Chelsea join the hunt for Penarol wonderkid Facundo Pellistri, Manchester United’s interest reported in the past week

Premier League club Chelsea have apparently joined in the hunt to sign Penarol wonderkid Facundo Pellistri. It is, however, stated that the London club will have a lot of other European clubs to contest in order to win the race to sign the 18-year-old winger. Manchester United’s interest was reported over the past week or so with the club seeking signings.

Along with United, Manchester City, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Feel Madrid hold interest in the Uruguayan. United may have an advantage though being that former striker, Diego Forlan is the Penarol manager, however, he did not only play for United so may help another former club sign the player.

Italian news site Calcio Mercato has reported that Juventus seem to be leading the race for the teenager this summer but Chelsea have emerged as the apparent ‘dark horses’ to sign the young prospect. It is stated that Frank Lampard’s side have shown ‘concrete interest’ in Pellistri that will put them on a ‘collision course’ with Manchester City.

Pellistri is vastly becoming a hot prospect in South America after starring in his homeland, Uruguay, on the wing. He has not yet been capped for his country but he holds a Spanish passport and speaks English fluently. His current contract will last until the summer of 2022 and he has a £10million release clause inserted in it.

It has been suggested by The Athletic that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ask his former teammate, Forlan, for advice on the 18-year-old, presumably thread of the summer transfer window opening later this summer. United, of course, will need to get through the season first, facing Southampton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday.

Solskjaer will be seeking to add some quality to his squad this summer with the club interested in signing Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, Jack Grealish of Aston Villa, amongst other names that continually seem to be linked to the Old Trafford club. One thing is for sure though, United do need to strengthen this summer in order to take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City to challenge for the Premier League title.

Manchester United eye swoop for Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri trained by Diego Forlan – reports

Manchester United are apparently plotting a transfer swoop for Penarol’s Uruguayan teenage star Facundo Pellistri, according to reports. The 18-year-old is vastly becoming a hot prospect in South America, starring in Uruguay on the wing, which is a position that United need to concentrate on signing a player for this summer.

Former United striker, Diego Forlan is the manager of boyhood club Penarol and has been since December 2019. It has been suggested by The Athletic that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will speak to his former teammate for advice on the 18-year-old ahead of launching a potential swoop for the teenager as soon as the transfer window opens this summer.

It is reported that Penarol know that they will find it hard to keep hold of Pellistri this summer and he has a £10 million release clause as part of his contract. It is also stated that Real Madrid and Manchester City could increase the competition for the player with both clubs recently having an eye for the player. United could be onto something here.

Pellistri has not yet made his international debut for his country but the player holds a Spanish passport and speaks English which would ensure a smooth transition to Europe, should that opportunity arise this summer or beyond. His current contract with Penarol will expire in the summer of 2022 after signing a contract extension back in February 2020.

The player is said to be happy at Penarol but if Solskjaer received a glowing report on the player and the trajectory of his career, which will need to be on the up to end up playing for a club such as United, he could be on the way to pastures new. Solskjaer, speaking about new signings, seemingly playing down big signings, recently said:

“You have a certain DNA and identity when you play for Man United or work for Man United, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the canteen or laundry or in admin or on the pitch, you’ve got to be a certain type of character for me.

“I’m very old school in my values. I’m not going to rant and rave. I’d rather open the door or close the door. Either in or out.

“Players who want to sign if they don’t feel right as a person you close the door, players who are inside who don’t feel right and don’t want to contribute to the team ethos and have the betterment of the team at heart then you open the door and let them leave.

“It’s a constant process. Whatever you do every day, that will decide if you’re going to be part of Man United or not.

“I hope and believe I will always stay true to my principles and values of that.”

This season, playing for Penarol in the Primera División Apertura and the Libertadoresm Pellistri has made just five appearances and is yet to score a single goal, already assisting once. During his time at Penarol, the 18-year-old has played 25 times, scoring one goal and three assists, so has a way to go during his career. United could do worse this summer and there is an unknown factor in signing players like Pellistri, which is exciting. Perhaps Solskjaer might conduct some interesting business.

Manchester United’s South American Reds: Hit and miss

Manchester United have announced that the club has an agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk to sign Brazilian midfielder Fred. It is likely that the player will go on to represent the red side of Manchester like many South Americans before him. However, the South Americans that came before him, didn’t have the smoothest careers at Old Trafford. Some have been a success whilst others have been failures. MUFC Latest takes at some of the best and worst South American signings United have made.

