Manchester United prepare £30 million bid for midfield maestro Arturo Vidal

20140628-021741-8261702.jpgReports in Italy suggest Arturo Vidal could be on the brink of a move away from Juventus this summer, with Louis van Gaal enquiring about the Chilean’s future with the club.

United seem to be giving the fans the summer they promised, with some class signings and a class managerial mastermind. Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have arrived, together averaging an approximate £59 million. But the Dutchman isn’t done yet, Vidal is next on the list; with Mats Hummels, De Vrij and Arjen Robben still in firm sight.

When speaking to Sky Italia, Vidal said “Will I stay at Juventus? I do not know. I just think about the World Cup and the national team now. After the World Cup we will see what will be my future.”

Is Arturo Vidal the answer to United’s midfield miseries? He’s tactically one of the best midfielders in the world, due to his tackling abilities, play-making, and his ability to support the team in both defense and attack at a high level. Since joining Juve in 2011, Vidal has played 95 games, scoring 28 goals; being included in the Serie A Team of the Season in consecutive seasons, and also winning the league 3 times with the Giants.

Earlier this month, Louis van Gaal expressed his admiration of Vidal, even when the Dutchman was in charge in Munich – he told reporters; “I always wanted to buy Vidal when he was at Bayer Leverkusen but he went to Juventus.”

The signing of Vidal for the rumoured £30 million would take United’s transfer spending to £89 million, without even exiting June. The summer the fans were promised, a new era for the club, and all involved.

The ‘Race’ for 4th – from a Manchester United fans perspective

20140413-105247.jpg

After a ‘disastrous’ season from a Manchester United fans perspective, the Red Devils sit 7th, on 57 points; with 5 games to play. Tottenham (6th), sit on 60 points, but with only four games to play. Arsenal (5th), sit on 64 points, with 5 games to play. And Everton, currently 4th, sit on 66 points, with 5 games left to play.

A Champions League spot for United, looks almost certainly out of reach. But when you look at the fixtures of which we have to play, and the teams around us have to play; it makes you wonder.

United’s last five games consist of a trip to Goodison Park, of which could be huge in the potential race for 4th. Shortly followed by three relatively easy games at home, against Norwich, Sunderland and Hull – 3 games where we should easily pick up 9 points. And the last game of the season, away to Southampton; a winnable game seeing their current form, but anything can happen in football. If United

Everton’s last five games could be difficult, they face Crystal Palace at home, then United at home, then, like United; Southampton away; then Manchester City at home, and to finish their season; Hull away. If United are aiming for 4th, Everton can not pick up more than 6 points in their last 5 games, seems unlikely, but could easily happen; United will have to win all of their remaining 5 games to draw equal with Everton at 4th spot, as well as increasing their goal difference to above Everton, of which currently stands at +18 for United, and +22 for Everton.

Arsenal’s last 5 fixtures look relatively easy, however; their form recently may effect their fight for 4th. They host West Ham, then travel to Hull, then return to the Emirates and play Newcastle, then West Brom and finish the season off at Carrow Road, against a struggling Norwich side. A similar position as Everton, because if Arsenal pick up more than 8 points out of their last 5 games, United mathematically can not get the Champions League spot. Again, it seems unlikely, but could happen; with a few dodgy results away from home, and a potential flop in one of their last 3 home games. Goal difference could again come into play, with Arsenal currently on +16, 2 less than United.

Tottenham have four games remaining, and currently sit on 60 points, 3 ahead of United, 4 behind Arsenal and 6 behind Everton. Spurs host Fulham at home, then travel to Stoke, then West Ham and then finish off with a home game to Villa. Picking up 3 points in each game would see Tottenham finish on 72 points, but look unlikely to be the team that rule United out of a Champions League, with a lousy goal difference of 0.

Anything could happen in the next 5 weeks. Personally, I can’t see Everton getting a result against us, or City; and potentially Southampton. I can’t see Arsenal beating West Ham or Hull; yet could easily pick up points in other games. I can’t see Tottenham finishing strongly, even though they probably have the easiest remaining games of the 4, they still could slip up to West Ham and Stoke.

