to win games, we want to win trophies but we have an obligation to entertain the fans."

United invariably came out of the other side fuelled by Ferguson's insistence on all-out attack - but there has been growing discontent with the functional but dull style employed by Van Gaal, whose appointment was meant to clear the air after the disastrous tenure of David Moyes and bring the flourishes back to Old Trafford.

Statistics back up their complaints and will only add to the growing belief that this is a United side at odds with how they are expected to play by those steeped in the club's tradition.
An attack in decline? (Stats after first 14 games)
SeasonGoalsShots (inc blocked)Shots on target

In 14 Premier League games this season, they have scored 20 goals from 146 shots with 53 on target. Even in the misery of the Moyes season in 2013-14, they had struck 22 times after the same number of games.

In Ferguson's final title winning season in 2012-13, at this stage of the campaign they had scored 33 goals from 229 shots, with 84 on target.
When £36m teenager Anthony Martial announced his arrival from Monaco with a brilliant goal on his debut as a substitute against Liverpool in September and followed it up with a double at Southampton a week later, it looked like Van Gaal had added an extra dimension of excitement.
Instead, the exciting young France star has had his effectiveness reduced by being moved to the wing and the impression that Van Gaal's much-touted "philosophy" simply does not chime with Old Trafford is strengthened by his use of two holding midfield players, with Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger deployed at Leicester.

Both are increasingly immobile, although the German has scored vital goals at Leicester and Watford - but it immediately hints at a defensive mindset. One, yes - but two? United, dull against PSV in midweek, were horribly narrow at Leicester and as a consequence rarely got in behind Claudio Ranieri's side. They have looked equally impotent on many occasions this season.

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes recently said Anthony Martial does not look "bothered"

Juan Mata was in the "number 10" position but this does nothing to address a glaring lack of pace - and with Wayne Rooney's powers diminishing, this is a United side shorn of the speed, verve and sheer adventure that their fans are used to.

Van Gaal bemoaned not winning Saturday's game, but when he talked of United's "dominance" it was utter nonsense and at odds with the reality.
On the evidence of this season, Van Gaal wants his side to be based on a strict structure which seems to stifle individualism, a team pattern driven by repetition on the training ground as opposed to any spontaneity.

Their outstanding defensive record of conceding only 10 goals, the fewest in the league, is propping up a lack of invention and artistry their fans have come to expect. It was the 74th minute before the first cries of "attack, attack, attack" were heard from the visiting United fans.
They may have to wait a while because this is simply not a side assembled to fulfil their wishes.

Are Man Utd fans right to complain?
The respected Red Devils fanzine United We Stand recently carried the headline "It's Not What You Do It's The Way That You Do It". After the goalless draw with PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday, some fans on BBC Radio 5 live called for the return of Moyes.
On Saturday evening, some others tweeted me to say that even if United won the Premier League it would not be fun or memorable.
Look at the table and the fans are not right to complain - look at the action (or lack of it) from their team and they have a case.
Of course if United win the title or Van Gaal brings the big prizes back to Old Trafford, he will be delivering the most emphatic response possible.
Manchester United fans have voiced their discontent with the style of play at times this season
The problem Van Gaal has is that the standards have been set highest of all by Ferguson's reign.
Even though he is the man after the man who replaced the great Scot, he is doing little to live up to the reputation given to him when he arrived in 2014 after a successful World Cup with the Netherlands in Brazil. He was the progressive coach who would restore gloss to the 'Theatre of Dreams'. The wait continues.

Some may regard the complaints of United's fans as those of a support spoiled by the successes of the past. While this contains an element of truth, they are also driven by the desire to see something that at least resembles what they saw only a few years ago, especially given a vast transfer outlay. Their hopes were lifted with the arrival of Martial and Memphis Depay for a combined £67m, but one has been dragged down after a bright start and the young Dutchman has struggled to justify his fee.

Van Gaal can, and will, stop the complaints by presenting United's fans with silverware - but displays like this one at Leicester, and their manager's almost farcically upbeat view of their supposed domination, does not help his case.

Should the old boys be complaining?
The complaints from former Manchester United greats about their performances have been a running narrative this season and they were at it again as the action played out at the King Power Stadium.

