Author: Lyndon Murray

Ighalo loan expires on May 31

Manchester United are trying to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan deal that expires on May 31. Discussions with his Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua is at an impasse.

United has expressed their desire to keep the 30-year-old for a longer time. However, Shenhua has resisted all their approaches. The good news is that Marcus Rashford is close to returning from injury. According to sources Solskjaer is “relaxed” about the situation, since Rashford will return to the squad soon.

The Chinese Super League re-starts in June, and Shanghai Shenhua needs to have their striker back in time for the start of the season. The Nigerian striker will miss the remaining nine Premier League games, but also the rest of the FA Cup and Europa League campaigns. Solskjaer wants to add another striker to the team and will be given money to spend in order to obtain the players that he desires.

Manchester United should just let Ighalo leave and go back to his club. Not only are they his parent club, the fact the Chinese Super League season will start in June means that they need him. Obviously it would be difficult for them to obtain a replacement before the 12th of June which will be their first match. So this is a no win situation it seems like for United.

Rashford will back soon anyway so I wouldn’t worry about it. Its not like we have any long-term injuries to other strikers where we would really need to keep Ighalo. I believe we’ll be fine when you also consider that we’re coming to the end of the season, and we’re also on a hot winning streak of 11 games undefeated.

Manchester United confirms change in pre-season plans

Manchester United has confirmed that they will not participate in a tour during this pre-season. Because of the coronavirus pandemic the club has cancelled any tour activities for this summer.

United chief financial officer Cliff Baty said this year’s tour had to be cancelled due to the delay in completing the Premier league and the Europa league seasons according to The Manchester Evening News.

Baty spoke to investors during United’s quarterly conference call. Baty said: “Looking further ahead, given the revised timing for domestic and UEFA competitions, we will not be participating in our typical summer tour activities this year.”

Baty went on to say: “Retail revenues will be impacted due to the closure of our Megastore. Broadcast revenues will be dependent on the timing of the matches played in the fourth quarter. Match revenues will be significantly impacted by the closure of Old Trafford to Friends.”

I’m not surprised, because the coronavirus is still a virus that’s new to doctors and nurses. They has never seen anything like this before. Many top leagues around the world had to cancel domestic cup competitions and league games. So this year we just have to wait and see when the Premier league and Europa league seasons resume. I thought that this was a good move by management to protect the well-being of the coaches and the players.

Jude Bellingham could be arriving at Man Utd soon

Getty Images

According to the Sports website Talksport, Manchester United has stepped up their efforts to sign teenage football sensation Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City in the Championship division.

Talksport also says that not only are United willing to sign Bellingham, but that he’ll be a first team player immediately. The 16-year-old won’t turn 17 until the end of next month, but has strong interest from teams across Europe. His success at Birmingham has been remarkable ever since he joined the Blues academy in the under-8 team.

He made his debut for the U-18s at age 14 and he broke into the U-23s on March 2019 and scored the winner at the Nottingham Forest ground. The youngster then became the youngest player ever to feature in the first team at the age of just 16 and 38 days old. Bellingham has been hailed as the new Steven Gerrard. He can also play in multiple positions including as a no. 8 and a number 10.

The Blues midfielder first came to my attention a few months ago. I believe that if he’s anything like Steven Gerrard he can be a great enforcer in the middle of the park. That’s a great compliment to be compared to such a Liverpool legend like Gerrard. This would be a fantastic signing for United as Nemanja Matic is getting older although he’s just 31, Bellingham can learn at lot from him. He played 35 times in all competitions and scoring 4 goals is impressive at such a high-level like that at his age.

All United fans will be looking forward to his footballing brilliance if he is signed by United. At 5’11” he’ll grow even more. I am guessing maybe 6’1″ or 6′-2″- 6”3 tall. He already has a big strong frame. I know that he’s quick and has good athleticism. Playing alongside Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba or Fred would really give Solskjaer more options and it will make that midfield much stronger.

