Red Rants Archives for January 2014

United turned down World Cup star

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Manchester United turned down the opportunity to sign Colombia star James Rodriguez for as little as £5m a couple of seasons ago, preferring instead to pursuit other options and, to add insult to injury, ended up signing Bebe £2m more expensive than Rodriguez and with a fraction of the talent.

United were first approached by intermediaries in 2010, the Guardian reports, when Rodriguez, 18 at the time, was carving out a reputation for himself at Club Atletico Banfield in the Argentine's first division, having made his professional debut a year earlier when he became the youngest ever foreigner to play in the Argentine top-flight.

United’s third signing all but done?

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Manchester United look to have clinched their third deal of the summer, with Holland centre-back Stefan De Vrij thought to have agreed a move to Old Trafford in a deal worth £8m.

With United looking to fill the gap left by the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, Porto's Eliaquim Mangala and Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels were linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer but it looks as if Louis Van Gaal has instead opted forthe Feyenoord defender.

Van Gaal and United keen on former City man

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Former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong could be set for a return to the Premier League, with reports on both the English and Italian media suggesting Louis Van Gaal has been so impressed with the 29-year-old's performances at the World Cup that he's looking to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford this summer.

World Cup predictions: Netherlands, France and Belgium to win

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For United fans once the England mess is cleared away the World Cup has been as interesting from a managerial standpoint as it has been from a players standpoint.

With United manager Louis van Gaal taking Netherlands to the Round of 16, Netherlands v Mexico will be watched for LvG's tactical approach to the game more than it'll be appreciated for the talents of United strikers Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

United confirm Shaw’s arrival

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Manchester United have officially announced their second signing in less than 24 hours, with England international Luke Shaw arriving at Old Trafford from Southampton in a deal worth around £33m.

The 18-year-old completed a medical on Thursday night and has put pen to paper on a five-year deal thought to be worth in the region of £100,000-per-week, instantly becoming the most expensive teenager in English football's history, beating the record previously held by one Wayne Rooney.

Butt to continue as United coach

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Nicky Butt is expected to remain as Manchester United as a coach once the Louis Van Gaal era finally gets underway in its earnest, with the former United midfielder set to continue his role with the club's academy.

A product of the Class of '92, Butt will continue to manage the Under-19 side in the UEFA Youth League and he'll also continue to work alongside Warren Joyce with the Under-21 side, after having being temporarily promoted to the first team fold by Ryan Giggs when the Welshman replaced David Moyes for the last four games of last season.

United’s second signing imminent

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Luke Shaw is poised to become a Manchester United by the end of the week after he passed a medical on Thursday night ahead of a £27m deal which will bring the Southampton left-back to Old Trafford this summer.

Having announced the signing of Ander Herrera for £29m on Thursday, United look to have finally kickstarted the long-awaited revolution that had been anticipated since Louis Van Gaal was appointed manager before the World Cup and, so far at least, United seem to have learnt some valuable lessons from last summer's fiasco.

United confirm first signing

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Manchester United have confirmed the arrival of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao on a four-year deal with an option for a fifth, after triggering the Spaniard's buy-out clause.

United's interest in the 24-year-old midfielder had unexpectedly resurfaced during the week and Herrera underwent a medical at Carrington yesterday afternoon, but the move looked to have stalled this morning, as Athletic Bilbao issued a statement in which they announced a £28.

First signing on hold as United have bid rejected

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Athletic Bilbao have announced this morning that they have rejected an offer from Manchester United for Ander Herrera, less than 24 hours after the midfielder was thought to have undergone a medical at Carrington.

United were close to sign the 24-year-old midfielder 12 months, before the deal collapsed on deadline day when lawyers claiming to be operating on behalf of United in Bilbao turned out to be impostors, as Athletic insisted United did not come close to meet Herrera's release clause.

United face competition in race to Chile star

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Manchester United have reportedly entered the race for Barcelona and Chile winger Alexis Sanchez but they will face strong competition for Arsenal in the race to sign the 25-year-old Chilean.