Paul Scholes has been the fiercest critic - "I keep saying it's boring, I know," said the former midfielder on Wednesday - but his old partner in success Gary Neville made a pointed comment when Jamie Vardy concluded a stunning Leicester break with his record-breaking 11th strike in successive Premier League games.

"Manchester United used to counter-attack like that," was his response and there were some other telling blows delivered as the groundswell of opinion that this is a dour football team gathers momentum.

Ex-Man Utd players and coaches have their say:
Rene Meulensteen: "The word is maybe rigid at times...there's a lack of freedom now."
Michael Owen: "They're just a defending team with a few attackers and no help from elsewhere."
Rio Ferdinand: "It wasn't always exciting in my day... certainly during the final three seasons under Sir Alex it was more a case of us getting over the line."
Paul Scholes: "Attacking-wise they don't look a threat, they don't look good enough, they don't look like they're going to go and score goals."
Gary Neville: "I don't think Van Gaal is telling all the players on the training ground to pass backwards. They need to take some responsibility."
Jesper Blomqvist: "I expect more entertainment from United."

Norman Whiteside, who won the FA Cup with United in 1983 and 1985, tweeted at half-time: "Please let's enjoy some Man Utd football in the second half please please :smile:"

And Dion Dublin, who played under Ferguson, said during the game: "Manchester United haven't been brilliant. It's not the outcome, it's the way they are trying to achieve it. It's very stagnant. There are no smiles on the players' faces and Manchester United usually play with width.
"But if you're not doing that, then it's not the Manchester United way for me. I'm not excited about watching them any more."
Van Gaal will never win any battles, especially with United's fans, by going up against the likes of Scholes.

There will be those who claim the former greats are simply living in the past, gazing at their old club with rose-tinted spectacles.
The problem Van Gaal has is that they are not just shaping the opinions of United's supporters - they are echoing them.

Scholes (far right) and Gary Neville (second right) have been criticial of Van Gaal's United

What does Ryan Giggs think?

If one player epitomised the free-flowing, fearless football of Ferguson's reign, it was Ryan Giggs. He was there through all the successes with the approach of his manager and mentor driven into every fibre.
So how will this symbol of United's golden era - making a club record 963 appearances and winning 34 trophies, including 13 league titles, four FA Cups and two Champions Leagues - feel as he sits alongside Van Gaal as assistant manager, watching performances that seem at odds with everything he stood for?

Giggs may be Van Gaal's right-hand man but his manager has always been renowned for his dictatorial style. Does Giggs have enough significant input to try to put a more natural attacking imprint on the team?

When he concluded his playing career in May 2014, he stood on the pitch at Old Trafford and addressed the fans, saying: "You have seen a glimpse of the future. We never stand still and always give youth a chance and we try to play attractive football."
Giggs, who is a co-owner of Salford City with Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers - would be hard-pushed to press those claims now, and there were reports that he was frustrated that 19-year-old England Under-21 striker James Wilson was sent out on loan to Brighton this week, a player of rich promise only getting a handful of games under Van Gaal.

He is very much Van Gaal's silent partner and the veteran manager's single-minded approach always begs the question about how much advice of others he will take on board - which can be a quality as well as a criticism.
A penny for Giggs' thoughts would be a very interesting investment.

Giggs (left) was an attacking and exciting player - and now works for Van Gaal

Can Man Utd bore their way to the title?

They most certainly can - but they will surely have to rely on the failings of others rather than any deeds of their own because they currently look functional, well-organised but lacking in spark and inspiration.

Champions do not need to be inspirational every week and a Premier League title will vindicate every method Van Gaal has implemented, but this does not look like a side that will win it.

United have lost only two of 14 league games this season and were one goal away from going top of the table here at Leicester, so to paint this as a tale of unrelenting misery would be wrong and unfair.

Van Gaal's United, however, have an image problem. Manchester United have an image and a style - and his team are not living up to it.
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Alfrescian (Inf)
The 20 worst Manchester United signings


Diego Forlan failed to score 1st 27 games


Mark Bosnich

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Guardiola at OT? Nah, more likely City than anywhere else. Like Ronaldo and company, they're looking for an improved contract. Bayern may not be able to match what City is willing to put on the table.


