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 reliable news regarding Manchester United, so you don’t miss a thing.
In what was a very busy week for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s boys, Manchester United progressed to the final of the Europa League, and sealed a place in next season’s Champions league with another comeback victory over Aston Villa. The taxing schedule meant Solskjær had to field a relatively inexperienced XI against Leicester City, and although the game ended in a 2-1 loss, the team showed good character and gave a good account of themselves.
Irrespective of what happens on the pitch, hardly any week passes without off-the field news when it comes to Manchester United, and this week was no different – There were substantial updates surrounding Edinson Cavani, Jadon Sancho, and David de Gea, to name a few. We also (finally) had Joel Glazer communicating with Manchester United fan forums. Let’s not waste any more time and get right into it all.
EDINSON CAVANI COMMITS FUTURE TO MANCHESTER UNITED
In what has been a saga of sorts over the past few months, Edinson Cavani has committed his future to Manchester United for another year, upto June 2022. Cavani, in his interview with the club’s official website after re-signing, admitted that he had considered a move back to South America to be close to his family – but he accepted staying for another year considering the love shown to him by Manchester United supporters, his teammates and due to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s confidence in him.
As per Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic, Solskjær encouraging Cavani to take up more of a leadership role played it’s part in making Cavani feel that sense of belonging at United, playing a part in making sure he extended his deal. His attitude and application off the field is an example for the United dressing room, and that played it’s part in guiding Mason Greenwood when he was going through bit of a rough patch earlier in the season.
Diving into some more details, Fabrizio Romano reported that Cavani’s deal for the upcoming season will see him earning the same wages as his first season. On the other hand, a piece by Mail Sport which had Simon Jones as one of it’s co-authors, reported that he had indeed been offered a rise on his £200,000-a-week wages. It also said that Cavani had sought assurances about first team opportunities, which may imply Manchester United may not go for another striker in the summer (more on this later).
JOEL GLAZER RESPONDS TO MUST, OFFICIALLY
In a rather historic turn of events, Joel Glazer communicated with the Manchester United Supporters Trust officially addressing the four-point action plan directed to him. The response started with Glazer reiterating his “sincere apologies” for the Super League fiasco, stating how they accept that mistakes have been made. He also said they recognise the importance of fan and football interests being embedded in key decision-making processes at every level of the club, and how they would be open to constructive discussions with respect to reinforcing that principle.
The letter also mentioned how the Glazers had supported “sustained investment in the team over many years”, and how that would continue this summer. The letter also had Joel Glazer accepting the fact that Investment needed to be increased in Old Trafford and the club’s training complex, and that consultations would be held regarding the same.
The principle of fans owning shares was also mentioned, with Glazer stating that they believe in the principle, and how they would be open on discussions regarding fan ownership and how they want to “continue and accelerate” those decisions. They also pledged to willingly participate in the Government initiated fan-led football review and promised to be “better listeners” in the future.
On this, Laurie Whitewell of The Athletic reported that there were a number of meetings over the week before the finer details of the letter were signed off with co-chairman Avram Glazer also involved. The Glazers are also aware that they will be held accountable to all the positions they’ve held in writing.
MANCHESTER UNITED MISS OUT ON TRAINING KIT DEAL
The protests from Manchester United fans at Old Trafford have led to a significant development regarding a sponsor pulling out of a prospective deal. The Hut Group were about to enter into a deal worth £200M over 10 years (£20M/year) with Manchester United from the 1st of July, 2021 – but the campaigns of the supporters against the clubs’ commercial partners has taken them aback, leading to them pulling out of the commitment. With the company having their offices near Manchester airport, they were also concerned that they would be targetted by disaffected fans there.
FORMAL RENOUNCING OF THE BREAKAWAY FROM UEFA, ALONG WITH A FINE LEVIED
Nine of the twelve founder clubs of The European Super League (including Manchester United) have formally renounced their breakaway from UEFA and have signed a number of commitments with them. All the said clubs will also have 5% of their European competition revenue lost for one season. The clubs have also agreed to make a collective €15M donation to youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe.
