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: blow as Neymar commits to Barcelona

21 October

They've got more pressing matters on their mind right now, what with tonight’s Champions League tie in Moscow against CSKA but nonetheless Manchester United will be disheartened to learn that Barcelona "have no intention of selling Neymar".

That's the claim made in the Daily Mirror with the paper saying United were growing in confidence that they could land the Brazilian frontman next summer because of Barcelona's likely capture of Ezequiel Lavezzi from Paris Saint-Germain.

Reports in Spain say "there are strong indications" that Lavezzi is on his way to the Camp Nou, which apparently raises questions as to Neymar's future. But the South American moved quickly to quash speculation he was thinking of leaving, telling reporters he was in talks over a contract extension: "The renewal is under way," declared Neymar. "I still have years left on my contract. I'm going to sign. The fans can relax.

Man Utd transfer news: blow as Barcelona poach Laporte

16 October

French under-21 defender Aymeric Laporte has snubbed Manchester United in favour of Barcelona.

That's the news in the Daily Mirror with the paper reporting that the Athletic Bilbao star defender "is poised to join Barca next summer in a deal worth around £35m".

Described by the Mirror as one of the Red Devils "top defensive targets", the 21-year-old Laporte will be one of the European champions' first signings when they get back into the transfer game next year following the end of their ban from signing new players.

United boss Van Gaal had sent scouts to make a report on the centre-half after he missed out on Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos last summer. But the Mirror says Laporte has agreed in principle to join Barcelona after catching their eye playing for Bilbao.

Man Utd transfer news: Valdes to join Newcastle in January?

15 October

Victor Valdes's miserable time in Manchester could soon be at an end with the Daily Mirror reporting that the Spanish goalkeeper "looks set to quit" Old Trafford in January.

The veteran keeper has "been completely frozen out" by Louis van Gaal and, according to the Mirror no longer even has a locker at the training ground.

But despite that, Valdes would like to remain in the Premier League and Van Gaal is said to be ready to offload him to another club provided it's not one of United's main rivals. Bottom-placed Newcastle are said to be in the running and are interested in Valdes following the season-ending injury to Tim Krul.

But when asked about the possibility of a move to the Magpies by Spanish broadcaster Radio Marca, agent Gines Carvajal was hardly conclusive. "He'll have a chance (to play) in January, wherever he goes...[but] won't be coming to Spain, unless he decides otherwise," he said. 

Man Utd transfer news: Neymar says no, will Bebe come back?

14 October

The chances of Manchester United landing Neymar are receding with Talksport reporting that the Barcelona star has pledged his loyalty to the club.

In comments to Spanish rag Mundo Deportivo, the 23-year-old Brazilian frontman distanced himself from rumours linking him with a big money move next year to Old Trafford. "I am very happy at Barca, and in Barcelona, where I have settled very well," Neymar told the paper.

It was reported earlier in the year that United were "prepared to splash out up to £240m" to bag Neymar, and the player admitted he had 'conversations' over a potential move. But he appears to have performed an about-face and when asked if he wanted to renew his Barcelona contract, Neymar replied: "Of course, but we'll talk about that later... my father looks after these things."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail says that Bebe has hinted he could be headed back to Old Trafford "despite being widely regarded as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's worst ever signings". The 25-year-old winger was a complete unknown when he joined United for £7.4m from Vitoria de Guimaraes in 2010, and Fergie sanctioned the deal before he had even seen him play.

Unsurprisingly Bebe failed to cut the mustard at Old Trafford and, after joining Benfica in 2014, he is now with Rayo Vallecano. Having scored his first goal in over a year earlier this month, Bebe predicts he's "going to have many big teams chasing me again next year", and reckons United will one.

Man Utd transfer news: Mata pledges future to United

13 October

"I'm not going anywhere". That was the gist of the message from Juan Mata to Manchester United fans after the Spanish midfielder moved to squash rumours linking him with a return to La Liga.

The Spain international arrived at Old Trafford from Chelsea in January 2014 and, having finally established himself in the side, The Sun claims that the former Valencia midfielder intends to remain with the Red Devils. "I'm very happy in Manchester," declared the 27-year-old playmaker. "I have the feeling that I have just arrived here and I still have many things to do."

