Man United make Arda Turan enquiry

Manchester United have made an enquiry to Barcelona on Arda Turan’s availability, according to reports.

The Turkish midfielder arrived at the Catalan club in 2015 but has found regular playing time hard to come by, struggling to get past the likes of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Denis Suarez, Rafinha and Andre Gomes.

Having been made available by Barca for transfer this summer, talk of a move away from the club has developed with Galatasaray and former club Atletico Madrid showing heightened interest.

However, it is now understood that Man United boss Jose Mourinho is keen to explore the possibility of a summer move.

Diario AS report that Ahmet Bulut, the players agent, is currently working from Catalonia in a bid to speed up the midfielder’s exit from the Camp Nou.

Bulut is reportedly close to Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and is keen to see what sort of deal will be proposed by the Old Trafford club.

Since moving to the Camp Nou in 2015, Turan has made just 53 appearances with the majority of those coming from the substitutes bench.

Prior to Barcelona, he spent five years with Atletico, where he won the La Liga title and helped them to Europa League success also.

Source: La Liga News

 

Man United already have De Gea replacement agreed

Man United have already agreed a deal with Leicester City for keeper Kasper Schmeichel, should David De Gea join Real Madrid.

In truth, interest from the La Liga champions in Spanish international keeper De Gea has been quiet since the turn of 2017, following a summer of 2016 that saw him expected to make a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Whilst that didn’t materialise and little talk has since developed – it has now emerged by several English and Spanish sources that the Spanish capital side are ready to make a £50m bid for the former Atletico Madrid stopper.

Should De Gea arrive at the club, Navas would be expected to stay and be a number two, whilst in Manchester – talk of Sergio Romero taking the number one spot is debated.

And, it is understood by several sources close to La Liga News UK that Kasper Schmeichel has already agreed a move to Old Trafford in principle.

The Leicester City keeper is fond of United after his father, Peter, played for the club during their most successful spell under former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

And, it is understood that he would love a move to United, having played for neighbours Manchester City previously.

A formal bid from Madrid is expected in the coming days for De Gea.

Source: La Liga News

Chelsea take advantage of Man United’s Morata rejection

Chelsea has submitted an offer for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, according to reports.

The Premier League champions are keen to bolster their attacking options but they have failed to lure former striker Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge and they have turned their attentions to Morata.

Spanish international Morata has been linked with a summer exit from Madrid since the season finished and despite agreeing personal terms with Manchester United – a transfer fee failed to be agreed.

Madrid officials have valued the former Juventus man at £79.5m, but United’s resolve stopped at £10m less of that amount.

Chelsea is keen to now take advantage and complete a deal.

Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez and his dad, Alfonso – met with Madrid officials last week and discussed a summer move for the 24-year-old.

Scoring 20 goals last season- Morata quickly became one of European football’s hottest properties.

His potential arrival at Chelsea would provide an attacking boost after Diego Costa was allowed time away from the club’s pre-season training to push a move back to Atletico Madrid.

Atletico is currently unable to sign players but the Spanish international is happy to sit out until allowed to play in January 2018 when their transfer embargo comes to an end.

Source: La Liga News

Alvaro Morata unsure of future after Man United snub

Alvaro Morata is unsure of his future after Manchester United agreed a deal for Romelu Lukaku.

The story of the summer – has been Morata’s proposed move to Old Trafford with various media outlets claiming a deal was agreed between the striker and his new club.

A stall in discussions between United and Real Madrid, however, has left the former Juventus man now contemplating his future.

It is understood that Madrid had told United officials that they wanted just under £80m for the goalscorer but the English club had only paid £10m less of the asking price.

That stalling point has led United to make a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, with a transfer fee of £75m having been agreed on Wednesday afternoon.

The Belgian striker is now set to undergo a medical and discuss contract terms – ending any chance of a move for Morata to the Premier League’s most successful club.

Morata’s representatives are now focused on his immediate future, which still seems to be away from Santiago Bernabeu, despite scoring 20 goals last season for Los Blancos.

Chelsea have been interested in the past but the Premier League champions have their focus on improving their defensive areas at present, whilst Arsenal, who showed some interest – completed a move for Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon on Wednesday.

 

Source: La Liga News

Man United have another bid rejected for Alvaro Morata

Manchester United have seen another bid for Alvaro Morata rejected by Real Madrid, according to reports.

A proposed move to Old Trafford for Spanish striker Morata has been ever present since the domestic season in England and Spain finished late May.

United boss Jose Mourinho is keen to add the former Juventus goalscorer to his squad for next season with terms between the Premier League club and the striker having been agreed.

