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Manchester United boosted in pursuit of David Brooks with all Bournemouth players up for sale

Manchester United have been given a boost in the pursuit of Welsh winger David Brooks after Bournemouth admitted that they will not stand in the way of a player if they wanted to leave the club this summer. Bournemouth were relegated from the Premier League and because of that, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, every player will have their price if they want to leave for pastures new, at least according to new manager Jason Tindall. Brooks would be available for £40 million this summer.

It has been reported that Brooks is an alternative should the Old Trafford club end up not signing Jadon Sancho this summer, which could be the case with Borussia Dortmund continuing to talk about the fact the player will remain at the club for the 2020/21 season. However, the pursuit of Brooks should be in addition to Sancho, not in replacement for. Brooks has recently returned from a serious injury which required surgery and the pressure at United could see him written off, like Daniel James has by some this season.

Speaking to the Bournemouth Echo, Tindall has stated that Brooks could leave for the right price, saying:

“We as a football club have got a value of what we believe for our players. And if that value is met then players have got the opportunity to then discuss with whoever they need to discuss with and then make the decision they feel is right for them.

“But first and foremost, it needs to be right for the football club and once it’s right for the football club then, as you’ve seen in the past, I don’t think it’s a club that will stand in anybody’s way providing that the club’s happy with and it meets the valuation of the player.”

Both Nathan Ake and Aaron Ramsdale have already left the Vitality Stadium this summer, signing for Manchester City and Sheffield United respectively with the club earning around £58.5 million from the two transfers. Tindall could have problems because Brooks, Josh King and Callum Wilson are all linked with moves to other clubs this summer, seemingly wanting to keep their Premier League dreams alive. Tindall continue by confirming that until offers came in for players, they will continue to play for Bournemouth:

“Until any offers come in for any players then they remain in Bournemouth regardless anyway.  The squad are happy here. They know they’re at a fantastic club and it’s a club that’s going places and want to achieve something this year.

“I think when you’ve got that purpose as a player where you’re going into a season where you’re looking to be successful and achieve something, I think it’s a great thing to have and people want to be a part of that.”

United remain determined to sign Sancho this summer, however, they will need to stump up £108 million in order for that to happen. This seems to be a major sticking point and the fact that United seem to struggle signing players with everything seemingly left so late that it either does not happen or the club get their pants pulled down. Along with Brooks, the club is also linked with Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who I believe would be a mistake as he does not fit Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans in terms of age and his ability has suffered in the past season. United will need to get something done and quickly or the news season will commence before any signings have been confirmed this summer.

Written by John Walker

David Brooks to cost £40 million but he’s not a player that should be considered instead of Jadon Sancho

Manchester United have reportedly been told by Bournemouth that they would need to pay £40 million to sign David Brooks this summer. The 23-year-old Welsh winger is said to be an option for United should they not end up signing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund this summer. That seems to be the case with a number of players this summer, whether it is true or not we shall have to wait and see. Personally, Brooks is not a player that should be signed instead of Sancho this summer.

According to The Sun, United are long-term admirers of Brooks, 23, and are supposedly ready to make a deal with the Championship club, who were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season. The former Sheffield United player would have missed the entire 2019/20 season if it was not for the coronavirus pandemic and the three-month delay to the season, which enabled him to return in June after ankle surgery because of an injury that happened during the previous season.

New Bournemouth manager, Jason Tindall, would like to keep Brooks at the club as he feels it might enable them to bounce back to the Premier League after the 2020/21 season, which might be a tough battle for them. That said, it is stated that the club’s Russian owner Maxim Demin would sell the player at the right price to help reduce the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic at the club. During the summer of 2018, Brooks signed for Bournemouth from Sheffield United for £11.5 million.

During the 2018/19 season, Brooks has a breakthrough season at the South Coast club, making a total of 33 appearances, playing in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup, scoring seven goals and five assists. He suffered an ankle injury that season and had surgery at the end of July 2019, sitting most of the 2019/20 season on the sidelines. Because of the delay to the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, Brooks made just nine appearances in the Premier League, scoring one goal which came against former club Manchester City.

