Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2015

Rio: Fergie will always be the greatest manager in British history

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Rio Ferdinand has released a statement

After 18 years as a professional footballer I now feel it's the right time for me to retire from the game that I love.

As a 12 year old boy, kicking around a football on the Friary Estate in Peckham, I never dreamt that I would play for my boyhood club West Ham, captain Leeds United, win the Champions League with Manchester United, or re-join my first manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers.

Cleverley: I enjoyed training with Mata and Herrera

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Tom Cleverley is playing in the FA Cup final later this afternoon, in what could be his last game for Aston Villa. Cleverley spent the pre-season with United and has today claimed he loved training alongside Juan Mata and Ander Herrera.

I learn from watching Barcelona. I like that style.

Rio Ferdinand retires

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As expected, Rio Ferdinand has confirmed that he has retired from playing football.




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To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only.

STATS: Manchester United’s most surprising of the season

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Robin van Persie was out injured for over two months after the Swansea game in February, yet only five players (De Gea, Rooney, Valencia, Mata and Blind) had more minutes on the pitch than him this season.

Ander Herrera attempted more tackles per game than any of our other players (3.

RoM PLAYER RATINGS: United’s attack

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United scored 62 goals this season, which is our second worst tally in Premier League history, only beaten by the 58 goals we scored in 2014-15. Wayne Rooney is our top goalscorer with 14 goals, which is the lowest record for our highest scorer since Frank Stapleton's 13 goals in 1981-82. All in all, it's safe to assume our attack hasn't done too well this year.

Rooney: It’s a huge honour to be United captain

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Wayne Rooney, much to the surprise of our fans, was named captain ahead of Robin van Persie this season. The player has talked about how much it means to him in the 2014-15 season review DVD.

It was a huge honour to be given the captaincy, it was something I really wanted to do and hopefully I can be successful.

VIDEO: United become European champions in 1968

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Manchester United became the first English club to be crowned champions of Europe 47 years ago today.




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To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for uMAXit about how United can make the De Gea transfer beneficial.

The Guardian discusses our interest in Bacca and Gaitan.

The Mirror looks at our new away kit.

The Telegraph argues that England should boycott the next World Cup.

LFC History has a great article on the Heysel disaster.

LvG: Rooney is the example of the team’s fighting spirit

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When Louis van Gaal was appointed Manchester United manager, the general assumption was Robin van Persie would be named captain, just as he was of the Dutch national team. However, after trying out various players in the pre-season, Van Gaal eventually settled on Wayne Rooney, a decision he is pleased with himself for making.

Lahm explains why he turned United down

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Philipp Lahm has claimed that Manchester United approached to sign him when Sir Alex Ferguson was still the manager, but the defender turned us down. In an interview with Squawka, he claims he was open to a move to the Premier League but is glad he decided to stay with boyhood club.

As a player you always think about your options, and there was a time where Manchester United made an approach for me – and Barcelona looked at me too – so I considered life in England or Spain.

Young: I love playing football again

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Ashley Young has been one of United's biggest success stories this season, going from arguably our worst performing player last season to one of the most consistent players this season. In an interview for the 2014/15 season review DVD, Young has spoken about how playing for Louis van Gaal has made him enjoy football again.

RoM PLAYER RATINGS: United’s midfield

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Yesterday, the defenders were rated for their performances in the 2014-15 season, and now it's the midfielders' turn.

After years of frustration at Sir Alex Ferguson's refusal to buy new midfielders and improve this area on the park, we finally now have a half decent midfield. In fact, the midfield is now our strongest position.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for ESPN about Van Gaal's satisfactory first season.

The Evening News looks at our potential starting XI for 2014-15.

The Independent claims both Bayern Munich and PSG want Di Maria.

The Telegraph reports on United's denial of a link with company involved in FIFA scandal.

VIDEO: ‘You nearly won the league’ send off for Gerrard

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Fair play to Liverpool. We've taken the piss out of Gerrard plenty but it was nice to see him given a great send-off! pic.twitter.com/BNmaa43fu2

- United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) May 27, 2015





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To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only.

Januzaj: I’ll take my United chance when I get it

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Adnan Januzaj barely played in 2014-15, after bursting on to the scene the year before and having a great debut season.

Januzaj is keen to remind people that he's only 20 though and is prepared to be patient.

Of course I want to play in the first team and get more games.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for The Metro about Chicharito's future.

The Guardian evaluates Van Gaal's first season.

The Telegraph reckons United need a miracle to win the title next season.

The Mirror is covering the FIFA investigation live.

Sign up for the RoM newsletter.

Made in Manchester PDF £3 for 30 articles on United's youth players.

Five key thoughts following Louis van Gaal’s first season at Manchester United

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There we have it. Louis van Gaal's first season in charge of Manchester United is over and what a rollercoaster it has been. From an early season injury plague to constant switches in formation to embarrassing results against lower league opposition, there have been many problems along the way but in the end, the Red Devils did the minimum required and returned to the Champions League after just one season out.

