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Everton and Paris Saint-Germain interested in signing Diogo Dalot

The writing has been on the wall for Manchester United fullback Diogo Dalot after seldom playing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, even at a time whereby the manager suffered a fullback injury crisis. In the summer of 2018, Dalot, then 19, arrived at the Theatre of Dreams from FC Porto for £19 million. In two years, a lot has changed at United with Jose Mourinho, the manager who signed Dalot, being sacked and Solskjaer replacing him. It would seem the player does not fit into the clubs plans.

Whilst it may seem to be a shame for the now 21-year-old, it is not the end of the world for him. Last month, the player was linked to Barcelona, which is something that may not be the case now that Ronald Koeman has now been announced as the new manager of the club. The Portuguese fullback was also linked to Everton and is now being linked to Paris Saint-Germain, one of the finalists of the UEFA Champions League this season. It is clear that other managers see the player as something they may want.

In Portugal, O Jogo, as reported by SportWitness, suggest that the fullback is one of the players that United would be looking to get rid of this summer. Despite being used sparingly at the time he took over from Mourinho, Solskjaer brought Aaron Wan-Bissaka to the club, who has been the first-choice right back at the club this season. Ever since Ashley Young was sold to Inter Milan in January, Brandon Williams and Tim Fosu-Mensah have both been used as rotation options in the right-back position.

Williams has also come through from the academy to give depth in the left-back position, which is where he has predominantly played whilst Luke Shaw was on the sidelines through injury, which is currently the case with the former Southampton player. O Jogo also state that Carlo Ancelotti’s interest in the player is for a right-back that can play as a third central defender when needed, which may or may not fit in for the player. However, PSG’s interest seems to be minimal with the club only having ‘thought of him’.

That said, there might be other interest from French clubs this summer. I will remain to be seen whether the player is interested in remaining in England, signing for Everton, if the club comes forth with an offer for him, or whether he will be looking to move back to the continent. The interest from Barcelona might well materialise again, providing the club get rid of some of they players they are looking to sell this summer, in order to fund a rebuild. I cannot help but thinking that Koeman might not have a lot of time to make big changes at the Catalan club.

During the 2019/20 season, Dalot made only 11 appearances for United, playing 577 minutes of football and scoring one goal for the club. Since signing for United, the 21-year-old has made a total of 34 appearances for the club, scoring one goal and assisting three more. The fullback can play at both right and left-back, also playing on the right of midfield, which sees the player in a more attacking role. However, that did not work out for him very well at United, so may not be the perfect position for the player. Whilst it might be the end of the road for Dalot’s United career, his career in football is only just starting.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United looking into possible transfer Idrissa Gueye – reports

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye this summer, at least according to The Sun. The 30-year-old Senegalese midfielder has Premier League experience, previously playing for Everton. He left the Merseyside club last summer for a fee in the region of £29 million. United have yet to make a concrete offer for the veteran midfielder, which leads me to suspicion as United are continually linked with players.

This particular report comes from French source Le10Sport. The player, who will turn 31 in September will not be a long-term option but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need some strength in depth in his midfield ahead of the new season, especially as cover for Nemanja Matic, who recently signed a new contract at the Old Trafford club. Gueye can play as a central midfielder or as a defensive midfielder, which puts him in that category with United not having suitable cover.

This season, with Paul Pogba on the sidelines for much of the season, United utilised Matic with Scott McTominay and Fred, sometimes with Andreas Pereira used in rotation. It was clear at that time that Solskjaer needed to sort out his midfield. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has made a mark on sorting that out with the Portuguese international settling in well and showing just what he can do. Pogba’s return has helped create something but in the last four matches, things have not gone to plan.

This season at PSG, Gueye made a total of 31 appearances before the French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, which may have been premature as the leagues have continues in England, Germany, Spain and Italy without major incident. The Senegalese midfielder scored just one goal, assisting a further two, playing in the Coupe de la Ligue, the Coupe de France, Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League – which is set to continue next month.

It is suggested that Solskjaer is seeking to add a defensive midfielder to his squad this season and personally, there are better targets out there than Gueye. Whilst he might add experience and strength in depth to the squad, he’s hardly a long-term signing which means the manager will need to look again in the transfer market in a year or two to find another. Tim Fosu-Mensah could be tested in that position which might raise his chances in earning a new contract at the club.

However, that said, Solskjaer should really be looking at a younger player to target, one that might be able to play in other positions too, with him being a defensive minded player but not necessarily a player that will be seeking to defend for the entire match. United have, despite it not working of late, playing a high-tempo attacking came, pushing the opposition into their own half. The new defensive minded midfielder would need to be quick, have bags of energy and be an upgrade on Matic, who he would replace in the team. I don’t think that is Idrissa Gueye.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United and Spurs in race to sign Belgian right-back who is free agent this summer – reports

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier who is a free agent this summer. The reports state that the Belgian, 28, who has had a contract offer on the table at PSG since the autumn, seemingly not interested in signing it, therefore leaving the Paris club for free.

