Author: Lyndon Murray

Manchester United didn’t do enough to improve their squad

Marcus Rashford will be key to our chances of scoring goals this season. Image: The Metro

The just concluded summer transfer window brought a lot of excitement and anticipation for Manchester United fans all over the world. Before the start of the transfer window there were reports that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was going to sign five players and that United was going to spend £200m or more on new players.

However, that wasn’t the case. The Red Devils ended up spending £140m in total. We fell woefully short of that £200m figure and we only were able to bring in three players. The good thing is that they are quality players. Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire are all top class players.

But we needed a striker and another centre-back in my opinion. United on the last day of the transfer deadline was able to sell Romelu Lukaku, but the didn’t replace him with another striker. It will be a challenge for United this season to produce enough goals when you look at our stable of strikers. Romelu Lukaku was able to score at least 20 goals a season or more in his short time at United.

None of the current crop of strikers have been able to achieve that 20 or more goals a season. Anthony Martial has been very inconsistent and many times looks unmotivated in games. Jesse Lingard continues to improve and had a very good season in 2017-18. He got into the teens with number of goals that he scored. Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez have been poor in the amount of goals scored department in the last two seasons and that is a great cause for concern.

We can’t depend on 17-year-old Mason Greenwood to score many goals for us. So I think that it has to be a team effort from all the players in the squad to chip in with goals. I would suggest that Martial, Rashford, Lingard and Sanchez that three of them should try to obtain goals in the mid-teens or close to that and one of them score 20 goals or more this season and that should give us a chance of being successful. Then you add goals from the other players like the midfielders and the defenders chipping in then we should have a high tally of goals.

Now when you look at the centre-back situation, Eric Bailly is already out with a knee injury for 6-8 weeks. He has been injury-prone ever since he arrived at the club. Then you have Chris Smalling and Phil Jones who have been plagued by injuries for several seasons now. So now we could potentially have a problem. Now Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are players that you can rely on at the centre-back position. They don’t have persistent issues with injuries like the aforementioned players and they are usually solid and consistent in their performances.

Harry Maguire will be an integral part of our defensive success this season. Image:

I hope that both Maguire and Lindelof won’t get injured at the same time, and that they won’t be out for a decent or long period of time. Because God forbid if they both do spend a lengthy amount of time on the sidelines it would be a disaster for us during the season.

United has had a long history of many defenders getting injured during the season, with the centre-backs in particular. We’ll have to now rely on Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at centre-back, but they’re inconsistent.

Ole can’t depend on Axel Tuanzebe or Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Because they are both young defenders that are still learning their trade and even though both have been impressive in the past whenever they played under Jose Mourinho or Louis Van Gaal these were only a small amount of games and they never played a full season or two. So we can’t judge them based some appearances.

Let’s hope that we won’t have too many injuries with our defenders in general and that our strikers score many goals and perform at a high level along with our midfielders also. We can’t afford to repeat the disastrous season we had last term. We need every player to perform at their best if we are to challenge for titles this season.

What do you think? Should we have signed a striker and another centre-back? Please have your say in the comments section.

Manchester United ends pursuit of Mario Mandzukic

Image: Sky Sports

Sky Sports News claims that Manchester United has ended their interest in signing Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.

United had reopened discussions with Juventus for the Croatian striker and tried to sign him as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku will be undergoing a medical in Milan today. Inter are close to completing a deal for Lukaku for £73m.

I don’t know what are the reason(s) why United has ended their interest in the striker. But now United must continue to search for a quick replacement for Lukaku before the transfer window closes today. That will be a difficult task because to find the right player with very little time left are two problems the club will have right now.

We don’t know whatever happened to the pursuit of Moussa Dembele. He was another striker that United was linked with but the potential signing didn’t materialize.

I am not aware of any other strikers of real quality right now. I hope that we can find and sign a very good one soon.