Casillas: I will compete with De Gea for starting role

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Iker Casillas has given an interview with Spanish radio station, Cadena Ser, where he has hinted that David de Gea will be at Real Madrid next season.

I'm delighted with the competition. My contract does not say I have to start. I would like to finish my career here. De Gea is a really nice boy and a goalkeeper for the present and future.

RoM PLAYER RATINGS: United’s defence

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RoM will be rating the performances of our players a position at a time, starting today with the defenders. For all the criticism they have received this season, it's worth pointing out that only Chelsea (32), Southampton (33), and Arsenal (36) conceded fewer goals than United (37) this season.

However, when you consider that David de Gea has proven himself to be one of the best, if not the best, goalkeeper in the world this season, the defence has certainly had a helping hand.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes a report card on ESPN for United's season.

Scott writes for The Metro about United's improvements under Van Gaal.

The Telegraph claims Radamel Falcao wants to join Chelsea.

The Mirror has footage of De Gea refusing to comment on his future.

The Evening News reports on the City fan who has been charged with racially abusing Ashley Young.

Nicky Butt – A scrapper not a fighter

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Watching football, and United in particular, is a visceral experience, a sharp, intense mess of bodies, noise and smells. So it's not surprising that the majority of fan favourites are linked by a single trait: they are men with whom it is deeply unwise to fuck. In my own lifetime, that includes Remi Moses, Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside, Mark Hughes, Paul Ince, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam, Wes Brown, Ruud van Nistelrooy – sadly, in theory only Nemanja Vidic, and though, Rojo shows promise, none of the current ponces.

Who is €50 million rated Nicolas Otamendi?

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Manchester United have been linked to Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi and rumours have suggested that the 27-year-old defender is ready to force a move.

Otamendi was born in Buenos Aires and started his career at local club Vélez Sarsfield. He spent 15 years there, winning the title when he was 21.

Van der Sar: Every United fan I meet thanks me for Moscow

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After finishing 7th last season and missing out on Champions League football this year as a result, Manchester United are one step closer to playing in Europe again next season after finishing fourth.

Edwin Van der Sar has discussed the importance of being in the competition from the perspective of a player.

16 years ago today…

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16 years ago today, Manchester United won the Treble, after beating Bayern Munich with two goals in injury time.




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To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only.

LvG: I have nowhere to sit but the toilet!

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Louis van Gaal has weighed up his first season in English football, looking at the positives and the negatives of the Premier League.

He is impressed with the passion the fans have for football but is less impressed with the conditions in the away dressing rooms.

I can say a positive thing and I can say a negative thing.

Van der Sar: I grew up with LvG at Ajax

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Edwin Van der Sar has discussed his relationship with Louis van Gaal and sung the praises of our manager. Van Gaal gave Van der Sar his debut at Ajax and went on to win three league titles, the European Cup, the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, amongst other domestic trophies.

Of course, I've been watching very closely.

VIDEO: Hull player charged for punching Phil Jones

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In the final game of the season, Abel Hernandez was spotted punching Phil Jones in the stomach. The referee didn't notice the punch though and Hernandez went unpunished.

He has now been charged retrospectively and is set to face a three game ban in the Championship next season.




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To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only.

Rooney with incredible penalty ranking story

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Wayne Rooney has revealed that he started off the season as Manchester United's penalty taker, replacing Robin van Persie who took on the duty from Rooney the season before.

"In pre-season, he asked me to take penalties, so I said 'yeh'. Obviously, I want to take the penalties," he said. "So he said he's got a structure of if you take one and miss one, then you're at the back of the queue.

VIDEO: Gary Neville interviews Wayne Rooney

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Rooney reveals what he said in dressing room speech

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Much was made of the speech that Wayne Rooney gave to his team mates ahead of the win against Tottenham Hotspur, at the start of our good run, which saw us also beat Liverpool and Manchester City.

Rooney has revealed what he discussed with the players during this time, and that he had asked Louis van Gaal not to be present.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for The Metro about Radamel Falcao.

The Telegraph has Rooney's evaluation of the season.

The Mirror has pictures from United's players night out.

ESPN reports on Thomas Muller's praises for Van Gaal.

Sign up for the RoM newsletter.

Park: Depay could be the next Ronaldo

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Former Manchester United midfielder and current ambassador, Park Ji-Sung, has compared new signing Memphis Depay to Cristiano Ronaldo.

He's still a young player – only 21 years old – but I played with him and he has so much potential: he has strength, passing ability and skill.

Falcao: I’ll never forget Manchester United fans

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"I wanna thank Manchester United and all its fans for every word and gesture of support they gave me in every match. I'll never forget it!!"

Goodbye Falcao

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As expected, Manchester United have confirmed they won't be taking up the option of buying Radamel Falcao on a permanent basis.

