Red Rants Archives for January 2014

United seal £15m signing

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Manchester United have agreed a fee for the signing of Ajax utility man DaleyBlind, who will join United in the coming days for a fee of £15m.

Blind becomes United's fifth signing of the summer after Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria and will join Holland team-mate Robin Van Persie at Old Trafford.

United close in on £15m signing

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Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Daley Blind from Ajax, with the clubs said to be said in "advanced negotiations" for the Dutch international.

Blind, who was one of Holland's star performers at the World Cup in Brazil, is thought to be keen on a move to United and the club is confident an agreement can be found with Ajax for a fee of around £14-15m.

Number 7 tradition excites Di Maria

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Angel Di Maria revealed on Thursday that he was told about the significance of the number 7 at Manchester United by Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the Argentine former teammates at Real Madrid.

During his official presentation as Manchester United player, Di Maria said he was eager to follow in the footsteps of the great players who have previously donned the club's most important shirt, from George Best though he wore 8 and 11 just as often to Bryan Robson, from Eric Cantona to David Beckham and Ronaldo himself.

United to offload £8m man

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Tom Cleverley could soon be heading toAston Villa, with various sources reporting Manchester United have accepted a £8m from Villa for the 25-year-old midfielder.

talkSPORT and the Daily Mail suggest Cleverley, who had also attracted interest from Hull, West Ham and Everton could leave the club by the end of the transfer window, as his first team opportunities could shrink even further if, as largely expected, United bolster their midfield options over the next couple of days.

Four days to create a different United

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Louis Van Gaal insisted Manchester United will be a different side altogether after the transfer window shuts on Monday, as he continues the thorough rebuilding process he's been tackling since he joined the club.

United have already spent over £130m on players and broke the British transfer record by signing Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.

Van Gaal ready to wield axe again

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Tuesday's shambolic 4-0 defeat against MK Dons in the second round of the Capital One Cup could force Louis Van Gaal into sanctioning the sale of another couple of United players, who the Dutchman deems surplus to requirements.

Danny Welbeck, Nick Powell, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa and even Jonny Evans could soon be heading for the exit door at Old Trafford, according to reports in the Mirror.

Process, Philosophy, Humiliation.

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Empty.

There's not really any other word to describe both the performance and the feelings that ensued following last night's abomination. It initially brought back memories of a horrendous evening at Upton Park in the Carling Cup back in 2010 when we collapsed 4-0 that evening during a wretched display.

Five things we’ve learnt from MK Dons vs United

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After a loss and a draw in his first two games in charge of Manchester United, there was to be no third time lucky for Louis Van Gaal, who watched on in astonishment as his side were humbled 4-0 by MK Dons and suffered the ignominy of exiting the Capital One Cup before the majority of top teams have even entered it.

Humiliated but not shocked

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Louis Van Gaal said he was "not shocked" by United's abysmal capitulation against MK Dons in the Capital One Cup last night, as his team slumped to one of their most embarrassing defeats in over a decade.

Experimental though the line-up might have been with a few youngsters making their first team debut, United were still able to call upon David De Gea, Jonny Evans, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and, albeit briefly, Shinji Kagawa, but did not spare them the blushes of being thrashed by a League One side.

Manchester United confirm Di Maria signing

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Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for an initial fee of £59.7m plus add-ons.

The signing takes United's summer spending to £130.7m with more additions expected before the transfer window closes next Monday.

Di Maria, one of the standout performers in this summers World Cup AND Man of the Match in the Champions League Final for Madrid back in May, becomes the most expensive player in British football history.

United agree British record transfer fee

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Manchester United have agreed a £59.7m fee with Real Madrid for the transfer of Angel Di Maria, who could be officially unveiled as a United player on Tuesday morning, after being spotted arriving at Carrington last night.

The arrival of the Argentine winger, who was man of the match as his soon-to-be former side beat Atletico Madrid to clinch their 10th European Cup in May, represents a huge coup for United, who have lacked a world class winger since Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford for the Bernabeu.

United on the verge of another new signing

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News travels fast nowadays, as do images of players arriving at airports and hotels. Tonight it seems Angel Di Maria is in town to become the latest new signing unveiled by Manchester United.

Strong, but unconfirmed reports, suggest Di Maria is having his United medical today with an announcement from the club planned for later this evening or first thing in the morning pending its outcome.

