Derby on a Thursday, Sir Alex returns to the dugout and Jose wants Europa League glory ahead of top four

Afternoon Bulletin

DERBY RESCHEDULED

Manchester United’s visit to neighbours Manchester City has been scheduled for Thursday 27th April. It would be the penultimate fixture of the month and will most definitely have a say on the top-4 race. It was previously scheduled for February 26th but was postponed due to United’s participation in the EFL Cup final. It will also be the third time United play on a Thursday in April after the Europa League tie against Anderlecht. It also confirmed that United will play an astounding 9 games in April.

SIR ALEX TO BE BACK

Sir Alex Ferguson will return as Manchester United manager in June for Michael Carrick’s testimonial. He will take his place in the Old Trafford dug-out opposite Harry Redknapp who will manage the Michael Carrick all-star XI. United’s 2008 team will play the Michael Carrick all-stars with the proceeds going to the newly established Michael Carrick Foundation.

PRIORITISING

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will prefer to win the Europa League rather than finish in the top-4. His comments came following United’s battling win at Middlesbrough. “Do I prefer to finish fourth or win the Europa League? I prefer to win the Europa League because it gives us the same — Champions League football — but it also gives us a trophy, prestige, a European Super Cup”, said Mourinho. “Maybe we don’t win the Europa League and have to fight until we can to try for fourth.”

AGENT TALK

Marco Verratti’s agent Donato Di Campli has downplayed a switch away from Paris for his client in the summer. Verratti is reportedly wanted by a number of top drawer clubs like Manchester United, Juventus, Barcelona and Chelsea. His performances this season including against Barcelona in the first-leg has made him one of the most coveted midfielder in Europe. ‘He has a contract until 2021. He will stay in France. There is no doubt because he is a respectful person with contracts. Afterwards, if PSG ask us to leave, we will leave.’

BAKAYOKO BLOW

Chelsea have emerged as the favourites to sign Monaco ace Tiemoune Bakayoko despite interest from Manchester United among others. Antonio Conte also believes that he has found the perfect partner for N’Golo Kante and believes that the two can dominate England’s midfield for years to come. But United will push any club all the way for Bakayoko’s signing as Mourinho believes the Frenchman is the perfect man to replace Michael Carrick.

YORKE OPINION

Former Manchester United hitman Dwight Yorke believes that Romelu Lukaku would be the perfect addition to United’s squad. And Yorke, speaking on talkSPORT, was quick to enthuse about the prospect of Lukaku coming to Man United over the summer. “He will be the topic of the summer. There’s a lot of people seeking his interests. He’s been tremendous,” he said. “He’s not only scoring goals but leading the line as well. He’s very different. He’s raw in his approach like Rashford, running at defenders, taking them on, scoring goals and playing well. He will be someone every top club in the country and the world will be looking to have. He’s saying the right things – he wants to win the Premier League and play with the best teams in the world and that’s a clear message to the big clubs. There is no surprise the likes of United and other big clubs will be linked with him in the summer.”