"Falcao is a top professional and a good human being," said Louis van Gaal. "On behalf of myself and everyone at the club I would like to wish him well for the future.

Manchester United’s Player of the Year: Ander Herrera

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Although the season has seen a marked improvement in league performance, there's no doubt that it's been a long way from a perfect season. We ought to have challenged for the title and didn't. We ought to have finished ahead of Arsenal and didn't. We ought to have seen the best of players like Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, and we didn't.

Manchester United’s 2014-15 season in stats

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Goals
Wayne Rooney 12 (1 per 240 mins)
Robin van Persie 10 (1 per 211 mins)
Juan Mata 9 (1 per 1 per 257 mins)
Ander Herrera 6 (1 per 312 mins)
Marouane Fellaini 6 (1 per 305 mins)

Assists
Angel di Maria 10
Ashley Young 5
Wayne Rooney 5
Juan Mata 4
Ander Herrera 4
Radamel Falcao 4

Goals + assists
Wayne Rooney 17 (1 per 169 mins)
Angel di Maria 13 (1 per 127 mins)
Juan Mata 13 (1 per 178 mins)
Robin van Persie 12 (1 per 176 mins)
Ander Herrera 10 (1 per 187 mins)

Passing accuracy
Michael Carrick 89.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Hull vs United

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Valdes, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria, Mata, Young, Rooney.

Bench: Lindegaard, McNair, Blackett, Fellaini, Januzaj, van Persie, Wilson.

Hull Preview: Five Keys To Victory

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So here we are my friends, the final game of Manchester United's 14/15 season as the Reds face the prospect of a relatively meaningless encounter (for us anyway) with Hull City. A seven-goal swing remains unlikely at this stage meaning Louis van Gaal will be forced to settle for fourth place when the dust has settled and the Ducthman's post-awards hangover has deteriorated.

Schweinsteiger won’t comment on United link

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Sebastian Schweinsteiger has been linked with a move to Manchester United for several years but now, with just one year remaining on his contract, the rumours have started again.

Schweinsteiger has fuelled the rumours by refusing the comment.

I am under contract until 2016," he said.

United youngster responds to City chant with a goal

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Manchester United were crowned U-21 champions for the fourth time in the past six years last week. Today they went to play the 'Elite Development Squad', who are currently 8th out of 12, and were welcomed on to the pitch with a Guard of Honour.

As half-time approached, City supporters behind the goal started chanting at Ashley Fletcher that he was a "sh*t Danny Welbeck".

Tom Thorpe is leaving United

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Tom Thorpe, United's U-21 captain, fell bellow the likes of Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett in pecking order this season, after making his debut for the first team in September. He replaced Angel di Maria for the final minute of our 2-1 win over West Ham, when Louis van Gaal was looking to make us more solid defensively, after going down to 10 men with less than an hour played.

LvG: De Gea won’t be loved by new fans like he is by United’s

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Louis van Gaal has claimed that he believes David de Gea will stay at United because he loves it at the club and the fans love him. He reminds De Gea that if he joins Real Madrid he won't have that same love, if Gareth Bale getting chased to his car by abusive fans everything week is anything to go by.

LvG: Shaw will benefit from U-21 absence

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Louis van Gaal has asked Gareth Southgate not to include Luke Shaw in his U-21 squad for the European Championships this summer, and this request has been granted. United's manager reckons that Shaw is the winner in this situation.

It's is a medical question. I have spoken with Roy Hodgson month ago during an international break.

Blind: United fans always support the team

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Daley Blind has reflected on his first season at Manchester United, having been used at left-back and in midfield, about what he has enjoyed the most.

It was a good season for me. I tried to get involved very quickly at Manchester United. I tried to feel at home as soon as possible and the team very much helped me with that.

POLL: Do you want United to lose so Bruce can stay up?

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Manchester United would relegate Steve Bruce's Hull if they win on Sunday. Hull have to win in order to stay up, and would then rely on Newcastle to draw or lose. If Newcastle win, no result could keep Hull up.

If you were given a choice, would you rather United lose so that Bruce had a chance of staying in the Premier League?

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for ESPN about the fans' love for Van Gaal.

Turkish Football has a story on Gundogan joining United.

The Evening News talks about an Australian betting site's attack on James Wilson's girlfriend.

The Independent shows Falcao's new haircut and his comment about change.

Bruce’s United team mates claim Reds have to win

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Manchester United could relegate Steve Bruce's Hull on Sunday with a victory, and Louis van Gaal has claimed that his side will be intending to do exactly that.

"We have the same approach as ever," said Van Gaal. "We have to give our utmost best. We have to do that for the honesty of the league.

LvG: Rooney is back but De Gea is a doubt

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David de Gea went off injured against Arsenal in last weekend's draw and Louis van Gaal has revealed the goalkeeper is still a doubt for the final game of the season against Hull, while Wayne Rooney will return.

That I don't know yet. He has trained today but only with our goalkeeper trainer.