The Welshman has attracted interest from Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and former club City, who are said to still be owed money from the player’s transfer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could speak to Wales manager Ryan Giggs, who recommended Daniel James to the manager last summer. However, Brooks might not be a direct fallback for Sancho this summer and should perhaps be considered as a signing to strengthen the squad, should United actually be interested in the player.

United could end up losing the likes of Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and even Juan Mata this summer, with the Spaniard linked to Fenerbahce in recent weeks. This would leave places in the squad for additional players, which might be an ideal opportunity for Brooks. If a club has been chasing a player like Sancho all summer and ended up signing a player like Brooks, it would be seen as a devastating blow for United, who missed out on their first-choice, signing a player who has just come back from a big injury spell. If anything, it would be seen as Glazernomics, something that United should be steering clear of by now.

Written by John Walker

Daniel James is a major part of Manchester United squad and will not be loaned out next season – reports

Manchester United winger Daniel James is seen as a major part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad at the Theatre of Dreams and therefore rumours of the players impending departure, albeit on loan, have been ended prematurely. The Welsh winger made the move from Swansea City, rising from the Champions to the Premier League last summer.

Just £15 million was the fee for the player, which may rise in the future if add-ons have been met by the player, but he will still be seen as a bargain, despite some supporters throwing him in the shade of late based on their high expectations. The player’s agent, Jonathan Barnett has seemingly ruled out the player leaving on loan this summer.

The 22-year-old had a great start to the season and despite making a total of 41 appearances this season, he has scored four goals, assisting a further seven, which is a good figure for his first season at the club. Personally, I feel the so-called supporters of the club are being harsh on him, like they were when he did not sign immediately last summer, which was for a good reason.

James scored his last goal for United in the 5-0 thrashing of Austrian club LASK in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg and you could tell it was a big occasion for the player after a long drought. It seemed a relief for the player, who was pushing hard to continue his good season for the club. The emergence of Mason Greenwood will pose new threats though.

Greenwood has scored 15 goals and five assists this season, more than James has achieved but with his rise from the Championship, coming in as a first choice player for much of the season, it was never going to be a season whereby he banged in the goals and assists – he needs a season, at least, to find his feet at the club and set some goals for himself.

It is good that the player’s agent is not going to allow the player to be loaned out and is shows that James will be happy to fight for his place, even if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signs Jadon Sancho or another wide player this summer. United will need options to get them through another tough season, which could see them compete at the highest level once more.

Daniel James to get a new contract and be loaned away from Manchester United next season – reports

Manchester United could offer Daniel James a new contract at the Old Trafford club, a year after signing him from Swansea City, then loan him out for the 2020/21 season, according to reports. The 22-year-old has done well for United this season, making a total of 37 appearances so far this season, scoring four goals and seven assists, which is nearly as good as what Alexis Sanchez did at the club for 18 months.

James, 22, signed for United for £15 million last summer, settling in at the club during the pre-season tour and starting the season in style with a debut goal against Chelsea in the 4-0 victory at Old Trafford. Granted, the season has not been perfect for the player and he does need to learn things to become the best he can be, however, he is an improvement.

It is suggested that with United offering the player a new contract, which will result in a pay rise at the Theatre of Dreams, there could be am option to allow the player to leave on loan for the new season, if United bring in a new winger this summer, rumoured to be Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund.

James scored his last goal for United in the 5-0 demolition of LASK in the round of 16 first leg match in the UEFA Europa League just before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football in mid-March, the goal before that came at the end of August 2019, so he does need to find a better way to learn to find the back of the net.

His creativity was not a problem though, neither is his pace. He has assisted seven goals this season, so far, which has kept United going in the right direction. If a player like Sancho arrived at the club this summer, it would impact the playing time of the Welsh winger, which could hamper his development. I am sure he knows what could happen.

