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 has been a busy week for multiple Manchester United players with the European Championships and Copa América going on at their full flow, there has been no dearth of transfer news, which is hardly a shock for anyone.
This week, we had multiple updates surrounding, of course, Jadon Sancho – but also regarding Raphaël Varane, Diogo Dalot and Paul Pogba, among others. Let’s get right into it all.
THE EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE
You cannot blame anyone for thinking we had all put this behind us – but apparently not. Tariq Panja, while writing for The New York Times mentioned how a new motion has been filed by A22, the company behind the Super League with the Madrid Court to scrape the agreement between the UEFA and the nine clubs (Manchester United being one of them) who backed away from the ESL. This agreement would mean the fines and penalties being declared invalid. Elsewhere, we also had FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta mentioning how the clubs who have left the ESL haven’t paid the compensation yet.
MANCHESTER UNITED ANNOUNCE PRE SEASON SCHEDULE
Manchester United announced 4 pre-season games for the year, with the opponents in question being Wayne Rooney’s Derby County, QPR, Brentford and Everton ranging from the 18th of July to 7th August, 2021. Rooney had his say on the occasion, talking about his history at Old Trafford and how the game provided his team with an opportunity to test themselves against one of the best teams in Europe.
POSITIONS IN THE SQUAD WHICH SOLSKJÆR IDEALLY WANTS TO ADDRESS THIS SUMMER
James Ducker, while writing for Telegraph Sport mentioned that in addition to Jadon Sancho being the priority target for United this window, Solskjær would ideally like reinforcements in other areas – namely centre-half, defensive midfield and in the striking positions, even though there is an acceptance that compromises are inevitable given the financial implications of the pandemic. Interest in Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier was also mentioned. Paul Hirst of Times Sport basically reiterated the same positions as well.
VARANE’S REPRESENTATIVES HAVE INFORMED MADRID OF HIS DESIRE TO LEAVE
Despite of reports earlier in the week by James Ducker and Paul Hirst about United’s pursuit of Raphaël Varane being complicated by the exit of Sergio Ramos, there were plenty of positive updates surrounding the future of the defender over the week, from various sources.
Adam Crafton, while writing for The Athletic mentioned that the defender had showed no intention to discuss new terms at Real Madrid, and that his representatives had informed their hierarchy about his desire to leave this summer for a fresh challenge. The report also mentioned how Florentino Perez had informed new manager Carlo Ancelotti about the fact that Varane would be sold if he receives an offer they deem good enough. The writer also mentions how despite of informal interest from a number of PL teams, Manchester United are the club most likely to do a deal for the player. The club were rightly cautious about the player at a stage given the possibility of him using interest from elsewhere as a bargaining chip for a better contract at the Bernabeu, however it’s understood that his intentions to leave this time around are genuine.
Further news on this front came from Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN, with him also mentioning a £50M bid made on United’s part for the player, which was pushed back. Surprisingly enough, he also mentioned that Real Madrid, as of now, wants £80M for the player. To put things into context, noises from the majority of the Spanish media have quoted his price at around £60M, and it is not outlandish to expect that a clearer picture around his price would emerge if and when official negotiations for the player ultimately start/when the selling team are sure the player won’t accept their offer for a renewal.
Elsewhere, we had reliable journalist Sergio Quirante of El Golazo de Gol state that Varane would announce his exit from Real Madrid after the Euros this year. José Félix Díaz from Marca also mentioned that the player continues not responding to the official renewal offers made by Real, and that multiple teams like United and PSG had enquired about him. Tom Hopkinson from Mirror Football also had a scoop on the issue, stating how Varane’s agents planned to meet with Manchester United this week to try and thrash out a move. He went on to mention that the player had rejected a two-year extension with an option for another year at the Bernabeu and preferred a move to England over PSG for a four-year deal.
IMPROVED OFFER FOR JADON SANCHO
Manchester United’s previous offer for Jadon Sancho, as per the reliable Laurie Whitwell, was around £75.5M with bonuses – £67M of that being guaranteed money. Last week, we had Adrian Kajumba, MEN and Sky Sports/Sky Germany all state that United had submitted an improved offer for Sancho – the value of which was in excess of £75M – with the guaranteed money being more than the £67M in the previous offer. Dharmesh Sheth of Sky Sports mentioned 2 days afterwards that the said offer was still under consideration by Borussia Dortmund and that they had neither rejected or accepted the offer just yet. He also stated that Dortmund were actively looking at replacements for the player.
Ruhr Nachrichten BVB, who are basically Dortmund mouthpieces also shared a similar view, mentioning on the same day how Dortmund had received an offer from Manchester United for Jadon Sancho, which was under consideration – they haven’t spoken anything on it since. BILD SPORT had a very positive update on the saga too, stating that there has been a new offer from Manchester United for Sancho and an agreement between the two clubs is close and very likely to be reached over the next few days.