Bruce: We have to beat United

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Manchester United take on Hull in the final game of the season, knowing that if they win, Steve Bruce's side will be relegated.

If Newcastle win, Hull's result against us won't make any difference to their title hopes, but if Newcastle draw or lose, Hull will stay up with a victory over United, as their goal difference is superior by seven.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for ESPN about why United should let De Gea leave for a free next year.

The Telegraph reckons we are interested in Schweinsteiger.

The Evening News has LvG's craziest moments caught on camera.

The Mirror discusses claims that Hummels has turned United down.

The Guardian reports on Cantona suing New York Cosmos.

VIDEO: Di Maria, Fellaini, Smalling and Januzaj score penalties against De Gea

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Januzaj: Pereira can be a great United player

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Andreas Pereira has been named Manchester United's U-21 player of the year after winning the Denzil Haroun trophy at last night's awards.

Pereira recently committed his future to the club, after interest from abroad, and is currently away with Brazil's Under-20 squad, but recorded a message to be shown.

VIDEO: Van Gaal’s hilarious speech

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At Manchester United's end of season awards, Louis van Gaal had the crowd in stitches of laughter with his speech, delivered after a few glasses of wine.

De Gea: United fans are the best in the world

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David de Gea was named the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for a second year in a row after fans rightly decided he had been the best performing player for United this season.

We have the best fans in the world and I want to say thank you to everyone. They are always behind us and travel everywhere it's fantastic for us.

Giggs: LvG is the main man

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Ryan Giggs has claimed that he's enjoyed his first season as Manchester United's assistant manager and believes he is learning every day in the role.

It's been brilliant for me. I've finished all my coaching badges now but it's a completely different mind-set and skill-set for being a player to being a coach or an assistant manager.

Mata: Liverpool goal was my best moment at United

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Juan Mata's second goal against Liverpool has been voted goal of the year by the fans, with 59% of the vote.

With United already 1-0 up thanks to Mata's first goal, he doubled our lead after taking a ball from Angel di Maria on the volley.

I am very happy. It was a very important moment in the game.

De Gea: I love my United team mates

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David de Gea was voted Player of the Season by both the fans and the players. After receiving the award from captain Wayne Rooney, De Gea spoke in praise of his team mates.

I want to say thank you to my team-mates, they have been fantastic this season and I love them. We have a great dressing room and I would like to say thank you very much.

Giggs: Hard to choose between Young and De Gea

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This time last season, Ryan Giggs was our manager, so had a more prominent role at the Player of the Year awards.

David de Gea was voted as Player of the Year by both the fans and the players, but Giggs claims that Ashley Young could have been in with a chance of winning the award, which was a claim supported by captain Wayne Rooney.

Carrick: LvG has been terrific for me

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Michael Carrick has sung the praises of Louis van Gaal for how he has helped him develop as a player this season.

He's been terrific for me; he's supported me and given me a lot of responsibility. As the season has gone on, I think I've shown that on the pitch; I've been happy with the way I've played.

Depay wins Dutch Talent of the Year award

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After winning the league title with PSV and the Golden Boot for being the top scorer, Memphis Depay has now won the Dutch Talent of the Year award. The prize is also known as Johan Cryuff Prijs and is given to the best young player in the league.

"Last year he was close but now he is the clear winner," said Cryuff.

Mourinho: I can’t stop Cech joining United or Arsenal

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This morning, Petr Cech's agent claimed that the goalkeeper was set to join United, Arsenal or PSG this summer.

Jose Mourinho has now confirmed that there is nothing he can do to stop Cech leaving Chelsea for a Premier League rival.

If it's in my hands he would never go, would never go to big clubs with fantastic teams.

Cech would “definitely like” to play for United or Arsenal

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With David de Gea potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, Manchester United have now been linked to Petr Cech who is set to leave Chelsea.

Cech's agent, Viktor Kolar, has told Czech journalist Karel Haring from Sport, that the goalkeeper will join one of three clubs.

Arsenal, United or PSG are all top clubs.

United confirm Depay has passed medical

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Memphis Depay was pictured at Carrington earlier today to complete his medical to seal his transfer. The club have now confirmed that he has passed and will join the club for the pre-season this summer.

VIDEO: Georgie Best chant

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Going up to spirit in the sky, that's where I'm gonna go when I die. When I die and they lay me to rest, I'm gonna go on the piss with Georgie Best.

Herrera: United fans are unbelievable

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Ander Herrera scored United's goal in our 1-1 draw with Arsenal yesterday and is disappointed that we didn't get the victory we deserved. However, he has yet again praised the fans, who support the club whatever the result.

I think the result was a pity – we were controlling the game completely in the first half.

Herrera: I’m in the right club in the right city

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Following Liverpool's home defeat against Crystal Palace on Saturday, United's place in the top four was confirmed. Ander Herrera has claimed that he feels lucky to be at Manchester United and hopes to continue developing at the club.

