Updated: Jun 17
Bailey as £40m Sancho alternative?
Manchester United are reportedly considering a £40million swoop for Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey, amid their struggles to sign top targets Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.
According to the Mail Online , United are considering Bailey as a cheaper option that Sancho in the transfer market.
Bailey is 22 and has been linked with Man City in the past.
John Barnes praises Marcus Rashford
He told RadioTimes:
“I have to commend Marcus Rashford and high-profile, black or other sportsmen, celebrities, popstars, instead of talking about themselves, about how terrible it is for them because they can’t get an Oscar or get in a boardroom, to then say ‘let’s look at what’s going on in our inner-cities’. “I’m glad that he’s talked about this, which is obviously the first step in terms of school dinners, but then imagine moving on to talk about education, housing, jobs. You can improve that, you can influence that, if they want to use their voice for that rather than just talking about themselves. “Unfortunately he still plays for Manchester United but I’ll still give him a pat on the back!”
Jude Bellingham's teammate makes prediction amid United interest
Birmingham forward Lukas Jutkiewicz has 'no doubt' Jude Bellingham will go on to fulfil the his potential amid interest from Manchester United.
Bellingham is a priority target for the Reds as Solskjaer looks to continue his rebuild with young, home grown talent.
Jutkiewicz believes his teammate is destined for success. He told Boyle Sports:
"I think his ability is there for everyone to see. "I think the thing that sets him apart from a lot of other youngsters at his age that have got that ability is his heart and desire. "The thing that I love to see when he is playing is that he is desperate to get a tackle in, desperate to close someone down and do the dirty side of the game as well. Obviously his talent shines through as well with that. "He is a really down to earth kid, he wants to get better and better and I have no doubt that he will do that purely because the way he goes about his business. We are lucky to have him here."
Manchester United 'bid again' for Ansu Fati
Silly season is ongoing.
Once again, United have been linked with Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati.
Sport report the Reds have now had two offers rejected for the 17-year-old despite the same publication publishing an interview from Barcelona last week that falsified the initial reports.
It's safe to say he won't be playing at Old Trafford next season despite the latest rumblings in Spain.
Lyon issue Moussa Dembele transfer update
Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has confirmed the Ligue 1 side have received no offers for striker Moussa Dembele.
MEN Sport understand Dembele has been looked at ahead of the summer transfer window.
However, the Lyon boss claims there has been no offers for the Frenchman.
"I hope that Houssem Aouar will stay. “Him and Moussa Dembele. I can tell you categorically that we have not received any offers for them. “I am told that Memphis is also not on the list of possible departures.”
Rashford among SPOTY favourites
The odds of Marcus Rashford winning this year’s Sports Personality of the Year award have crumbled today.
According to Paddy Power, the Manchester United forward has moved from 80/1 last week, to 7/4 now, making him the second favourite to scoop the award – with over 45% of all bets on the market placed on him.
The 22-year-old successfully campaigned to help feed children on free school meals during the holidays, forcing Downing Street to make a U-turn on their original decision. Only Tyson Fury (6/4) is slightly ahead of him in the betting, ahead of Jordan Henderson (10/1) and Lewis Hamilton (12/1).
A Paddy Power spokesman said:
“Marcus Rashford’s successful campaigning has not only successfully forced a change of mind of the government, but also left lots of football fans – even rival ones – raring to cheer him on. “I think even Spurs fans will be jumping off their socially-distanced sofas if he scores against them on Friday.”
MARCUS RASHFORD ODDS: EVS To be named permanent Manchester United captain in the next five years 6/4 To be knighted by 2022 7/4 To win SPOTY 2020 5/1 To be made permanent England captain in the next five years 16/1 To be given the Freedom of Manchester.
United 'make contact' with Willian
Manchester United have reportedly made contact with Willian’s representatives over a potential transfer.
The Chelsea winger has been on United’s radar in the past, but will be available for free this summer when his Stamford Bridge contract expires.
According to France Football, United are keen to sign him on a short term deal.
Leverkusen chief hands United huge boost in pursuit of Kai Havertz
Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro has indicated that the club will not stand in Kai Havertz’s way should he want to leave this summer.
Manchester United are keen to sign the midfielder but could face competition from the likes of Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
His form in the Bundesliga this season has meant that his future is the source of great speculation but, with his contract set to expire in 2022, Leverkusen have the ability to play hard ball with any interested parties.
Indeed, reports have suggested that United would have to pay around £90m to land the 21-year old. Speaking with German paper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, however, Carro said that, whilst Havertz’s contract had to be respected, the player’s wishes would also be listened to.
“Many clubs are interested in him. “I see the player’s wish to take the next step sometime in the near future. “You have to respect that as much as the fact that he has a contract in until 2022.”
The Premier League have announced that Jonathan Moss will be the referee for Tottenham vs Manchester United on Friday night. The Video Assistant Referee will be Graham Scott.
United's seven guaranteed starters
The past few months will have allowed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lots of thinking time as he finally assembles a team for a competitive match.
Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur on Friday night and the Norwegian is expected to have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have been back in full training for some time now, with the former having recovered from ankle surgery - that has meant he’s not started a United game since September - and the latter shaking off a back problem. Whether either player, or the newly re-signed Odion Ighalo - will start against Spurs remains to be seen, though the latest suggestion is that Pogba may start on the bench.
