Hey reader, welcome to The Weekly Round-Up. Here you can catch a glimpse of all the news throughout the last week. Our aim is to keep you up to date with all of the important news regarding Manchester United, so you don’t miss a thing.
Over the course of this week, Manchester United had a very positive result on the field in form of their 6-2 victory over Roma in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final. However, that was well overshadowed by the Glazers Out protests that happened on Sunday afternoon.
We also had transfer news regarding Jadon Sancho and an update on Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani‘s future, to name a few things. Let’s get right into it.
GLAZERS OUT PROTESTS
On the eve of Manchester United’s Premier League game against Liverpool, thousands of United supporters turned up at Old Trafford for a scheduled demonstration against the Glazer family, which led kick-off to be delayed and ultimately being postponed to a later date. There were also protests outside Lowry Hotel, where the United squad was staying, which meant they couldn’t leave the place.
A group of United fans also managed to get on the pitch, pushing through the temporary barriers and rushing past stewards. They managed to get into the stadium through a door just before the Munich Tunnel, the details around which are still unclear. They made their stance very clear once they were inside, be it via chanting against the Glazer family or letting off flares.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville stood firmly behind the protests, stating how it was time for the Glazer family to put the club up for sale, and how it would be the honourable thing to do after the incidents over the past few weeks. Roy Keane also put his weight behind the protests, saying how the fans needed to be applauded for making the huge statement they have made.
Jamie Carragher was also a voice of reason and mentioned how a few people expressing their frustrations in the wrong manner shouldn’t be dominating the discussions around the protests, and the message of the majority should be taken in instead.
GLAZER FAMILY AND THEIR STANCE REGARDING A POTENTIAL SALE
Hardly anyone expected the Glazer family to express a very public intention of a sale, and it’s safe to say that point of view has been vindicated. According to ESPN, the Glazers are unfazed by the hostility and are unlikely to sell the club due to the prestige they place on being owners of Manchester United. They know that, despite the disdain for them, fans will still turn up in thousands for attending games at Old Trafford – with more than 75,000 consistently attending home games.
Jamie Jackson came up with more on this too and it reflected a similar stance – mentioning that the Glazers have no intentions to sell Manchester United, but rather plan to grow the club’s value from it’s current £3.05bn to $10bn (£7bn). This was also reiterated by Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph.
Also, Avram Glazer, when approached by Sky News’ US correspondent Sally Lockwood, refused to apologise to Manchester United fans over the Super League fiasco and declined to comment when asked if the fans were just customers to him.
ANTI-GLAZERS PROTESTERS TARGET COMMERCIAL PARTNERS
Each of United’s 50-plus sponsors has received a letter from an unnamed fans group, calling on them to terminate their commercial deals with the club. The letter warns the sponsors that they are “legitimate targets” due to their association with the Glazers – as the combined £279M per annum they pay to the Glazers does not go “towards investment in the squad to compete with the best clubs United now trail, nor towards refurbishing Old Trafford or training facilities.”
Furthermore, The Athletic mentioned how putting pressure on United’s commercial partners is one way in which United fans can potentially unsettle the owners. They mentioned an incident from 18 months ago when some on social media attempted to pressure United’s commercial partners. The hierarchy had then sought to internally monitor the extent of the issue. The aforementioned letter was a result of the said approach intensifying, and the events to follow will be worth keeping an eye on.
MANCHESTER UNITED SUPPORTERS TRUST’S (MUST) FOUR-POINT PLAN FOR THE GLAZER FAMILY
MUST wrote to the Glazer family again after the events which unfolded in and around Old Trafford last Sunday. They mentioned they didn’t condone the violence but asked for the owners to engage more with fans who felt “sidelined and ignored”.
Apart from asking the owners to co-operate with the fan-led government review following the ESL debacle, the letter urged them to put in place a share scheme such that it is available to all investors – which would allow the owners’ stake to be reduced to a minority or be bought out altogether. The letter also talked about appointment of independent directors to the board and calls for the owners to consult with season-ticket holders over any potential significant changes at the club.
ED WOODWARD’S RESIGNATION FROM THE CLUB BROADCAST ADVISORY GROUP
According to Tom Hamilton from ESPN, executives from clubs involved in the failed breakaway Super League have stepped down from their posts on the Premier league’s sub-committees. On those lines, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward resigned from his position on the Club Broadcast Advisory Group.
While this does not affect the clubs’ ability to vote on key decisions, it has seen them take a step back from being able to influence and advise on broadcast deals and other matters, from financial distribution to strategy.
ANTHONY MARTIAL RESUMES TRAINING
Last week, we had MEN report that Martial was moving freely and without a brace on his injured knee. This was further followed up by L’Équipe stating that he had resumed training with Manchester United, and had a good chance of being available for the last four league games and potentially, the Europa League final.
HARRY KANE INTERESTED IN A MOVE TO MANCHESTER UNITED
Harry Kane to Manchester United has been mentioned plenty of times in the media over the past weeks. The general consensus has been that he’s their second choice striker target after Erling Haaland.
Fredrik A. Filtvedt and Jonas Giæver, writing for Dagbladet, reiterated the fact that Harry Kane is high on United’s priority list, and also that he would be open to a move to Manchester United – albeit Daniel Levy would need an offer atleast worth £125M to consider a potential sale.Embed from Getty Images
The report also mentioned that despite the high price tag, Kane’s thin patience and alleged signals mean that Manchester United hope ‘Operation Kane‘ is still feasible. However, with Edinson Cavani now close to extending his deal (more on this later), it will be interesting to see where Manchester United’s priorities lie when it comes to recruiting a forward.