However, a transfer fee is yet to be agreed between United and Madrid, following another rejected offer of £70.2m.

Goal.com report that the offer was snubbed by Real and that they are holding out for an extra £10m on top of that figure.

The report also claims that the Spanish international does not want to re-join Madrid for their pre-season training next week and will contact the Spanish capital side to force through a move.

Morata, who began his career with Madrid left the club in 2014 for a two-year spell in Italy. He later returned to Madrid and helped Los Blancos to a La Liga and Champions League title last season.

The 24-year-old scored an impressive 20 goals for Madrid last season, despite playing regularly from the substitutes bench.

 

Source: La Liga News

Marc Bartra on Man United’s wishlist

Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra has become a transfer target for Manchester United, according to AS.

The former Barcelona centre back has caught the eye of United boss Jose Mourinho, who remains keen on bolstering his squad options ahead of next season.

Criticism of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at Old Trafford last season has seen the former Real Madrid boss look for a new defensive partner for Eric Bailly and it is Bartra who is top of his transfer targets.

Bartra is currently under contract with German side Dortmund until 2020 and would be relatively expensive, should United want to make a solid play this summer.

The 26-year-old arrived in the Bundesliga from Barcelona, whom he made 103 first team appearances for before his exit last summer, having found playing time hard to come by due to the form of Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique.

The Spanish defender won the German Cup during his first season in Germany but saw his football interrupted after being injured in the bomb attack on Dortmund’s team bus ahead of their Champions League game with Monaco.

United’s only summer signing so far is Swedish defender Victor Lindehof, whilst they have shown interest in Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

 

Source: La Liga News

Super January best EPL matchups

Best January Premier League Matchups

January is one of the most critical months in the Premier League. Champions League is on hold until February and International matches are few, with only an occasional friendly taking players away from their professional clubs. With the January transfer window upon the sport, many of the sides will try to shore up their defence, add some offence or do some of both. Usually, signings at this time involve less money, but nevertheless a significant move can keep a team out of the relegation zone or help secure a coveted Champion's League or even a Europa League spot. No matter what happens, these are the matches you should watch.

Wednesday, January 4

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

The second half of this all-London derby at White Hart Lane is the last match of the Premier League festive season. The Spurs will seek revenge for the last match in which Chelsea held superstar striker Harry Kane scoreless while young phenom Dele Alli only had a single assist in a match that Chelsea won by a 2-1 score. That contest handed the Spurs their first loss of the season as previous Tottenham had either ended in a win or a draw.

Sunday, January 15

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Although technically not a derby, this match might as well be as the two cities in Northwest England are only about 40 miles apart. Look for drama at some point in the match from the self-avowed "Special One," Jose Mourinho, United manager, particularly if his side remains outside of a coveted Champion's League spot. Liverpool has had difficulty with its defense all season. Watch for maneuvering by colorful Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp to do some creative maneuvering later in the match, particularly if his side is trailing.

Everton vs. Manchester City

The two blue teams from Manchester and Liverpool will face each other on the same day at Goodison Park in Liverpool. The big question for this contest is whether Pep Guardiola's Manchester City crew will have settled into the possession-style of football that the Spaniard prefers. City have struggled with with Guardiola's style all season, playing erratically, even in games that they have won. The last meeting between the two clubs in October ended in a 1-1 draw. Look for the Evertonians, always a mid-table squad, to give City a run for the money.

Tuesday, January 31

Liverpool vs. Chelsea

This match closes out January at Anfield in Liverpool where the two cross-country rivals may possibly battle for first place. A revived Chelsea, led by manager Antonio Conte, has led the table almost all season. Liverpool won the previous match 2-1 between the two clubs in September, but Chelsea has gained strength since that time. Look for striker Diego Costa to take advantage of holes in Liverpool's defence.

4 Man United Players to Shine in Brazil

After an unusually disastrous season for Manchester United, the United fans all over the world want a cure for the discomforting hangover the mediocre season has left all Red Devils with. Hopefully the World Cup will give all us dissatisfied United fans a new dose of hope and confidence that next season we will see a comeback of the destructive, remorseless force we have come to known United to be, with Old Trafford becoming a formidable fortress once again. The World Cup can illustrate all the potential positives in the upcoming new Van Gaal era if United's players thrive and exhibit the class and form that we all know they are capable of.

Man United have 13 players at the World Cup - one of the most from one club in the world - not all of the players in Brazil will play major roles because they aren't central to their national teams' plans i.e. De Gea will be a reserve 3rd choice keeper for the incredibly strong Spanish team and Januzaj is only expected to play a role from the Belgian bench.