Alfrescian (Inf)
All's not well at OT? Dutchie issues? :p

Manchester United stars unhappy with boss Louis van Gaal's 'supper-club' as the morale of Dutchman's players worsens

  • Louis van Gaal's 'supper-club' has left Manchester United players unhappy
  • Members of the team have been frustrated with rigid style of management
  • Squad have to attend a series of tedious meetings lasting several hours
  • Wayne Rooney and Co then gather for a 10pm supper of cereal and toast
  • Manager's system is said to be affecting the fragile morale of his players
Manchester United’s players remain unhappy with Louis van Gaal’s rigid style of management, with some complaining privately over the Dutchman’s ‘supper-club’ routine before matches.

Under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, the squad used to have time to themselves after dinner but now they have to attend a series of tedious meetings lasting several hours at the team hotel before gathering for a 10pm supper of cereal and toast.

For home games, Van Gaal’s players usually eat a dinner of chicken and pasta at their Carrington training base at 5pm before leaving for Manchester’s Lowry Hotel. The meetings and supper are followed by a 10.30pm bedtime.

Even when United play away, Van Gaal tries to maintain the same routine.

It is something he introduced shortly after taking over at Old Trafford last year but it has become another element of Van Gaal’s strict repetitive approach that grates on United players.

Van Gaal likes to go through training drills over and over again to instil his ‘philosophy’, and he is a strong advocate of exhaustive team meetings to prepare for games and analyse performances.


Manchester United players have complained privately over Louis van Gaal's ‘supper-club’ before matches

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fo...Dutchman-s-players-worsens.html#ixzz3tFS3utA1


Alfrescian (Inf)
Strike force Kane, for toothless MU. Yet another speculation (replay) from grapevine :p


Exclusive: Man United weigh up £50m summer swoop for England star
MANCHESTER UNITED are planning a £50 million summer swoop for Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

But even that huge fee for the England centre forward, 22, might not be enough to persuade Spurschairman Daniel Levy to do business. United watched Kane again last Sunday against Chelsea and their dossier on him includes detailed computer analysis of his all-round game and character.

The Old Trafford club see Kane as a more-obtainable target than Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski or the Real Madrid pair - Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

United are also continuing to track Leicester's Jamie Vardy and Southampton winger Sadio Mane. 23.
The Saints star was watched by chief scout Jim Lawlor at Manchester City last weekend.

But the player at the top of United's wish list, with manager Louis van Gaal urging another spending spree to challenge for the Champions League next season, is Kane. Tottenham, though, have been adamant he is not for sale, as they assemble their own squad to challenge for the top honours under manager Mauricio Pochettino.

United don't expect major business in next month's transfer window, but will try to recruit a left back - as already revealed by the Daily Star Sunday.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Man Utd must prove Champions League credentials - Van Gaal

Manchester United must prove they merit a place in the Champions League last 16 by beating Wolfsburg in their crucial group tie, says boss Louis van Gaal.

The Red Devils will qualify with a win in Tuesday's final Group B game, or if PSV Eindhoven lose to CSKA Moscow.
But PSV will advance if they better United's result in Germany.

"It is very important for the club to continue in the Champions League," said Van Gaal. "We can't rely on the result of the other game."

United are aiming to reach the knockout phase in their first appearance back in the Champions League since failing to qualify for European competition under David Moyes in 2013-14.

After losing their opening tie at PSV, Van Gaal's side have won two and drawn two to leave their last-16 fate in their own hands.
Goals from Juan Mata and Chris Smalling helped them come from behindto beat Wolfsburg 2-1 in the reverse fixture.

"You have to prove yourselves, as a club, as a team and as players," added Van Gaal, who won the competition with Ajax in 1995.
United, who are three-time European champions, will drop into the Europa League if they finish third behind Wolfsburg and PSV.

'Goals will come for United'

Van Gaal's team were booed off after Saturday's 0-0 draw with West Ham at Old Trafford, with home supporters frustrated at seeing their team fail to score for the fifth time in nine matches.

Skipper Wayne Rooney will miss the Wolfsburg trip with an ankle injury, leaving 20-year-old France international Anthony Martial as their only recognised striker.

"When you are creating chances you shall finish those kind of chances," said the 64-year-old Dutchman.
"That's why we have that belief. It's a matter of time and I hope we can prove it against Wolfsburg.
"I have the experience as a manager that the goals shall come."

No pressure on Martial - Van Gaal
Martial scored four goals in his first four matches following his £36m transfer from Monaco in September, but has netted just once in his past 13 matches.

