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Manchester United might need to offload six more players this summer

Manchester United have a 31-man first team squad at this moment in time which consists of experienced players and players who have come through the clubs academy, that might yet be loaned out this summer. If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to bring in more new faces to join Donny van de Beek at the Old Trafford club, he might yet need to clear a few more players out from the club to make room. United need an injection of quality this summer as other than the starting XI and a few other players, there is a severe lack of quality in the squad.

It is possible that six players could leave the club this summer, even after Alexis Sanchez, who left as a free agent and signed for Inter Milan. Chris Smalling is linked with an exit to AS Roma, a club that he spent last season on loan with, which saw him quickly find his feet in Italy and look to be heading back to his best after a turbulent few years at United. Two other defenders could be on their last legs at United; Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones. Rojo was loaned out to Estudiantes in January with Jones missing much of the season due to injury, again.

Solskjaer may not allow three central defenders to leave the club this summer, without one coming in although Axel Tuanzebe should be fit this month and Solskjaer has Teden Mengi coming through the ranks in the academy but one signing would be good this summer, if a player is available that would benefit the squad. United cannot continue with Rojo and Jones at the club though and will need to part ways with them sooner or later as they do not offer much benefit in the squad moving forward.

Andreas Pereira is another player who could find it hard to continue at United as the club has better players that him on the squad. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January made things hard for Pereira and Van de Beek’s arrival has made it even more difficult for him. Pereira has passion but in terms of what kind of player he is, it is not all that obvious as he’s played defensive midfield, central midfield, attacking midfield and even as a winger – he just does not seem to have an established role at United.

Jesse Lingard is another player that would benefit away from Old Trafford, as would United benefit from his departure. I have nothing against him but over the last two years or so, there has been little output from the player – he literally scored his first Premier League goal of the season in United’s final game against Leicester City. Off the field, his life had been dealt a blow with the illness of his mother but that is not excuse not to put in the work and find the form needed to be a footballer. United would be much better off if they could find a buyer for the player.

The last of the six players is Sergio Romero. It is not ideal that he might leave the club as for the past five years he has been the best number two goalkeeper in the Premier League. The Argentinian has been linked to Everton, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Chelsea, although the latter does not seem to be a viable option with the club looking at alternatives. There was suggestion that Villa were close to completing a deal for the player last week but nothing has happened yet.

Solskjaer has been seeking to rebuild United since he replaced Jose Mourinho as the manager of the club in December 2018 after his sacking. He initially did well then in March 2019 he was made the permanent manager and things stuttered that season with United seeking to make improvements during the 2019/20 season. The season started well, stuttered again but after Fernandes’ arrival, United changed completely and earned a third-placed finish in the Premier League, earning UEFA Champions League football for the 2020/21 season.

So far this summer, United have signed Van de Beek from Ajax. They have been linked to Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund all summer but the deadline to sign the player elapsed with the German club seeming determined to keep the player for the 2020/21 season. United still have him as their number one target though. With the midfield the best it has been since Sir Alex Ferguson managed the club, signing a central defender, aa left-back, a right-winger and a striker would be good for the club but only so much can happen this summer.

Written by John Walker

Roma refuse to give up on Chris Smalling

Serie A side AS Roma are refusing to give up on signing Chris Smalling from Manchester United this summer. The 30-year-old spend the 2019/20 season on loan at the club with them trying to seek a permanent move for the player but United want to receive £20 million for the player to leave the club permanently with Roma trying to get a better deal. With United being pressed to sign Jadon Sancho for £108 million, with Borussia Dortmund sticking to their guns, it is only fair that United do the same.

Smalling made a total of 37 appearances for Roma this season, scoring three goals and two assists and seemed happy in Italy and stated that he would like to remain in the country, whether at Roma or not. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Roma are unable to afford to spend £20 million on Smalling this summer but Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has reported that the club are not going to give up on the player yet and are hopeful of reaching an affordable fee for the player.