Trio could head out on loan

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Manchester United are considering letting Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Wilfried Zaha go out on loan, as Louis Van Gaal is willing to give the trio an opportunity to get first team football elsewhere before deciding whether to part ways with them permanently or not.

The Mirror today reports that while all three players could leave between now and the end of the transfer window, their future remains unclear at the moment.

Welbeck seeking move abroad?

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With the news that Danny Welbeck expects to be told he has no future at Old Trafford, what lies ahead for one of United's most successful Academy graduates?

It's being reported the club will not sanction a move to any of their perceived rivals (ie the top six) which may rule out the reported interest from Arsenal and Spurs who have both alledgedly made enquiries.

“United could do a Liverpool”

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Paul Scholes has said he fears for Manchester United's future, insisting that unless major signings are made, the club could follow the same path that took Liverpool into the wilderness in the 1990s.

After a summer that started promisingly with the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera and the appointment of Louis Van Gaal, United have dragged their heels for the last two months while their direct rivals have strengthened and Saturday's defeat against Swansea was a timely reminder that the gap between United and the elite of English football is widening.

United agree deal for defender

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Marcos Rojo is set to complete his €20m £16m transfer from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United, with Nani heading the other way, initially on a season-long loan.

Sporting Lisbon confirmed the deal via their official Twitter account and the defender, who becomes the fourth Argentine to play for United after Juan Sebastian Veron, Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tevez, confirmed he'll join Louis van Gaal's side in an interview with Argentinian radio Continental.

Pressure is growing, will Woodward deliver?

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With Twitter becoming even more popular in the world of social media, it seems that everything in football from transfer rumours to angry hashtags starts and ends with a tweet.

With United's lacklustre performance against Swansea coming after a lack of transfer signals from inside United, fans went into a impulsive, yet fully justified attack on the club's hierarchy.

United close in on third signing

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Manchester United are closing in on Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo, as Louis Van Gaal looks to have finally moved closer to clinch one of the signings he so desperately wants.

The Argentine defender emerged as a surprise target for United last week, after the club missed out on Thomas Vermaelen, who left Arsenal to join Barcelona, and were told to forget about signing Mats Hummels, who will remain at Borussia Dortmund for another season at least.

Hit the Glazers where it hurts

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The transfer window closes in two weeks and we are yet to see last year'sproblems on the pitch addressed. That is down to either two things; we are not trying, or we are trying and failing. On Saturday, we should have had a team out that could have won the game and that could have won the league but we don't do that anymore.

United’s final transfer solution

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Old Trafford Fire Sale

We as a species thrive on the need to experiment. Where would we be without experiments that led to advances in medicine, engineering and space travel? The experiment at United, however, needs to end. After years of bringingworld class, quality footballers to Old Trafford, the club has decided to spend some time bringing in uninspiring, mediocre athletes.

United to invest £100m on World Cup star?

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With two less than two weeks left in the transfer window and United in desperate need of reinforcements, after their opening game of the season ended in a dismal 2-1 defeat against Swansea at home, the rumour mill has kicked into overdrive, as Louis Van Gaal has allegedly told Edward Woodward he must deliver before the window shuts.

Is All Hope Gone?

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The stinging pain in the stomach following watching Manchester United all last season has returned. Yet somehow it stings a little sharper this weekend.

It predominantly stems from raised hopes and anticipation, caused by pre-season flair and panache, coupled with an unbeaten record against high class opposition.

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs Swansea

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Judging a book by its cover is often a misguided and short-sighted activity to indulge into, but there are times when even the most composed and sensible of souls tend to be carried away and make irrational and rushed judgments.

It's something a lot of United fans were guilty of this summer.

United have their confidence “smashed”

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Louis Van Gaal admitted Manchester United need more signings and revealed the team's confidence was shattered by defeat in their opening game of the season against Swansea.

The Dutchman's first Premier League game ended in a 2-1 defeat, with United showing all the familiar issues that had emerged last season, while a lack of signings and injuries forced Van Gaal's hand into deploying players out of position, resulting in a lacklustre performance and a horrible start to the season.

Eric Cantona charged with armed robbery

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A Salford teenager named after Manchester United legend, Eric Cantona, has been charged with armed robbery.