For me, the Champions League spot is pretty much out of reach for United this season, but a few good results and a few dodgy slip-ups for teams around them, and they’re in there with a shot. You have to be optimistic in football, because with no hope; there’s no game.

Bayern Munich vs Manchester United (Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg) – Match Preview

20140409-112023.jpg

It’s here. Two of the biggest clubs in world football face each other in sensational style. It’s Manchester United vs Bayern Munich.

Last weeks clash between the two resulted in a 1-1 draw, but could easily have been more. Danny Welbeck missed an easy chance to put United ahead early in the game, but Neuer read him. Robben and Ribery, compared to usual, were quiet. Surprisingly, Rafael and Buttner handled the duo very well, and it’s something that the full back’s tonight will have to do.

David Moyes, who got the tactics spot on last week, spoke to media and said; “We’ll need a good performance from everybody. We can’t have any passengers. I expect us to play better. And I believe we can. To get through, we will have to. My focus is on getting through. The players are ready and focused. We’re relishing it.”

Wayne Rooney was potentially ruled out of a spot in the squad over the weekend, however the Englishman trained with United at the Aon Training Complex, in Manchester yesterday. Moyes, when asked about the involvement of Wayne in Munich, said; “We’ll do everything we can [to get him on the pitch]. He’s happy to take an injection to play.” Guardiola has no doubt that Rooney will take part in the game; Pep said; “He is going to play. One hundred per cent. He is going to play. I bet you a big, big glass of beer. I believe he is going to play. Rooney is going to play. He is a big player, one of the best players I’ve ever seen in my career. I’m sure he’s going to play.”

Rooney is essential for our European triumph, as Juan Mata is ineligible to play, and Shinji seems to be finding form out wide. Rumoured team news suggests that Rafael will not play tonight, the reason being unknown. This means Phil Jones is likely to be called up at Right Back, Phil Jones vs Franck Ribéry; is this a good idea?

Momentum-wise, United go into the game in high spirits, after a 4-0 battering against Newcastle. Bayern, however; are quite the opposite – they ended their 53 game unbeaten streak last weekend against FC Augsburg, suffering a 1-0 loss, slipping to their first league defeat since October 2012.

Is the fact that the 2nd leg is in Germany in United’s favour? I believe it is. United’s away form has been brilliant this season, in and out of the Premier League. Forget the Olympiakos disaster, but 5-0 against Leverkusen, 4-0 on Saturday.. these are all tiny glimpses of our away success, something I feel we’ll portray in our performance tonight.

The lineup could vary, I would personally go for the 4-2-3-1 formation, with De Gea in goal, Jones at right back (suggesting Rafa is out), Vidic and Rio in the centre and Evra on the left. A midfield two of Fellaini and Fletcher; Valencia out right, Januzaj out left and Rooney behind Welbeck. Speed is key for this game, Januzaj, Valencia and Welbeck all provide this magnificently, with Rooney not being the slowest, and Fletcher being fast on his feet.

My score prediction for the game is 2-2, sending us through on away goals. What a night it would be, and what an experience for some of our younger players. Come on United!

A Juantastic performance completes a 4-0 battering at St James’ park for Manchester United – Match Report

20140405-173815.jpg

Nothing less than a Juantastic performance St James’ Park today; as Manchester United cruised through a 4-0 win against the Jordies, retaining the best away record in the Premier League this season!

United lined up with a second string squad, with Wednesday night’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich in mind. Lindegaard was inbetween the sticks, Valencia at right back, Jones and Smalling at centre-half and Evra at left back. A deep midfield two of Fletcher and Fellaini, and a starting quartet of Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez!

Unfortunately / fortunately, Ashley Young was quickly replaced by Adnan Januzaj on the right hand side, as the winger suffered a hand injury after a dodgy landing to a 50/50 challenge. Ashley was taken to a local hospital and received checks on his hand / fingers, results showed that Young has torn ligaments in his hand, David Moyes described it as a “bad injury”.

A sketchy start for United, one that pretty much defined our season – slow, undesirable and soulless. However, things changed when Spanish starlet Juan Mata netted a beautiful free kick after 38 minutes, from just outside the box; to put United ahead! His second goal in a United shirt, with many more to come!