If the player wants to play regular first team football, should a new signing impact that, I am sure the the player will be given a choice of leaving the club temporarily, or fighting for his place, which would be admirable if he chose to do that. He could keep fit whilst playing U23 football, when the new season starts. Onwards and upwards.

Ryan Giggs awarded Athletic Bilbao accolade ‘One Club Man’ for Manchester United career

Wales manager and former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has been awarded an accolade by Spanish club Athletic Bilbao, which in 2019 was awarded to Celtic legend Billy McNeil. The One Club Man honour for 2020 was awarded to Giggs, who signed for United at the age of 14 in 1987, turning pro at the club at the age of 17 in 1990.

Giggs then made his first team debut in March 1991, playing a total of 963 times for the club, over 24 years which has seen him become the most decorated player in English football. Giggs will share the label, One Club Man with many footballing greats including; Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, and current Athletic Bilbao player, Iker Muniain.

During his time at United, Giggs has won many things including 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, nine FA Community Shields, two UEFA Champions League titles, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup, and one FIFA Club World Cup. He was also named the PFA Young Player of the Year twice; in 1991/92 and 1992/93.

The Bilbao club says it gave the annual accolade to Giggs for his fantastic professional career with Manchester United which lasted 24 years. Back in March 2012 when Giggs played against Athletic Bilbao in the UEFA Europa League, which saw United exit the competition after 5-3 aggregate loss, the club’s fans gave the player a standing ovation.

“We speak of a world class footballer who has demonstrated an unwavering loyalty to their club.”

During his career as a player at United, he was made the interim manager after the sacking of David Moyes during the 2013/14 season, where he took charge of the final four matches of the season, a season which United finished seventh in the Premier League. After playing his last match in the 2013/14 season, Giggs was the assistant manager under Louis van Gaal until he was sacked at the end of the 2015/16 season.

The Bilbao club has stated that Giggs, 46 has accepted an invitation to receive the award at the San Mames stadium once travel restrictions are out of the way following the coronavirus pandemic which suspended world football in mid-March. It will be another proud honour for Giggs, along with all the other he has received over the years.

During his time at United, playing 963 times for the Old Trafford club, which includes 672 league appearances, 74 FA Cup appearances, 41 League Cup appearances, and 157 European appearances, plus 19 appearances in other competitions, scoring 168 goals for the club and 248 assists, which is some achievement.

Giggs has played football with many club legends from Steve Bruce, Bryan Robson, Gary Pallister, Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Cristiano Ronaldo and current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Currently, Giggs is the manager of the Wales national team, succeeding Chris Coleman on the 15 January 2018. As a player, Giggs was capped 64 times by Wales, scoring 12 goals, also being capped four times, scoring once for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics in London. He’s managed 19 matches for Wales, winning nine, drawing three and losing seven.

Schalke 04 winger not thinking about being linked with Manchester United, wanting to concentrate on season instead

Manchester United target Rabbi Matondo has insisted that he is not thinking about speculation linking him to the Old Trafford club this summer, instead knuckling down to help his club, Schalke 04 to finish on a high. However, that came after the Welsh international started for the club in a match they lost 3-0 at the hands of Augsburg.

The former Manchester City academy player was linked to United in the past few weeks, presumably as a much cheaper alternative to Jadon Sancho, who may or may not be a Red Devil in the summer. The player only signed for the Gelsenkirchen club since January 2019. Speaking about United’s attention, he said:

“I am concentrating on Schalke. I still have to achieve my goals for Schalke.

“I am just concentrating on that and we just see how things go, but for now I am just focused on Schalke.

“Hopefully I can get into the team and help them climb up the table.”

Schalke were originally seeking to return to the UEFA Champions League this season, but their recent form, being beaten by Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg in the last two match weeks has dented their hopes with the club falling to eighth in the Bundesliga. They will face Fortuna Düsseldorf on Wednesday evening, seeking a return to winning ways.

David Wagner’s side might need a miracle to get into the top four of the Bundesliga this season with them lying 16 points adrift of fourth placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen and with seven matches remaining this season, and 21 points still available, it could be a matter of weeks before top four is an impossibility this season. Matondo continued by saying:

“I haven’t really thought about it like that [a Premier League move].

