In Depth

Man Utd transfer window verdict: the end for Louis van Gaal?

Manchester United were in need of new blood in January and it is telling that the manager did not pick up the chequebook

Man Utd transfer news: Wilson out on loan, and no Mane deal

27 November

The loan window has closed and Manchester United have managed to farm out striker James Wilson in the nick of time with The Guardian reporting that the Championship leaders Brighton have signed the 19-year-old on loan until the end of the season.

Wilson, who has made two appearances for United this season, is highly regarded within Old Trafford but manager Louis van Gaal wants him to get regular game time. And what better place than Brighton, who will hope Taylor can help them clinch promotion to the Premier League.

"We have been keen to add a striker, and James has been our number one target for some time, so we are absolutely delighted to have completed the deal," said Seagulls' boss Chris Hughton. "James is an exciting young striker, and we hope that this move will prove to be very good for all parties involved."

Meanwhile Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has reiterated his determination to retain Sadio Mane in the face of strong interest from United, reports the Daily Mail. The 23-year-old forward, who joined Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg last season, has been linked to Old Trafford in recent weeks, but Koeman had this message for any loitering party: "Rumours aren't important: we will sell nobody," he stormed. "You can ask again about Sadio, Man United, Chelsea, but we will sell nobody in January."

Man United transfer news: chase is  on for Mats Hummels and Lucas Moura

26 Novembe

According to German rag Bild, Manchester United are "keeping a close eye" on Borussia Dortmund ace Mats Hummels as they renew their interest in the player. 

In reporting the news, Talksport claims that Hummels is struggling to adjust to life under new gaffer Thomas Tuchel and consequently "is set to hand in a transfer request". Whether that's in January or at the end of the season remains to be seen, but the 26-year-old has long been on Louis van Gaal's wishlist. 

The German international defender was allegedly targeted by United in the summer and though Hummels has a contract with Dortmund until 2017, Talksport claims that the Bundesliga outfit may decide to "cash in on him" and offload him to United.

However, Hummels's old boss at Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp, is now at Liverpool so he could also be tempted by an Anfield reunion.

Meanwhile website Caughtoffside reports that Paris Saint-Germain are poised to give up the ghost on Brazil forward Lucas Moura. That's good news for United, who have long been linked with the South American sharpshooter, and France Football magazine says that the 23-year-old is living on borrowed time in the French capital. 

Apparently he's not lived up to expectations and PSG boss Laurent Blanc is ready to show him the door if he doesn't "lift his level of play quickly".

Moura cost PSG a cool £44.3m in 2012 when they signed him from Sao Paulo, a deal that left United disappointed that they had missed out. Now they could get a second bite at the cherry, which would be a bonus given their current inability to find the net.

 

Man Utd transfer news: Bartra, Dembele and Mane targeted

25 November

As United prepare to welcome PSV Eindhoven to the Theatre of Dreams this evening, website Caughtoffside claims that the Red Devils are also hoping Barcelona defender Marc Bartra will arrive in the near future.

It's no secret that Louis van Gaal wants to strengthen his backline and though various names have been mooted in recent days, Caughtoffside is adamant that the Spanish international is United's main target and that he is "understood to be considering his options".

Bartra has been at the Camp Nou since his teenage days, but the 24-year-old has struggled for game time under Luis Enrique and is allegedly keen to play more regularly. He was linked with a move Arsenal in the summer but it never materialised and since then he has started only four games for the Catalan giants.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports reports that United have made Fulham striker Moussa Dembele "a primary transfer target in January". Taking its cue from Get French Football, Sky Sports claims that United "have made contact with Fulham" with regard to the 19-year-old frontman.

Dembele has netted nine goals in 19 first-team appearances this season for the Cottagers and Bayern Munich are also said to have noticed his form. However, it's believed United will be the first to make their move in the new year.

One club not welcoming any United advances are Southampton. According to the Daily Mail the Saints "will resist" any attempts to sign Sadio Mane in January. The frontman has attracted plenty of interest this season and the Mail reckons that Louis van Gaal will come for Mane in the new year having failed with a bid in the summer.

The paper says the South Coast club are "determined to keep Mane" until at least the end of the season but that an offer of £40m - twice what United offered a few months ago - could see the Senegalese head north.

Finally, The Sun reports that Shanghai SIPG "are plotting a big-money move" for Wayne Rooney. The Chinese outfit, now managed by former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson, are hoping to lure the United striker east, and the Swede told the Sun: "We already have famous players, like Robinho, Asamoah Gyan and Demba Ba, and they have brought something special. But of course Rooney is at another level. He is top, top, top."

Man Utd transfer news: Van  Gaal confirms Ronaldo interest

23 November

Louis van Gaal has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in football - that United are looking to bring back Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.

In reporting the story, The Sun also says that the United manager is "planning a £25m January swoop for Saido Berahino". The West Brom striker was linked to Tottenham in the summer but it appears United have won the race to his signature and the move will be made official after Christmas.

As for Ronaldo - whose Real Madrid side were thrashed 4-0 by Barcelona at the weekend, leading the Daily Telegraph to claim that Ronaldo wants manager Rafa Benitez replaced - he could well be back at Old Trafford, six years after he left for the Spanish capital.

"We are looking at all players, not just Ronaldo," Van Gaal is quoted as saying by the Sun. "With Ronaldo, let's wait and hope. There is no trainer in the world that doesn't like him." It's reported that the United board are ready to meet Ronaldo's £500,000-a-week wage demands because they could recoup that figure in marketing and commercial sales. And the Sun says that Real "would be prepared to let their Galactico leave", provided the transfer fee is not below the £80m they paid United in 2009.

Meanwhile could Ashley Cole be on his way back to England? According to website Caughtoffside, the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender - who left the Bridge for Roma in 2014 - is currently out of contract after being released by the Serie A at the end of last season. But with United short of experienced defenders, Caughtoffside reports that signing Cole in January is a "potential short-term solution" as Luke Shaw continues to recover from the leg break he sustained at the start of the season.

Man Utd transfer news: Sane in, Fellaini out in January sales

20 November

Manchester United are chasing  Schalke's German winger Leroy Sane with increasing intensity as the January transfer window approaches, and will be make an offer in the new year, according to The Sun.

United have long been linked with the youngster, but reports suggest that Louis van Gaal's scouts have been practically crawling over the 19-year-old over the last month or so as the Dutchman looks to fix his misfiring winger issues.

Summer signing Memphis Depay has underachieved since joining from PSV Eindhoven, he has been reduced to the status of benchwarmer and hasn't featured in the Premier League since United's chastening defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the start of October.

Antonio Valencia has undergone surgery on a foot injury that could keep him out for five months, and Van Gaal's mini-crisis on the wing could prompt the club move for Sane in January, sooner than expected.

Schalke did not qualify for the Champions League last season and that makes Sane even more of a catch for United as he would be able to play in Europe.

United might be seeing one player heading for the exit in January though, with Belgium coach Marc Wilmots telling Marouane Fellaini that he needs to be playing regular first-team football if he wants to be sure of a place at this summer's Euro 2016 tournament.

Fellaini has made only three starts this season, and two of those were in the League Cup.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Wilmots told Le Soir: "A player who does not play for his club is annoying for a [national] coach... maybe he will try to find a new challenge in January, if it is possible."

 

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