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.
Even with Euro 2020 being in full flow and a number of United players being involved there, plenty happened off the field over the course of the week. From the official announcement of an agreement for Jadon Sancho to major updates around the futures of Raphaël Varane and Eduardo Camavinga, there was plenty of stuff to absorb. Let’s get right into it all.
SANCHO DEAL OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED
“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of Jadon Sancho. The signing is subject to contractual terms and a medical, which will be completed after Jadon’s involvement in the UEFA European Championship.” – a statement released on the official United website, on the 1st of July, 2021.
After more than a year of this ‘saga’ and lots of contradictory reports, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Sancho is poised to sign a 5-year contract until 2026, with the option of an extra year. The fee, according to multiple reliable sources, was a guaranteed fee of around £73m, payable over five equal installments to Dortmund. BILD Sport, on the other hand mentioned the figures as a guaranteed sum of €85m (£72.6m) which could potentially rise as high as €95m (£81.2m) with bonuses.
Fabrizio Romano added a bit more on this, stating that along with the guaranteed £73m, there was a scope for £5m more in add-ons, albeit they were not easily achievable and were quite difficult to reach. There have been contradictory reports on a shirt number too, with reports mainly angling towards the fact that he has asked for the no.7 shirt, but that a decision has not been made on that ground, with Edinson Cavani being the current holder.
Providing further context on the move, The Athletic mentioned that in a recruitment meeting after the Europa league final loss, there was a clear mandate to go for Sancho as promptly as possible. It was also mentioned that Cavani re-signing for another year had a major part to play in United being able to prioritize a move for Sancho this window.
FULL CAPACITY CROWDS FOR THE 2021/22 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK confirmed that there would be no capacity cap on filling stadiums July 19th onwards, effectively meaning that full capacity crowds are set to return for the start of the new Premier league season in August.
Matt Hughes of the Daily Mail had further updates on this, stating that although the government has announced that vaccine passports will not be needed after social distancing restrictions are lifted, the Premier League are pushing ahead with plans to introduce a Covid-certification scheme for fans – who may need to produce a Covid Status Certificate – evidence of two vaccinations or a negative lateral flow test – to attend all matches in the top flight.
JOHN MURTOUGH AND DARREN FLETCHER IMPRESS
According to Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN, John Murtough and Darren Fletcher have impressed during meetings ahead of the new season. Murtough is said to be responsible for communicating United’s strategy beyond transfer dealings and is highly spoken of, by players. He is described as a ‘fixer’ and the ‘leader’ at the training complex but he does not oversee the club’s recruitment, with the director of football negotiations Matt Judge still the point of contact to discuss a prospective target’s terms.
Also, United’s recruitment process is still largely overseen by Solskjær and technical chief scout Mick Court, as well as his team in the recruitment department.
RAPHAËL VARANE NEXT PRIORITY TARGET
James Ducker of Telegraph Sport reported that United will now turn their attention to signing a centre-half, with Raphaël Varane being the priority target. He also mentioned that Real want around £51.7m for the player, who has grown frustrated at their treatment of him – and wants to pursue a new challenge. However, he also mentioned that United consider that amount unrealistic given his contract situation and the financial implications of the pandemic. Simon Stone of the BBC reiterated a view along the same lines, mentioning that United have made contact with Real Madrid over the player and there are doubts that he’ll be offered a contract there which would meet his demands – he also mentioned that it is thought that Real would let the player go for around £50m.
Paul Hirst of the Times also had some information, stating that Real initially wanted £60m for the player but would now settle for less amid desire of a quick sale. He mentioned that a source suggested that they would be willing to do a deal in the region of £43m, although add-ons could be added to that figure. Mark Ogden of the ESPN went a step ahead, stating that United are close to finalising a deal for the defender, amid encouragement that Madrid are open to negotiating a realistic fee for him – further stating that United are confident a deal can be done in the region of €50m (around £43m) – a figure, which according to Paul Hirst would be one at which Real would be willing to do a deal, as mentioned earlier.
Elsewhere, the reliable Julien Maynard of TF1 mentioned that talks between United and Varane had been positive and the gap between terms of a contract which United were willing to offer and what Varane wanted, had narrowed considerably. Fabrizio Romano also mentioned that an agreement on personal terms between Varane and United won’t be an issue.
