Red Rants Archives for January 2015

Di Maria would have signed for PSG if it wasn’t for FFP

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Paris Saint-Germain ownerNasser Al-Khelaifi has claimed that Angel Di Maria would have signed for the French champions last summer, had it not been for UEFA's Financial FairPlay.

The Argentinebecame Manchester United record signing when he joined the club in the summer for £60m, but has been repeatedly linked with a move to PSG after failing to impress in his debut season at Old Trafford.

United put Lloris on “stand-by”

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Manchester United have put Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on "stand-by" while they wait to see whether David De Gea will remain at Old Trafford beyond the summer.

The Spaniard has been linked with a return to Madrid, with Real Madrid rumoured to be determined to make him Iker Casillas' successor this summer, which would be a major blow for United given De Gea has been their best player over the last two seasons.

Rooney’s season could be over

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Wayne Rooney's season could be over following the knee injury the Manchester United captain sustained against Everton on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Daily Mirror, United are worried that Rooney, who limped off in the final stages of United's 3-0 defeat at Goodison Park after colliding with Daley Blind, could miss the remaining four league games with what appears to be a rather serious injury problem.

RVP wants United stay

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Robin Van Persie is keen to remain at Manchester United for at least another season and has told Louis Van Gaal he's happy to play second fiddle to Wayne Rooney.

The Dutchman has endured a torrid season, failing to hit the ground running after a reasonably promising World Cup and has only scored 10 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions.

Five things we’ve learnt from Everton vs United

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Manchester United fell to their consecutive defeat at Goodison Park, as they were played off the park by a solid Everton side, as they fell to their worst defeat on the blue half of Merseyside since 1992.

Liverpool's draw at West Brom yesterday means United are still seven points clear of fifth place, albeit with a game in hand, but with a difficult trip to Crystal Palace and with Arsenal at home still to come, things could get far from comfortable.

A return to where the old United died

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There is such a thing as victory in defeat. It has been a long time since United fans felt anything other than utter devastation when losing a football match. The final whistle has usually been greeted by despair, despondency and dismay.

Not last week in North London.

With 70% of the ball, beautiful free flowing attacking moves and key members of the team missing through injury, Louis Van Gaal and his player showed what this team is really about.

Van Gaal hints at Falcao departure

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Louis Van Gaal has hinted that Radamel Falcao could return to Monaco in the summer after admitting the Colombianwould be a bit-part player at Old Trafford.

Falcao has scored only four Premier League goals in 13 league starts this season and United appear unlikely to invest the £43.4m needed to sign the striker permanently this summer.

De Gea, not LVG, the boss over signing new deal

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Louis Van Gaal has admitted that David De Gea is "the boss" regarding whether he'll sign a new contract with Manchester United or not.

The Spaniard has been United's player of the season so far and the in-form keeper in the Premier League, but has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer.

Moyes: “United played well at Everton last season”

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On Sunday, Manchester United travel to Goodison Park looking to consolidate their third place and to clinch a first win on the blue half of Merseyside in three seasons.

Last season, United were beaten 2-0 by Roberto Martinez's men, as David Moyes' return to his old ground proved to be his final game in charge of the club.

Moyes: “Fellaini was a good signing”

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David Moyes believes his decision to sign Marouane Fellaini has been vindicated by the Belgian's turnaround in form this season.

The former Everton man arrived at Old Trafford for £27m on deadline day last season and failed to have any sort of impact in his first season at United, looking hopelessly out of his depth and he soon became to epitomise Moyes' wretched tenure.

United trio to miss Everton trip

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Louis Van Gaal has confirmed that Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones will all miss Sunday's trip to Everton, while Daley Blind is a doubt.

United travel to Goodison Park on Sunday hoping to clinch a first win away at Everton since the 2011-12 season and to consolidate their third place but will have to do so without the trio, who have still not recovered from the injuries that kept them out of last Saturday's trip to Chelsea.

Robson: “United two to three signings away from the title”

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Bryan Robson believes Manchester United are still "two to three" signings away from winning the title and mount a serious challenge in Europe.

United are on course to achieve a top-four finish in Louis Van Gaal's first season at the club and could even finish above Manchester City, even though City's run-in looks easier on paper.

United could still sign Falcao, says Monaco’s vice-president

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Radamel Falcao could be at Old Trafford next season, according to Monaco's vice-presidentVadim Vasilyev, who has claimed Manchester United have not ruled out signing the striker.

The Colombian has failed to impress since joining from Monaco on loan, scoring only four goals over a mere 13 Premier League starts, and has been linked with a move away from United in the summer, as the club looks unlikely to meetFalcao's £43.

