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 U transfer news: Neymar could quit Barcelona over tax 

19 November

The Red Devils are on red alert following claims that Neymar could be forced to quit Barcelona because of "his ongoing tax issues in Spain".

United have made no secret of their admiration for the Brazilian striker, and they made an unsuccessful bid to sign him when he left Santos in 2013. Back then Neymar chose Barcelona, but now it looks like he may not be there much longer, despite the fact his contract runs until 2018.

Sky Sports reports that while Barca are "keen to renew the 23-year-old's deal", and also bump up his £140m release clause, his father and manager, Neymar Santos Sr, has expressed uncertainty over his son's future.

Barcelona have fallen foul of the authorities of late. The club has been under a transfer embargo this year after breaching rules on signing players, Lionel Messi is facing a trial on allegations of tax fraud and the deal that took Neymar to the Camp Nou has also attracted scrutiny.

"Since we arrived to Spain we have been under attack and it has extended to Brazil," Neymar Sr complained to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. "For the last two-and-a-half years, we have had to defend ourselves from accusations... we have a problem."

Citing accusations levelled at him and his son over "major tax issues", Neymar Snr told the broadcaster: "I don't want to use the word persecution, but if the working environment here is not good, we won't be able to remain in Spain and will have to leave the country."

That won't fail to come to the attention of United, who are reportedly monitoring Neymar's situation in Spain with great interest. 

Man Utd transfer news: English lead race for Feghouli

17 November

The race to sign sought-after midfielder Sofiane Feghouli has taken another twist with Talksport claiming that Manchester United "have moved clear" of Roma and Inter Milan in the hunt.

The Valencia winger has been pursued by the trio for months but Louis van Gaal appears more determined than ever to land the Algeria international in January.

He's out of contract in the summer and understandably Valencia don't want to see him walk out on a free, so they are prepared to listen to offers in the new year.

Despite the interest of two Italian clubs, Talksport says that 25-year-old Feghouli is in no hurry to leave the La Liga club "unless there is sufficient interest" from a Premier League team. That may alert Chelsea and Liverpool, both of whom have also been linked to the 25-year-old, but Talksport says United "remain favourites" to sign Feghouli provided Valencia don't persuade him to stay with an attractive new deal.

Man Utd transfer news: five clubs chase Leeds star Cook 

16 November

Are the Red Devils planning to pounce for Leeds United midfielder Lewis Cook? The Daily Express believes so, but the paper also reports that the 18-year-old has also "attracted the attention of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City".

A regular for England Under 19, Cook was voted the 2014-15 Championship Apprentice of the Year and according to the Express he has "an old head on young shoulders", which is why Louis van Gaal believes he will be a good fit at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile United are said to "monitoring" Arjen Robben with the Daily Mirror claiming there is "growing discontent" on the part of the Dutch winger with the way things are going at Bayern Munich, despite their fine start to the season.

It's alleged by the paper that Robben, recently returned from a stomach injury, "is at war" with Bayern teammate Robert Lewandowski with the Pole saying he prefers to play alongside Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman because "Robben is too selfish". That hasn't gone down well and the Mirror says United are on "red alert" for a possible move in January.

Man Utd transfer news: Fergie to lure Ronaldo from Chelsea

13 November

Confidence is growing at Manchester United that Cristiano Ronaldo will snub Chelsea and return to Old Trafford when he calls time on his Real Madrid career. In an exclusive The Sun says that United are aware that Blues owner Roman Abramovich has made Ronaldo his top target for next summer, but that nonetheless the Red Devils "are convinced that the pull of an emotional return would win the day".

Ronaldo left United in 2009 in a world record £80m transfer to Spain and rumours have been rife in recent months that the 30-year-old frontman will leave the Bernabeu at the end of the season. Chelsea have long been considered favourites to sign him but the Sun says that United are bullish in believing he will head to the North West. The paper claims that Alex Ferguson, the man who made Ronaldo the player he now is, "could play an influential part in getting the Portuguese star back". Fergie is now a United director and it's believed the pair still keep in touch.

Meanwhile the Sun also claims that Real Madrid "will trigger a £30million release clause next summer to land David De Gea". The 25-year-old gloveman was on the brink of leaving United in August but a "cock-up with the paperwork on transfer deadline day" led to the deal's collapse. Though De Gea has since signed a new four-year contract to stay at Old Trafford, the Sun says that "there was a clause inserted so there would be no repeat of last summer’s saga if he decides to go in the future". Real - perhaps as part of the deal that would see Ronaldo head to Old Trafford - are said to be willing to make another bid for De Gea at the end of the season.