Jose Felix Diaz of Marca also mentioned that Real Madrid had authorized Varane’s agents to negotiate with United to find an agreement and then pass on the agreement to the club to discuss and agree terms on a transfer to Old Trafford. He also reiterated that Varane does not want to stay at Real Madrid, and they would allow him to leave for a fee around €50m (£43m).
The reliable Mario Cortegna also had an update on the subject, stating that Real, United and Varane are already negotiating, with Real being unable to extend his deal. He mentioned that United are very well positioned for the player and although the possibility of him staying at Real can’t be ruled out, it is very weak. He mentioned that Real want around €70m for the player whereas United are thinking of a figure in the region of €40m plus variables – although he also stated that these were just the very initial stances of the two parties. He also stated that conversations between United and Varane were in good harmony and that the economic factor was secondary for the player – he primarily wants to be part of a project which excited him and is also drawn to the experience of a new league.
MEN had their say on the issue too, stating that the defender was open to a move to Old Trafford and a final decision would be made on his future once his holidays are over in a few weeks – also stating that Real have accepted that he’s most likely to leave, and have given his agent permission to discuss personal terms with United. Rodrigo Faez of ESPN had a take which was a bit ahead of others, stating that the move of Varane to United should be closed for around €50m in the next 2 weeks.
MEN also stated that United were potentially considering signing two centre-backs to bolster their defense for an intended title challenge. They mention that although Varane remains United’s primary defensive target, they remain interested in signing another central defender.
TALKS FOR EDUARDO CAMAVINGA AND PURSUIT OF A MIDFIELDER
The biggest update on United’s pursuit of Eduardo Camavinga came from Fabrizio Romano – who stated that United were progressing in direct contacts to sign the player from Rennes, who would be open to negotiate a potential €30m fee for the player. He also mentioned that United would push to sign the player given the expected level of competition would be much higher next season when he would be on a free. The player would also be open to joining United, as per him.
Le Parisien had their say on the subject too, stating that United were in constant contact with Camavinga’s representatives and would make a first offer of around €30m to Rennes in the coming days – which would likely be rejected by them, as it stands. L’ÉQUIPE also mentioned that United are ready to go on the offensive for getting the player, and a transfer could be concluded for around €40m – depending on the level of competition for the player. They also mentioned that a move for him would not be contingent on Paul Pogba’s departure.
Samuel Luckhurst of the MEN also mentioned that Camavinga was one of the midfielders under consideration at United, also mentioning that the preferred target for United was still Declan Rice – although a move would be difficult given the fee West Ham would ask for the player. He also mentioned that United had made an enquiry for Harry Winks who wants to leave Tottenham, but only regard him as a backup option.
Simon Jones of Mail Sport mentioned that United are in the market for a defensive midfielder to compete with the likes of Scott Mctominay and Fred. Also, Matt Law of Telegraph Sport had an update on Declan Rice, stating that the player had rejected two contract offers from West Ham and would do the same for any other imminent offers – to wait and see if Chelsea or United firm up their interest with a bid for him. United are said to be huge admirers of the player, who is valued around £100m by his club. The player, though, would like to be aware of any offers which come in and would be disappointed if offers in the region of £60m were rejected, given he cost the Hammers nothing.
PAUL POGBA OPEN TO A MOVE TO PARIS
Santi Aouna of Foot Mercato reported that the positions of PSG and Mino Raiola had come closer, over the topic of subjects like wages and commissions. PSG have been said to have gathered all the parameters of his file, and presented their sporting project to Paul Pogba, who is interested by the idea of moving to Paris. Mohammed Bouhafsi of RMC Sport, talking on the same lines, mentioned that PSG are in discussions with Pogba’s entourage, who is more and more open to the idea of joining them.
Stretty News also had information on the player, stating that United are not planning to use him as a makeweight for Raphaël Varane, and are planning with the player for next season. Mike McGrath of Telegraph Sport also mentioned that the player had held initial talks over a new deal with United before the Euros, and more were expected soon – although no clear decision has been made.