Sanchez has been one of Chile's stars so far at the World Cup, scoring against in their opening game against Australia and setting up Eduardo Vargas' opener against Spain as the South Americans knocked the defending champions out of the competition and his performances have attracted a lot of interest around Europe.

Van Gaal “desperate” to sign World Cup star

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Louis Van Gaal is "desperate" to sign Bayern Munich and Holland winger Arjen Robben, according to former Holland international Bryan Roy, who believes the incumbent United manager will try his hardest to convince Robben to leave the Allianz Arena.

Roy, a former Ajax player under Van Gaal who's since taken on managerial duties with the Amsterdam club's youth teams, claimed the Holland manager wants Arjen Robben to join him at Old Trafford after the World Cup this summer, despite the fact that 30-year-old is a pivotal figure for Bayern Munich and the German club are extremely unlikely to allow him to leave.

Defender leaves United “to win trophies”

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Alex Buttner was today unveiled as a Dynamo Moscow player as he became the third player after Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to leave Old Trafford just over a month after the end of the season but, unlike the former two centre-backs, the Dutchman isn't going to be sorely missed at United.

Arrived a surprise signing from Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2012, Buttner never managed to establish himself in the starting XI and made just 13 Premier League appearances in his two seasons at the club making up slightly less than the 50% of his 28 appearances in all competitions for United.

United to break the bank for defender

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Luke Shaw could become the world's most expensive teenager beating a record previously set by Wayne Rooney, after Manchester United have reportedly raised their bid for the Southampton left-back to an eye-watering £34m.

Shaw, who is set to make his first start in a competitive match for England today when Roy Hodgson's men face Costa Rica in their final World Cup game, was subject of a £27m offer from United last month, which was swiftly refused by Southampton, who are under no pressure at all to sell one of their stars.

United agree deal for midfielder

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Manchester United have reportedly agreed with Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, who looks set to become Louis Van Gaal's first signing of the summer after United decided to trigger the midfielder's release clause.

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that United decided to pay the €36m (£28.

United to offer former City man a return to Manchester?

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Manchester United could be set for a surprise move for former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong, after reports from Italy suggest the Reds are determined to open talks with AC Milan over a possible transfer for a fee of around £6m.

De Jong is the latest Dutchman to be linked with a move to Old Trafford since Louis Van Gaal was appointed as David Moyes's successor, with Italian sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport claiming United's interest in the 29-year-old has increased steadily since the start of the World Cup and a bid might follow suit.

Porto to beat United to Van Gaal target?

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Manchester United's quest for a new centre-back could soon become more complicated as reports in the Dutch press suggest Porto are ready to open talks with Feyenoord for the signature of 22-year-old Bruno Martins Indi, who, alongside a number of other members of the Holland squad, was reportedly on Louis Van Gaal's radar.

Valencia’s new deal an unexpected first step in Van Gaal’s revolution

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Antonio Valencia has signed a new three year deal with United which will keep him at the club until 2018.The 28 year old Ecuadorian winger has been a key figure in United's plans since joining from Wigan in 2009 and has made almost 200 appearances for the club but while Valencia has been a regular starterfor United in recent years, his goal scoring record is certainlynot be the best and he's somewhat regressed over the last two seasons.

United and Chelsea battle it out for defender

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Manchester United will face strong competition from Chelsea in their quest to sign Porto and France centre-back Eliaquim Mangala, after Barcelona pulled out of the race for the 23-year-old, who's been on United's radar for months now.

The French international looked poised to move to Manchester City at the end of the season, but the Premier League champions have since cooled their interest after reports suggested Mangala himself wasn't particularly keen to moving to the Etihad and would prefer a move to either United or Chelsea.

United youngster is a wanted man

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Wilfried Zaha could make a surprise return to Crystal Palace this summer if, as expected, the South London will enquire about their former player once their manager, Tony Pulis, returns from Brazil where he's been on commentary duties for the World Cup.