According to Simon Stone, Joel Glazer will pay Manchester United’s portion of the €15M and the 5% deduction, and that it will not come out of club funds.
POLICE AND SECURITY ADVICE AHEAD OF MANCHESTER UNITED’S HOME GAMES
While the home game against Leicester City went on as planned, there are chances of the game against Liverpool being affected by the Glazers Out Protests again. According to Mail Sport, Manchester United will seek police and security advice ahead of the game due to this reason.
The club took new measures to improve security – which included installing barriers at the entrance of Carrington training base and the number of security guards being increased significantly to 50.
Rob Dawson from ESPN also stated that the club was reviewing travel arrangements for the players ahead of the games, including using decoy buses so they can be transported to the stadium safely and on time.
AMBIGUITY AROUND APPOINTMENT OF A CREATIVE IN-HOUSE DIRECTOR
In January 2020, Manchester United had announced their intention to hire their first in-house creative director for leading artistic output for commercial partners. However, 16 months down the line – there has been no appointment and there has been silence from senior executives on the matter. United sources do say the appointment was postponed as a result of the pandemic, though, and that the search will be resumed now but the communication around the issue seems to have been lacking to an optimal level.
HARRY MAGUIRE TO MISS REST OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON BY INJURY
Harry Maguire picked up a “serious” ligament injury in the game against Aston Villa at the weekend, which led him to miss the game against Leicester City, and which will render him unavailable for the rest of this season’s Premier League campaign, as per Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Solskjær also said that they’ll try their best to make sure he’s available for the Europa League final on the 26th of May.
THE JADON SANCHO SITUATION
There’s hardly a week where there is no noise around Jadon Sancho and Manchester United, and this week wasn’t any different. We had loads of news from Germany and England regarding the player.
Paul Hirst from The Times reported that with Edinson Cavani’s stay at Manchester United being extended, a right-winger is expected to be the club’s priority – with interest in Jadon Sancho very much alive. Mike McGrath from The Telegraph also reiterated this view, stating that Manchester United are in the market for a right-sided forward and that they have a long standing interest in Jadon Sancho, who maybe allowed to leave Dortmund for around £90M this summer. He also mentioned interest on the part of Bayern Munich for the player. Sky Sports, on the other hand, apart from mentioning United’s interest in the player, said that Dortmund could do a deal for around £80M.
Fabrizio Romano, speaking on the Here We Go Podcast, stated that Dortmund would be ready to sell Sancho if an important bid of around €85-90M was to arrive, but not lesser than €85M.
Then we also had BILD and Sky Germany report on the issue – pretty much providing a united front on the point that Manchester United would like to do a deal for Sancho before the Euros. BILD stated that they are ready to pay €90M to secure his services while Sky Germany mentioned that they might need to pay €100M to do the same.
We also had Samuel Luckhurst from the MEN speak further on this, with him stating that Sancho will be pushing his agent Emeka Obasi to secure a move this summer.
MANCHESTER UNITED’S PRIORITY POSITIONS FOR THE SUMMER WINDOW
One common consensus among almost all reliable sources after the extension in Edinson Cavani’s contract was extended was that United will no longer be targetting another long-term number nine this window. It was reiterated by multiple sources such as Sky Sports, Mail Sport and MEN.
Samuel Luckhurst from the MEN stated that the fact that Cavani won’t depart till 2022 has allowed United to effectively park plans for a long term striker signing till 2022 – when Erling Haaland’s release clause could potentially be triggered at €75M and when Harry Kane would only have 2 years left on his deal at Tottenham. He further stated that with lesser need of pursuing a striker, the area of emphasis for the summer will be a creative player, along with a centre-back also being a priority. He also stated that United are in the market for a midfielder and a backup goalkeeper.
UNITED CLOSE TO SIGNING TOM HEATON – AND WHAT THAT MIGHT MEAN FOR DE GEA’S FUTURE?