Adam Eric Cantona Doyle, 18, from Salford is due before Wigan Magistrates next week and will be joined by three others charged with the robbery of a Wigan Co-op.

Were you named after a United player or know anyone who was?

Is Woodward making promises he can’t keep?

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In the late 1970s, throughout the "Darkness on The Edge of Town tour", Bruce Springsteen used to add a verse to one of his signature songs, Backstreets, in which the song's main character bemoaned being betrayed by the girl he loved.

"You lied," sang Springsteen, initially in amelancholic, matter of fact voice, before following the music's crescendo to utter those words in a mixture of ferocious anger and disgust.

Scholes: “United won’t win the title”

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Paul Scholes has described Louis Van Gaal as a "mad genius" and has claimed Manchester United will not win the league this season, as they haven't strengthened their squad enough, compared to what their Premier League rivals have done.

The former United midfield maestro is confident the club have got the right man to steady the ship after a disastrous 12 months and towards a top four finish, but Scholes insists a title challenge is beyond the current squad's capabilities, as they lack quality in midfield, despite the arrival of Ander Herrera.

Another £30m defender on United’s radar

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Manchester United are targeting AS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, as Louis Van Gaal looks to bolster his defensive options, after missing out on Thomas Vermaelen and Mats Hummels.

ESPN claims that sources within the club are adamant the United manager is determined to bring in two players between Benatia, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo before the end of the transfer window, as Van Gaal currently has only three centre-backs at his disposal and the injury to Luke Shaw complicates things even further.

Striker on his way out while bookies suspend betting

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Steve Bruce is apparently preparing an audacious £14m bid for Manchester United striker, Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck, who came through the ranks of United's Academy, divides opinion amongst United fans and is reportedly interested in the switch if his chances are like likely to be limited this season as he plays second fiddle tomWayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Excuse The Negativity.

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I'm not normally one to moan. Okay, maybe just a little bit. But when news filtered through last night that Mr Wayne Rooney had been announced club captain, my stomach sank, and all the pre-season excitement vanished.

What have we done?

In Wayne Rooney, Manchester United possesses one of the great players in the Premier League, but they also possess one of the most disruptive the club has ever had on it's books.

United confirm new captain

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Louis Van Gaal has chosen Manchester United's captain for this season and, perhaps slightly surprising, Wayne Rooney and not Robin Van Persie is the man the new United manager has chosen to skipper the side in his inaugural campaign at Old Trafford.

The relationship between Van Persie and Van Gaal had many suggesting that the former Arsenal striker would be given the armband this season, particularly given he had captained Holland at the World Cup but, instead, the honour has gone to Rooney, with Darren Fletcher promoted to the role of vice-captain.

United close in on £16m defender

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Manchester United are hopeful to sign Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, as Louis Van Gaal seeks to address his shortage of options in defence.

The Sporting Lisbon defender could cost United around £16m and United don't consider his contract to be too much of a problem, even though, as it's common practice in Portuguese football, it might involve third parties.

Arturo and our midfield woe

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Vidal; a tale of desperation and despair.

The Oxford dictionary defines despair as ‘the complete loss or absence of hope'. Most United fans may have different definitions. Watching Ashley Young receive the ball 30 yards inside the opposition half, turn, and play the ball back 60 yards to the keeper.

Van Gaal’s axe list

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Louis Van Gaal is ready to axe seven players of the current United squad ahead of the new season but Shinji Kagawa will remain at Old Trafford, according to reports that emerged last night.

The United manager had been expected to individually tell the players he considers to be surplus to requirements that they were free to find themselves a new club after evaluating them throughout United's summer tour and, according to the Daily Mail, seven players have been told they've no future at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal eyes more signings

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Louis Van Gaal has reiterated he's unhappy with his current squad and has insisted Manchester United need to buy a world class winger this summer if they're serious about returning to the levels expected of them.

United's summer started in style with the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera but with just a week left until the start of the season the squad at Van Gaal's disposal remains unbalanced and short of options, despite Ed Woodward's bullish claims that United "had not budget" and could financially compete with the biggest teams in the world.

United miss out on target

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Manchester United are set to miss out on Thomas Vermaelen, after the Belgian's move to Old Trafford was believed to be off, as Arsenal blocked the deal for their captain.