It is stated that Jose Mourinho, United’s former manager, is likely to pip his former club to the right-back, who is supposedly wanted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, this all seems a bit pointless being that United will seek to sell Diogo Dalot this summer, who is behind Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the right-back position.

Personally, I feel that Meunier was a target for United when Mourinho was the manager and the media have still continued suggesting that the player is a target, when in actual fact, with Wan-Bissaka’s performances this season, and the fact that Brandon Williams can play on either flank, not to mention the likes of Ethan Laird coming through the U23s.

It is reported that Meunier would like to stay at PSG after his contract aspired at the end of next month, but the fact he has not signed a new contract suggests either that he expects to leave the club and is being nice or that he’s not happy with the contract offer and would like to run the clock down so he can get more of what he wants to stay.

If this happens, despite the report suggesting that Spurs are ahead of United, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be United the misses out on a player that they do not really need at this moment in time. I mean, Axel Tuanzebe has played as a right-back for some of his career so far with Tim Fosu-Mensah also playing in that position.

The 28-year-old would not fall into Solskjaer’s youth category, which makes this a rumour that carries little weight and I doubt the former striker would change his plans to sign a free agent like Meunier, especially with the youth available to use in this position, which would be a bit part role being that Wan-Bissaka has earned his stripes this season.

This season, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football, then France cancelled all sporting events until September, which in turn ended Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 with PSG as the champions once again, Meunier has played a total of 27 times for PSG, scoring one goal and assisting two more. He may well have played his last game for PSG.

The club, however, is still in the UEFA Champions League after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate in the round of 16 of the competition and with UEFA led competitions set to happen later in the summer, rumoured to be in August. Meunier, if that contract offer is not accepted, could have left he club before then, signing for another.

Still, that being said, it seems to be something that United will have little involvement in as I cannot see why Solskjaer would be interested in another right-back, considering the options at the club at this moment in time. Unless Wan-Bissaka is injured, he will play. United have many rotation options to get them through, so this is a non story for me.

Manchester United told to sign Edinson Cavani this summer by Robin van Persie

Manchester United have been told to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani in the summer by former United striker Robin van Persie. The Dutchman famously signed for United from Arsenal for £24 million in the summer of 2012, scoring 26 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League during the 2012/13 season which helped the club win their 20th league title.

United were rumoured to be interested in the Uruguayan during the January transfer window with the player said to be available at the time for €20 million, however, they opted to sign Odion Ighalo from Shanghai Shenhua on a six-month loan instead. Cavani will be a free agent in the summer, meaning clubs could get a good deal to sign the player.

Van Persie, speaking to Sport Bible feels that it would be a ‘no brainer’ for United to snap up Cavani, despite interest from Atletico Madrid, which was said to be the destination for the player last month, despite him staying put in Paris. I see two sides to this which would be both a positive and a negative for United. The Dutchman said:

“Edinson Cavani. I would definitely go for Cavani.

“He’s very fit, he’s a proven goalscorer, a goal machine, he has proven it at Napoli, PSG and Uruguay.

“With him, if he starts, he will get you 25 goals a season.

“I’ve watched him play, I’ve played against him, he is like a proper goalscorer.

“He lives by scoring goals so I’d go for him.”

One of the negatives is that Cavani has just turned 33 so will not be a player associated with the rebuild that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants at the club with the likes of Moussa Dembele and Diogo Jota both linked to the Old Trafford club. However, in terms of experience, he will fit the bill in a way, especially for the likes of Mason Greenwood.

Currently, United have Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Greenwood as the forwards in the team. Between them they have scored 49 goals and 12 assists this season, which is a good return. United, after selling Romelu Lukaku last summer left themselves short of options in attack this season and that was before Rashford was injured and Ighalo came into the club.

Cavani could offer something to Rashford, Martial and Greenwood, which would be a positive in their development but the negative there would be that he would expect to be the lead striker all of the time, not settling for a place on the bench, which might be the case. In terms of what he offers, his seven goals and two assists in 19 appearances for PSG this season will be a worry.

United need a striker who can find his feet at the club, offer more than Martial, Rashford and Greenwood in the main striker position, especially if Solskjaer keeps the same 4-2-3-1 formation next season, or even a 4-3-3 formation. When playing two strikers, leaving the fullbacks to become the wide men in the team, it might be different.

I am sure that Solskjaer will prefer to sign the likes of Dembele or Jota as their age – both 23, will suit the team more than the 33-year-old Cavani, who with all due respect is nearing the end if his career. If he was a free agent and could be signed on a relatively cheap wage, which may be unlikely.

It might be good to have him around, but in terms of a superstar signing, which it might be, the expense might be too much. He could teach Greenwood some good skills a she is early in his career but so could the likes of Jota and Dembele, or whoever United sign to lead the line. The fact is that United need someone, not necessarily Cavani.

Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur interested in signing Dean Henderson this summer

Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson who is currently on loan with Sheffield United for the 2019/20 season is reportedly being linked with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports. Henderson, 22 has been playing well during his debut season in the Premier League, having spent every season away from United on loan.

Henderson has played in the National League North, League Two, League One and now the Premier League and he wants to represent England at Euro 2020 this summer – but has a lot to do to break through Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope, who are ahead of him in the pecking order in the England squad ahead of the tournament. Henderson has a contract at United until the summer of 2022 but has a further year to be added on.

This gives United power in keeping the player, who is tipped to succeed David De Gea in the future, although the Spanish goalkeeper signed a new contract keeping him at the club until the summer of 2023, with an option for a further year to be added. United’s second choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero is rumoured to want to leave the club this summer and with Lee Grant’s contract expiring, United will have room for Henderson.

Nathan Bishop was also signed by the club during the January transfer window and he will be the clubs third choice goalkeeper for the foreseeable future with Grant on the sidelines with a wrist injury which requires surgery. Henderson could come in and challenge De Gea for and number one shirt next season, if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees him as the player to do that with Bishop still being the club’s third choice.

French champions Paris Saint-Germain were the first club to be linked to Henderson as they look to freshen up their squad with some young talent in the summer. This should be something that shows Henderson that he’s becoming a top player, hopefully, he will give United the first option to utilise his talent, which is something he has a lot of considering he is one of three goalkeepers in the Premier League to keep nine clean sheets.

Chelsea will be seeking to find competition for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been dropped for the last two matches because of his lack of form and Henderson would probably keep him on his toes, however, it should be United where he is doing this but the player will need to have words with Solskjaer to see where his future lies. He could be set to stay at Sheffield United for another season, which would be good for him.

Tottenham Hotspur will also be seeking a new second choice goalkeeper with Michel Vorm leaving the club in the summer and Hugo Lloris not getting any younger. Jose Mourinho had been involved in Henderson’s development at United when he was the manager, so might have a slight advantage over the likes of PSG and Chelsea. Solskjaer needs to think about Henderson carefully though as United won’t want to lose him.

De Gea will turn 30 in November 2020 and although it is an age where goalkeepers are still considered to be in their peak with some playing on for a decade after hitting that age, United will need to ensure they have thought about the future in that position. Granted, with the likes of Matěj Kovář, Bishop and Ondrej Mastny on the books at the club, there are certainly options if Henderson does leave.

Could signing Edinson Cavani be a genius move or another desperate failure?

Following the news that Marcus Rashford is set to be side-lined until at least March with a double stress fracture in his back, Manchester United are suddenly without their top goal scorer. Rashford’s goals have carried United this season, especially in the big games, and now he is set to miss vital league matches away at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur as United fight for a top four position.

Anthony Martial has an impressive strike rate of nearly a goal every two games with 11 in 24, while Mason Greenwood is nearly in double figures himself. However, it’s clear that the Reds need reinforcements. Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has recently handed in a transfer request at the French champions and with his valuation seemingly cheap at around €20 million, United must consider taking a chance on the 32-year-old Uruguayan. PSG sporting director Leonardo recently confirmed that Cavani is unlikely to stay.

“We had a proposal from Atletico Madrid. We did not have a proposal worthy of the player’s worth (But) I’m not sure he will be here in February.”

Despite only scoring just two league goals this season so far, Cavani certainly has an impressive track record, unbelievably scoring over 100 goals in just three years at Napoli and scoring nearly 200 in nearly seven years in Paris, despite competing against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe for the limelight. Cavani was top scorer twice in both Serie A and Ligue 1 and not only brings a vast amount of club experience but also international experience, with over 100 caps for his country, scoring in the last three FIFA World Cups. 

His stats speak for himself and with the need for a striker and with the low transfer fee being bounded about, the deal seems on the surface a no-brainer. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his staff may be wary of Cavani’s intentions and if he would want to join. Whether Solskjaer would turn his back on his long-term cultural reboot to solve a short-term problem will be the deciding factor in the club making a move.

Not only have the club seen many superstar names fail to live up to expectation over the years but if Cavani was to join and not perform, he would be on a long list of South American players who haven’t made the grade at Old Trafford. There are also concerns over Cavani’s attitude that may worry figures at the club. In January of 2015, Cavani was fined by former United centre half and then Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc for missing a mid-season training camp.

Cavani has also previously clashed with Neymar over penalty duties. His miss against Lyon in 2017 after he had grabbed the ball from the Brazilian resulted in a dressing room bust up. There’s no doubt that although Solskjaer has said he may be tempted into targeting players on a short-term basis, he will still want any players brought into the club to have the right attitude.

If the Reds were to go for Cavani, he could either be inspirational like Ibrahimović or unsettling like Angel Di Maria. Even though he could be a trouble maker, he is in no uncertain terms a top-class striker and with just a week remaining in the transfer window, United are certainly now desperate for one.

Written by Alex Metcalfe

copyright: JW