A year after Moyes, United are on their way back

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A year ago yesterday, Manchester United lost 2-0 at Goodison Park, as goals form Kevin Mirallas and Leighton Baines propelled Everton towards a Europa League spot, while United's travelling support watched on aghast.

David Moyes' wretched spell at Unitedhad been brought to an end on the same turf wherethe Scotsman had forged his reputation, one which had convinced his predecessor that he would be the right man for the job.

Smalling signs new United deal

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Chris Smalling has signed a new contract with Manchester United, which will keep him at the club until June 2019.

The 25-year-old England internationalhas won two Premier League titles with United and made 147 appearances since his making his debut inAugust 2010 and has recently established himself as a regular in the side.

Carrick unlikely to be fit for Everton

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Manchester United have been dealt a major blow ahead of Sunday's trip to Goodison Park, as Michael Carrick is unlikely to be fit to face Everton after missing Saturday's defeat against Chelsea.

Along with Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, Carrickmissed thetrip to Stamford Bridge last Saturday, as Chelsea brought United's six-game winning run to an end, courtesy of an Eden Hazard goal.

Irwin: “Shaw needs a run of games”

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Denis Irwin believes that Luke Shaw needs a consistent run in the side to show what he's capable of and that, despite a stop-start season, he has the potential to become a key player of Louis Van Gaal's side.

Shaw excelled at Chelsea on Saturday, in what was only his 13th league start of the season and his first appearance since 9 March and the former United left-back believes the youngster will prove he was worth the £27m United paid for him.

United make Depay approach

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Manchester United have made an official approachfor PSV Eindhoven's winger Memphis Depay, the Dutch club confirmed on Monday.

The newly-crowned Eredivisie champions said that United had opened negotiations with PSV over the signing of the 21-year-old Dutch international, who has also attracted interest from Liverpool and Paris Saint Germanin.

Samuel: “Bale would win United the league”

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Martin Samuel, the Daily Mail's chief sports writer, believes that Gareth Bale would win Manchester United the title next season if they signed him.

The Welshman has been linked with a return to the Premier League in the summer after a difficult second season at Real Madrid, with the former Spurs man criticised for a lack of goals and repeatedly booed by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

Five things we’ve learnt from Chelsea vs United

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Manchester United's six-game winning run came undone at Stamford Bridge, as Eden Hazard's goal put Chelsea one step closer to the Premier League title.

United have not won against Chelseain their last eight meetings in all competitions but, despite a lengthy injured list, they gave a good account of themselves and were unlucky to leave West London empty handed.

LVG: “United must improve”

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Louis Van Gaal has urged his Manchester United side to control the game for the whole 90 minutes, claiming that despite their recent run of form United can still improve.

Van Gaal's men travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to face league leaders Chelsea having won their last six league games, which has seen them consolidate their third spot on the table.

Defensive dilemma and last chance saloon

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Right, after Van Gaal's press conference it is looking more desperate than Piers Morgan's Tinder profile. And although recent news today has revealed United's backline to be more decimated than the homes of Iraqis after 2003, there absolutely is reason for hope this weekend.

Tomorrow's trip to Stamford Bridge has had United fans flip flopping more than Nick Clegg on whether to let David Cameron use his mouth or his backside.

De Gea in PFA shortlist for Player of the Year

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David De Gea has been shortlisted for thethis year's Professional Footballers' Association's Players' Player of the Year award.

The Manchester United goalkeeper has been arguably the best interpreter of the role this season, appearing in all 32 league games they've played so far and conceding a mere 30 goals, a record bettered only by Chelsea and Southampton.

Rooney reveals reason behind team-talks

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Wayne Rooney has said he decided to deliver team talks as he felt the responsibility of captaining Manchester United and had to galvanise the team.

Louis van Gaal said Rooney's team talk helped helpedhis side on to beat Tottenham last month, whileDaley Blind said the 29-year-old rallied the troops ahead of last Sunday's derbyby speaking with them about previous derby defeats.

Shaw: “United are the biggest club around”

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Luke Shaw has described Manchester United has the "biggest club around" but has admitted that his first season at Old Trafford has been frustrating.

Shaw joined United following a superb season with Southampton, which earned the 19-year-old a place in the England squad for the World Cup in Brazil, but has been plagued by injuries throughout this campaign.

Neville: “LVG has transformed Rooney”

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Gary Neville has described Louis Van Gaal's transformation of Wayne Rooney as a "fantastic achievement", adding the Dutchman's influence on the England captain was tangible.

After a spell as central midfielder this season, Rooney has been restored as centre-forward and he has been instrumental to United's turnaround in fortunes over the last month.

Derby day shows United’s new direction

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Sergio Aguero slots the ball past David De Gea, adding to his seventh minute opener and quashing Manchester United's slender hopes of leaving the 169th Manchester derby with a point.