Smalling has also been linked to Inter Milan, Juventus and now Newcastle United which might create. abiding war for the player. It was suggested that Inter Milan would be willing to spend the cash to sign Smalling, who would line up alongside former United teammates Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young and Alexis Sanchez if he did sign for the San Siro club. It is suggested that Smalling is not interested in signing for Newcastle – why would he?

Smalling is currently on holiday after being released by Roma earlier this month after not being named in their final UEFA Europa League squad. They were beaten by Sevilla in the competition, the same team that United were beaten by, exiting the competition at the semi-final stage with the Spanish side taking on Inter Milan in the final on Friday evening. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly light in defenders this summer, there is a possibility that the 30-year-old will be retained by United.

It has been reported that Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo could be sold this summer and there are doubts regarding Eric Bailly, who has been riddles with injury and poor form since signing for the Old Trafford club in the summer of 2016, when United were managed by Jose Mourinho. Smalling will probably want to leave United, especially after having a good season in Italy and finding some form once again after a turbulent few seasons at United.

However, United have their price for the player, which will need to be matched by the buying club. Roma have had a chance to sign the player and if Inter Milan are interested, the fact that they will be playing UEFA Champions League next season, whether they win the Europa League or not and Roma will be in the Europa League group stage, Smalling might like the opportunity to play in the elite European competition at Inter, a club that he might find so many more better opportunities in the future.

Written by John Walker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must offload players to make Jadon Sancho signing

Manchester United must offload a string of players the summer in order to compete the signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. United will need to pay £108 million for the 20-year-old and now that their season has come to an end, a year and five days since it started, the club will now have the time to engage in the summer transfer market in a bid to strengthen the squad this summer, adding players that will make the difference, not stutter and end up failing, like some of the current squad.

The Standard has claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must end some careers at the club in order to have sufficient funds to get deals across the line this summer. Despite the supposed deadline to sign Sancho passing a week ago, United are still seeking to sign the English winger and are quickly coming to terms with the fact that they will need to pay the price that Dortmund want to receive for the player. Which is the position that should have been in before the deadline expired.

It is suggested that Solskjaer would like to make to more key signings as United lack depth in some areas, which has been seen by the clubs exit from the UEFA Europa League at the hands of Sevilla after suffering another 2-1 defeat to the Spanish side. It is suggested that a central defender and a midfielder would be brought in, in addition to Sancho, if the club managed to get Dortmund to part company with the player after the supposed deadline expired a week ago.

It has been stated that in the midfield area, both Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira have no future at the Old Trafford club. Both players have been at the club for a number of years and in the past two seasons, both players have not done enough to warrant a place in United’s squad. United will need to have strength in depth at the club and having players that can make a difference will be needed and both Lingard and Pereira have failed to do that when it matters the most.

In defence, United also have a number of players who are not adding much to the squad right now. These players are Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot. Granted, Smalling has been on loan during the 2019/20 season, playing for AS Roma and there is a chance that the club could permanently sign the defender this summer, although Inter Milan are said to be interested too. Rojo was loaned out in January too. But for Jones and Dalot, neither have been involved much this season.

Solskjaer recently spoke about the summer transfer window, which so far the club have not made a move and will need to do so during the next month in order to have players in at the club before the new Premier League season starts. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is suggested that United are losing out on £4 million per home match with supporters not yet allowed into stadiums. The Sun quoted Solskjaer as saying:

“I cannot say when or if transfers will be done, but we are looking at it. We have to be 100 per cent sure when we make those deals.

“It’s not about a marquee signing, it’s about quality. The right personality that fits into the group.”

Written by John Walker

Manchester United demand £20 million for Chris Smalling; AS Roma desperate to sign defender

Manchester United are reportedly demanding £20 million for Chris Smalling this summer with AS Roma, the club he spent the 2019/20 season with on loan, allegedly desperate to sign the player permanently. However, that said, they did not want to pay the money required to sign the player ahead of the deadline to name the final squad for the UEFA Europa League which returned to action last week, which saw Roma eliminated by United’s semi-final opponents, Sevilla.

