EYES ON THE PRIZE
Sir Alex has urged Manchester United to focus on the Europa League as an alternate way into the Europe’s elite. Sir Alex, speaking to ESPN said that “The thing is, we’ve never won the Europa League. We’ve never won the UEFA Cup, what is used to be. And we’ve got a great draw. I’m not saying it’s a certainty, but they’ve got a great chance. It gets you into the Champions League, too – it didn’t used to but it does now, and so that’s a great incentive. And there’s no Sevilla in it so that’s good. And your CV gets bigger. If we won the Europa League? Fantastic.”
Manchester United’s opponents for their pre-season tour has been revealed. United will face Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake City on their travels. The venue for the first Manchester Derby on foreign soil is still undecided. The Madrid game will take place in Santa Carla, Barcelona in the Capital, Real Salt Lake in Utah and LA Galaxy in Carson, California. The dates and venue are listed below-
July 15th V LA Galaxy at StubHub Centre, Carson, California
July 17th V Real Salt Lake City at Rio Tinto Stadium, Utah
July 20th V Man City at TBA
July 23rd V Real Madrid at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Carla
July 26th V Barcelona at FedEx Field, Washington
BARCA STAR ON WATCH
Manchester United are reportedly keeping tabs on Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba with Luke Shaw’s future up in the air. The Spanish International is said to be open to a move to Old Trafford this summer. Alba missed out on key games against Atletico Madrid in the league and the comeback against PSG in the Champions League with rumors of him being unsettled under outgoing manager Luis Enrique.
DE GEA DRAMA
Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has admitted that United shot stopper David De Gea’s future is up in the air. The 26 year old is expected to be targeted by Real two years after ‘paperwork’ issues lead to the deal falling through. He said: “I tried not to bring up the De Gea to Real Madrid topic. It’s difficult for him to one day be at one place, and then to be at another the next. He learned a lot from this. It has made him more mature. I want him to be the one defending Manchester United’s goal. Hopefully it will be like that, but anything can happen in football.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that the prospect of facing his old manager Pep Guardiola still drives him in. The pair had a strained relationship during their time together at the Camp Nou. He told Sky Sports Italia, “When I play against his team, it’s something that motivates me, it gives me adrenaline. “It is normal, after what’s happened. I’m using it as something positive, not negative. But it is something always in the back of my mind.” The pair will meet each other next month in the Manchester Derby and Ibrahimovic will be relishing the prospect of beating his former coach.
Phil Jones has withdrawn from the England squad for the International Break with a suspected broken toe. He picked up the injury in training, reportedly from fellow Manchester United center-back Chris Smalling. The injury is another blow to manager Jose Mourinho who already has Daley Blind and Paul Pogba on the sidelines along with the suspended Ibrahimovic and Herrera. It will be big blow in the run-in and the busy April period as Jones was in sublime form this season and had formed a formidable partnership with Marcos Rojo. The timeline for his return is not known yet.
Manchester United have reportedly had a £69m bid for the 18 year old rejected. Old Trafford Chiefs hence become the first team to formally launch a bid for the Frenchman. He is currently with the French National squad after receiving his first call-up. Mbappe has set the Ligue 1 alight and is subject to the interest from many top drawer clubs. Manchester United similarly snatched another Monaco player Anthony Martial for £58m, record for a teenager. He has found the back of the net 117 times already this season.
Manchester United and Chelsea’s scouting teams were present in the Signal Iduna Park yesterday as they watched German defender Antonio Rudiger against England. The Roma defender has impressed this season for Roma. He has been a feature in the German team for some time and is expected to move in the summer. Both teams are expected to make a move for the German and he is valued at £30m. He has previously revealed his desire to play in England.
Manchester United’s Chicharito has either trolled Manchester United fans or dropped a hint that he is ready to make a comeback to his former club. Chicharito liked a tweet asking him to resign with the club. This comes just weeks after Jose Mourinho claimed he would never have sold the Mexican sharpshooter. Hernandez is now a vital part of Bayer Leverkusen’s squad after Louis van Gaal sold after never really giving him a chance to succeed.
MORE ON DE GEA
Chelsea’s man beneath the bar has claimed that he will not leave the club in the summer for Real Madrid. Madrid are reportedly chasing either Courtois or De Gea and with Courtois now passing the thought opportunity to play for the Los Blancos, it is now expected that Real will pursue United’s David De Gea with even more vigor and insistence.