United signed the 21-year-old for £15m in January 2013, beating Arsenal in the race to the player many considered one of English football's hottest property, before allowing Zaha to remain at Selhurst Park for the remainder of the season, one which ended with Palace promoted to the Premier League thanks also to his eight goals and 10 assists.

Van Gaal and Giggs agree priority target

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Although new United manager, Louis van Gaal, is busy chasing World Cup glory with his Dutch side in Brazil, the big Dutchman is still finding time to begin assembling a United team capable of challenging for the Premier League in his first season.

RedRants understands van Gaal held recent talks with new assistant manager, Ryan Giggs, about his plan to crack ONE transfer deal before any others are processed.

Reds World Cup watch Part 1 – The Goods

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Halfway through the group stages the World Cup has already lost the defending champions and England could be about to join them on the plane home,while just about every footballer who's played at least a minute in the tournament has been linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, some of the current United players have been impressive.

Reds World Cup Watch Part 2 – The Bads

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As we've seen in the first part of our recap on the performance of United players in Brazil, the World Cup has been kind to some United players so far, but others have either struggled or have not been given the chance to shine yet. Here we take a look at those Reds for whom Brazil hasn't been a place so far.

Defender denies United link

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Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has played speculations linking him with a move to Old Trafford this summer and insisted he's happy to fight for his place at the Emirates, despite losing his place in the starting XI to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Earlier this week, the Telegraph reported that the 28-year-old had agreed a deal in principle with United to move to Old Trafford in the summer, as United and Arsenal were expected to sit down in an attempt to reach an agreement for the transfer of the Belgium international, whose contract at the Emirates runs out in 12 months.

Our own identified targets from the World Cup so far

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What a tournament this World Cup is turning out to be......and it's only into its eighth day!

As with South Africa four years ago, the pre-tournament talk going into this years Brazilian World Cup was of stadium issues, crime and local disorder but, just like back in 2010, the concerns appear to have been over played (so far).

Easy start to boost the feel good factor

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The 18th of June was the day that Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United fans and football fans in general waited for with anticipation.Van Gaal ,who probably had most of his attention fixed on his teams World Cup clash with Australia later on in the day, will more than likely be pleased with the fixture list handed to him as will the majority of fans, forUnited's start to the season looks a lot less demanding thanthe extremely tough start David Moyes was given last season.

United target far from renewing deal

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Manchester United target Toni Kroos has admitted his future remains up in the air after revealing that he's no closer to committing his future to Bayern Munich, despite the fact that two of his teammates, Philip Lahm and Thomas Mueller, have put pen to paper on new deals with the 2012-13 European champions.

Manchster United players to look out for in the World Cup

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With 14 players in the final 23 for each country, Manchester United will have the third largest contingent in Brazil.

FC Barcelona and Chelsea are the only clubs to have more representatives, with 16 and 15 respectively.

However, of the top three clubs represented in the World Cup, Man Utd is the only one with players from each line of play.

Defender wants United exit

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Alex Buttner has claimed that Louis Van Gaal's arrival at Manchester United has convinced him it's time to bring his United career to an end and he'll leave Old Trafford in the summer, with Russian Premier League outfit Dynamo Moscow his most probable destination.

The Dutch left-back was a surprise signing from Vitesse Arnhem two years ago and failed to establish himself at United, playing just 28 times for the first team even though, bizarrely, he claimed he was named man of the match 14 times over his first two seasons at the club and with Patrice Evra extending his contract for another 12 months and Southampton's Luke Shaw firmly on Van Gaal's radar, Buttner's time at United is very much up.

2014-15 fixtures: United face easy start

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Manchester United will open their Premier League campaign against Swansea on August 16th at Old Trafford, before facing Sunderland and newly-promoted Burnley away in consecutive weeks and will end their campaign away at Hull. Louis Van Gaal will face his first big test as Manchester United manager onOctober 25th as the Reds host Chelsea, before traveling across town to face City the following week, with a trip to the Emirates three weeks after that.