We are happy because we are in the top four and that was the first aim of this season.

Valdes: Old Trafford welcome was fantastic

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Victor Valdes made his Manchester United debut yesterday and has sung the praises of the Old Trafford crowd.

It felt very good. David asked to come off very quickly and the next thing I knew I was on the pitch. It was a great feeling to be on the pitch at Old Trafford, the fans welcomed me very well and for that reason I am happy.

Mata: United’s amazing fans give me goosebumps

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In Juan Mata's blog, he sings the praises of Manchester United fans, claiming he's already excited for next season to start so he can play in front of the Old Trafford crowd again.

What I'm going to say may sound weird but this is how I feel right now... To be honest, as I write this I'm looking forward to the next game in Old Trafford.

VIDEO: Van Gaal sings ‘red and white army’ chant

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Louis van Gaal was signing signatures for fans after the 1-1 draw with Arsenal and joined in with his chant.

Five key thoughts following United 1-1 Arsenal – Van Gaal achieves his first aim after qualifying for the Champions League

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It was not a classic Manchester United v Arsenal affair but it was an intriguing tactical battle between two sides who have qualified for the Champions League next season. The Red Devils took the lead through an Ander Herrera volley from an Ashley Young cross and dominated the majority of the game before a late Tyler Blackett own goal from a deflected Theo Walcott cross levelled the match.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Arsenal

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De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Mata, Blind, Herrera, Young, Fellaini, Falcao.

Great reception required for De Gea today

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If reports are to be believed, it looks almost certain that David de Gea will be leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid this summer. While the more optimistic United fan might have been hoping that De Gea was waiting for top four to be confirmed before extending his deal, it now appears as though he hasn't signed because he has no intention of staying.

Di Maria: United is a fantastic club and the fans are sensational

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Over recent weeks, Angel di Maria has been linked with a move to PSG, after a disappointing first season in Manchester with United.

However, the Argentinean has insisted he is determined to prove himself at the club and write himself in to United's history books.

I'm not happy with my first year in England.

LvG: We have a list of goalies we can replace De Gea with

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Rumours linking David de Gea with a move away from United have circulated this week, with the goalkeeper still not signing the extension that was offered to him. While there were hopes the Spaniard was waiting for Champions League football to be confirmed before agreeing a new deal, it's reportedly looking more likely than he is looking for a move to Real Madrid.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for uMAXit about how we can beat Arsenal tomorrow.

Scott discusses the Arsenal game with an Arsenal fan for ESPN.

The Telegraph discusses Robin van Persie's role at United.

Made in Manchester is a PDF with chapters on the greatest players to come up through United's ranks and all profit goes to charity.

Jones: We must challenge for title next season

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Phil Jones reckons United have reached their minimum target of finishing in the top four this season, but believes that the team have no excuses for not challenging for the title next season.

I think the minimum we expected this season was to finish fourth but next season is going to be a big season for us.

LvG: Shaw can’t play for England U-21s this summer

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Luke Shaw spent last summer in Brazil with the England national team for the World Cup and has endured an injury plagued first season with United.

The youngster had planned to go with England U-21s to the European Championships this summer but it appears as though Louis van Gaal has ruled that out as an option.

Manchester United U-21: Champions 2014-15

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Manchester United U-21s have been confirmed champions for the 2014-15 season.

LvG: We’re still aiming for third

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Louis van Gaal believes this season has been a success, following the huge transition in the summer after finishing 7th in the league, and hasn't given up on the unlikely goal of finishing 3rd.

I think it was a big challenge. When I came here, there were a lot of players here and, nobody knows, but we have let go of 15 players and bought only five players.

Rooney Out For Arsenal Game

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Louis van Gaal has confirmed that both Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw will be missing for the game against Arsenal, and won't be back for the final game of the season against Hull. With Michael Carrick already ruled out for the season, United will be without both their captain and vice-captain, for the last two games.

Valdes puts Pereira in his 5-a-side team

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Victor Valdes has discussed training at Manchester United for the club's official site.

What is your favourite part of training?
Finishing with the players. Yes, I'm in goal – I only go outfield for the possession games.

Is there anything specific you're working on in training?

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for ESPN about how more patience is needed with Adnan Januzaj.

Scott writes for The Metro about the U-21s thrashing City.

The Guardian discusses Depay's desire to work with Van Gaal again.

The Telegraph talks about how much Nani's wages might cost us.

The London Evening Standard reports on Evra's claims about shaking Suarez's hand.

VIDEO: United U-21s thrash City

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United are now six points clear of Chelsea, who are the only team who can still catch them, and have an away fixture at City still to play. United will go in to the game full of confidence after tonight's battering. For United to miss out on the title, they would have to lose that game, with Chelsea winning their remaining fixtures against West Ham and Norwich, and overturning United's superior goal difference, which is now better by five.