Mata, who was Chelsea's player of the season in 2012 and 2013, was deemed surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho and David Moyes splashed out £37m on him in January 2014. It did not save Moyes and for a while Mata seemed like an expensive folly. But he has won over the United fans and become a key part of Louis van Gaal's plans.

Asked if he might move home at the end of the season, Mata said: "Right now I don't even think about it... playing in England is a very positive experience [and] I advise every player to spend at least one year in the Premier League, because in terms of fans, the league, the structure, what football represents, it's fantastic."

Man Utd transfer news: Muller 'tempted' by Old Trafford wages

12 October

Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller has been flirting with Manchester United, or at least website Goal.com believes he has, after the World Cup winner told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview that the huge wages on offer in England could tempt him into a move.

"People should accept that wages will always play a role in a player's decision-making," the German forward, a long-term target of Man United, explained. "Of course, the wages that are being paid in the Premier League are very tempting. It would be hypocrisy to deny that."

The German champions have no intention of selling Muller, and chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has repeatedly made his position clear, even begging United to stop emailing him about the player.

But the striker's words will keep the English title contenders, who pay Wayne Rooney a cool £250,000-a-week and have half-a-dozen stars on six-figure weekly deals, interested.

Louis van Gaal is thought to be aiming for a more low-key signing to solve his left-back issue, with the Daily Mirror reporting that a move for Everton's Brendan Galloway could be on the cards in January.

United have been short in the position since Luke Shaw's horrific broken leg last month, which could keep him out for the season, and 19-year-old Galloway has impressed thus far for the Toffees when filling in for their own injured left-back Leighton Baines.

Van Gaal doesn't appear happy with any of his backup options on the left, experimenting with a number of players, but will face a fight for Galloway after Everton boss Roberto Martinez said recently that the youngster would be given a new contract after a string of good performances.

Man Utd transfer news: fight with Orlando over Ibrahimovic

7 October

Manchester United have not had to go head to head with MLS outfit Orlando City in the transfer market before, but there is a battle looming for the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Talksport claiming that the Swedish striker is top of the US outfit's shopping list.

Ibrahimovic has been linked to Manchester United and Arsenal in recent months with Talksport reporting that speculation is growing that he "is ready to leave Paris Saint-Germain". Old Trafford was thought to be his preferred destination but apparently the 33-year-old - who is out of contract at the end of the season - is being lined up to head Stateside.

Orlando already have Brazil playmaker Kaka in their squad and the US press claim their next marquee signing will be Zlatan.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express says that Victor Valdes will not now be joining Sevilla. Club president Pepe Castro has confirmed the news in an interview with Spanish rag Estadio Deportivo, saying: "Valdes is not an option for us. We have no intentions to sign a goalkeeper."

The more intemperate newspapers had suggested last month that Sevilla might make a play for the 33-year-old outcast but it looks like Valdes will now have to continue twiddling his thumbs in the United reserves until the new year at the earliest.

Man Utd transfer news: Mane move after Muller warning

06 October

Senegal international Sadio Mane is being lined up by long-term suitors Manchester United, who were also sweet on the striker in the summer.

According to the Daily Star the 23-year-old, who on Saturday scored one of Southampton's goals in their 3-1 defeat of Chelsea (his fourth goal in the last three games) is now on the Red Devils New Year shopping list. 

United apparently made a bid in the summer to sign Mane and though that was unsuccessful they'll be back again in January after monitoring his eye-catching performances of late. And Saints manager Ronald Koeman told local paper, the Daily Echo, he was braced for more interest: "Maybe one day we will lose Mane but then we have to be prepared. You know in our situation that kind of players, if they play like today, there will come a lot of interest."

Koeman hopes to hang on to Mane until the end of the season but a big money offer in January could see him head to Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, the Star also mentions quotes carried in German rag, Bild, about United's efforts to persuade Bayern Munich to part company with Thomas Muller. 

The Bundesliga club have already warded off several attempts from United to lure their World Cup-winning forward to England, and chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Bild he's getting a little hacked off with United counterpart Ed Woodward's request to sell: “I told Woodward that I cannot switch off my e-mail account, so he should stop sending offers for Muller," explained Rummenigge, who has allegedly knocked back one offer believed to be in the region of £65m.