JADON SANCHO AVAILABLE AT A CUT PRICE?
Following reports last week about Manchester United being more capable of spending big money on a forward due to a new deal for Eric Bailly, as per Mike McGrath, a lot has come out this week regarding a potential deal for Jadon Sancho, from Germany.
BILD and Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN mentioned that Borussia Dortmund would let Jadon Sancho leave this summer for a price of €100 million, a figure which was mooted by the German media months ago as well. Stephan also mentioned that there’s no deadline for a deal to be completed this summer.
Patrick Berger of SPORT1 gave a slightly different picture, saying that Dortmund have internally agreed on a sum of €85-90 million for him and that he would be allowed to leave if that price was to be met. He also mentioned there might possibly be a deadline like last time, so that the selling club has some planning security. With reference to this, Leah Smith from Stretty News said that she had been told Dortmund’s deadline to sell Sancho was before the summer’s Euros and that they are preparing for his exit.Embed from Getty Images
Dean Jones, writing for Eurosport, also mentioned that United intend to push forward for a deal for Sancho this summer, and although the (reported elsewhere) potential asking price for him is £85M, which is higher than they ideally want it to be – they believe it’s a reasonable price point to negotiate from. Also, Eric Bailly’s new deal allows them to spend a little more than originally planned for Sancho as it alleviates the need for a marquee signing at centre-back(more on this later).
THE CENTRE-BACK SITUATION
Eric Bailly agreeing a new deal has gone a long way in alleviating Manchester United’s need of recruiting a top level centre back – or so is the case according to Dean Jones of Eurosport. This can apparently allow them to move for a younger and cheaper defender as more of a potential signing, and channeling more funds towards a deal for Jadon Sancho.
Last week, we also had Antón Meana and El Larguero state that Manchester United were pushing to complete the signing of Pau Torres before the Euros this summer. Interest in Pau Torres as a potential target is well defined by now, however whether he’ll be pursued at the price points being mooted after the new deal for Eric Bailly (not to mention interest in a high-cost forward signing), remains to be seen.
EDINSON CAVANI TO STAY FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER YEAR
The uncertainty surrounding the future of Edinson Cavani was finally solved this week, with multiple reliable sources reporting that he’ll be staying at Manchester United for at least another season. Moi Llorens, who has been very reliable for this deal from the very beginning, broke the news that Cavani has decided to fulfil his contract at United. Simon Stone also mentioned that Cavani was close to agreeing a one-year extension, and that he had been receptive to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s overtures.
The ever-reliable Jonathan Shrager also said that Cavani was definitely staying at Manchester United until June 2022, and that there was an option to extend the deal till June 2023.
POGBA OPEN TO STAYING AND POTENTIALLY SIGNING A NEW CONTRACT
According to Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic, Paul Pogba would be open to staying at Manchester United and potentially even signing a new contract if an offer was good enough and upto certain standards – although he reiterated that Manchester United haven’t made a contract offer yet.
Laurie also previously mentioned that Pogba had developed a very good relationship with Darren Fletcher, and that they often hold discussions about places and situations that can lead to chances. We also had Samuel Luckhurst from MEN mention that Pogba is relaxed about staying at Manchester United for another year even if he can’t get a move this summer – although you’d think United would not ideally want him to enter into his final year without having agreed a new deal.
PURSUIT OF A COVER GOALKEEPER
It has previously reliably been mentioned that Sam Johnstone is on the top of Manchester United’s list when it comes to acquiring a goalkeeper in the summer in case of a potential departure for one of the current goalkeepers – Dean Henderson or David de Gea. Mark Ogden from ESPN reiterated this yesterday, stating that although there is competition from Tottenham and West Ham, the Red Devils are in the race for him in case De Gea leaves this summer. Johnstone would also be potentially open to a move even if he would need to dislodge Dean Henderson to be the No. 1.
The same was reiterated by John Percy of The Telegraph, who mentioned that although West Brom value Johnstone at £20M, any potential deal would cost United lesser as they included a 15% sell on clause in the deal which took Johnstone to West Brom. He also mentioned Tom Heaton as someone who’s potentially being looked at to be a cover option.
KINGSLEY COMAN BEING MONITORED
Jamie Jackson of the Guardian mentioned that Kingsley Coman of Bayern Munich is a player being monitored by Manchester United even though Jadon Sancho is still the no.1 target for that position. Manchester United have also previously been interested in Coman and it’s safe to assume he’s a name on a list of targets for that position, albeit not a priority target.
INTEREST IN JUAN MATA AND NEMANJA MATIC FROM ELSEWHERE?
Juan Mata is a player whose contract expires this summer, and even though United have an option of extending it by a year, they haven’t taken that decision as of now. La Repubblica state that Lazio are interested in a free transfer for Mata, and have offered him a two-year deal with option of an extra year, at €4M/year net. Mata, on the other hand wants €5M/year net. This will certainly be a situation to follow over the coming weeks.Embed from Getty Images
Also, Gazzetta dello Sport mention that new Roma manager Jose Mourinho has long liked Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata and that ‘one of the two could find him in Roma’ – It’s not anything concrete just yet, but just a link to keep an eye on in the weeks and months to come.