Manchester United ends interest in Christian Eriksen

Image: Sky Sports

ESPN reports that Manchester United has ended their interest in Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

United held discussions with Spurs about signing the Denmark international, but Eriksen isn’t interested in a move to United and will like to move to Real Madrid instead. The Red Devils were hoping to get the transfer fee reduced for Eriksen. The midfielder just has one year left on his contract.

Manchester United a few months back were pursuing Christian Eriksen without any success. Even if it were the case where we were able to sign him, I am not sure he would of been a reliable player for us. In a past post I spoke about how he can be a very good player on his day. When he’s at his best he certainly would be one of the best midfielders in the league.

But I believe he has many games where he has been sub-par in his performances. Many times he doesn’t have the kind of strong effect that a fan would like to see him have. Although I think last season he did look better than in past seasons.

I would have to welcomed him to Old Trafford, because he’s a good player that has some fine attributes. He would have given United something different. Eriksen would have given us more energy and a little bit more creativity in the middle of the park.

It seems that the potential deal for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes has either stalled or just that United isn’t interested anymore for reasons that are unknown to us. There is still a little time left hopefully to sign Mario Mandzukic. I hope that we can sign him, because he’ll be a great asset to us.

Mandzukic may contemplate a move to Bayern if potential deal with Manchester United fails

Image: The Metro

According to Bavaria Football Works there are reports coming out of Croatia that Mario Mandzukic would consider transferring to Bayern Munich if his proposed deal with Manchester United collapses.

SN in Croatia stated that if an agreement between him and Manchester United isn’t agreed to shortly, then the Croatian striker could return to his former club Bayern Munich. He was a popular personality there for many years so its feasible that he could return there.

United are dealing with some important issues that needs to be addressed at the club. There have been rumours that consistently circulate that Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku are leaving the Red Devils. Could those be the reasons why a transfer for Mandzukic hasn’t materialized as yet? According to reports from different media sources this deal should have been done by today.

We’ll be watching closely to see what happens with this story. I would personally love to have Mario Mandzukic join United’s squad. He is dangerous in the air, he can hold up the ball well. He keeps possession of the ball well too. He has Champions League and World Cup experience, and his tall and big frame would add extra physicality to the frontline of strikers we have. Lukaku is certainly looking like he’s on his way out. So we need a quality striker to replace him as quickly as possible.

Manchester United confirms Maguire as their third signing

Harry Maguire is officially a Manchester United player. Image: CNN

Manchester United unveiled their new and latest signing today Harry Maguire. He agreed to a six-year contract with option for a seventh year, for a fee of £80m.

The former Leicester City centre-back had this to say regarding his move to his new club.

“I am delighted to have signed for this great club,” Maguire said after completing his move to United.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester and would like to thank everyone at the club, and the fans, for their fantastic support over the past two seasons. However, when Manchester United come knocking on your door, it is an incredible opportunity.

“From my conversations with the manager, I am excited about the vision and plans he has for the team. It’s clear to see that Ole is building a team to win trophies. I am now looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and getting the season started.”

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also had this to say about his new signing:

“Harry is one of the best centre-backs in the game today and I am delighted we have secured his signature,” Solskjaer said.

“He is a great reader of the game and has a strong presence on the pitch, with the ability to remain calm under pressure – coupled with his composure on the ball and a huge presence in both boxes – I can see he will fit well into this group both on and off the pitch.”

“He has a great personality and is a fantastic addition to the club. I would like to welcome Harry to Manchester United and we are looking forward to working with him as we prepare for the new season.”

I am so happy that we got Maguire and he is officially a United player. He has many attributes that is excellent and he has the right temperament. I wish him all the best in his new career at Manchester United.

Solskjaer says he has “no doubts” that Paul Pogba will stay with United

Its great to see that Paul Pogba is staying. Image: Sky Sports

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has “no doubts” that Paul Pogba will be a Manchester United player when the transfer window closes. This was after he was asked by ESPN if Paul Pogba would still be a United player at the end of the transfer window. The United midfielder didn’t travel with the team ahead of the 5-4 penalty win against AC Milan on Saturday in the Red Devils last pre-season club friendly at Cardiff.

