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.
Official: #mufc have confirmed the signing of Norwegian international Vilde Bøe Risa on a deal until the end of the 2022/23 season, with the option of a further year.— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 20, 2021
Welcome, @VildeBoeRisa! 🇳🇴pic.twitter.com/OiWpwvtiwi pic.twitter.com/ijuus162mO
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.
🗞 It is thought that Solskjær considers the arrival of a new centre-half this summer to be an important component in such a plan as #mufc continue their cautious pursuit of Raphael Varane. [@TelegraphDucker] https://t.co/CBIfXARUnk— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 16, 2021
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.
🗞 The muscle tear Rashford suffered in his left shoulder eight months ago has meant at times that he cannot get maximum flexibility from the joint and his speed is affected. He has also not been able to lift heavy weights in the gym. [@lauriewhitwell]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
🗞 Even before the Europa final, #mufc were looking at granting Rashford a period of rest that included start of the coming season. It is thought he can get treatment on his foot injury during his time on the sidelines recovering from the shoulder operation. [@lauriewhitwell]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
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.
🗞️ Skinner is #mufc's number one target but he remains under contract with Orlando Pride and it is understood there remains some way to go yet before a deal can be concluded. [@TomJGarry] pic.twitter.com/PHB9bnTyLM— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 20, 2021
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.
🗞️ Solskjær and his staff would have preferred Shaw to have returned to Carrington immediately for scans to determine the extent of the damage, but players involved in the final were granted holiday and have not been part of their clubs’ pre-season yet. [@mcgrathmike] https://t.co/3htUluVLDl— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 20, 2021
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.
🗞 #mufc will present a formal offer of around €50m to Real Madrid next week for Raphael Varane. In addition to his economic demands, one of the main reasons behind his departure is his desire to play in the Premier League. [@cjbustillo, @ElTransistorOC] https://t.co/MifhqMFKq9— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
🗞 Varane received a renewal offer before Euros – response was that he wanted to focus on the tournament and have time to think. Real take it for granted he'll not extend, there have been talks with #mufc – from whom a formal move is expected in the short term. [@MarioCortegana]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
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.
🗞 Discussions with #mufc have entered a much more concrete phase in recent days. The court carried out by #mufc for several weeks has not left Varane indifferent, and he has ended up giving them consent to start discussions. [@Tanziloic, @RMCsport] https://t.co/d6n8lYUFK6— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
🗞 #mufc and Raphaël Varane have almost reached an agreement and discussions are advanced between the two parties. Discussions are open between United and Real Madrid but no offer yet. [@mohamedbouhafsi]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
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.
🗞 There seems to be an element of optimism around Raphael Varane's transfer to #mufc but a deal will likely come down to how much they can lower Real's asking price. Agreeing personal terms is not considered to be an obstacle and contract talks are progressing. [@TheAthleticUK]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 17, 2021
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.
🗞 There is optimism that #mufc could complete the signing of Varane by the end of the month as his preference is to head straight to Manchester after his holiday, rather than have to return to Real Madrid for any pre-season training. [Samuel Luckhurst, MEN] https://t.co/rgbrwwuFEK— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 19, 2021
🗞 Florentino Perez wants €50m (£42.9m) for Raphael Varane after refusing to meet his salary demands – he is seeking an after-tax salary of €10m (£8.6m). #mufc have discussed personal terms and are increasingly confident a deal can be done. [@DuncanCastles, @TimesSport]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 18, 2021
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.
🗞 After a whole decade at Real Madrid, Raphael Varane is set to become a #mufc player this week, after being close to taking that step two years ago – on being attracted by the idea of starting a new adventure in another country. [@Carpio_Marca] pic.twitter.com/0nvAU4kTHB— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 19, 2021
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.
🗞️ Solskjær is really really pushing for Raphaël Varane and he's convinced that Varane is the perfect Center-back for #mufc, more than the other options on the list. He wants the club to push and push to sign Varane. [@FabrizioRomano, @podcastherewego]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 20, 2021
🗞 #mufc are preparing an official bid to Real Madrid for Raphael Varane, after direct talks for 4 days. United have proposed a contract until 2026 and Varane would accept if the clubs reach an agreement. [@FabrizioRomano]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 16, 2021
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.
🗞 A return to Paris is not thought to appeal to Paul Pogba at present and #mufc are making efforts to retain him, sources believe he is open to staying. United are measuring the potential cost of replacing an important player against the price of keeping him. [@TheAthleticUK]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 17, 2021
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.