As City fans celebrate a fourth consecutive win at Old Trafford, David Moyes slumps back in the dug-out, defiance caving in under the realisation that his two-season spell is about to come to an end.

LVG: “Derby was the best atmosphere I’ve ever seen”

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Louis Van Gaal hailed Manchester United fans for generating one of the best atmospheres he's ever experienced, adding that the patience they had shown earlier in the season was beginning to be rewarded.

Often criticised for a lack of atmosphere, Old Trafford was at its raucous best on Sunday as United came from behind to beat City 4-2 and cement their grip on a top four finish.

Young: “We wanted to keep noisy neighbours quiet”

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Ashley Young has said that Manchester United went into Sunday's derby determined to "keep their noisy neighbours" quiet, adding that the team's new-found confidence boded well for the future.

Having gone 1-0 down to an early Sergio Aguero goal, United responded is spectacular fashion, playing City off the park to clinch a deserved 4-2 win, only their third success in the last 10 derbies.

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs City

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Manchester United clinched only their third win in 10 games against City on Sunday, as they bounced back from 1-0 down to beat Manchester City 4-2 as Louis Van Gaal's men cemented their grasp on third place.

Here's five things we learnt on Sunday.

1) Time to give Young some credit

Ashley Young has rarely been considered an asset by Manchester United fans.

United can restore supremacy in Manchester

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As all 15 of Manchester City's away support turned out to watch an impotent, lackluster and embarrassingly lazy team of mercenaries limp to defeat against Crystal Palace earlier this week you could almost feel the heat rise on the red side of Manchester.

United fans have blown the dust off the book of optimism this week, unused for so long.

Neville: “No United or City players in this season’s best XI”

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Gary Neville believes Manchester United have the edge ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby but said that not a single player from United and City would make it into his team of the season.

After a shaky start to the season, United laboured their way to a top four spot but Louis Van Gaal's team selection had not fully convinced up until a month ago, while City's title defence has been as poor as that of two seasons ago.

LVG more worried about Villa than City

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Louis Van Gaal has claimed thathe was more worried about playing Aston Villa at home last week than he is by the prospect of facing Manchester City tomorrow.

The Dutchman lost his first Manchester derby in November but his team will go into tomorrow favourites as the form team in the competition after winning the last five league games.

Rooney: “Derby a massive game of pride”

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Wayne Rooney has described the Manchester derby as"a massive game of pride" ahead of Sunday's all-Mancunian fixture against City at Old Trafford.

United have won just two of their last nine derbies, with only of those wins coming at Old Trafford, but arrive into Sunday's game as the in-form side in the league, having won their last five league games, while City have fallen a point behind Louis Van Gaal's men.

Young: “United have momentum ahead of derby”

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Ashley Young believes Manchester United will go into Sunday's Manchester derby with all the momentum, but warned against underestimating City and insisted United had not secured a top-four finish yet.

United's 3-1 over Aston Villa on Saturday coupled with City's 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday saw United moved into third place, a point ahead of their local rivals, who led United by nine points in January.

Why it is time to give Fellaini some credit

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Certainties were at a premium when Louis Van Gaal arrived at Manchester United in July.

Expectations and hopes abounded after a disastrous season under David Moyes, but the canvas in front of the Dutch manager was largely blank by the time he stepped into the United dressing room for the first time.

Fellaini: “United have to do everything to beat City”

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Marouane Fellaini has urged Manchester United to pile the pressure on City in the Manchester derby this Sunday, insisting that they "have to do everything" to get the better of Manuel Pellegrini's men.

A remarkable turnaround in form has seen United win five league games in a row, with wins against Spurs and Liverpool consolidating their grasp on a top four spot, while City have suffered a slump in form and arrive at Old Trafforda point below United.

Clattenburg to ref Manchester derby

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Mark Clattenburg will referee the Manchester derby this Sunday in what is likely to an even morefiercely contested affair than usually, given United and City go into the game separated by a single point.

Widely regarded as one of the best referees in the Premier League, Clattenburg has refereed United three times this season, sending off two United players in the process.

Smith: “I never thought United wanted me”

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Alan Smith has admitted he never thought Manchester United would sign him and that the opportunity to play for Sir Alex Ferguson was too good to turn down.

In an interview with Andy Mitten on the Manchester Evening News, the former United man, now playing for Notts County in League One, revealed some interesting details over what brought him at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal up for award

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Louis Van Gaal has been shortlisted for theBarclays Premier League Manager of the Month award for March, as a recognition for Manchester United's much-improved form over the last month.

United won all their three league games in March, beatingNewcastle at St James' Park courtesy of a late Ashley Young goal, before losing at Arsenal at home in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.