Thorpe: Local lads want to beat City tonight

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Manchester United U-21s are currently top of the league with 37 points from 20 games. Below them are Liverpool on 36 points, but they've played two games more, as have third placed Sunderland on 35 points. Chelsea are fourth in the table, on the same games played as United, but with three fewer points.

Mata: I’m selfish and I want De Gea to stay

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David de Gea's contract expires next summer and he has yet to agree a new deal with Manchester United, despite being offered a contract extension.

THe optimist would hope that De Gea is just waiting for United to confirm their place in next year's Champions League before signing, particularly when it is well reported that his parents are happy in Manchester and would prefer him to stay in England, away from the scrutiny Real Madrid's number one would face.

Further confirmation that Depay chose United over Liverpool

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Memphis Depay was linked with several clubs over the past few months, including Liverpool and PSG, as well as United. After playing for Louis van Gaal during the World Cup, United always looked like favourites to sign the youngster though.

However, in a bid to save face, Brendan Rodgers denied that Liverpool had ever been interested in Depay.

Depay: I’ve wanted to play for United since I was 12

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Memphis Depay played his last home game for PSV this week and scored a fantastic freekick.

The youngster has revealed that he came close to signing for PSV, before Louis van Gaal stepped in and convinced him to sign for United.

The transfer to PSG was really close. I always knew United were interested but it was nothing concrete.

TOP FIVE: Manchester United Season Finales

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Manchester United's season looked to be ending in a much more "exciting" manner than it should have been. United should have been miles clear of Liverpool already, but those three losses in a row made European qualification less certain than it looked after we'd absolutely battered City off the park in the middle of April.

United almost certainly in next season’s Champions League

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Liverpool's draw with Chelsea this evening means United are six points clear of 5th place with two games left to play. United's goal difference is superior by 14 too.

For Liverpool to replace United in the top four, they would have to win both their remaining games (at home to Crystal Palace and away to Stoke) and United would have to lose both of ours (at home to Arsenal and away to Hull).

Five key thoughts following Crystal Palace 1-2 United – Top four almost secured after Memphis Depay deal is confirmed

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Manchester United picked up a crucial victory as they defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park. A first half Juan Mata penalty and a Marouane Fellaini header sandwiched a Jason Puncheon free kick as the Red Devils all-but secured a return to the Champions League after a year out. After Liverpool's draw with Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers' men's hugely inferior goal difference means they need a miracle to oust United.

PICTURE: PSV fans unveil Depay banner

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PSV fans unveiled a Memphis Depay banner ahead of their game against Heracles Almelo. Depay has been at the club since he was 12-years-old.

Young: The scenes in the dressing room were fantastic

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Ashley Young had a good game for United yesterday in our crucial 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. It was his cross that lead to the first half penalty and his cross that assisted Marouane Fellaini for the winner.

Young has revealed that the players did plenty of celebrating in the dressing room after the game.

LvG: I’ll watch Chelsea vs Liverpool game with a glass of wine

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Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge today and will give the Chelsea players a guard of honour as they walk on to the pitch. It's fairly remarkable that Steven Gerrard will see out his last season at Liverpool, having never won the league, paying respect to the current champions.

After beating Crystal Palace yesterday and having a far superior goal difference, Liverpool need to win all their remaining games to stand a chance of replacing us in the top four.

VIDEO: Fantastic Depay freekick for PSV today

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MEMPHISSS GOAAAAALLLLLL pic.twitter.com/cg0iCzRy01

- MVDM (@MeesVDM_) May 10, 2015

Fellaini: The spirit at United is unbelievable

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Marouane Fellaini scored the winning goal for Manchester United yesterday against Crystal Palace. The Belgian has claimed United deserve a place in the top four, which would be confirmed today if Liverpool don't beat Chelsea today. He has also hailed the team spirit in the squad.

It was a massive win.

VIDEO: Mata and Fellaini goals vs Crystal Palace

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LIVE BLOG: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

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[not available]

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Crystal Palace vs United

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De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Blind, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Young; Rooney.

VIDEO: PSV’s Memphis Depay chant

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Stam: Depay is a quality player

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Jaap Stam has sung the praises of Memphis Depay, United's latest signing, and claimed that this is the right time for the youngster to make his move to a club like United.

He's a quality player. United always want to attack and the club always has an interest in players that have a lot of pace and who can also play the one-vs-ones and create something or score goals.

McNair: I’m happy with the ball at my feet

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Paddy McNair has had plenty of playing time in the first team this season following the regular injuries to United's defenders. The youngster is clearly comfortable with having the ball at his feet and attributes this to his days when he used to play in midfield.

I quite enjoy having the ball and starting attacks off.

LvG: We had to sign Depay now to stop PSG

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Memphis Depay attracted a whole host of clubs but Manchester United were the ones lucky enough to get him to sign. Louis van Gaal has revealed that he was planning on securing the deal in the summer but had to act now to stop PSG making a move.