🗞 #mufc are under pressure to sell Paul Pogba amid strong interest from Paris Saint-Germain. Mino Raiola is discussing personal terms with PSG – who think they can persuade United to sell for around £43m, although there has been no contact between clubs yet. [@ChrisWheelerDM] pic.twitter.com/GclD95PlKB— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 21, 2021
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.
🗞 Camavinga could be available for around €30m if he was to leave – #mufc are admirers and have asked to be kept abreast of any developments but there is a feeling his preference is a move to La Liga, even though a transfer this summer cannot be discounted. [@TelegraphDucker] https://t.co/eBYf67H0Jd— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 14, 2021
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.
🗞 While Atletico Madrid and Barçelona remain stranded in negotiations for Saúl Ñíguez and Antoine Griezmann, Jonathan Barnett is advancing negotiations with #mufc who have taken a decisive step for Saúl, surpassing Liverpool. [@FApor_elmundo]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 18, 2021
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.
🗞 Leon Goretzka's representatives are demanding upto €20m to sign a new deal whereas Bayern's last offer was €10-12m. Other clubs are getting involved and #mufc have submitted a concrete contract offer for 2022 that exceeds Bayern's current offer. [@SPORTBILD via @iMiaSanMia]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 21, 2021
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.
🗞 Amid uncertainty surrounding Paul Pogba's future, #mufc are monitoring Houssem Aouar's situation, even though Arsenal and Spurs lead the chase. Solskjær views him as a good replacement for Pogba – and an offer of €25m could be enough to sign Aouar. [@LaurensJulien, ESPN]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 16, 2021
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.
🗞 There’s definite interest from #mufc for Ruben Neves – Bruno Fernandes is actively trying to push Neves towards a move to Old Trafford. United want a midfielder irrespective of Paul Pogba's future at the club. [@alex_crook, @talkSPORT]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 21, 2021
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.
🗞 In addition to Roma, Inter Milan like Alex Telles – formula to bring him would be a loan, and the player who was at Inter in the 2015/16 season would gladly return. There have been contacts between the parties but it remains to be understood if it can move forward. [@DiMarzio]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 17, 2021
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.
🗞 AC Milan are preparing a new bid to #mufc for Diogo Dalot. Loan with buy option to be offered again – but along with improving the loan fee, United want a loan fee of around €4-5m and a buy option included. Real Madrid are not an option, as of now. [@FabrizioRomano]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 20, 2021
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.
🗞 Trippier has a year remaining on his contract, which also includes the option of a 12-month extension – but he is ready to tell the Spaniards that he wants to return to England. A move to Old Trafford is believed to be his preference. [@Matt_Law_DT] https://t.co/dT2tAUdZMr— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 14, 2021
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.
🗞 Kieran Trippier is optimistic about joining #mufc before the transfer window closes. [Samuel Luckhurst, MEN]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 16, 2021
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.
🗞 David Moyes wanted to bring Lingard to West Ham but it is believed the club feel the proposed £30m fee is too high. Sources say Lingard is currently minded to stay at Old Trafford and fight for his place, particularly if fresh terms are put on the table. [@TheAthleticUK]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 17, 2021
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.
🗣️ @samuelluckhurst: "With Sancho, the delay in his announcement is due to something down to the agent. #mufc are not expecting an announcement today [Tuesday] as things stand, but it's going to happen at some point or another." [Manchester is Red Podcast]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 20, 2021
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.
🗞️ Newcastle are monitoring Axel Tuanzebe's situation. He is a player Steve Bruce knows well from his loan spell at Aston Villa three years ago. [@ChrisDHWaugh]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 15, 2021
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.
🗞 Sources say that both De Gea and Henderson are expected to be at #mufc again for the 2021-22 season. Wolverhampton Wanderers made a loan inquiry to #mufc over Henderson early in the summer, but the proposal was firmly rebuffed. [@lauriewhitwell]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 19, 2021
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.
🗞 Sources close to the player have said Donny van de Beek is feeling "fit, fresh and ready for the challenge" after missing #EURO2020 this summer to rest a groin injury that had been bothering him towards the end of the season. [MEN] https://t.co/2VUsIxrVI7— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 21, 2021
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.
🗞 Ethan Laird is yet to be involved in #mufc pre-season training as he continues to recover from an injury he sustained at the end of last season. Club sources are confident he should be back fit before the start of the new season. [Richard Fay, MEN]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 21, 2021
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.
🗞 #mufc are set to confirm the signing of midfielder youth star Ethan Ennis. Ennis, 16, is part of Liverpool’s youth academy and has been tipped to develop into a future Premier League midfielder. [@StrettyNews]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) July 17, 2021