“I just want to do well at Schalke and give back what they have invested into me.

“I just want to give my all and then whatever happens in the future happens. Never say never.”

The 19-year-old Welsh international has a contract at the Gelsenkirchen that will run until the summer of 2023, meaning the club will be seeking a fee higher than that of the deal which took him to Germany, presumably to be around £11 million, including add-ons. However, he has had little experience and still needs to show his worth on the pitch.

This season, Matondo has made just 15 appearances, playing in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal. He has scored one goal in total with the jury on his future still being out. making United’s interest a risk more than anything. However, Ryan Giggs has capped the teenager for Wales, meaning the insight from United’s former winger could be glowing.

It will soon be known what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking this summer. However, looking at the state of the squad, which is better than when he started, he will need a striker, a right-winger and maybe a central midfielder. The club are also being linked to central defenders, which suggests one might also be in the offing, is one or two leave the club.

Juventus advised to ‘sacrifice’ Aaron Ramsey for Paul Pogba; Manchester United told Welshman is the ‘perfect fit’

Juventus have reportedly been told to part company with Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who the club signed as a free agent last summer, along with French midfielder Adrien Rabiot so they can afford to bring Paul Pogba back to the Italian club this summer. The Frenchman has long been linked with a return to the club.

Former Juventus star Alessio Tacchinardi has also suggested that two midfielders would be needed by his former club, which seems silly considering they have two midfielders, who have been at the club for less than a year. I understand the urgency to get Pogba back, but is this logical? I guess nothing will ever surprise me in football. He said:

“In order to get [Paul] Pogba back, I would let [Adrien] Rabiot and [Aaron] Ramsey go, even if the Welshman did show a few signs of life in the last few games.”

Ramsey, 29, has struggled for consistency at Juventus since he move as a free agent last summer, making 24 appearances, scoring four goals and one assist. Tacchinardi believes that Rodrigo Bentancur would be better in the team, especially paired with Pogba, should the Italian club end up re-signing the player this summer, which could be likely if Pogba pushes.

Former Wales manager Chris Coleman believes that Ramsey is the ‘perfect fit’ for United. It is suggested that Maurizio Sarri will be seeking to sell the Welshman this summer which has reportedly interested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Coleman, speaking about the Welshman and his apparent suitability for United, said:

“I’ve been fortunate to see the best of Aaron when I was manager of Wales. He’s at his best when he’s under a bit of pressure, when he’s playing against the best teams and when he’s playing in the big games.

“If it’s not going to happen for him at Juventus he’s definitely the type of player who can handle playing for Manchester United.

“When you play for a club like Manchester United the jersey is much heavier than when you are with a smaller club in the Premier League.

“If you play for a big club you’ve got to handle that extra weight. He certainly has the appetite for that.”

United were interested in Ramsey back in 2008, maybe earlier as Sir Alex Ferguson contacted Cardiff City manager, Dave Jones about the player. It has been stated that Ramsey was a United fan whilst growing up but in the end decided to sign for Arsenal. It was a blow to United at the time, who really wanted to sign the player.

However, three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups, five FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League and one FIFA Club World Cup, which United achieved during the time he was at Arsenal, does not compare to three FA Cups and two FA Community Shields, obviously.

Ramsey has seemingly not convinced Sarri that he is the player that Juventus need to help them conquer Europe again, which is something United have done twice since they last did during the 1995/96 season. Coleman, suggesting that he did not understand by Ramsey signed for Juventus further commented by saying:

“I understand why Aaron went to Juventus. They are a great club and they always have a great chance of winning the League.

“He had been at Arsenal a long time, probably didn’t achieve what he wanted to achieve because Arsenal haven’t achieved what they would have liked in the last 10 years.

“He went there for good reasons but he’s too good to be sitting on the bench. If he’s got a chance at Juventus and Sarri likes him then okay.