Mike Mcgrath of The Telegraph reported that Manchester United are close to signing Tom Heaton on a free transfer in the summer. This report also says that he’s being signed as a backup to Dean Henderson and David de Gea, and as a replacement for Sergio Romero, who will leave this summer.
Further on this, Simon Stone reiterated the fact that United are trying to convince Tom Heaton to return to the club. He stated that while it is a replacement for Sergio Romero and Lee Grant in theory – the fact that neither of them play anyway has led to a feeling that David de Gea will leave Manchester United this summer.
On the other hand, there were a lot of lukewarm reports of AS Roma’s and Jose Mourinho’s interest in David de Gea. Corriere dello Sport and Corriere Roma stated how Jose Mourinho likes David de Gea’s profile a lot and will try to do everything he can to get him on loan to Roma – but they also stated that it needs to be understood if the said operation is feasible. Corriere dello Sport further elaborated that David de Gea had been offered to Roma by Jorge Mendes’ agency and that Mourinho likes him – but it also stated the fact that it would need to be understood if Manchester United would be ready to let go of him at a low price.
Although, speaking on the Here We Go podcast, Fabrizio Romano stated that the news of interest of AS Roma in De Gea is “absolutely fake news”, and that there are no negotiations, talks or any kind of contact between the relevant parties.
PAUL POGBA CAN SEE HIMSELF STAYING AT MANCHESTER UNITED FOR LONGER THAN HIS CURRENT CONTRACT
The ever reliable Julien Laurens spoke on Paul Pogba’s situation at Manchester United last week, stating that Pogba knows that United would be much more closer to the top if not for the shaky start at the beginning of the season and sees clear progress. He also stated that Pogba has a very good relationship with Solskjær and Michael Carrick. It was reiterated that Pogba can see himself staying at United for a duration longer than that of his current contract and United are confident he’ll do exactly that. Pogba knows that United want to keep him and negotiations are expected to start as soon as the season is over.
OBLAK WANTS A PREMIER LEAGUE ‘TOP 6’ MOVE
Rob Dawson from ESPN stated that Jan Oblak is keen on a move this summer to one of the top Premier league clubs, with Manchester United being one of the clubs who’ve been informed that approaches would be welcomed at the end of the season. The report also stated that if Oblak was to potentially move, the return of De Gea to his former club Atletico Madrid might be possible – depending on talks he has with Solskjær and Murtough after the season.
NEW CONTRACT FOR LUKE SHAW
Fabrizio Romano stated that Manchester United are planning to offer Luke Shaw a new contract and negotiations on the same are expected to start in a few weeks. Luke Shaw will have two years left on his contract come the summer – and earns around £160k/week including bonuses.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST TO TARGET JAMES GARNER ON LOAN FOR ANOTHER SEASON
James Garner has attracted interest from a number of clubs including Rangers, Norwich City and Brighton. Despite of the interest from elsewhere, John Percy from The Telegraph reported that Nottingham Forest will try to get Garner on loan for another season – along with stating the fact that Manchester United are happy with how Forest and Chris Hughton have handled him.
BRANDON WILLIAMS ATTRACTING INTEREST
According to Mike Mcgrath of The Telegraph, Brighton are interested in Brandon Williams for using him as a left wing-back. Southampton also are still interested in him. This was reiterated by Laurie Whitewell from The Athletic, who mentioned both of the aforementioned clubs and Norwich City as ones who’ve been tracking Williams.
DORTMUND REGARD JUDE BELLINGHAM ‘UNSALEABLE’
Patrick Berger from SPORT1 mentioned that Manchester United are still interested in Jude Bellingham, although Dortmund do not want to sell the player now under any conditions – and the player is happy to stay there too, for now.
INTEREST IN AINSLEY-MAITLAND NILES
Sami Mokbel from Mail Sport stated that Manchester United are one among many premier league clubs who are interested in Ainsley Maitland-Niles and view him as a potential right-back signing. United were heavily linked with a cover signing for the right-back position back in January, and this situation might be worth keeping an eye on.