Juan was back on the scene just a few minutes after the break, following a brilliant interception from Shinji Kagawa and a beautiful ball from Chicharito; the Spaniard finished cooly. Making it 2-0 to the Reds, and giving Mata his third goal in two games!

United were back just 15 minutes later! After a quick pass across the box by Shinji Kagawa resulted in a Chicharito goal! Great link up play by the Japanese and the Mexican – giving United an extremely comfortable 3-0 lead.

The boy who can do anything popped up in the XTH minute to secure the win for United! Juan Mata was unable to complete his hat-trick, but assisted Adnan’s goal with a “magical backheel” (said David Moyes) to lead to a calm finish by Adnan, resulting in a 4-0 win, and a huge momentum boost for Wednesday night in Germany!

My personal man of the match, Juan Mata. The Spaniard was majestic today, in everything he did; his link up play, his goals, his assists; the works.

An exquisite performances by Moyes’ men today, leaving the Devils in 6th place with 57 points, just 7 points off Arsenal, who travel to Goodison Park tomorrow to play a transformed Everton under Roberto Martinez!

Manchester United 1-1 Bayern Munich – Match Report

20140402-001739.jpg

A picturesque night at Old Trafford last night, as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Bundesliga and Champions League giants in the first leg of their quarter final clash with the German’s in the Champions League.

United started with a, what some may call ‘retro’ squad; De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Büttner, Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Giggs, Rooney and Welbeck. A typical 4-2-3-1, however when attacking converted into a 4-3-3; with Giggs joining the midfield, and Welbeck pushing out left. The formation worked and the tactics were spot on, we pressurised our opponents, making them give the ball away, make mistakes and lose concentration regularly.

Bayern started with a very strong squad, consisting of; Neuer – Ribéry, Martinez, Robben, Rafinha, Boateng, Lahm, Müller, Alaba, Schweinsteiger and Kroos. All these world class players, yet few performed. Lahm was unreal, going from one of the best full back’s in the world; to a contender for one of the best midfielders; all under Guardiola.

Just three minutes into the game, Welbeck seemed to have give United a dream start with a well struck volley beating Neuer; however was brought back for his ‘high’ foot, abysmal decision. Danny was soon on the ball again, and found himself in any strikers dream one-on-one, he took his time; and attempted to chip Neuer, but the shot was easily saved by the German.

Half time and the game was 0-0, United the more dominant side; however this half United were shooting towards the Stretford End, which was atmospheric to say the least.

58 minutes into the game was when the deadlock was broken, as Wayne Rooney delivered a lovely corner to Italy bound and United skipper Nemanja Vidic to nod home and take the lead.

However, just under 10 minutes later; Bayern were back; as Mandzukic headed a ball down to Schweinsteiger, making it impossible to miss. United dominated the rest of the game, and were unfortunate, if anything; to only take a draw.

That wasn’t all for Schweinsteiger though, in the 90th minute, he received his second yellow for a rash challenge on Rooney. Bastian was forced to depart the pitch the referee, ruling him out of the second leg next week, aswell as Javi Martinez; for picking up a yellow.

Good news for United, no Schweinsteiger or Martinez; however, Bayern are a team with great versatility; and as a club have the ability to get the best out of each she every player.

After the game, Moyes praised the Old Trafford support, and Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester United as “one of the best teams in the world”, Pep said; “I am pretty satisfied. Man United is one of the best teams in the world. We have scored an away goal which is important, but we also got lucky that the efforts from (Danny) Welbeck and Rooney didn’t go in. The goal we conceded was difficult to defend. It’s never easy to play against a team which defends so deeply. We will see if we can find some solutions for the match in Munich. It’s always dangerous when you go into the second leg with a 1-1 draw, but even a 2-1 victory would have been dangerous for us. We will try to win the second leg and I am sure we can do it. I have full confidence in my players and hope the fans in Munich will push us like the United supporters did for their team today.”

A good result at Old Trafford for United, leaving them in a good position to travel to Germany and beat our opponents on foreign soil.

