Impressive Young set to be rewarded for sensational recent form
As Manchester United put Newcastle United to the sword during Saturday’s commanding 4-1 victory, one of the many positives that could be taken from that game was the continued impressive form of Ashley Young at left-back. The 32-year-old had been one of United’s most consistent performers this season and since making his first league appearance of the campaign against Everton back in September, has started all of the Red Devils’ last eight top flight fixtures, emerging as one of Jose Mourinho’s most trusted lieutenants in the process.
Such has been his impressive form this term, that United are set to reward Young by triggering a one-year contract extension, ensuring that the former Aston Villa man remains at the club until the summer of 2019, at least. After recently earning a recall to the England national team for the friendly matches against Germany and Brazil, Young once again started at left-back on Saturday at Old Trafford, and it was his perfectly weighted cross that set up Chris Smalling’s goal that put United 2-1 up before the half-time break.
News of a contract extension is even more impressive when considering the fact that Young, a winger by trade, has successfully managed to keep the likes of Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian out of the side, although he could soon expect to face stiff competition from the returning Marcos Rojo. It is testament to the full-back’s character that he has managed to turn his United career around, after a couple of seasons when it looked as though his time at the club was set to come an end, following Sir Alex’s Ferguson retirement.
A fan’s favourite and a highly-valued member in the dressing room, Young could expect to be rested for the trip to FC Basel on Wednesday night, in preparation for the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion in the league, on Saturday.
Real Madrid prepare mega-money summer move for David de Gea
On the transfer front, goalkeeper David de Gea has been linked with a summer move to Spanish giants Real Madrid for what feels like the millionth time in his career. According to Spanish outlet Cadena SER, the reigning La Liga champions are determined to get hold of the 27-year-old and are prepared to offer United £63 million to secure the shot-stopper.
The Spain international was set to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium back in August 2015, only for a faulty fax machine to get in the way of him becoming the latest Galactico at the very last minute. Despite the fact that his contract is due to expire in the summer of 2019, United also have the option to extend de Gea’s deal by a further year if they wish, a move which could push up the Spaniard’s valuation even further.
Since making the move to Old Trafford back in 2011, the former Atletico Madrid man has established himself as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world and his performances this season have been nothing short of exceptional, keeping eight clean sheets from his opening 12 league appearances.
Whether Mourinho would actually sanction the sale of de Gea is questionable, whilst the player himself has recently spoken about how happy he is at United.
United tracking progress of Portugal international
Meanwhile, the Sun are reporting that United are showing a keen interest in signing Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira, having sent scouts to take a closer look at the central midfielder during his side’s 3-2 victory over Portimonense on Friday night, in which he volleyed home the opening goal.
The Red Devils, however, could expect to face stiff competition from league rivals Arsenal, who are also believe to retain a key interest in the Portugal international, along with French giants Paris Saint-Germain. A defensive midfielder who offers protection to the back four, Pereira has been at Porto since 2015, having previously turned out for Italian side Parma before making the move to Portugal, where he spent two years at Maritimo. A 2016 European Championships winner with Portugal, the midfielder has made 27 appearances for his country and has played a key role for Porto this season, featuring 14 times in all competitions and his goal on Friday night was his second so far, this campaign.
Whether Mourinho does make a January move for the midfielder, however, is dubious and I don’t personally see the reported interest turning into something concrete any time soon.