"We have to give him time and that's always difficult when you are playing for a team like Manchester United because the expectations are very high," said Van Gaal.

"But I am very convinced that he will continue with his performances, and that he shall score at the right moment again.
"You cannot expect a 20-year-old player coming to the Premier League to score every week. I didn't expect it either.

"When he came he was accelerating in the start of his campaign at Manchester United. I know that and I have to explain it to everybody because he doesn't need that pressure to score every match."

'Man Utd had better pay attention'
Wolfsburg know they will reach the Champions League knockout phase for the first time with a draw, but coach Dieter Hecking insists his team will not be content to play for just a point.

Last season's Bundesliga runners-up will finish as group winners if they beat United.
"We want to win, and I think my players want to win too. We pay attention to a lot of things, but Manchester United had better pay attention to us," said Hecking.

"I don't feel any pressure, I am just really looking forward to this game and I know my team will do all they can to make history.
"We've not considered progressing with a draw."

Wolfsburg are currently fifth in the German top flight and boast a formidable record at the Volkswagen Arena, where they lost for the first time in 29 home Bundesliga matches on Saturday, an injury-time defeatby Borussia Dortmund.
And Wolfsburg's former Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle says it is important to score first against United to boost their chances of avoiding another defeat.

"If we can get it, then psychologically it will be good for us because we'll get a little bit more space," said the 25-year-old Germany international.
"It's going to be difficult to get the ball so we have to be very aggressive.
"This is a great game - we are going to give everything we can, really go for it."



Alfrescian (Inf)
After tonight's performance against Wolfsburg, the knives will be out for LvG.

UCL over for another season.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: United up ante for Neymar with staggering bid of £143.9m

Transfers: Latest news, rumours and gossip for Man Utd - Brazilian isn't interested in leaving Spanish giants but that hasn't put Louis van Gaal off



It would be a staggering and eye-watering deal if Manchester United could pull it off but the likelihood of Neymar joining Old Trafford remains extremely slim.

Even though the Barcelona forward insists he's happy at the Nou Camp and doesn't see his future anywhere else, that does not seem to stop reports surfacing that United will up the ante in an attempt to persuade the seemingly unpersuadable.

Today reports are doing the rounds that United are preparing a quite preposterous £143.9 million offer to sign the Brazilian next month.

Apparently, Louis van Gaal has been given a £200m kitty to spend on transfers to improve his squad and it seems like he's prepared to nearly throw all of his lot on one man.
Neymar is one of three world-class stars to be continued to be linked with United - Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale being the other two.

But for all the money United appear willing to splash out in an attempt to land Neymar, the player is not for budging.
Barca, however, may be willing to sell - in order to balance the books.
Former Barca president Joan Laporta said last month: "The economic situation of the club is not good, but the current president, to balance the books must sell players or assets. And the best solution is to sell a great player.
"There is talk of a proposal for Man United. But all that, it is because of the mismanagement of the current leadership."
Another player Van Gaal is desperate to recruit is that of Spurs striker Harry Kane.
The Star reports that United are compiling a dossier on the England star and will launch a £50m bid for the player in the summer.
United were keen to sign the 22-year-old earlier this year and were prepared to make a £40m bid for the Premier League's top scoring Englishman.

Able Kane: Harry Kane could solve at least one problem for Manchester United - their lack of players with haircuts from the past

However, Spurs were unwilling to sell on that occasion and will be reluctant to part with one of their star assets at the end of the season.

Despite a slow start to the current campaign, Kane has hit the goal trail again with a return of eight in 15 this season.
Chelsea are also monitoring the England international with Diego Costa failing to repeat his superb form of last season.
United, meanwhile, will bolster their youth ranks with the signing of Ajax and Holland starlet Juan Familia-Castillo.
Louis van Gaal is an advocat of promoting youth in his first team and is keen to make 15-year-old Familia-Castillo his latest member to that club.

United signed Timothy Fosu Mensah from Ajax in 2014 and now they are set to return for Familia-Castillo.

The teenage midfielder is said to have been on United's radar for the last year now, but United have been keeping a close eye on the youngster to check on his develeopment. Being suitable impressed by Familia-Castillo's progression and with him now captaining Holland's U16s side, it appears United do not need any more persuading to go for the player.
The left-footed midfielder turns 16 in January and could celebrate his birthday with a switch to Old Trafford.