Manchester United’s official man of the match was Nemanja Vidic, and tonight; mine is going to have to be the same; he was quick, efficient and solid; along with Ferdinand, the deadly duo of the past.

The lads showed real desire and passion out there last night, and there’s no doubt they’ll do the same in Munich. Come on United!

Manchester United to hijack Chelsea’s £27 million deal for Southampton starlet Luke Shaw

20140330-104017.jpg

According to The Mirror, United have hijacked Chelsea’s strong money move for Luke Shaw in the summer. Mourinho thought he was in pole position, but the media has suddenly changed; and speculation is growing regarding a move to Old Trafford for the full-back.

Sources close to the teenager tell us that Shaw is due to join United on £85,000 a week; as part of David Moyes’ summer rebuild.

Chelsea, who wanted to sign Shaw as a long term successor for Ashley Cole; will have taken a blow, but will this rule them out of all speculation? With Ashley rumoured to be joining Spanish giants Madrid, anything is possible.

With Evra a very likely departure this summer, Shaw would be an exquisite; long term replacement. In a few years, he’ll be England’s best left back, and a first team spot for United may just be around the corner.

Shaw has shown his class for Southampton this season, as they’ve shown they’re a top 10 side, with the help of Shaw and a few other Englishmen. Like Scholes said, United need pace; and that’s exactly what Shaw provides, overlapping at speed with the likes of Rooney, Mata and van Persie to deliver to.

Personally, I think £27 million and I think it’s a bit hefty, but we could get just short of ten years out of him; and he’s always showed that he has unbelievable potential and is guaranteed a bright future, whether it be in the Red of Manchester, or the Blue of London.

United vs Villa – Match Preview

20140329-100642.jpg

An early kick off for United this Saturday, as we host Aston Villa at Old Trafford! After a dodgy mid-week display against City, David Moyes’ men hope to regain some confidence, despite the disaster of a season we’ve encountered.

United have won 26 and lost just one of their last 36 Premier League meetings against the Villa, and I think they’ll extend that today; if the right team is chosen.

Skipper Nemanja Vidic returns from his suspension today, and Robin Van Persie is out with a knee injury. Centre-backs Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are both doubtful to play; with hamstring and calf problems.

It’s a must win for Moyes, now aiming for a Europa League spot. Lineups have been poor throughout the season, but he’s got some right; Olympiacos and Bayer Leverkusen.

My lineup would be: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Jones, Evra, Januzaj, Carrick, Fellaini, Valencia, Rooney and Welbeck. Playing in a 4-2-3-1 and hopefully exploiting the Villa defence with the pace of Januzaj, Valencia and Welbeck.

Over the years, United have took 100 points over Villa, more than any other Premier League club versus an opponent. So today has to be a win, let’s make it 103. Kick off is at 12:45, enjoy the game, come on the Reds!

MUFC IN THE MEDIA (23/03/14) “Carvalho a done-deal” “David De Gea new deal” “Transfer Targets”

20140324-084313.jpg

After a successful past few days, with a Champions League progression and a Premier League win; the media looked good for United over the weekend. Carvalho now a done-deal, an upcoming contract for De Gea and some good news regarding Champions League superstar Robin Van Persie’s condition.

For Moyes, the summer rebuild has already very much started. According to various reliable sources, United have agreed a deal for Sporting star William Carvalho. The Portuguese midfielder is due to join United before he almost certainly jets off to Brazil for the World Cup, making him a Manchester United player next season. The 21-year-old’s agent has already been shower around Carrington, which will soon trigger the £37 million release clause in Carvalho’s contract. He’s praised my many in Portugal, and I can see him fitting into the United team nicely.

A busy March for United, as four games have already been played; with 2 left in the calendar month. On Tuesday they host rivals City, and David Moyes is confident his team can maintain their current upward spring with a win against the ‘noisy neighbours’. Saturday’s captain Wayne Rooney is confident that United can derail City’s title hopes with a win on Tuesday at Old Trafford, due to the sides renewed confidence and belief as of their recent form. Moyes praised Rooney’s positive attitude, and claimed Wayne leads by example, making him such a quality player for United. Rooney is favourite to captain the Red’s permanently next season, and manager Moyes sees no fault in acquiring him with the armband.