I have been forced to sign him. I didn't want to sign him before the end of the season.

Rodgers tries to save face after losing Depay to United

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Manchester United beat the likes of Liverpool and PSG to the signature of Memphis Depay this week, after Louis van Gaal convinced the league's top scorer in Holland to move to Manchester.

However, Brendan Rodgers has claimed they were never interested in signing Depay, which contradicts all the reports.

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for ESPN about the importance of getting it right today.

The Telegraph reports on Van Gaal fining players for being late to lunch.

The Mirror talks about United being given an extra day off this week.

The Guardian has an interview with David Moyes.

Sign up for the RoM newsletter for Scott's reaction to the Crystal Palace game.

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for ESPN about whether Radamel Falcao has a big moment left in him before the end of the season.

The Telegraph reckons we could sign Monaco on the cheap.

The Guardian reports on Marouane Fellaini's teas after David Moyes was sacked.

The Mirror discusses Paul Scholes' praise of Depay.

STATS: Depay’s goals in Holland

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Memphis Depay has had a fantastic season in Holland, ahead of his transfer to Manchester United, as shown by the table above.

Depay: United is my absolute dream club

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Memphis Depay turned down the opportunity to play for several other clubs, including Liverpool, to sign for Manchester United.

The 21-year-old described United as a "dream club" and is excited about working with Louis van Gaal again.

It was an exciting and pretty hectic period, and to have a choice between so many top clubs doesn't make it any easier.

PICTURE: Depay tweets about United deal

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PSV's Memphis Depay, who has been linked with a move to United and Liverpool, has confirmed that he is signing for us this summer.

The official club website have also confirmed the deal, saying that the deal will go through once a medical has taken place.

VIDEO: United signing Depay in 2014/15

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Manchester United have today confirmed the signing of Memphis Depay from PSV.

Evra: Tevez has United blood like me

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Patrice Evra found himself one step closer to yet another Champions League final after his new club, Juventus, beat Real Madrid 2-1 in Turin.

Carlos Tevez, who was obviously his teammate and good friend when at United, scored the winning goal, and Evra has claimed they both have United blood.

Mourinho: I’ll never match Ferguson’s success

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Jose Mourinho has won four Premier League titles and has conceded he'll never match the 13 titles that Sir Alex Ferguson won.

I have a long way to go, but Sir Alex left the bar in an impossible position for anyone," Mourinho said. "I cannot win 13 Premier Leagues. I can win 13 championships.

Bellion: Playing with Giggs was always my dream

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Whenever Sir Alex Ferguson's transfer flops get discussed, David Bellion is a name that always gets mentioned. After two years at Sunderland and just one Premier League goal, United paid £4m to bring him to Old Trafford. He spent two seasons at United before being loaned out to West Ham then Nice, who we eventually sold him to.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t play well enough when he was at United

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Paul Scholes has claimed that Manchester United didn't make a mistake in allowing Paul Pogba to leave the club for Juventus in the summer of 2012, as the young midfielder hadn't done enough at United to suggest he deserved the money his advisers were asking for him.

Pogba got a chance at United.

United tell Monaco they’re still undecided on Falcao

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Radamel Falcao has had a poor season on loan at Manchester United from Monaco, but the French club's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev says United are still undecided on whether they will sign him permanently.

Monaco met with United last weekend and have confirmed they will decide the Colombian's future at the end of the season.

LvG: Rooney and RvP are bottom of the list for penalties

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Louis van Gaal has claimed that he has taken Robin van Persie off penalty taking duty after he missed a crucial penalty at home against West Brom on Saturday. United went on to lose the game.

The manager has also claimed that Rooney is at the bottom of the pile too after missing a penalty at Anfield a few weeks ago.

Fletcher: United fans are fantastic

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Darren Fletcher returned to Old Trafford yesterday for the first time since leaving United for West Brom in the January window. The West Brom captain sung the praises of our fans.

The fans are fantastic. Sentiment comes at the end of your career, but I had a nice moment at the very end when I clapped everyone and it's something I'll remember.

STATS: Manchester United’s dreadful penalty taking record

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Robin van Persie missed a penalty yesterday in United's 1-0 defeat against West Brom. The penalty would have been the equaliser for United and could have signalled the start of the turnaround. As it was, United went on to lose the game, having now lost three games in a row, scoring in none of them.

STATS: Angelo Henriquez enjoys fantastic season on loan

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Angelo Henriquez has enjoyed a fantastic season on loan to Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. He has managed 20 goals in 22 appearances, including the hattrick he scored yesterday which ensured Dinamo Zagreb won the title.

United signed Henriquez three years ago for £4m and sent him out on loan to Wigan half way through his first season, where he collected an FA Cup medal for his side's victory over Manchester City.