I definitely hope that he’ll be a United player soon. The fans would love to have a young player like that in our squad that can make us a more formidable force in the Premier League and in Europe.

Do you think Jude Bellingham is a great fit for United? Or are there other players that are better options?

Tell me what you think in the comments section.

Borussia Dortmund wants Jadon Sancho to stay

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Manchester Evening News reports that Borussia Dortmund wants to keep their star Jadon Sancho at the club. According to Dortmund’s chief operating officer Carsten Cramer they’re not interested in selling the 20-year-old during the summer despite strong interests from Manchester United and other top European clubs.

“We want to keep our players as long as possible. The less clubs interested in Jadon, the less we would complain,” he told BBC Sport.

Well, after all that speculation for months now that it almost seemed certain that Manchester United was in pole position to sign the right-winger, now United fans have hear this news about one of the players that the Red Devils covet the most.

However, I am not necessarily discouraged by this revelation. Any top star in world football that many teams are pursuing any club that has that player would do all they can to keep him. Ed Woodward said last month that despite the coronavirus that has caused destruction to economies globally, United were in a stronger position financially than many other clubs.

United is still in a strong financial position to buy the players that they want. Although with Covid-19 this prospect of obtaining all our targets may not materialize because of how the pandemic has adversely affected the finances of football clubs particularly in Europe.

As United fans let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can still sign Jadon Sancho, Moussa Dembele and Jack Grealish this summer. Football clubs are in a more challenging environment than ever before, so signing these players isn’t guaranteed. It will be interesting to see what players that Ole is pursuing that he will actually get this summer.

How do you feel about this story? Do you think that this decreases our chances of signing Sancho?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Ighalo may leave Man Utd

Odion Ighalo may return to his parent club Shanghai Shenhua.

ESPN reports that Manchester United may lose Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo because his three-month contract ends on May 31. His parent club Shanghai Shenhua wants him back in time for the Chinese Super league, which is scheduled to start in July.

The Red Devils would love to hold on to the striker who has scored 3 goals in three starts in his 8 appearances for the club. United hasn’t had any discussions with Shenhua, and will have to temporarily put that issue on hold until a completion of the season can be finalised. The striker would have had an opportunity to feature in more matches during the season, but those opportunities were curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the club would love to keep him permanently, they are reluctant to sign him because Solskjaer is aware that he may not have the 30-year-old in his squad, if the Premier League is able to resume in June. The UK government approved June the 1st as the date professional sports can resume their activities. But the Premier League has a target date of June 8th.

United are willing to offer a fresh loan fee, but this might not be enough to tempt the Chinese club to part ways with their player. Shanghai also has an estimated price tag of about £20 million.

With just 9 more games to go until the end of the season I believe we should be fine without him. The best thing that United can do is send him back to his parent club. I don’t see him staying now permanently or signing him on an extended loan agreement with Shanghai Shenhua with their league starting in July. Also, surely United isn’t going to pay a £20 million fee in order to permanently keep him here. So that’s out of the question too.

Marcus Rashford is close to full recovery and could return from his back injury. So he may be able to play some part in the remaining games left. Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood has done well so far this season and we’re on a nice winning streak. Bruno Fernandes has added a new found confidence and spark to the team. He has already proved that he can score goals for us in his nine appearances with three goals.

We’re still in the FA Cup and the Europa League and we could win both and finish in the top four. A 5th place finish may be enough to qualify for the Champions League next season even if we don’t win the Europa League. That’s as long as Manchester City doesn’t win their appeal after being banned from the Champions League for two seasons by UEFA for breaking the financial fair play rules. City can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in order to over turn the ruling.

Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata has chipped in with a few goals and even the other midfielders have been scoring lately. So United should be fine without Ighalo. Let’s just focus on winning our last nine games and try to finish in the top four and win a title or two at the end of the season.