Marvellous news for Manchester United fans, as David De Gea is set to extend his contract with the club. Our Spanish shot-stopper has been very consistent this season, and has finally settled in, in England. The Spaniard saved his team in their Champion’s League win over Olympiacos with an unbelievable double save, keeping United ahead. Not just that, throughout the past year; David has made some exquisite saves; which has resulted in United goalkeeping legends Edwin Van Der Sar and Peter Schmeichel expressing their admiration for some of his performances.

After the sealing of the Carvalho deal, Moyes insists he is not finished. The Scot has now turned his attention to German holding-midfielder Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich. Kroos is reportedly currently in a contract dispute with the German giants; and his brother, Felix; says that a Premier League for Toni, is on the cards. Kroos would sit alongside Carvalho, possible resulting in Carrick being kicked out of the squad, unless he continues to play at the heart of the defence, like he did brilliantly on Saturday.

Reports from Italy claim AC Milan are lining up a bid for Dutch forward Robin Van Persie. AC, like United; are in desperate need of a squad rebuild; and are acting on media allegations of Robin Van Persie being unhappy at Manchester United. A move to the San Sir looks unlikely, as the Dutch did recently publicly say that he is happy with the team and the manager, and would be interested in extending his contract with the Devil’s.

Some European scouting going on, as Manchester United sent scouts to Benfica’s Stadium of Light on Thursday night to watch Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay. The Argentine scored the first goal as his side defeated Tottenham to progress into the Quarter-final’s of the Europa League. Chelsea are supposedly also in the race for the Argentine’s signature, who is open for a move to the Premier League.

Reserve goalscorer James Wilson could be off to Turf Moor for the last few few weeks of the season. Burnley are chasing promotion and believe the hotshot could be a huge boost for a few weeks. It’d only be a loan, but if he performs; they may want him permanently at the end of the season.

United target Antoine Griezmann admits he is unsure where his future lies, due to his form in La Liga this season. The French winger has played down talks of staying in Spain, and turning 23 on Friday; says he doesn’t know where he will be for his 24th birthday.

Everton have now joined United and Liverpool in the chase for Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian is seeking a move to the Premier League, from a lot of interest from various clubs. Firmino is being closely monitored by United scouts, but are in competition with Inter, Liverpool and now Everton. Now the deal for Carvalho is done, the Roberto link may die down; however he’s a creative little player, who could potentially be at Old Trafford next season.

Another chase Liverpool have joined, is the chase for Southampton golden boy Luke Shaw. Luke has been heavily linked with United and Chelsea for some time, but Liverpool have now also joined the potential race for the England international. According to the Daily Mail, Ed Woodward had a three-hour meeting with David Moyes last week to discuss the left-back in transfer targets. So things are looking good.

City starlet David Silva claims Manchester United have not got the best out of former Valencia team-mate Juan Mata, Silva told media: “It is a difficult situation for him because the team is not playing that well. They have not managed to bring out the best out in him but he is a very talented player and he will show it. He wasn’t getting the minutes at Chelsea so it was a good move for him to go to United. I have been out to dinner with him and his family and we are friends. Anything he needs, he knows he can come to me for. Maybe after the game we can have a meal; it depends.”

David Moyes insists Bayern Munich have weaknesses that Manchester United can exploit in their Champions League quarter final game at Old Trafford next week. Moyes said, “I’ve got a few things that I’ve seen that I would try to work on and capitalise on. They are the holders. But I don’t think the holders have ever won it twice. Hopefully we can try and do something about that. It’s a really big game but the big thing is being in the quarter-final draw because on Tuesday most people were thinking we wouldn’t be in the draw coming from 2-0 down. So yes, we have a tough draw but we are still in there and we are still fighting.”