PAUL POGBA’S FUTURE HANGS IN THE BALANCE
We had a myriad of updates on Paul Pogba’s situation over the week. Firstly, we had Le Parisien and the reliable Mohamed Bouhafsi both implying that PSG have an interest in Paul Pogba and that they would position themselves to sign the player if he was to leave Old Trafford. Bouhafsi also mentioned how Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director had held talks with Mino Raiola over the issue. It was mentioned that Manchester United want €80M in case of a sale, although their preference was to keep the player and extend his contract – something which Pogba isn’t open to as of now, according to him.
Elsewhere, we had Andy Mitten, while writing for The Athletic, mention that Pogba was much more open to extending his stay at Old Trafford beyond his current contract after a good end to the season, especially the second part of it, where he was pretty happy. Simon Stone of the BBC also mentioned that Manchester United were continuing to talk to Pogba’s representatives about a new deal.
DEAN HENDERSON TO START SEASON OPENER AGAINST LEEDS UNITED
Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN stated that Ole Gunnar Solskjær is edging towards choosing Dean Henderson over David de Gea as his number one goalkeeper next season, and that he’s in line to start United’s season opener against bitter rivals Leeds United. He mentioned that although the working relationship between the two keepers was good, either of them are ready to leave Old Trafford in case they’re not Solskjær’s first pick.
WILLIAMS AND TUANZEBE TO LEAVE ON LOAN
Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN mentioned that Brandon Williams has been given permission to leave United on a season long loan, he also mentioned that Williams has been generating interest from Premier League and Championship clubs. Tom Hopkinson from Mirror football reiterated the same, stating that Solskjær feels he has enough cover at left-back and that Williams would only benefit from a loan move and regular football elsewhere.
Samuel Luckhurst also mentioned that defender Axel Tuanzebe is expected to leave on a season long loan this summer, with the player feeling that he deserved more chances last summer, along with stating that a host of Premier League and European clubs had expressed an interest in him. Rob Dawson from ESPN reiterated the same, further stating that the player was due to have talks with the manager when the squad returns for pre-season training.
THE RIGHT-BACK SITUATION
Manchester United have had a very obvious interest in Kieran Trippier, and it was assumed a possible deal for Diogo Dalot to AC Milan would happen too. But things seem to have been shaken up a little, at least for now, with Trippier’s asking price being a potential concern when it comes to doing a deal. There have been various price points reported, but Rob Dawson of ESPN stated that United had been quoted a price in north of £30M for the player, something which they are obviously reluctant to act upon. He also mentioned that Max Aarons of Norwich City could yet be explored as an alternative to Trippier.
On Diogo Dalot then, again, Samuel Luckhurst mentioned that United had rejected a loan with an option to buy deal from AC Milan for Dalot, and that they had no intention to negotiate for the player right now, having asked him to report for pre-season training. He also mentioned that United’s stance was still the same despite there being interest from Milan in a loan deal which involved an obligation to buy. He mentioned that although Dalot was open to joining Milan, he loves Manchester United and won’t force a move out. It definitely looks like United plan on keeping him unless they can do a deal for Kieran Trippier, which is but hanging in the balance right now, to say the least
POTENTIAL DEAL FOR PAU TORRES PROGRESSING
Richard Fay of the MEN mentioned that despite the Varane interest, United are also making progress over a potential deal for Pau Torres, despite there being an acceptance that any deal isn’t possible before the end of the Euros. His release clause has been mentioned as being in the region of above €60M, and Villarreal could also potentially consider players in a deal along with cash.
NO PLANS TO MAKE A MOVE FOR SERGIO RAMOS
Simon Jones while writing for Mail Sport mentioned that United have no plans to make a move for Sergio Ramos this summer – and that the hierarchy is still upset with him and his agent-cum-brother for how things worked out when he used their interest to sign a new deal at the Bernabeu. Both Paul Hirst and James Ducker reiterated views on similar lines, mentioning that United are unlikely to make a move for Ramos or atleast have no plans for it as things stand. He wants a contract two-years long in worth in excess of £200k/week as per Hirst.
WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE UPDATES
Talking about the official updates first, Jess Sigsworth and Jane Ross are both set to leave Manchester United at the end of the month upon the expiry of their contracts. Sigsworth’s 26 goals in 66 appearances places her third on the list of all-time United scorers. The official date for the start of the upcoming season was also out, with it set to start on the 3rd of September, 2021.
In terms of incomings, Emma Sanders from BBC Sport mentioned that West Ham striker Martha Thomas and Liverpool youngsters Annie Hutchings, Emily Brough and Emma Taylor are all set to sign for United. Molly Hudson, who writes for The Times mentioned that although a deal for Vilde Boe Risa to United isn’t done yet, it’s still her dream move and very likely to happen.
MAURIZIO SARRI WANTS TO KEEP ANDREAS PEREIRA AT LAZIO
LaLaziosiamonoi reported that Maurizio Sarri likes Periera and has asked the club to bring the player back. They did not go into a lot of details about the negotiations but state that discussions between the two clubs are underway, although it would take Lazio some effort to “make manchester united happy”. Lazio are also mentioned as hopeful of an agreement being found.