More on Griezmann, Sanchez, Veratti and Mourinho being a calm, changed man…

Afternoon Bulletin

GRIEZMANN UPDATE

Antoine Griezmann has reiterated that he has no reason to leave Atletico Madrid. Griezmann has been persistently been linked with a move to Old Trafford. The Frenchman has already found the back of the net 20 times already this season in another prolific season at the Vincente Calderon. The move though seems hinged on United Champions League qualification.

FA CUP CLARIFICATION

This season’s FA Cup quarter-finals will be decided on the day itself for the first time in the competition’s history. A draw over regulation time will be settled over extra time and penalties if need be. The teams can also make a fourth substation if the game exceeds its normal 90 minutes. The rule has been confirmed as part of a trial by the International Football Association Board. “With the Cup now adopting a straight knockout format from the quarter-finals onwards, the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time will bring extra intrigue and interest,” FA chief executive Martin Glenn said on Friday.

DE GEA CLAUSE UPGRADE

El Confidential claims that United are planning to hand David de Gea a new contract that will make him the world’s top paid goalkeeper. The deal will also take David de Gea’s release clause up to £70m. He currently has a £50m clause.

SHOT AT REDEMPTION

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has claimed that United will be playing for revenge in the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea. United were handed their worst defeat of the campaign back in October when Chelsea ran them over with a 4-0 score line. Fellaini also believes that United will book a place in the Europa League quarter finals after earning a creditable 1-1 draw at Rostov.

AMBASSADOR ROLE

Manchester United will offer Wayne Rooney a role as an ambassador even if he decides to leave the club for China or the MLS. United are prepared to offer him the role alongside other United legends. The Glazers have already given their approval for the proposal even if he decides to play elsewhere before retiring.

SANCHEZ TO OT?

Manchester United have reportedly enter the race for the wantaway Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez. Chelsea are also interested in the prolific Chilean. But Arsenal will want to ensure that they don’t sell their star man to one of their rivals. But history does suggest that he may be willing to sell with the right bid. A move for Sanchez by United will reopen old wounds for Arsenal fans who watched their captain fire their rivals to the Premier League.

SNUB IS REAL

James Rodriguez has all but ruled out the prospect of a transfer to Chelsea or Manchester United any time soon by committing his future to Real Madrid. The Colombia international was strongly linked with both Premier League clubs during the January transfer window, though a move never materialized as he remained at the Bernabeu. Despite not playing a key role in Zinedine Zidane’s first-team for much of this season and last, Rodriguez insists he wants to stay at the club for a long time and is not looking to leave.

LINGUARD

Jesse Lingard has only one year left on his current contract and clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal are ready to pounce should be open to a move away. Jesse can play in both the forward and wingback positions in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation. Arsenal are also said to be tracking United’s Wembley specialist. Jose is aware of Lingard’s situation and the player will only leave the club if it wants him gone. Jesse is a known United fan and would be surprising if he left on his own accord.

CHANGED MAN

Michael Carrick has spoken about how Jose Mourinho has adapted to United’s philosophy and this adaptation has changed him. Carrick said: “I think the manager has adapted to United traditions – and he’s admitted that himself. “That is credit to the manager. Of course, you have to play to the strengths of the players you have, but in the background he has a philosophy of what he wants to achieve. “But there is also a certain way he wants to play now, which is maybe a little different to what his teams have been known for in the past. “He’s a bit more attacking, if you like. “I think it has worked. For the run we’ve gone on and how we have played, to still be sixth is disappointing.”

THE CALM ONE

Michael Carrick has also revealed Jose Mourinho’s approach to team talks in half-time. Carrick revealed that the new boss does not copy Ferguson’s hairdryer approach during time as crisis. He said: “The manager is quite calm and calculating, especially at half-time. “He thinks about it and plans it out. He does everything. “For me the biggest thing is that he wants to win and win trophies and won’t stop. “If you want to be a top manager you have to have that desire to win. The buck stops with him.”

TOP DRAWER

The Telegraph claims that the United hit-man has an offer from LA Galaxy that will make him the highest-paid player in the history of the MLS. United have expressed their desire to keep him at Old Trafford but Zlatan’s been heavily linked with a move away. He is currently earning 11m at Old Trafford any deal would have to eclipse that. Manchester United qualifying for the UCL is supposed to be the only holdup stopping Ibrahimovic from signing an extension.

DEADLINE BEFORE DEADLINE DAY

Manchester United have reportedly given David de Gea a deadline to decide over a return to Spain. The shotstopper has been previously linked with a move to the Bernabeu but fax machine issues resulted in the deal not going through on deadline day. Madrid want a concrete decision in the first week of May otherwise they will train their guns on unsettling another young keeper – Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea.

KLUIVERT ON VERATTI LINKS

The Paris Saint-Germain Director of Football and former Netherlands striker has insisted that Marco Veratti will not leave Paris for Manchester over the summer. The Italian is considered the ideal replacement for Carrick by Mourinho. “Verratti is the cornerstone of our midfield and things will remain that way,” Patrick said. “He is not going anywhere this year.” Veratti claimed that he was happy in Paris but the historic debacle at against Barcelona may force him to reconsider his future. “It’s nice to have a lot of clubs interested in me, but I’m thinking about winning the Champions League with PSG and improving myself… I hope it’s a great year, but it’s not the time to talk about the transfer market and I’m not planning to leave Paris where I’m very happy. PSG are one of the five or six best teams in Europe.”