“He might be out of form, maybe it’s taking him a little while to get used to a different culture. It’s not a walk in the park when you move from one country to the next, a different type of football, a different ask.

“But he wants to be in the starting eleven. In my opinion he’s good enough to be in it.”

It does seem puzzling why the 29-year-old signed for Juventus last summer but the reported £400,000 per week contract could have been something to do with it. That said, it is unlikely that United would agree to such terms, if they were to allow Pogba to leave the club this summer. The Frenchman is on a lot less than this each week.

Ramsey would have to see what United would consider offering him, if they are in fact interested in signing him. He would be a ready-made replacement for Pogba and has established himself in the Premier League. The discontent from Arsenal supporters would be hilarious but the last player United signed from Arsenal was short-lived.

Manchester United identify Schalke winger as back-up to big summer transfer – reports

Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Schalke 04 winger Rabbi Matondo as a possible back-up option should the club not manage to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer. It is suggested by the Manchester Evening News that United have been scouting the 19-year-old former Manchester City player this season.

Matondo would be a more cost effective signing than Sancho, who would cost United in excess of £100 million this summer, which because of the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic could be an impossible fee to pay, even for United. Last summer, after seemingly failing with Sancho, United turned to Daniel James instead.

United paid £15 million to sign James from Swansea City last summer, which was a deal which was delayed due to the player’s father dying suddenly. Wales coach Ryan Giggs gave United the indication to sign James last summer and Matondo would fall into the same category. He is an international teammate of James and has played regularly.

It is expected that Schalke will sell some first team players this summer to make up for lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic, which is something a number of teams from world football might have to do. United need to do this anyway, clearing deadwood from the team, some of whom are on high wages, playing little football with is unsustainable.

With the restart of the Bundesliga this weekend, the Borussia Dortmund versus Schalke derby is one of the matches involved in one of Europes biggest leagues returning which could see Sancho versus Matondo, giving United fans a chance to see that the Welsh international is capable of. If he can become a player like Sancho, he might be a good gamble.

Manchester City fans might think that United have an obsession in their former players, which will raise their egos and make it something they have never been able to say or think before, considering City players of the past were not really fit to lace United’s player’s boots. It would also show that developing youth is not something they do all that well.

Matondo started his youth career at Cardiff City and with him being born in Liverpool to parents from the DR Congo, this meant he was eligible to play for the DR Congo, England or Wales – choosing Wales. In 2016, he moved to Manchester City, spending two and a half years in the academy there. He did not make a first team appearance for City.

In the summer of 2019, Matondo signed for Schalke 04 in a fee that could cost up to £11 million, signing a four and a half year deal with the German club. The Welsh winger has played 21 times for Schalke’s first team, scoring one goal. It may not be the best of statistics for the teenager but United could be onto something here.

The teenage winger has played in four positions at Schalke this season, playing five times as a second striker, scoring his only goal so far, four times as a right-winger, and twice as both a centre-forward and a left-winger. He was capped by Wales for the the first time in 2018, making three more appearances in 2019.

Manchester United offered two players by Juventus to bring down Paul Pogba’s price – reports

Manchester United have reportedly been offered Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot by Juventus for Paul Pogba in a bid to try and bring down United’s selling price for the French World Cup winner. Presumably, the Italian club would be offering money for the player also, as I do not think this would be a great move considering the money spent on Pogba.

The Frenchman signed for United in the summer of 2016 with the club then led by Jose Mourinho. It is safe to say that the seemingly unfinished business that Pogba had at United, after leaving as a free agent in the summer of 2012 will remain unfinished if the player is allowed to leave the club this summer, which seems likely based on reports.

Last summer, United were asking £150 million for Pogba, who was being courted by both Real Madrid and Juventus, however, it is reported that the Spanish side have pulled out of the race to sign the player based on the financial limitations that the coronavirus pandemic would implicate on the game for the foreseeable future.

