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 a week where Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team were back in action for their first pre-season game of the year against Wayne Rooney’s Derby County, there was plenty happening off the field, as always. Things started moving quickly in United’s pursuit of Raphaël Varane, and there were updates surrounding Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Kieran Trippier, among others. Let’s get right into it all.
VILDE BØE RISA IS OFFICIALLY A UNITED PLAYER
Manchester United confirmed the signing of Norwegian International Vilde Bøe Risa on a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season, with the option of an extra year.
Bøe Risa expressed her excitement at joining the club, also mentioning how it was a dream come true for her as she grew up supporting the club too. Football director John Murtough praised the player’s qualities and also mentioned how she’s one of the many key signings they’re looking to make as they look forward to build with the women’s team.
SOLSKJÆR WANTS A SWITCH TO 4-3-3
Rob Dawson of ESPN and James Ducker of Telegraph Sport reported that Solskjær had informed players who had returned for pre-season training that he wanted to implement a more attacking 4-3-3 formation this season. Ducker also went on to mention that Ole Gunnar considers the recruitment of a centre-half as a vital cog for such a plan to bear fruit.
RASHFORD’S SURGERY DECISION
Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic provided some insight on Marcus Rashford’s decision to get a surgery on his shoulder injury – he mentioned how the muscle tear suffered eight months ago meant Rashford could not get maximum flexibility from his joint and how that affected his speed. He was also unable to lift heavy weights. Rashford wanted to choose surgery as an option to take a step in his bid to regain maximum physicality. It was also said that Rashford could get time to treat his foot injury during his time on the sideline when recovering from the shoulder surgery.
MARC SKINNER NUMBER ONE CHOICE TO REPLACE CASEY STONEY
Tom Garry of Telegraph Sport reported that United hope to appoint Orlando Pride head coach Marc Skinner as the manager for the women’s team next season. He is said to the number one choice to replace Casey Stoney, and although a deal isn’t done yet, talks are ongoing. The players are said to be excited about the prospect of working under him.
LUKE SHAW TO BE ASSESSED BEFORE THE SEASON
Mike McGrath of Telegraph Sport reported that Luke Shaw played at the Euros with broken ribs, an injury he picked up during the clash against Germany. Solskjær and his staff would have preferred him to return to Carrington to determine extent of the damage but he was given a holiday after the tournament and hasn’t reported for pre-season yet.
THE RAPHAËL VARANE SITUATION
As has been reported extensively, United’s immediate priority in this window now is making sure Varane ends up at Old Trafford. There have been a myriad of claims over the past week, all to varying degrees – with the Spanish media in general having a very different, more positive tone about a move as compared to the English media. Let’s get into it all one by one.
Carlos Bustillo kicked it all off by mentioning on El Transistor that Varane is going to sign for United, who are in talks with his agents – he also mentioned that a formal offer worth €50m would be submitted to Real Madrid this week.
Mario Cortegna mentioned that Varane was given a renewal offer by Real before the Euros, which he didn’t answer to, asking for time to think. He mentioned Real take it for granted that he’ll leave and that a formal approach from United for the player was expected soon. He also mentioned a few days afterwards that Varane will leave for United, unless the negotiations slow down.
Loïc Tanzi of RMC Sport reported that the court carried out by United to Varane had not left him indifferent and he gave them consent to open talks. He also mentioned that for the first time since 2011, the probability of Varane leaving was very high – along with adding the file could be finalised quickly once clubs agree a fee. The reliable Mohammed Bouhafsi also mentioned that an agreement between United and Varane on personal terms had almost been reached and that discussions were very advanced, a view echoed by Santi Aouna of Foot Mercato – who stated that Varane and United had already reached a contractual agreement and that only a fee between clubs was left to be agreed.
Patrick Berger of SPORT1 also reiterated the view that personal terms on a contract upto 2026 had been agreed between United and Varane. He also mentioned that Real wanted a little more than €50m for the player and that all parties were confident the deal would happen soon. Jonathan Shrager also had information on the issue, stating the transfer was moving in the right direction and that if United made an acceptable offer to Real, there’s a good chance the player would come to Old Trafford. The Athletic also painted a positive picture, stating that there was optimism surrounding the deal and personal terms were not expected to be a problem, with the deal coming down to how much United could lower Real’s asking price.