Solskjaer will certainly be buoyed by having more options at his disposal, however, and recently spoke about Pogba and Rashford having a particular impact on the Premier League return. They wouldn’t necessarily have featured had the season been as normal and without the three-month lay-off due to the coronavirus crisis.
"Paul and Marcus have been out, now we've still got games left, and I think everyone in the league will start more or less on the same level," said Solskjaer.
"Maybe they've got more motivation to keep going [with recovery] now, as they can see when they're back they're maybe on the same level or even a better level physically.
"In a way, they have got an opportunity here to play a bigger part in this season than they had hoped. And they are big players for us, some of the most important players."
There's no doubt that if both had full match fitness behind them Pogba and Rashford would certainly be good enough for United's first choice team, but as it stands only Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes look absolutely certain to start in attacking positions against Tottenham.
Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Daniel James, Fred and Mason Greenwood, along with Ighalo, can all consider themselves in the mix. But that's the state of United's midfield and attack right now - less certainty, but more options for Solskjaer, which can only be a boost.
The picture looks altogether more settled at the back, where Solskjaer will continue to favour his first choice back five: David de Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw - if he plays a 4-2-3-1 system.
That may be a little harsh on Brandon Williams, though the 19-year-old will definitely be in contention, especially if Solskjaer is considering a back five. Eric Bailly is popular among supporters but Lindelof would appear to be the man in possession of the spot alongside captain Maguire at centre-back.
United have the benefit of being allowed to make five substitutes, which means a bigger pool of first team players to include on a regular basis.
Solskjaer will be emboldened by the fact United did so well after their February winter break trip to Marbella, and are currently (technically) still on an 11-game unbeaten run. They also started the 2019/20 season with a bang after the summer break, beating Chelsea 4-0.
"I've always been impressed with the players when we've had breaks," he said in April. "When we came back from pre-season they were really focused. "We've had the mid-season break now, we did a few things tactically in Marbella in that week and they came back focused. "We can kick on, I'm sure we can get a good start and climb up that table if we keep doing the right thing." United have plenty to play for, starting against Spurs on Friday. And although only six or seven places in the team to take to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium field are guaranteed, that is no bad thing for Solskjaer.
Saha on Sancho to United
Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha believes Jadon Sancho has a number of attributes that would make him a good fit for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
MEN Sport understands that United want to sign the 20-year-old from Borussia Dortmund in the next transfer window, and Saha says he likes the England international’s mix of pace and skill.
“He is a player that is uncatchable,” the former United striker told Goal . “He’s very clever, quick, very precise. “He’s got the legs, the stamina, the quality. He’s very creative for that type of player. “When you have all those things, like I said about speed and creativity, but precise as well, so imagine how deadly these things are. “You can’t stop the guy and at the same time he’s very precise because he knows how to stop when passing the ball.”
New Premier League matchday rules
The Premier League has provided official guidance on the new measures being put in place upon the league’s return this Wednesday.
Aston Villa face Sheffield United at Villa Park and Arsenal travel to Manchester City as the 2019/20 season gets set to resume.
For Solskjaer’s United, they will have to wait until Friday to face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in what will be a vital game for both clubs’ top-four hopes.
A number of measures have been clarified by the Premier League including stadium restrictions, travel to stadiums and pre-match warm-ups which aims to ensure the safety of all players and staff at clubs.
Only 37 ‘Red Zone’ passes will be available for each side with players, staff and other essential staff allowed access to pitchside.
“Only people who have had tests in the five days before a match can enter. The zone includes the pitch, the technical area, the tunnel and the dressing rooms,” the Premier League said on the Red Zone.
“These people must have a ‘clinical passport’, a barcode either as a print-out or on their phone. This is scanned to check their most recent test result is negative before they can enter the stadium .The maximum number of people allowed in this zone is 110.”
How close Terry came to joining United
Chelsea legend John Terry is remembered by Manchester United fans for his famous slip when taking a penalty in the 2008 Champions League final.
But he’s now revealed he might have been a United player, after courting transfer interest from the Old Trafford club when he was a youngster.
This is what Terry told the Footballer’s Guide to Football podcast:
“I actually went up to Man United for a year, so I was kind of travelling up in school holidays, I went up with David Beckham when he signed his first pro contract, “We went up in the car together, I was there on a two-week training camp. I went up, stayed up for a couple weeks every school holiday really on my own, which was tough to be fair, being away from home. “Then I had the option between Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United and to be fair all of them went above and beyond. The moment I walked into Chelsea, it just felt right, I know that’s going to sound really bizarre. “My dad never wanted me to sign for Chelsea. Actually, on the pitch of me signing my schoolboy form at the club, my dad refused to go on the pitch with me. I’m in the tunnel, the players are coming off the pitch and I’m waiting in the tunnel, Glenn Hoddle goes past and my dad’s going, “You’re not signing for this football club, we should sign for Man United. Again, me being me at the time I’m going, ‘I’m 100 per cent I’m signing here, if you don’t come out with me I’m going out to sign’.”