The Belgian had been linked with a switch to United this summer, after falling behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order at the Emirates and Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, had admitted the 28-year-old could leave North London between now and the end of the transfer window.

Patience key to signing Bundesliga target

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Reports have emerged that long-time rumoured Manchester United target, Marco Reus, will become available NEXT summer for a mere £19.8m.

Reus' release clause was always believed to become active next summer before he reached the last year of his contract but that value was reportedly set at £27m; a price that looks a decent price given the current transfer market.

The future under king Louis

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Two sides of an entirely different coin.

As David Moyes put out his cigarette, got out of bed, dressed and left without saying goodbye, Manchester United Football Club curled up in the foetal position wondering why any of this had happened.

Why degrade yourself like this? Why lower your standards?

United boo boy out to silence critics

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Tom Cleverley has vowed to prove his critics wrong this season, as he seeks to establish himself as a regular in Louis Van Gaal's formation, after a troublesome campaign that saw him become a pantomime villain for the United supporters.

Cleverley's dismal performances attracted strong criticism from section of United fans last season, while some England supporters went as far as setting up an online petition to prevent the 24-year-old from being selected in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad.

United duo heading for Spain?

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Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa could soon be heading for the Old Trafford's exit door, with Atletico Madrid thought to be considering a double swoop for the pair, who have largely been on the fringe of Louis Van Gaal's squad this pre-season.

The United manager said on Monday that he was keen to trim his squad ahead of the start of the season and while United are still looking to resolve the future of Marouane Fellaini, Anderson and Nani, both Hernandez and Kagawa could be a step closer to leaving the club, with the Spanish champions a likely destination.

Van Gaal to accelerate clearout

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Louis Van Gaal will accelerate Manchester United's summer clearout once the team returns from their US tour and he's expected to inform a few players, likely to include Marouane Fellaini, Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Anderson, that they're surplus to requirements at the club and that they can find themselves another club.

“United can win the league”

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Darren Fletcher believes Manchester United can win the league this season and claimed the team is getting stronger and more confident under Louis Van Gaal's tutelage, with the Dutchman having already gone some distance into bringing back the club's "winning mentality" in the dressing room.

United booked a spot in tonight's International Champions Cup final after a 3-1 win over Real Madrid on Saturday, their third win in four games on their US tour (United required penalties to get the better of Inter Milan) and Fletcher insisted the players are relishing the opportunity to face Liverpool and are in a confident mood have some good displays.

‘Maybe’ Is A Big Word.

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For a large percentage of Louis van Gaal's Manchester United tenure, he has been bombarded with questions regarding his transfer plans. It's something which is only being fuelled by the noises coming from the board of a limitless budget.

So far, as United tour the USA, van Gaal has humoured journalists with responses filled with a level of patience.

United to table £12m bid for defender

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Manchester United are set to bid £12m for Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen after receiving the green light from Arsene Wenger, as the Arsenal manager admitted the Belgian could leave the Emirates between now and the end of the transfer window.

The Guardian reports that United are ready to open negotiations with Arsenal for a player considered to be one Louis Van Gaal's main targets of the summer, but they'll face stiff competition from Barcelona, who could have a slight advantage in the race to sign the Belgian, given Arsenal would prefer selling Vermaelen abroad than to a direct rival.

Vidal is about to join United one way or another

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Another day another barrage of clickbait articles posted from around the World regurgitating all the rumours surrounding the endless list of names reported to be targets for Manchester United's summer spending spree.

The last 24hrs have been especially so with the rumour mill doing overtime on the Arturo Vidal case, but has respected Italian agent, Andrea D'Amico, thrown us the biggest clue yet that perhaps, just perhaps, Vidal really is on his way out of Juventus and into the welcoming arms of Manchester United or can Vidal's name be added to the illustrious list of those that never happened?

Serie A rivals keen on United midfielder

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Marouane Fellaini is a wanted man these days, despite a horrible first season at Manchester United, and a couple of Serie A clubs are interested in offering the Belgian a way out of Old Trafford.

According to Belgian radio stationRTL, Napoli have been keeping an eye on Fellaini butare reluctant to sign on a permanent basis and would prefer a loan deal, while United are thought to be demanding a fee of £15 for the midfielder, who doesn't feature in Louis Van Gaal's plans.