The 30-year-old saw his loan spell end last week and reports say the player has returned to Manchester, however, the player seems to be enjoying his time off this summer. Smalling became a fans favourite at Roma and at the start of his loan spell had stated that he would like to remain in the country. It is suggested that along with Roma, Inter Milan and Juventus have help some interest in the player although nothing solid has emerged just yet.

Some might feel that United’s valuation of the player is a bit high and because of the coronavirus pandemic, shouldn’t be reduced. However, the fact that player that United might be interested in will not be discounted, why should United apply discount? If a club wants to sign the player, they will need to pay the club’s valuation of him and if this report is correct, that stands at £20 million. United have Smalling contracted until the summer of 2022 after signing a contract renewal in December 2018.

The Sun has reported that Smalling is on £130,000 per week at United and Roma were having to pay a large proportion of his wages last season but that the player would be happy to take a pay cut to get a move away from United and remain in Italy. It is stated that Roma are only interested in paying £15 million for the player this summer, which is a fee that United should think about accepting, possibly applying an add-on to the contract which may allow them to make more money from the deal.

It is stated that United would also like to sell Marcos Rojo this summer and if that happened too, would put them in the market for a new defender coming to the club, which is something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need with Axel Tuanzebe’s injuries, Phil Jones’ inability to remain fit for a full season and Eric Bailly being rather fragile himself. It is a precarious position that United are currently in defensively although they have some good talent coming through from the academy.

Both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire seem to be the first choice partnership at this moment in time with Solskjaer interested in signing a left-sided defender to his squad. Whether that happens though, remains to be seen this summer. It would seem that United will have a lot of business to do this summer, both incoming and outgoing transfers which is going to involve a lot of work. It might be that United end up keeping Smalling, who was not a bad defender to be fair and could play alongside Maguire, if needed to.

Written by John Walker

Inter Milan plot transfer for Chris Smalling with club addicted to Manchester United players

Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte is reportedly interested in signing Manchester United defender Chris Smalling this summer. The 30-year-old has been on loan with AS Roma this season, rediscovering his form which has seemingly seen Inter being linked to the player. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to allow the player to leave the club this summer despite the fact that Roma were not willing to sign the player for the fee they were quoted at the time the player secure his loan spell.

This resulted in the player returning to Manchester, although it would seem the player has gone on his holidays, rather than return to England. He will be expected back at the Aon Training Complex in Carrington at some stage this summer though, if a move has not materialised, seemingly with the player training with his teammates ahead of the 2020/21 season commencing. United are still playing in the UEFA Europa League after beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday evening.

Smalling would still be able to play in the competition had Roma agreed to purchase the player, which would result in him being available for the latter stages of the competition. However, the club chose not to name the player in their final Europa League squad. The reports come from Gazzetta in Italy which state Conte is interested in sanctioning a move for the 30-year-old after he looked good in Italy this season. During the course of the season, Smalling made a total of 37 appearances, scoring three goals and two assists for Roma.

Roma were keen to keep the player this summer but were put off by United’s £21 million asking price, offering £15.5 million which included a loan fee and a compulsory purchase offer to buy the player next summer. United would probably rather sell the player this summer if they can and Inter seem to be able to do that, especially with Financial Fair Play on hold for a year, according to reports. This could be good news for United who will need to offload some more players this summer in order to continue their rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Juventus have also been linked with Smalling this summer, although there does not seem to be any concrete interest from the club, especially now that they have sacked Maurizio Sarri and hired Andrea Pirlo as the clubs new manager. Inter seem to be infatuated with United players after signing Romelu Lukaku last summer, then signing Alexis Sanchez on loan, which they made permanent last week and in January ended up signing Ashley Young. Smalling could be the fourth former United player t end up at the club in the last year or so.

The Sun has reported that Inter and United boast a good relationship which could see a deal done pretty quickly. Smalling stated that he was keen to stay in Italy, seemingly falling in love with the country. Roma may think that he would be happy to remain at the club but a move to Inter would be seen as a step up this summer with the club finishing as runners-up to champions Juventus this season. Strengthening the squad could be what Conte needs to actually take on Juventus for the title next season.