Finally, the Daily Express says that United are "interested in Dinamo Zagreb youngster Marko Pjaca". The lanky winger comes with a price tag of £8.5m but the Express says that Louis van Gaal - who recently emphasised the need for "speed and creativity on the wings" - will face competition for the 20-year-old from Inter Milan, who have already had their scouts watch the Croat in action.

Man Utd transfer news: £10m raid for Chelsea teen Musonda 

12 November

Louis van Gaal is looking to youth to rebuild Manchester United and according to Talksport he is "ready to make a move" for Chelsea midfielder Charly Musonda.

On account of his tender age - the playmaker is only 19 - Musonda is described by Talksport as a "starlet" (it was either that or a 'wonderkid') but there's no doubt he has the talent to develop into an outstanding player. Arsenal, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have all scouted the teenager and their interest has heightened with reports that he's become frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge.

Talksport says that Van Gaal's scouts were "very impressed" by Musonda and the club is to make a bid in the new year. How much would that be? Talksport says United aim to test Chelsea's resolve by "tabling a £10m-plus offer".

Meanwhile the Daily Express reports that Van Gaal is also eyeing up Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie and is preparing to make a "shock swoop" in the new year.

The Scottish sharpshooter, who scored 15 goals last season in helping the south coast club into the Premier League, has carried his form into the big time. Consequently United are ready to make an offer for the 26-year-old, who was the subject of an unsuccessful £7m bid from Fulham in January.

It's believed United are ready to offer Bournemouth in the region of £10m after Van Gaal baulked at the £30m that Southampton wanted for Sadio Mane, who at one time was the Dutchman's number one target.

Man Utd transfer news: targets include Ibrahimovic and Mane

10 November

Could Zlatan Ibrahimovic be headed to Manchester United? According to Talksport the Swedish striker could head to Old Trafford when his contract expires at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

Rumours have recently linked him to a move across the Pond to the MLS, while he's as also been mooted as a possible target for Middle Eastern clubs. But Talksport report that Ibrahimovic is "high on the list of targets" for Louis van Gaal.

There is what the broadcaster calls "a stumbling block", however, and that concerns his wages, "which are currently £230,000-a-week".

Meanwhile, Metro says that United have "identified their three main targets" to boost their squad in January and they don't include Ibrahimovic. Instead the paper says that Leicester star Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane of Southampton and Felipe Anderson of Lazio are all on their radar.

Mahrez has bagged seven goals in the Premier League this season, while Mane has long been linked with Old Trafford. As for Anderson, his displays for Lazio have caught Van Gaal's attention and he recently sent his scouts to watch him in action.

Finally, the Daily Star says that United are in pole position to land 22-year-old Spanish striker Ayoze Perez in January. Arsenal and Tottenham have been linked to the Newcastle sharpshooter but it's reported Perez is a fan of United and would "jump at the chance" to join the Red Devils. For their part, United have been watching Perez's progress at Newcastle after he joined in a £1.7m deal 16 months ago, and it's expected that they will table the Magpies an offer in the new year.

Man Utd transfer news: Ronaldo to team up with 'new Ronaldo'?

05 November

It's a case of the old and the new for Manchester United with the Daily Star linking them to Benfica "wonderkid" Goncalo Guedes, while Talksport has them sniffing, once again, around old boy Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ironically, the Star says that the 18-year-old Guedes is regarded as the "new Cristiano Ronaldo" in Portugal and so it's perhaps hardly surprising that he has a "mammoth release clause of £40m" in his contract. 

That hefty price could could prove a stumbling block to any deal, says the Star, though that hasn't stopped United scouts running the rule over the teenage winger during Benfica's Champions League clash against Galatasaray on Tuesday night.

As for the old Ronaldo, who recently turned 30, Talksport report that the brilliant frontman has once again refused to pledge his undying allegiance to Real Madrid, prompting a fresh bout of speculation that he could be on the move at the end of the season. 

Talksport acknowledges that Old Trafford is "a possible destination" but adds that rumours are growing that Ronaldo could be tempted Stateside to sample Major League Soccer. It cites an interview with German magazine Kicker in which Ronaldo was asked if he might leave Spain. "Why not?" he replied. "You can never know. You've got to do what makes you happy. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow."

But according to The Sun, Ronaldo might not travel as far as the US or even England if he does quit Spain. Paris Saint-Germain "are confident they will beat Manchester United in the race" to sign him, with the paper claiming that the French champions are ready to offer Real £100m for the superstar. 

Ronaldo was seen in earnest discussion with PSG boss Laurent Blanc and chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi after their Champions League tie in Madrid on Tuesday, and though no one would reveal what was said, the Sun reports that there are "strong rumours in the Spanish capital" that Madrid have already struck a deal with PSG that will see Ronaldo moving to Paris next summer.



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