What do you think about this story? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

Why hasn’t Manchester United hired a Director of Football yet?

Ed Woodward should just focus on his role as the club’s Executive vice-chairman. Sky Sports

This has been a question that hasn’t been answered for the last three years. I have heard of a report that Manchester United isn’t interested in hiring a Director of Football because the relationship between Ed Woodward the Executive vice-chairman of the club has worked so well that there isn’t a need for a Director of Football.

I don’t believe there is any truth to that rumour really, but I think that United should have secured the services of a quality Director of Football candidate a long time ago. I don’t think anyone really knows the reason or reasons why that position hasn’t been filled. The club in the last two months or so were on a winning streak before the coronavirus. There is no doubt about it that because of Ed Woodward’s and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s partnership in bringing in the right players have paid dividends.

Ever since Woodward signed Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo in January, United’s fortunes has turned around remarkably. The team has more confidence now and the influence of Fernandes in particular with his creativity and great passing ability has transformed the club. This approach by United in not hiring a Football Director isn’t I believe a sound and proper idea to adopt.

If you look at any successful club in Europe, especially the big ones they all have a Director of Football, whose specific job is to handle the transfers of the buying and selling of players. He or she also acts as a liaison between the club’s board and the manager regarding not just transfers of a player but regarding other club matters.

It’s time that Manchester United wakes up and smells the coffee and understand how important this position is in a football club. If United believes that this relationship between Ole and Woodward will fill the void of actually having a Director of Football they will be sadly mistaken. There isn’t a coincidence that there is a link between the reason why United hasn’t won a title since the days of Jose Mourinho and club’s various struggles since then.

In the 2016-17 season when Mourinho was the manager, his defensive and counter-attacking style of play made people frustrated and they grew to dislike the team’s performances. But at least we won the EFL Cup and Europa League. But since then we haven’t won a trophy, and that comes down in part because we don’t have any leadership at the Director of Football position. Everyone knows that some of the board members and the other people in United’s football hierarchy needs to be replaced also.

However we can’t overlook not having a good Football Director around who certainly would make things easier for Woodward and Ole in particular, and the club. Only time will tell whether not this position will be filled, because if not, I believe that we will only prolong our trophy drought.

Do you think that United should hire a Director of Football? Who are the candidates do you have in mind?

Woodward assures fans that Ole will get his full support

In an article on ESPN, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman revealed to United fans that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will get the club’s full support in pursuing transfer targets this summer.

“Its always a top priority for us to strengthen the team and build on what Ole is very clearly achieving in terms of bringing us back to the top,” said Woodward.

Woodward also stressed that because of the coronavirus pandemic this year the dynamics of the business of football transfers will change.

“But we’ve got to have clarity on what the future holds. What’s the impact on broadcast deals, sponsorship deals? it is not necessarily going to be business as usual for clubs this summer.”

“Clearly it’s true we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position compared to many clubs but we are not immune from the financial impact of what this virus is doing.”

Woodward also went on to say that United intends to be “highly competitive” in the market, and the club wants to win more trophies. Manchester United certainly needs to be vigilant and assertive in capturing their transfer targets this summer. Our targets of Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) and Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) certainly seems to be our primary targets.

In the past under Woodward the club didn’t move quickly enough to sign players that were available and that we could’ve signed earlier in the transfer window process, but missed out on them because other clubs signed them before we did. I hope that we can capture the signatures of these players soon.

Manchester United interested in signing Maoussa

The Sun reports that Manchester United has an interest in signing Rennes French left-back Faitout Moaussa. Rennes is in third place in Ligue 1 and Frenchman has 3 goals in 32 appearances so far this season. Many clubs are interested in Maoussa who is a versatile player that can play in defence, midfield, or even as a left winger.

The 21-year-old was pursued by Newcastle United. but had a bid rejected by Rennes last year January. But the French club may garner a new interest in him because Rennes could sell Maoussa with a year left on his contract. These are one of the rumours that has come out this week about Manchester United. But this is the first time I have heard of Faitout Moaussa.