Written by John Walker

Juventus set to offer swap deal involving Federico Bernardeschi and Chris Smalling

Manchester United could well see more interest in central defender Chris Smalling this summer as it has been reported that Juventus, the Serie A champions, could offer United a tempting swap deal involving Federico Bernardeschi for the 30-year-old he was loaned to Serie A side AS Roma for the 2019/20 season. United have told Roma that they will need to pay £18 million to sign the English defender permanently and the player could be recalled back to Manchester before the end of next week.

United extended the loan spell of the defender to cover the remainder of the Serie A season plus the UEFA Europa League round of 16 match against Sevilla on Thursday evening with the loan spell ending on the 7 August, a day after the match. United will not extend the loan spell of the player to cover the latter stages of the Europa League this season, telling Roma that they will need to permanently sign the player to keep him the the remainder of the current season.

However, the club do not want to meet United’s valuation of the player. Reports on Friday suggested that Smalling had been told by Roma to tell United that he would not sign for another club if he was forced to leave Rome in the next week, although Smalling remained coy on that. He has been linked to Napoli and now Juventus so there is some interest in the player this summer and United should be using that to their advantage. That could get them exactly what they want this summer.

Calciomercato, reported by The Sun claim that with Roma uninterested in paying the £18 million to secure the future of Smalling has seen Juventus prick up their ears in this transfer scenario with the Serie A champions considering an offer involving Bernardeschi, 26, in a possible swap deal for Smalling. The Italian winger was earmarked as a possible fallback option if United failed to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer.

This season, Bernardeschi made a total of 36 appearances for his club, scoring two goals and two assists, which is not the type of form that would get him noticed as a player that should be on United’s radar. He can play as a winger on the left and right, as an attacking midfielder in a central position and as a central midfielder, so if United opt for this deal, he could have some use in the squad but would need to raise his game to fill the void that could be left with Sancho to arriving.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will know what he wants this summer. United should know what they want and understand that it is going to cost a lot to get this team working towards taking on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in order to challenge the the Premier League title and beyond next season. If United are not interested, they should use Juventus’ interest to their advantage which could make Roma pay up for Smalling. They will be running out to time for him to be allowed to play in the latter stages of the Europa League this season.

Written by John Walker

Chris Smalling asked to ‘play hardball’ with Manchester United

Italian side AS Roma has reportedly asked Manchester United defender Chris Smalling to play hardball with the Old Trafford club as they look to complete a transfer for the 30-year-old this summer. The central defender has been on loan with the Italian club during the 2019/20 season, which was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic with world football being suspended in mid-March and only starting against in June. It is suggested that Smalling would like to remain in Italy.

The 30-year-old has said this since he signed for the club last summer, which could be good news for United as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to put his own mark on his squad, ending the careers of many players during his tenure at the club so far. Smalling has had a good season in Italy, something he will be proud of as he enters the twilight of his career in the game. It has been good seeing him gain some form at the Italian club and seeing United move on.

Both Smalling and Roma are interested in making his mover permanent and United will be seeking a set fee for the player, which is something the Italian club has not yet met and probably will not. The 30-year-old will be set to return to Manchester at the start of August after the club has played their UEFA Europa League round of 16 match with United extending the players loan spell to cover the end of the domestic season in Italy and the delayed match in the European competition.

Italian news source Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Smalling, who will not be eligible to play in the latter stages of the Europa League this season, to stay close to Rome and tell United that if they made him return to Manchester, he would not move to another club. Whilst the player would like to remain in Italy, the player has remained coy as to whether he would heed Roma’s advice. United are seeking £18 million for the player with Roma wanting to pay £16 million.

Roma would like to keep Smalling until the end of the season, including him being allowed to play in the latter stages of the Europa League but United will not extend the loan spell to cover that period. Therefore, the only option would be for the club to sign the player permanently before a set date so that he would be eligible to play in the remainder of the competition this season, if they get though the round of 16 stage. United have been generous considering the predicament.