Solskjaer said that the Frenchman complained of a back spasm and that was the reason why he didn’t play. Ole had this to say regarding the midfielder’s predicament.

“No doubts at all,” said Solskjaer when asked whether Pogba would still be a United player after the transfer deadline. “I wasn’t expecting him [on the flight to Cardiff]. I spoke to him after training and he didn’t feel right. He’ll probably be back early on next week training.

“It’s not an injury, it’s just some pain. He’s not injured, but I wasn’t going to risk anything this weekend. He should be OK for Chelsea.”

Solskjaer said that he’s hopeful that new signing Harry Maguire will be announced in 48 hours after he underwent a medical at Carrington on Saturday. United agreed to an £80m fee for Maguire on Friday. Maguire should make his debut this next Saturday 11th.

“Hopefully the last little details will be in place and we can announce something soon,” said Solskjaer.

I am so elated that we not only will keep Pogba, but that we signed Harry Maguire as well. In previous posts I reiterated in a why were we still pursuing Maguire, because United and Ed Woodward just couldn’t get a deal done with Leicester. But good things comes to those who wait, and patience and perseverance are great virtues.

I am glad that United kept working towards a deal even when it looked like these negotiations would have broken down and nothing would have come out of it. We just need to be as persistent regarding the Dybala-Lukaku swap deal and with Mario Mandzukic who we are having ongoing discussions and hopefully we’ll get one or both strikers which would be wonderful additions to a squad that is being rebuilt.

All eyes will be on Solskjaer and his players this season and they need to hit the ground running from the start by getting a win against one of our rivals Chelsea next Saturday. In the first half of the season we should lose very few games and we can’t afford to have too many draws either, if we are to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool in particular. Going on a long winning streak is preferred.

Manchester United needs to establish themselves as not only early contenders for the Premier league title, but we also need to show other people that we can compete for the other titles like the Europa League, FA Cup and the League Cup as well.

Mario Mandzukic to join Manchester United on Monday?

Is Mario Mandzukic on his way to United? Image: Four Four Two

Four Four Two claims that Manchester United is getting closer to signing Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic according to reports. The 33-year-old Croatian apparently has had talks over a potential Romelu Lukaku-Paulo Dybala swap deal.

However this move will be separate from the Dybala-Lukaku swap, and will cost the Red Devils €10-15 million, Tuttosport reports. United and Juventus reportedly are in talks for the striker and the deal will be confirmed on Monday. United had inquired about the Juventus player at Easter time earlier this year.

However he turned them down to sign a contract extension in April. But, now Maurizio Sarri doesn’t see Mandzukic as part of his plans and would be happy to agree to a move to Manchester United.

Mario Mandzukic is striker that can score goals anywhere in the world. He has been a well-respected player in world football and could certainly help United in challenging for trophies. He is the quality type of striker that we need. He is tall and a big striker that is not only good in the air, but he can hold the ball up well and can score different type of goals too.

I am excited about a deal like this one, because we have little time left and we need to bring a forward in that can take the game to opposing teams and show some competitiveness in winning balls in the box and scoring on a consistent basis. It will be interesting to see how this story ends.

What do you think? Should we sign Mario Mandzukic?

Dybala has reportedly refused to sign with Manchester United unless a clause in the contract is changed

Paulo Dybala’s swap deal is looking doubtful. Image: Sky Sports

The Team Talk website claims that Manchester United may have to switch to a plan B if they remove a contract clause that affects all their stars. United is trying to convince Paulo Dybala to sign with United so they can get a swap deal done with Juventus that would send Romelu Lukaku to Juventus and Paulo Dybala to Manchester United.

Dybala is supposed to go into talks with coach Maurizio Sarri today. He will go into the meeting with the Juventus coach, but will reject the deal. According the Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri, Dybala will refuse to sign the contract that will see his salary reduced by 25% if United doesn’t qualify for the Champions League.