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Juan Sebastian Veron

The Argentine arrived in Manchester from Lazio for a fee of £24.3 million. Sir Alex Ferguson brought in Veron to be an anchor in a midfield three which would also consist of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane. However, this did not go accordingly as the United midfielders struggled to adapt to a new midfield structure. Veron also struggled with the tempo of the English game. He did considerably better in the Champions League due to the European tempo that existed in most matches. Unfortunately, during his second season with the reds, he sustained an injury that would go on to be an ongoing problem throughout his career.

After just two seasons in Manchester, Veron was sold to Chelsea for £15 million in 2003. Many fans and pundits alike will consider Veron a flop at Manchester United. After being a record signing for a non-UEFA player, the Argentine failed to live up to his hype. However, he obviously gained respect from Sir Alex Ferguson. Answering critics, the Scot said: “Veron is a fucking great player and you’re all fucking idiots!”

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Diego Forlan

The Uruguayan joined Manchester United in January 2002 from Independiente in Argentina for a fee of £6.9 million. Unfortunately, Forlan’s start to his United career did not go as expected. The striker featured 13 times for United in the Premier League and five times in the Champions League. However, the player failed to score a single goal during his first season at Old Trafford.

Furthermore, the next two seasons from Forlan improved his stature at the club as the goals came in. The Uruguayan managed to score 17 goals in 98 appearances for the club. Although still not an amazing goal record, however, some of the goals he did score were important for the club. Some of these goals include an 85th-minute winner against Southampton and a 90th-minute winner against Chelsea. Overall, the striker contributed six goals during United’s successful 2002/2003 Premier League Winning campaign.

Though still not considered a successful signing by critics and fans, Diego Forlan’s name still gets sung at Old Trafford today. The Uruguayan scored two goals against Liverpool away at Anfield in the 2002/2003 league campaign. The Mancunian giants won the game 2-1 as Forlan went down in United folklore. Forlan has spoken out on his chant which goes; “Diego woah, Diego woah, he came from Uruguay, he made the scousers cry.” He said every time he hears the song it gives him goosebumps.

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Carlos Tevez

The Argentine was definitely a successful signing for Manchester United. However, his success at Old Trafford is overshadowed by joining local rivals Manchester City and being open about his bitterness towards Sir Alex Ferguson.

The player originally joined Manchester United on a two-year loan deal from West Ham United just in time for the 2007/2008 season. Almost immediately, Tevez came across as a player that Sir Alex Ferguson desired to sign on a permanent deal. Tevez formed one of the best attacking lines the Premier League has ever seen alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. The trio inspired United to a Premier League and Champions League double in Tevez’s first season at United. The striker contributed to 5 goals during the successful European campaign and scored the first penalty of the shootout in the final.

Near the end of his second season at Old Trafford, doubts about his United career unfolded. United failed to sign Tevez on a permanent deal and he joined Manchester City for the 2009/2010 season.

Obviously, it is hard for United fans to see Tevez in a positive way but whilst he wore the United shirt his quality and effort cannot be knocked. He’s certainly a one that got away for United fans.

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Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian was brought to Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson in June 2009. Although United did not win the league in his debut season, Valencia was an immediate success. In his first season at the club, he won the League Cup but also got into the PFA team of the year. The right-sided player is going into his ninth season at Old Trafford and remains a vital cog in Jose Mourinho’s team. After wearing the captains arm-band a number of times under Jose Mourinho, the player is one of the most experienced in the squad. Should United challenge for league in the coming season, Valencia is expected to be a regular starter.

One of the reasons for Antonio Valencia’s long-term success at Manchester United is his ability to operate as a right winger and at right back. Valencia is as equally effective in both roles either in attack or defence. Valencia’s main attributes are his aggressive style of play, his physicality, and his pace. These attributes allow the Ecuadorian to get forward and cause problems on the attack but also allow him to get back and be solid as a rock defensively.

Although arriving near the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s spell at Old Trafford, the player has still enjoyed a decorated career at the club. Valencia has won the Premier League on two occasions, in the 2010/2011 season and the 2012/2013 season. He has won one FA Cup, two League Cups, three Community Shields and most recently the Europa League. Valencia is expected to be a stalwart in United’s side for another few years and would hope to add to this success.

Written by Shane Purcell

copyright: JW