Over the years, United have sold players for measly fees with Robin van Persie sold for just £3.84 million in the summer of 2015. It is good to see United demand fees that value toe worth of the player instead of allowing buying clubs to run amuck and decide what they will play with United in a position whereby they need to accept what they can. United will always be held to ransom when buying players, so should bed doing the same thing when teams want to buy their players. United might need to compromise with Smalling’s fee though, maybe meeting them in the middle and calling it £17 million to let the player leave permanently.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United refuse to budge on £21 million transfer fee for Chris Smalling

Manchester United are reportedly refusing to budge on their valuation of central defender Chris Smalling, who has been on loan with AS Roma in Italy this season. The Old Trafford outfit are said to want £21 million for the English defender this summer with Roma £5.5 million away from that valuation, according to The Sun. The 30-year-old was deemed to be surplus to requirements at United by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last summer and there seems to be no way back for the player.

This season, Smalling made a total of 33 appearances for Roma, playing in the Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League. He has scored two goals with one further assist for his club. It is suggested that Smalling, 30, is happy in Italy and wants to remain there after his loan spell ends this summer. Because of that, negotiations between the two clubs have already started and United are reportedly sticking to their guns.

In this scenario, clubs will be the first to moan at United for doing this. They will have their valuation of the player and will rightfully stick to that, as Borussia Dortmund will be doing with Jadon Sancho so far this summer. Whilst United might be in the mood for bargaining, they will not be looking to scrap £5.5 million from their valuation of the player. The coronavirus pandemic will no doubt be causing havoc with the finances of clubs this summer but there is no need for charity.

Roma will have to readjust their financial plans this summer, because of the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by The Sun. The club will be seeking to keep Smalling on loan for another year, paying £3 million for the privilege but then wanting a compulsory purchase of the player in a year’s time, only wanting to spend £13 million to do so. That is clearly not something that United will be accepting as it would mean receiving £16 million for the player when £21 million will be needed.

Perhaps, if Roma want to sign the player permanently, offering United a loan fee for the next season when paying upwards of £15 million for the player in a year’s time might put them in the area of a deal being completed. There is no need for United to accept a fee from the first team that comes along so they will be sticking to their guns and enforcing the fee they want to receive for their player. If a club comes in and offered close to £20 million for Smalling, they might have a deal.

However, in this climate, that might not happen so in that case, United may have to cave in on their demands to secure an exit for the player, despite it being in a year’s time, rather than this summer. However, the club would probably pay all of the player’s wages for the following season, which will mean that United are absolved of that financial demand. The one things that seems prevalent is that Smalling’s career at United seems to be over.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United put six players on transfer list ahead of summer window opening – reports

Manchester United are willing to listen to offers for six first team players as they look to raise money to fund further transfers this summer, also clearing the wage bill to make way for any new faces the club brings in this summer. Reports have suggested that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seemingly ended the United careers of these players.

United are said to be welcoming bids for Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot with Solskjaer keen to bolster his squad ahead of an new era at the club, which started with his appointment after the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December 2018. The Norwegian has helped six players out of the door already.

Solskjaer is keen to get United ticking again, like they did in his days as a player for the club, then led by Sir Alex Ferguson, a manager that Solskjaer would like to emulate at the club and could do with full support of the Scotsman. We have seen from recent matches that fast-paced attacking football is the style that he wants at the club.

Solskjaer, albeit temporarily, got rid of Smalling and Sanchez for the current season on loan with the club seemingly interested in ending the careers of the duo at United, if clubs would like to purchase them. Sanchez would be the harder of the two to get rid of because of his high wages. Smalling would like to remain in Italy past this season.

Rojo has not played much football this season and was loaned to Estudiantes in Argentines during the January transfer window with Jones not playing much football at all, being injured since the Premier League resumed last month and possible unlikely to have any further involvement with the club this season.