Furthermore, while writing for Times Sport, Duncan Castles reported that Florentino Perez wanted to sell Varane after refusing to meet his salary demands of €10m/year net, and that he would want a sum of £43m to do so. He also mentioned that United were increasingly confident of getting the player and that they had discussed personal terms. Simon Jones of Mail Sport mentioned United were due to put a formal offer in for Varane this week, although they were wary of talks over personal terms and a fee being advanced. Also, Samuel Luckhurst of MEN stated that United were continuing to make progress over a deal for Varane and that it was inching closer – along with there being optimism that a deal could be wrapped up by the end of the month.
Carlos Carpio of Spanish outlet Marca also had information on Varane – stating that he was set to become a Manchester United player this week, and mentioning that a contract worth €10m/year net for 5 years had already been agreed between the two parties. MadridistaReal who are a reliable outlet for Real Madrid, stated earlier in the week that although there had been positive talks between Varane and United, he had not made a final decision yet, and would make one when United formally approach Real. They then went on to state a few days afterwards that the transfer was only a matter of time, and although Varane wanted to leave, he wants to do so in a pleasant way.
Fabrizio Romano also had a variety of updates on Varane over the week, he stated that Varane was ready to accept United’s contract proposal upto 2026 if the two clubs could find an agreement – along with mentioning that United were preparing an official bid to Real for Varane after being in direct talks for 4 days. He also mentioned later that Varane and his agents had again confirmed their desire to leave to Real Madrid as he wanted to try a new experience in the Premier League. Along with this, he reiterated that Solskjær was pushing to sign the player and was convinced that Varane was the perfect centre-back for United.
THE PAUL POGBA CONUNDRUM
Earlier in the week, The Athletic mentioned that Paul Pogba isn’t very appealed by a return to Paris to play for PSG – and that United would try to keep him and he was open to staying. This changed later in the week, with Canal Supporters, who are a reliable source too – stating that exchanges between PSG and Pogba’s entourage had been going well, to a point that an agreement on personal terms was close. They also mentioned that United would ask for a sum between €70-80m with bonuses for the player, even though the breakdown between fixed and variables was yet to be determined.
Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail had more on the situation, stating that PSG were indeed very serious about recruiting Pogba, and that Mino Raiola had been holding talks with them over personal terms of the player. He went on to mention that although there had been no club-to-club contact, PSG were hoping to persuade United to sell for a fee around £43m.
MIDFIELDER LINKS PICKING UP
For a long long tine, there was considerable worry around the fact that Manchester United were not linked to midfielders as aggressively as they were to players of other positions – Well, that’s been sorted out to some degree at least. We saw links with the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Leon Goretzka, Saúl Ñíguez, Ruben Neves and Houssem Aouar over the course of the week.
On Camavinga, James Ducker reported that United believe he has his heart set on a move to Spain over the next 12 months – and even though he’s admired by them and the fact that they have asked Rennes to keep them informed of any developments, it is believed his preference is to move to the La Liga, and United are not the most likely move as things stand. Fabrizio Romano also reported that it would take a sum of €40m to convince Rennes to let him go.
Francesc Aguilar of Mundo Deportivo reported that given the Griezmann – Saúl swap between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid was experiencing difficulties, his agent Jonathan Barnett was advancing negotiations with United, who had moved ahead of Liverpool in the race for the player – Another situation to keep an eye on given United’s long term interest in the player.
Leon Goretzka talk was back again, with SPORT BILD stating that his representatives were asking for a €20m/year gross salary to sign a new deal, whereas Bayern Munich were only offering around €10-12m. They went on to state that United had submitted a concrete contract offer to his representatives for 2022, and that it’s amount was higher than Bayern’s current offer.
Houssem Aouar was another player mentioned this week, with Julien Laurens of the ESPN stating that Solskjær views the player as a good replacement for Paul Pogba if he was to leave. He mentioned that although Arsenal and Tottenham were leading the race for him, United had been monitoring his situation too – and that it would take a fee of around €25m to sign him.
talkSPORT have gained bit of a reputation of late of being correct on a myriad of issues when it comes to United – calling parts of the Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles accurately last summer. They have an update on Ruben Neves, mentioning that United have moved ahead of Arsenal to sign the player – and that Wolves would sell the player for a fee of £35m – not a concrete link yet, but one to ignore at your own peril. He also goes on to say that Bruno Fernandes is actively trying to push Neves towards a move to United.