NEW CONTRACTS FOR BRUNO FERNANDES AND LUKE SHAW
Fabrizio Romano had updates on the status of new contracts for two United players – Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw. He mentioned that after signing Jadon Sancho, United’s next priority was giving a new contract to Fernandes. On similar lines, United are planning to offer Luke Shaw a new contract in the next few months, according to him.
TOM HEATON SIGNS AND THE #1 DILEMMA NEXT SEASON
Tom Heaton officially signed for United after passing a medical and signing a two-year contract till 2023. Paul Hirst had more on these lines, stating that David de Gea has no plans to quit United despite of facing more competition in the form of Heaton in the goalkeeping department.
On the other hand, Samuel Luckhurst reiterated that a source said that Dean Henderson has been told that he will be Manchester United’s number 1 for next season. Stretty News, on the other hand reported that although nothing has been said about being number 1, United have told Henderson that they want him to stay at the club next season.
James Ducker mentioned that Henderson believes he’s shown enough to be the number 1 for next season, and is hoping Solskjær will stand by him next season. He’s not said to be interested in another temporary move.
POTENTIAL LOAN MOVES FOR TEDEN MENGI AND BRANDON WILLIAMS
The Athletic mentioned that Southampton are confident of securing a season long loan for Brandon Williams – with the player eager to get regular game time. Williams has been assured Hasenhuttl is ready to grant him much greater playing time than he was afforded at United last season. Southampton would be expected to pay all of his wages and an option to buy is unlikely to be included as part of a deal – Manchester United will insist on a loan fee for the player though, which needs to be agreed upon.
MEN reported that Manchester United youngster Teden Mengi is close to re-joining Derby County on a season-long loan deal.
DIFFICULTIES IN NEGOTIATIONS FOR DIOGO DALOT
Gianluca Di Marzio reported that Odriozola of Real Madrid is ahead of Diogo Dalot for AC Milan given the difficulties in negotiations with United. Fabrizio Romano also spoke on the subject, mentioning that nothing is agreed between the two parties for Dalot.
THE STRIKER SITUATION FOR NEXT SEASON
Andy Mitten mentioned that United only expect Cavani to play 60% of their games next season due to his age. He also mentioned that they’re in no hurry to sell Anthony Martial and still trust him to come good.
Danny Ings is a player who has been previously linked to United – David Ornstein reported that he has rejected a four-year deal at Southampton, which would have made him their highest paid player ever, as he wants to test himself at a higher level. Manchester United are mentioned as one of the clubs who admire him.
WSL UPDATES – A FRUSTRATED SQUAD
A report by The Athletic mentioned that the team is preparing an approach to the Professional Footballers’ Association to request advice and support as they seek to improve the club’s approach to the women’s team. The squad are frustrated by the club’s failure to appoint a manager to replace Casey Stoney, and it’s stated that the players feel they are in the dark over the ambitions before the new season.
Elsewhere, Emma Sanders of BBC Sport mentioned that there’s no news yet about the squad’s next manager, along with Nizaar Kinsella of Goal mentioning that Manchester United have not yet accepted Chelsea’s offer for Lauren James.
GRAHAM POTTER HOPES TO LAND DANIEL JAMES
The reliable Alan Nixon stated that Brighton manager Graham Potter hopes to get the nod to land Daniel James this summer – ideally on a permanent move, but even on a loan move if the former was deemed not possible.
POTENTIAL LOAN FOR AMAD NEXT SEASON
Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic mentioned that United youngster Amad Diallo may go out on loan next season, although his future next season is yet to be decided.
PLANS FOR FACUNDO PELLISTRI
As per Jonathan Shrager, United want Facundo Pellistri to have a pre season with them, but his advisors believe it may be better for him to complete pre-season with Alavés, if the plan is for him to go on loan there. A final decision on the issue is yet to be taken, as things stand.
Juan Mata and Lee Grant agreed one-year extensions until 2022 with United.
Paul Hirst had more on Mata’s extension, stating that he has a significant presence in the dressing room, which is one of the reasons why Solskjær wanted to keep him at the club. Mata was also happy to stay at the club, because of the support he received last season when he was given time off to fly to Spain, to be with his mother before she died in March of a long-term illness.