Lingard has fallen down the pecking order massively as what he has offered the club during Solskjaer’s tenure at the club, and before that, is lacking what is needed from a player representing United and you can see he’s not in the Norwegian’s plans as he has no involvement in matches, last playing against Norwich City in the FA Cup last month.

In regards to Dalot, his United career is two years in the making and it might be harsh to let him go so soon but he’s not going to get past Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the right-back position or either Luke Shaw or Brandon Williams in the left-back role. Solskjaer has used him further forward but that did not work out for him either.

Solskjaer seems to see more in Ethan Laird, who has been training with the first team for a while now, which says more about Dalot. Not every player will make it work at United, especially after coming to the club under the watch of a different manager, who had high hopes for the player. Solskjaer knows what he wants and what he has not got.

It could well be an exciting summer for United, if they can get different clubs interested in these six players, which could clear the way for some new faces at the club this summer and some places in the squad for some of the younger, talented players within the clubs academy, which is the route to success that Ferguson took all those years ago.

Manchester United must sell four or five players to sign the likes of Jadon Sancho this summer – reports

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to sell four or five players this summer if he is to make a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, or any other player that would cost the club a lot of money this summer. It is suggested that both Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez will have to be sold.

Obviously, selling the likes of Sanchez and Lingard is not a major problem as one of them has offered slightly more in 18 months than Daniel James has brought to the club in a year, getting wages a lot lower than the Chilean who is clearly on a major decline. Lingard could not even look good against Norwich City on Saturday evening so no loss either.

Some might suggest it is harsh to say these things but I am just being truthful. Solskjaer will need to find buyers for these two players if Sancho is even going to be an option, although Solskjaer has not yet ruled a move out for the player this summer. It could be hard to get a club to sign Sanchez permanently based on his weekly wage at United.

Solskjaer has reportedly been told by Ed Woodward that he will need to clear some of the players he does not want in his squad before he would commit to an approach for Sancho this summer, so presumably, if this is true, Woodward has not yet ruled out a possibility of the club making a move for Sancho this summer.

With the current financial circumstances regarding the coronavirus pandemic, of where the future is uncertain with the fact that nobody knows when supporters will be allowed back into stadiums in the numbers that attended matches before the pandemic, therefore adding to the loss of income for football clubs in terms of match day revenue.

Because of this, United will need to be careful and not overcommit themselves, therefore clearing some big wages and players that do not seem to have a future at the club is the best way to create space for a player who would be costly both in terms of transfer wee and weekly wages, which is a logical way of doing things.

Three other names have been suggested including Andreas Pereira, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. There is a possibility that Smalling could still be sold to AS Roma this summer, if they are able to make it work with United’s valuation of the player more than the Italian club would want to pay, which seems to always be the case with these cheap clubs.

Phil Jones has made just eight appearances for United under Solskjaer this season, which is not enough playing time to even warrant a place for him in the squad. He does have a contract which will expire in the summer of 2023, with the option of another year, so he might be a problem to shift, however, he would be a good signing for Arsenal.

In terms of Pereira, personally I am yet to see a reason why he should retain his place at United. Despite making 38 appearance so far this season, he’s scored just two goals and four assists. His contract expires in 2023, with the option of another year and in terms of creativity, there is little for him to offer the club.

Solskjaer will have a lot to do this summer before the club could make a move for Sancho and it is suggested that the manager does not yet know how much he will have to spend this summer. United obviously need to sign a striker, but Odion Ighalo’s loan spell will expire at the end of January 2021, so the urgency this summer is lower than it could be.

A right-winger is a priority and this could transform United attack considerably, providing the player fits in to Solskjaer’s system and gels with the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Odion Ighalo and Mason Greenwood, not to mention Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, who will offer the creativity from the midfield.

Some suggest that United need a central defender, however, with Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe, presuming that one, two, or all of Jones, Smalling and Marcos Rojo leave the club this summer, would be adequate with United utilising the likes of Teden Mengi from the academy, should they be needed.

copyright: JW