THE FULL-BACK SITUATION
Gianluca Di Marzio mentioned that Inter Milan had interest in Alex Telles and would want to loan him – Telles has been at Inter previously and would be open to such a move. He mentioned that there has been contact between parties to find out the feasibility of such an operation too.
Fabrizio Romano provided an update on Diogo Dalot’s situation, stating that AC Milan were preparing a new bid which included a higher loan fee than previously offered. He mentioned that United wanted a loan fee of around €4-5m along with an option to buy for the player.
Onto Kieran Trippier now, Matt Law of the Telegraph reported that he was desperate to return to the Premier League and wants a move to Old Trafford. He also states that Trippier was ready to tell Atletico that he wanted a move – and that he had a year remaining on his deal, although it has an option for a year-long extension.
Samuel Luckhurst also mentioned that Trippier was optimistic about a move to United before the transfer window closed. He went on to mention that Trippier would probably not be a priority over a midfielder for United, but that he expects the move to happen anyway.
JESSE LINGARD’S FUTURE IN THE BALANCE
Sky Sports reported that West Ham still want Jesse Lingard, but are waiting for a decision from United and the player himself regarding a move. The Athletic went on to mention that even though West Ham want him, Manchester United’s £30m valuation is considered excessive by them. They also mentioned that according to some sources, Lingard is currently set upon staying at Old Trafford, especially if a new contract is handed out.
SANCHO ANNOUNCEMENT BEING DELAYED
Speaking on the Manchester is Red podcast, Samuel Luckhurst mentioned that the delay in Jadon Sancho’s announcement was down to some issue with his agent, even though the issue is expected to be sorted soon and an announcement should follow.
Elsewhere, Andy Mitten, while writing for The National, reported that Jadon Sancho is expected to wear the No 16 shirt at United.
AXEL TUANZEBE’S FUTURE NEXT SEASON
Jonathan Shrager mentioned that the Manchester United board had confirmed an agreement with Axel Tuanzebe to let him go on a season-long loan.
In addition, Chris Waugh, who is the Newcastle United correspondent for The Athletic, mentioned that Newcastle were monitoring Tuanzebe’s situation. He also added that Steve Bruce knows Axel well from when he had him on loan at Aston Villa 3 years ago. Simon Jones of Mail Sport reiterated this, mentioning that Newcastle were among clubs keen on a loan deal for the player.
BOTH DE GEA AND HENDERSON EXPECTED TO STAY
Laurie Whitwell of the Athletic reported that both David de Gea and Dean Henderson were expected to stay at United next season. Wolves had made a loan enquiry for Henderson earlier in the window, which was firmly turned down by United. Despite of being distraught after the Europa final loss, De Gea had made it clear to Solskjær that he intended to stay and fight for his place.
DONNY VAN DE BEEK DETERMINED TO STAY
Tyrone Marshall of the MEN reported that despite of enquiries from Spain, Germany and Italy, Van de Beek was determined to stay at United and prove himself than already seek a move away. He was said to be feeling fresh and ready for the new season.
DANIEL JAMES PRICE SET
James Ducker of Telegraph reported that Manchester United were demanding a fee of £25m for winger Daniel James – which would put him out of Burnley’s reach, who want to ideally recruit 2 wingers.
LAUREN JAMES COMPLETES MOVE TO CHELSEA
Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail reported that Lauren James had completed her move to Chelsea in a move worth upto £200,000 – and he also mentioned that it was expected that an unnamed Chelsea player was to move to United as a part of the deal. It was also stated that United were looking at potential replacements for James now, with PSV’s Kyah Simon a possible option.
Jonathan Shrager mentioned that lots of clubs including Swansea and Nottingham Forest were interested in taking James Garner on loan, although a final decision wasn’t expected to be made by United till everyone was back in training. He also stated that United want to commit Garner to a new contract.
Richard Fay of the MEN mentioned that full-back Ethan Laird was still recovering from an injury he suffered on the last day of the season for MK DONS. He mentioned that laird was expected to be fit by the time the season was to start, and although a decision on a prospective loan wasn’t yet taken – it was believed he would be ready for a Championship loan if it came to that. A decision of his loan was also likely to rely on whether United would be able to strengthen at full-back.
Stretty News also had an exclusive on a new academy signing. Talented Liverpool midfielder Ethan Ennis was set to join United, as per the report. It also mentioned that United beat interest from the likes of Chelsea to sign the player.