His age is an advantage for us and his versatility is a big plus also. Any team would like to have a player like that. But according to many reports Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t interested in a defender, but maybe we can use him as a left-winger, because that is an area we can strengthen. Solskjaer as far I know is looking for a creative midfielder which Moaussa may not be.

We’ll see if Solskjaer pursues Moaussa but honestly I don’t think that he’s one of the players that we’re chasing after. The names that has been linked consistently with United are Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Do you think Manchester United should sign Moaussa? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

Manchester United should pursue Timo Werner

Timo Werner could be a great asset for United next season. Image: Teamtalk

Manchester United needs a world class striker in the summer. There is no way we can get Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar. Lautaro Martinez is one of the hot prospects in Europe right now and he’s with Inter and Barcelona are among other clubs are interested in the Argentine striker.

However, we could possibly acquire German striker Timo Werner from LB Leipzig. He’s 24-years-old and before the Covid-19 virus hit the world he was the the leading scorer or one of the top scorers in the Bundesliga. Werner is a player that can score different types of goals. He can score with both feet and his head. The German international scores opportunistic goals as well. Obviously virtually all his goals are in the box.

Playing for the German national team is a plus and he represented Germany at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Werner has made 29 appearances for Germany and 118 appearances for RB Leipzig. There isn’t many real quality top class strikers that United can sign in the summer.

He would link up well with Rashford, Martial, Greenwood and Ighalo if United decides to keep him. He should fit right in with the other strikers and the United system. He has good pace and passes the ball well. He keeps possession of the ball when he needs to. I would hope that Werner is the striker that United would sign in the summer.

The German is a fine player that will only get better. Although there would be many other teams competing for his signature, I believe that since Manchester United is the richest football club in the world that does give us an edge over the others.

But I also know that United won’t be persuaded into buying any player that the club thinks is overvalued. So Leipzig would have to offer Werner at an affordable price to United if they want to peak the club’s interest in him. If we can get him it would be a wonderful signing and if we were to sign Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho as well, then we’ll have a fantastic team that would be able to challenge for all the titles next season.

What do you think of Timo Werner? Do you think he’s the right fit for United? Tell me what you think in the comments section.

Diego Godin to Manchester United?

Diego Godin to United? Image:

Uruguayan defender Diego Godin wants to make a switch to Manchester United from Inter Milan according to Tuttosport in Italy.

The 34-year-old transferred from Atletico Madrid to Inter Milan last summer. But unfortunately for him he hasn’t been able to nail down a starting spot in Milam’s starting eleven. So now clubs around the world are interested in Godin. Tottenham and Manchester United is at the top of that list, and he’s expected to go to one of these two clubs.

I don’t believe that Manchester United would ever be interested in him because we have enough quality defenders. Finding a defender isn’t one of Solskjaer’s priorities this summer. The boss wants to obtain a right winger, a striker and a central midfielder that’s supposed to be creative. So I don’t see how Diego Godin figures into Ole’s plans. He’s also 34, which is too old for Manchester United.

If this were a short-term measure whereby time was running out for us to buy a quality defender, and there were no other viable options then I could understand that. But this isn’t the case. What’s the point in bringing in a defender that will be getting to the end of his career in the next three or four years? and he may want to retire by 36 or 37.

If he was in his late twenties or early thirties then maybe I could see us acquiring him. But it would of depended also on the quality defenders that we would have available, especially in his position. With Tottenham they definitely need at least two excellent defenders. So I don’t know if they are interested.

But I don’t think he has enough pace to play in the Premier League anyway. Also as he gets older he’ll be a liability for any Premier League club as he would only get slower. He’s better suited for La Liga in Spain and Serie A in Italy. The pace of the game is slower in those leagues, and I think that would better suit him than in the Premier League.