More confidence from Moyes, as he targets the Premier League title next season. When asked about his summer rebuild and contending for the title next season, he said; But Moyes said: “We are building already, with my thoughts and vision for next year. In every game we have to start looking to that. We need to be in there competing for titles next year. That’s what this club has done and all the other clubs have had periods where they haven’t been competing for titles. There is an added importance if you win big games and it’s something we’ve not done often enough this season.” I reckon it’s possible, but we’ll have to see what happens in summer.

West Ham 0 – 2 United – Match Report

20140322-194104.jpg

United retained the best away record with a 2-0 win at Upton Park. Two goals from Rooney secured another 3 points for United, they’re third away win on the bounce.

Moyes went with the 4-2-3-1 formation, one that fans have grown to despise. However, it worked well. De Gea was between the sticks, an unusual defence of Rafael, Jones, Carrick and Buttner; two holding midfielders in Fellaini and Fletcher, wide left was Kagawa, right was Young, the number 10 role was Mata and Wayne returned to his former number 9 role.

After just 8 minutes, Wayne Rooney scored an unbelievable, Beckham-like conversion from 58 yards out. The banana booted Devil won the a ball just past the half way line, saw the goalkeeper off his line and went for it; and what a finish it was. Speaking to Sky Sports, Wayne said it’s up there with his best goals; but not his very best.

25 minutes later, after a Sir Alex flashback-like counter-attack, Rooney converted his second of the game! Ashley Young perambulated the left side of the West Ham defence, fluffed a cross; a lucky deflection, but who was there to pick up the pieces; Wazza.

United have now won 10 out of their last 11 meetings with the Hammers, and picked up their second domestic win in March, another on the road.

Rooney told Sky Sports the lads are full of confidence ahead of City on Tuesday night, and claimed the Olympiacos comeback has really lifted the side; you really can see it.

My man of the match, despite Rooney’s two goals; has got to be Michael Carrick. He put an absolutele shift in located in the heart of the defence; he read the play well, defended superbly and his footwork was class.

A brilliant team performance overall and a well deserved 3 points. Leaving us in 7th position, 2 points behind Tottenham, but with +15 ahead of their goal difference; and three points behind Everton at fifth.

West Ham vs United – Match Preview

20140322-084807.jpg

A late kick off for United, as they play the Hammers; at Upton Park. United have won nine of the last ten meetings between the two; and hope to extend their record with a win today, despite the absences of Nemanja Vidic and Robin van Persie.

It’s been a busy week for United, after the atrocious loss the Liverpool at Old Trafford last Sunday and the Champions League quarter final booking 3-0 win against Olympiacos on Wednesday night. Three games in six days for Moyes, of which will change to four games on nine when United host the ‘noisy neighbours’ at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

If United win today, it looks unlikely they’ll move from 7th, as Everton host Swansea at Goodison Park; already 3 points ahead with 1 game in hand. Everton will move into 5th with a win, leaving United just 2 points behind top four-challenging Tottenham on an equal amount of games, providing they win.

It’ll be interesting to see what team Moyes picks for today’s fixture, with a huge upcoming game against City on Tuesday night, will he rest key players? Or will he go all out on both? We really don’t want to be dropping points to West Ham; no matter what team we put out. What you have to remember, is that RVP, Smalling, Evans, Valencia and Nani are possibly all unavailable due to injury; whilst Vidic is suspended for his red against Liverpool. The team choice will be tough, but in my opinion; it’s the perfect time to allow Mata to play the no. 10 role. My preferred lineup for today’s game is as follows, playing the 4-2-3-1 formation;

De Gea,
Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra
Fellaini, Carrick,
Januzaj, Mata, Welbeck
Rooney

Welbeck was outstanding on Wednesday night, and rarely fails to impress; his work rate is sensational and you really can tell he wants to be playing. He can put a shift in up front or on the wing, with his dazzling pace and his unbelievable flair; I feel he’s got to be played today.

A potential return for Rooney up-front. Although he hasn’t been scoring as often as previous years this season, he’s been fantastic wherever he’s been played; and if you put him up top with Mata in behind, a lot will be created.

My prediction for the game is 2-1 to United, coming away with 3 points and leaving us in a good position to catch Tottenham and Everton up.

Enjoy the game, wherever you watch it from; and let’s hope for a United win!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.