So which Red Devils players will impress at the World Cup?

Shinji Kagawa -  He has had an incredibly frustrating couple of seasons at Old Trafford, Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2011 and it seemingly has gone downhill since then for him at club level - largely because he hasn't been given an opportunity to shine as he has been constantly played on the left-wing in a 4-4-2 formation both under Fergie and Moyes. He is a underutilised benchwarmer at United but for Japan he is absolutely pivotal for their success alongside Keisuke Honda. Used as a floating CAM who operates on the left-side of 3 CAMs behind the striker, he has impressed whenever he plays for Japan largely due to the fact he has fantastic chemistry with Honda.  This year he has scored 2 goals in 3 games for Japan, in the warm-up games he's already made a great assist and scored a great goal with a bursting run into the box after a one-two combination - hence he is already showing signs of form in his national team. He is desperate to impress the new manager and United officials that he is  creative midfielder that can still thrive at Old Trafford and the fact that there are no real 'favourites' for the World Cup in their group with the likes of Greece and Colombia (without Falca0) he has the chance to shine and show off his creative spark in Brazil.

Wayne Rooney - Going by the British newspapers and social media, you would think that England is only taking one player to Brazil and that is Wayne Rooney. At the beginning of every major international tournament it seems as if the pressure of a nation is rested on the shoulders of Rooney and even after England get knocked out of them unceremoniously, he seems to be the first person to shoulder the blame of a usually average team. So Wayne Rooney has a lot of hype and expectations always to live up to, this year on the back of a successful domestic campaign for him personally with 17 goals and 10 assists, I think it will be another tournament for Rooney to show why he is England's star man. I'm confident his vision, creativity and an eye for a pass will make him pivotal to the making of most of the goals England will score in Brazil with goals and assists. He has scored 6 goals in 7 qualifying games only one fewer than Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the same amount of games. He is England's 5th all time top goal scorers and he has the potential to score and assist goals for fun - it all depends on how England perform as a team against tough opposition in their group on how well Rooney does, but the bottom line is: If England are to have a successful World Cup - Wayne Rooney will be at the heart of it.

Robin Van Persie - Playing under his new United manager already, Van Persie is Holland's Captain and very much so Van Gaal's main man in the Dutch set-up and will likely be the main man and captain in his new set up in Manchester. Van Persie ended the qualification stages as the top scorer with 11 goals and has recently scored a goal against Ghana in a warm-up friendly hence he is in top goal-scoring form for his national team after becoming Netherlands' all-time top goalscorer. I feel his mind frame is in the right place now after being disgruntled under Moyes' reign of Man United, he will be like a 'kid in a candy shop' again like he so poignantly described his first season at United with Van Gaal his new manager at his club because he sees Van Gaal in a 'father-figure' like manner who understands him as a player and his philosophies better than any other manager. Van Persie in a happy mood, in top goal-scoring form is bad news for teams at the World Cup (if he can keep injury free). Despite being in a very competitive group with the likes of Spain and Chile in it, I think Van Persie will score a bucket-load of goals in Brazil with Sneijder and Robben providing him with the ammunition - If Holland progress deep into the tournament, he has the potential even to be the top goalscorer  and win the Golden Boot in my eyes even though many would snigger at that suggestion.

 Nani - After a season masked with injury, Nani only played 13 times for United last season and scored only 1 goal. Even if he was fully fit I doubt he would have been used much more frequently though because Moyes was frustrated with his wastefulness on the wing and because even at Old Trafford he wasn't favoured as he was ironically cheered off the pitch when he got subbed and was jeered with every mistake - something very rare with the loyal Old Trafford faithful.  He signed a new contract that would keep him at the club until 2018 but many newspapers have linked him with a move away hence I believe the World Cup is the last chance he can impress the new manager and persuade him to stay at United. For Portugal he is an integral part of the team, he is a constant in the line-up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, he has notched up several assists and a goal in the World Cup qualifying so Brazil is his time to continue this form. There isn't a better opportunity for Nani to perform well at international level due to the fact that he is playing alongside the in-form best player in World Football in Ronaldo on top of the motivation to prove all the doubters wrong and that he does have a place in the United team.

The likes of Nani, Kagawa and Fellaini all have to perform well in Brazil to cement a place in the United squad in the 2014/2015 season and survive the axe amidst the Van Gaal revolution. Whilst others like Rooney and Van Persie are competing for the lone striker spot in Man United's team for next season as well as competing for the captain's armband and to live up to all the hype the media and fans have pressured them with. These players could definitely be the standout performers for United fans.

By Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786)