It has been reported over the past few weeks that Juventus would like the player to return to the club and reports have suggested that players such as Miralem Pjanic and Douglas Costa could be offered to United. One report suggested that former Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey would be offered and seemingly has, along with Adrien Rabiot.

Ramsey was a player that was wanted by United some years ago with the Welshman choosing Arsenal instead. Nearing the age of 30, it is questionable as to whether he would be seen as a player that would be well-received by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is trying to overhaul his squad to get them challenging for the Premier League title again.

Rabiot was linked to the Old Trafford club this week with reports suggesting that the French midfielder, who signed for Juventus as a free agent last summer, like Ramsey, did not want to return to the Italian club after the coronavirus pandemic with players in Italy returning to training from today, getting ready for the continuation of the Serie A season.

Despite Solskjaer recently talking about the link up between Pogba and January signing, Bruno Fernandes, which could actually happen this season, if Project Restart actually happens, which will be known in a week’s time but after that, it might be something resigned to the past. Pogba’s stay at the Theatre of Dreams could be over this summer.

Four years ago, Pogba returned to United, stating that he was ‘back home’ and that this club was his ‘destiny’. In my opinion, despite a handful of good performances and those who have an agenda talking about his individual achievements for the club last season, I am not too convinced that Pogba wanted to return to United, let alone stay at the club.

The player could have reignited his career at United, partly down to the clubs failings and also down to the player himself. I get the feeling that it is only a matter of time before Mino Raiola takes his client elsewhere again and Pogba starts to light up world football again. It looks clear right now that United is not Pogba’s ‘destiny’ or ‘his home’. We shall see.

Manchester United join chase for Welsh defender after Ryan Giggs recommended him – reports

Manchester United have reportedly joined the ‘transfer hunt’ for Swansea City defender Joe Rodon after former United winger and Class of 92 graduate, Ryan Giggs recommended the £20 million valued player. United are likely to face competition from Manchester City with Pep Guardiola being a long-time admirer of the 22-year-old.

Giggs gave Rodon his Wales debut last year and has since been capped four times. It is suggested that the former United winger urged his former club to sign the player, who he highly rates as a central defender after his scintillating for for the Swans this season. Giggs previously recommended Daniel James to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest is history.

It is currently reported that United would like to sign another central defender this summer to partner Harry Maguire, who arrived at the club in an £80 million deal from Leicester City last summer. It is expected that Phil Jones could leave the club this summer, along with Chris Smalling, who has spent the season on loan at Roma.

Rodon would still represent Solskjaer’s youth policy, especially home grown youth, which is the way United have been built over the years – with some exceptions. The 22-year-old made a total of 21 appearances in the Championship this season, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. He also assisted one goal, not scoring any.

It is reported that United’s cross-city rivals Manchester City have been keeping close tabs on the six-foot-four Welshman for some time as Guardiola likens him to John Stones, who has not been in very good form since his move to the Etihad a few years ago. It is fair to say that City need to concentrate on their defence after problems this season.

This could be bad news for United as City seem to be a team with a few changes away from becoming their best again, with United seemingly still a project seeking perfection. However, as challenges come, the one United offered would be more difficult and could bring out the best of the Welsh defender, if he was able to sideline Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

It is also reported that Bournemouth, Everton, Leicester City, Chelsea and Arsenal had all sent scouts to watch Rodon, who broke into Swansea’s first team around 18-months ago. The Welshman is described as a ball-playing central defender and had earned comparisons with John Stones. Hopefully that does not resign him to the scrapheap.

At this moment in time, United would need to get rid of the likes of Jones, Smalling and Marcos Rojo before bringing inn a new central defender. There is also the future of Axel Tuanzebe, who has played inn both right-back and central defensive positions in his career, both at United and when he has been loaned out.

Perhaps former teammate, Daniel James could be an influence in the Welshman signing for United, along with Giggs, who clearly sees United as the best option for him, presumably not being biased at all. It would be a good deal for United and Rodon would be given time to settle at the club being that Lindelof, Bailly, Tuanzebe and Maguire would be ahead of him.

copyright: JW