Raiola offering United players to Pep and Butt opens up about Jose and the Academy.

Afternoon Bulletin

RAIOLA OFFERING UNITED PLAYERS

Pep Guardiola, yesterday, spectacularly claimed that super-agent Mino Raiola who represents Paul Pogba offered the player and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester City two months back. It is either a stunning ploy by Guardiola to unsettle United players ahead of the all-important derby or a genuine attempt to throw more money at the Manchester City’s European problem. Almost immediately after Guardiola’s comments, Pogba posted a picture on Social media site Instagram captioned: “Say what?” While there were no rumours around January that indicated Raiola offering contracted United players to direct rivals it is sure to have annoyed both Pogba and Mourinho whether Guardiola is stating facts or otherwise.

DALEY BLIND BACK IN TRAINING

Dutch utility man Daley Blind returned to first team training ahead of the Manchester Derby. Blind has only made a handful of appearances for United this term and is rumoured to be on his way out of the club as part of the summer clear-out. Blind’s return sees Jose Mourinho able to choose from a nearly fully fit squad with only Sergio Romero now on the treatment table. Romero sustained the injury on International duty with Argentina and the exact extent of his injury is unknown.

BUTT SURPRISED BY JOSE

For all the criticism aimed at Mourinho for not promoting youth, he seems to be going out of his way to keep with the United tradition of promoting and playing youth. We have seen this with debuts to Angel Gomes, and the promotion of Scott McTominay to the senior team apart from handing debuts to a number of Academy players. Now, United’s academy head coach, Nicky Butt has come out and said, “[Mourinho] is really engaged and speaks to me every day. It has surprised me because of all the stories you hear about him not being interested in the Academy.” It feels great as a fan to have a manager who cares about the players coming through rather than having one who will name a substitute less to make a statement. Mourinho really has turned a corner with regard to his approach with Academy graduates.

FELLAINI TO ITALY?

Marouane Fellaini is finally doing some running. Sadly, it’s his contract that he’s running down. He has been free to talk to clubs since January and was linked with moves to Turkey, PSG and Roma. It is said that the player would prefer a move to the Italian capital than Turkey while PSG have yet to make a concrete approach for Fellaini. Fellaini is out of contract at the end of the season and is expected to move to new pastures ahead of next season. Mourinho, however, is still hopeful of a deal that would keep Fellaini at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.