Five key thoughts following Manchester United 0-1 West Brom – Three straight defeats sees top four race resume

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Manchester United suffered a third straight Premier League defeat after a 1-0 loss against a resilient West Bromwich Albion side at Old Trafford. The sluggish Red Devils were restricted to long range efforts for the majority of the game as the Baggies chose to sit deep and allow United to pass the ball in front of them.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs West Brom

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De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Blind, Mata, Herrera, Fellaini, Young, Rooney, Van Persie.

Subs: Valdes, Blackett, Jones, Di Maria, Januzaj, Pereira, Falcao.

Our thoughts are with Rio

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Rio Ferdinand has released a statement this morning confirming that his wife has passed away last night at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. She was suffering from a short battle with breast cancer and leaves behind three children, aged nine, six and four.

Our thoughts are with him during this horrible time.

LvG: Next season can be fantastic with Di Maria

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Louis van Gaal has tried to distance Angel di Maria from stories linking him with a move away from the club next season, claiming that his attitude is great and he should make the right decision on his future.

I think Di Maria shall stay. He cannot say that he has had a marvellous season here, but he is working very hard.

Pulis: Fletcher had a wonderful time at United

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Tony Pulis has claimed that he hasn't yet spoken to Darren Fletcher about how he feels about returning to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving Manchester United.

I've not spoken to him about it, I'll mention to him because you don't want him to get too wrapped up in the occasion you want him to concentrate on the 90 minutes.

LvG: Not many players can read the game like Carrick

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Louis van Gaal has revealed that Michael Carrick will be back in action before the end of the season but that we won't see him this afternoon against West Brom.

Yes, I had expected that he could play this weekend, but it is a matter of time. When you see in our team, he is a holding midfielder and we don't have so much [of them].

LvG: Pereira can be an integral part of the first team

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Louis van Gaal has convinced Andreas Pereira to snub interest from PSG and sign a contract extension with Manchester United. The youngster will be at the club until 2018 with the option of a further year.

Van Gaal has sung the praises of Pereira, claiming that he has a bright future at the club.

PICTURE: Pereira signs United contract

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Having been linked with a move away from the club, in a Paul Pogba style scenario, Andreas Pereira has signed a new contract at Manchester United which keeps him at the club until at least June 2018, with an option to extend for a further year.

Pereira: I’m at the right club to continue my development

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Andreas Pereira's contract at Manchester United was set to expire this summer and he had been strongly linked with a move to PSG.

Having lost Paul Pogba to Juventus in similar circumstances, the club were unwilling to see another bright young talent leave for a minimal amount.

Earlier this week, Pereira hinted that his future would be at United, after suggesting he would be given further chances in the first team after making his debut for the club against MK Dons earlier this season, and his league debut against Tottenham Hotspur last month.

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for uMAXit about United's worrying motivation levels for non-big games.

Scott has written for ESPN about the improvement in Ander Herrera.

The Telegraph reports on how United missed out on Bale in 2006.

The Guardian discusses Van Gaal's claim that the pre-season tour cost United this year.

Blind: United fans are amazing

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against West Brom, Daley Blind has spoken of his disappointment about getting beaten by Everton last weekend.

Blind has sung the praises of the fans, who are always behind the team, and hopes to reward them with a win on Saturday.

When you lose 3-0 at Everton then you are very disappointed, that's true.

Herrera: I’m very, very happy with Scholes’ praise

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Earlier in the week, Paul Scholes sang the praises of Ander Herrera, claiming that he is Louis van Gaal's best buy from last summer.

Ander Herrera, who has repeatedly spoken of the high esteem he holds Scholes in, has spoken of his gratitude about being singled out by the United legend.

They were really, really great for me and I am very grateful.

Fletcher: I must remember to go in to the right dressing room!

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Ahead of his first game against his boyhood club since leaving for West Brom, Darren Fletcher has spoken about what is on his mind. He admits that of course he wants United to win, but on the day, will be more focussed on helping his new team get a good result.

I am just conscious of making sure I walk out on the right side, go in the right dressing room and things like that, so I'll have to be really focused and concentrated, but I'm going back with a job to do for my new team and that will be the focus when I'm there.

LvG: It will be hard to defeat defensive West Brom

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Ahead of United's game against West Brom on Saturday, Louis van Gaal has claimed it will be difficult to beat our opponents, given how defensive their style of play is.

We have of course analysed West Bromwich Albion. They play compact and defensive. They play the long ball. That is always difficult to defend as you cannot always put pressure on the ball.

Rooney and RvP can play against West Brom

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After being taken off with an injury at Goodison Park, Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Wayne Rooney is fit to play on Saturday against West Brom, but Luke Shaw has picked up yet another injury.

Rooney is fit to play, it was not so heavy as we expected. Wayne is very important for us, so I am very happy.

LvG: Fletcher will get a great reception from the fans

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On Saturday, Darren Fletcher will return to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving Manchester United for West Brom in the January transfer window. Louis van Gaal correctly claims that Fletcher will get a great reception from the fans.

He'll get a great reaction from the fans.