Which of these targets are really on United’s summer shopping list?

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As always, the summer transfer window involves a lot of speculation, and a large amount of conjecture concerning the potential transfer of players, and so far this summer has been no different with United seemingly being favourites to sign every player in the world.

Prior to the dismissal of David Moyes, United were linked with a series of players, namely; Marco Reus, Toni Kroos, Ezequial Garay, Cesc Fabregas and Luke Shaw.

Swap deal ahead for United?

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Manchester United might need to include a player as well as a fee in the £10m region to convince Arsenal to let Thomas Vermaelen go, according to reports from different sources.

Yesterday news emerged that the Belgian international was thought to have agreed a deal in principle to move to Old Trafford this summer, putting an end to a five-year spell at the Emirates and join the Louis Van Gaal's revolution, thus substantially increasing his salary, with United set to offer him £100,000-a-week compared to his current £70,000-a-week deal.

United set to snatch rivals’ captain

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Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has agreed to join Manchester United this summer and he could become Louis Van Gaal's first signing if the two clubs manage to agree a fee for the Belgium international.

The 28-year-old has just one year left on his current £70,000-a-week deal at the Emirates but while he remains the club's captain in May he lifted the FA Cup at Wembley even though he did not play a single minute in the final he's lost his starting spot to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker and only managed 14 Premier League appearances last season.

Dutch talent could follow Van Gaal to United

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Louis Van Gaal could bring Holland left-back Daley Blind to Old Trafford in the summer, if the Ajax man continues his form at the World Cup, where he impressed in Holland's 5-1 demolition of Spain on Friday night.

The 23-year-old, the son of former Ajax captain Danny Blind, who's now Van Gaal's assistant for the national side, was one of the best players on the pitch as the Dutch came from behind against the world champions and he set up Robin Van Persie's equaliser with a wonderful left-footed cross that cut Spain's defence wide open.

Five World Cup players United should keep an eye on

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With the World Cup finally getting underway last night amid protests, opening ceremony of dubious taste and scandalously poor refereeing, today sees the first United players joining the action, with Javier Hernandez's Mexico facing Cameroon, while David De Gea and Juan Mata are likely to look on from the bench as Spain face Robin Van Persie's Holland.

Van Gaal’s number one target

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Louis Van Gaal has made Bastian Schweinsteiger his number one target for this summer and is determined to lure the Bayern Munich midfielder to Old Trafford this season, as he aims to begin a major overhaul of the current squad ahead of next season.

Having missed out on Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller and with Cesc Fabregas joining Chelsea, United know they can't afford to let another summer pass by without bolstering their engine room and the 29-year-old seems to be Van Gaal's choice, undoubtedly aided by the relationship the pair developed when the Dutchman was in charge of Bayern Munich.

Another German midfielder on United’s radar?

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Another day, another Bayern Munich player linked to Manchester United: if it feels like a vicious circle is probably because it is. After Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller, now it's Bastian Schweinsteiger turn to be linked with a move to Old Trafford and while the German has been on United's radar for a while, Louis Van Gaal could be about to get serious and submit a bid for the Bayern midfielder.

United track Barca star

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Alexis Sanchez is the latest name to appear on Louis Van Gaal's list after the Dutch manager was thought to be monitoring the Barcelona winger with a view to a potential bid this summer.

With the World Cup barely a day away, the returning loanees Bebe and Anderson are the only new arrivals at United and a situation that looked so promising when the Holland manager was appointed ahead of next season now looks increasingly resembling of the farce that unfolded last season, when United's transfer window went from bad to Marouane Fellaini.

Jobless manager criticises United’s plan

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David Moyes believes the days of long term planning at United are long gone.

That's quite something to say by a manager who was given a six year contract despite never winning anything. A man who was given an entire season to improve the standard of football he dragged the club into playing, but never did.