The Manchester United Afternoon Bulletin


Ace defender Rio Ferdinand reckons that Michael Keane can return to United and be a huge star like Paul Pogba. Keane has impressed this campaign at the heart of Burnley’s defense. The game at Old Trafford was one of the games in which the United academy graduate stood out. Keane has been linked with a big-money move away from Turf Moor after being sold by van Gaal for just £2 Million back in 2015. His performances this season have earned him an England call-up.


Manager Jose Mourinho finds himself in a familiar situation after having to play in a FA Cup tie sandwiched by a European tie followed by the EFL Cup. Back in 2005, Chelsea faced Newcastle in the Cup, Barcelona in Europe and Liverpool in the final. Jose fielded a weakened side and lost 1-0 at St. James Park. He later vowed that he would never field a weakened side in the FA Cup. Against Blackburn he has the opportunity to redeem himself with United facing St. Etienne in Europe and Southampton at Wembley.


Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney may yet leave the club for China as the Chinese Transfer window is not shut yet. A £32 Million-a-year deal is expected to be on the table with several Chinese clubs interested for his signature. United’s leading top-scorer has lost his first-team place this season and competition for places means Rooney’s long-term future at Old Trafford is up in the air.


United’s huge margin of victory in the first leg of the UEL tie against St. Etienne means that Jose Mourinho has the liberty to rest his starters for the second leg in France, with Southampton waiting at Wembley. Despite this, hat trick hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic has stated his desire to play and score in the second leg.


Former United defender Wes Brown reckons that United are becoming scary again under Jose Mourinho. “It’s taken a few seasons. They’re starting to get the fear back” says Brown ahead of facing his former club on Sunday. Brown was part of the treble winning side back in 1999 and also won the 2008 Champions League with the team. He also singled out summer signings Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for praise. Wes Brown is expected to start from the bench for Sunday’s fixture.


United will review security arrangements at Old Trafford after a large number of flares were smuggled into the stadium by the away fans during the Europa League fixture. The away section was lit up by flares and fireworks around kick-off. UEFA has also opened disciplinary proceedings against St. Etienne for the same.