Ander Herrera has termed Thursday evening’s crunch clash against Manchester City a season-defining clash. The two sides are separated by a solitary point and with five games to play after this one, one club may have to say goodbye to Champions League hopes (at least through the Premier League). Herrera hopes that that United’s momentum coming into the match will help secure a win. Herrera said: “If they win it is going to be very difficult, that is why it is the game of the season. You can probably say it is make or break. Both teams are strong, so if one of us wins the game we won’t lose a lot of other games after that. It is us or them. The result is going to be huge in deciding where we both finish in the table. I have not heard about the winner-takes-all expression, but I know it is a massive game.”
Smile now United fans. Summer transfer target Michael Keane has apparently expressed a wish to return to Old Trafford. One fan at the match against Burnley claims to have asked the question everybody wants answered – Will Keane be back at Old Trafford this summer? Apparently, the defender wants a move after he replied with an “I hope so.” Keane was part of the United academy and made his first-team debut in 2011 under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United are willing to bump up David de Gea’s salary to an astronomical level to ward off Real’s interest. This is similar to the situation when United dwarfed the wages Madrid offered Paul Pogba. Pogba eventually signed for United. De Gea currently earns £200k a week.
Juan Mata has provided a positive update as he continues his return from surgery. The Spaniard went under the knife to correct a hernia at the start of the month. Mata is now targeting a comeback before the season ends after being ruled out by Mourinho recently. In his weekly blog, Mata said: “As you can imagine, this month has been a bit too long for me due to my injury. I had never been in a situation like this before. I’ve been very lucky. But the truth is I’m feeling much better now and I hope to be back with the team soon, to try to help in the last spell of the season. I hope so because that’s all I want: being always available to help and to contribute as much as I can, both on and off the pitch. A million thanks for all your messages wishing me a speedy recovery, I’m getting closer! There’s no truce in the calendar and this very Thursday there’s one of those games that every player likes to play: the Manchester derby. Away this time, but we know that, with the top of the table so tight, this is another big chance to make an important step in our fight and keep climbing.”
EARLY DERBY TEAM NEWS
Manchester United are set to be without ace Paul Pogba for the derby on Thursday while City will miss out on Aguero’s services. David Silva and Fernandinho are also tipped to miss out on the derby. Herrera is raring to go and has shaken off a knock he took in the final minutes of the Burnley fixture.