Manchester United has the policy presently in the whole squad. When the club finished in sixth place last season it meant that its a reduction in wages that is affecting the all members of the first team right now.

However the Argentine wants United to grant him an exemption from the clause before signing for the club. United’s failure to change that clause in the contract would see him reject a move to Old Trafford. Dybala is also demanding a large increase in his wages from what he earns in Turin.

The Argentine reportedly has requested a salary worth £9.1m a year, which is equivalent to £175,000 a week. Then there are other reports in Italy that United could instead sign Mario Mandzukic as a cut-price replacement for Lukaku.

Well this new development can totally derail the deal from happening now, if these reports are true then this contract policy that United currently has with all their players is one of the sticking points in the negotiation process. I hope that United changes this policy and they can give him the increase in salary that he wants.

Although I’m not sure this can be done when you consider that Marcus Rashford just signed a new contract extension that increased his salary and the fact that David De Gea will soon agree to a new deal that will also significantly increase his earnings also. Then you have Alexis Sanchez who is earning huge wages too. So both the club contract policy and Dybala’s demands to increase the his wages certainly puts this deal in serious doubt now.

Does United want to sign Samuel Umtiti?

Samuel Umtiti, a target for United? Image: The Metro

According to Sky Sports they are reports that Manchester United is now turning their attention to Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. The 25-year-old centre-back is now reportedly an alternative for the Red Devils.

The Metro says that United is ready to bid £46m for Umtiti, if they can’t get the Harry Maguire deal done. There are media reports that state United is closing in on an £80m agreement. But Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will pursue other alternatives if the Maguire negotiations collapse.

So Umtiti seems to be a genuine candidate right now. United can’t seem to find a centre-back presently without encountering some obstacles that prevents them from signing one. The Red Devils have been searching for a centre-back for a long time now. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) and Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan) have all been potential targets for Manchester United.

There have been others that I haven’t mentioned here that may be potential candidates for the centre-back spot. The fact that United hasn’t been able to sign a quality player for the centre-back position shows how these discussions can be complicated. Competition, inflated prices for players, players agents, and clubs that aren’t willing to sell or players that don’t want to leave the club are just some the reasons why United finds it difficult to sign players that they want.

I don’t know what other players are out there that we can get to fill the central defence role. If we can’t find one or two centre-backs soon then we’ll continue to have the usual problems with our central defenders. We have had a litany of injuries that includes Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof. They have either had issues with injuries or being inconsistent with their performances.

Although, I must say that Lindelof overall was our best defender last season. Whether it was at centre-back or the full-back position. He was mostly consistent during the last term. Its vitally important that we obtain at least one central defender to bring into the squad before the transfer window closes.

Manchester United are interested in a Dybala exchange deal with Juventus


Inside Futbol reports that Manchester United are interested in selling Romelu Lukaku as part of an exchange for Paulo Dybala due to a request from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer according Corriere dello Sport in Italy.

Inter Milan is slowly moving away from pursuing Lukaku. If the deal goes through it will be dependent on whether Dybala wants to join United. But the Argentinian international was surprised that Juventus was willing to sell him.

He is expected to have talks with coach Maurizio Sarri when he returns to training this week. United believes that they can persuade the striker to move to Old Trafford with a lucrative contract offer.

Manchester United should continue to pursue Dybala because he has great skills, has good pace and he makes runs into the box to get on the end of passes. He can pass and he keeps the ball well. Especially when he’s confident he’s a wonderful talent to behold. Dybala is one of the best strikers in Europe. The Juventus striker is surplus to requirements, and Moise Kean and Ronaldo has pushed him down the pecking order in the team.

Because of that he has had few opportunities to start last season and score goals. If he comes to United, he’ll be guaranteed a starting place in the squad. Paulo Dybala is talented and can make a big difference to our frontline. I think that he’ll link up well with other strikers especially like Marcus Rashford or an Alexis Sanchez. I hope that we can get this deal done soon, because time is running out.