Man Utd transfer news: £92.5m Ronaldo move after exit hint?

02 October

Like a well-trained sheepdog, Manchester United are always on the alert and this time their ears have pricked up at news of Cristiano Ronaldo. According to the Daily Express the Portuguese preener has, once again, "dropped a hint" over a possible Real Madrid exit, something he has been doing on a regular basis for months.

The world player of the year scored both goals for Real on Wednesday as they beat Swedish club Malmo in the Champions League, a brace that equalled Real legend Raul's club record of 323 goals. But asked afterwards if he envisaged scoring a stack more of goals for the Spanish giants, Ronaldo replied: "As I've said millions of times before, nobody knows the future. We'll see what happens."

Pressed on the United rumours, Ronaldo said: "Nobody knows what will happen next year. I want to win things in Madrid because I think this club has the potential to win things." The Express interprets his comments as a clear indication he is weighing up his options and says that Ronaldo's words "will be of interest" to United, who according to reports in Spain "are preparing a stunning £92.5m bid" for the 30-year-old.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, a host of newspapers report that Manchester United are " keen to complete" the transfer of Newport County teenager Aaron Collins.

The Newcastle Chronicle broke the story and it was subsequently picked up by Metro with the paper claiming that the 18-year-old centre-forward is one of the brightest young prospects in England. United will have no doubt learned a bit about Collins from his former Newport teammate, Regan Poole, the 17-year-old centre-back who signed for United from the League Two side in June.

Metro claims United "face competition" for the hand of the forward from Newcastle and several other Premier League clubs, who are said to be circling the teenage sensation.

Man Utd transfer news: Valdes to join Chelsea or Liverpool?

30 September

The future of unwanted goalkeeper Victor Valdes could soon be resolved, according to ESPN. The broadcaster claims that Manchester United are "considering cancelling" the goalkeeper's contract but only if he joins a club outside the Premier League.

The 33-year-old moved to Old Trafford in January on an 18-month deal but amid allegations he doesn't see eye-to-eye with Louis van Gaal, the veteran gloveman is behind David de Gea, Sergio Romero and even youngster Sam Johnstone in the pecking order.

ESPN reports that both Chelsea and Liverpool are "keeping tabs on his situation" and could make a move for Valdes in January. But they add that while United want to ship Valdes out and are "open to cancelling his contract", they would do so only on the condition he doesn't join one of their Premier League rivals.

Whether or not LVG still regards Chelsea (14th) and Liverpool (ninth) as league rivals in another question entirely.

Valdes has until 1 January to consider his future as he can't move before that date even if United did agree to rip up his contract.

Man Utd transfer news: young Portuguese defender lined up

29 September

The latest defender to be linked with Manchester United is Paulo Oliveira of Sporting Lisbon, who has apparently caught the eye of Louis van Gaal as he hunts for reinforcements at the back.

With Luke Shaw sidelined until spring it seems as though the Red Devils will be paired with every defender of quality and as we reported yesterday United were said over the weekend to have their eyes on Charlton's Morgan Fox and Aaron Cresswell.

Now website Caughtoffside claims that the Premier League leaders are arrowing in on Oliveira and Van Gaal has "sent scouts to watch him play recently".

The 23-year-old has impressed since joining Sporting last season for £1m from Vitoria Guimaraes, the former club of United legend Bebe. Unlike Bebe, Oliveira has performed well at Sporting and his form has come to the attention of Louis Van Gaal who has added the young Portuguese to his transfer short-list as he prepares to bolster his back four in the New Year

Man Utd transfer news: Fox and Cresswell on Shaw shortlist

28 September

Sitting proudly atop the Premier League following Saturday's win over Sunderland, Manchester United are looking to strengthen their squad in the second half of the season by signing a defender to replace the injured Luke Shaw.

The full-back isn't expected to play again until April following his double leg break earlier in the month and the Daily Mirror claims that United have drawn up a shortlist of three potential replacements: Charlton's Morgan Fox, West Ham's Aaron Cresswell and Leeds United's Charlie Taylor.

So concerned are Charlton at the prospect of losing 22-year-old Welsh full-back Fox that the Mirror says they are poised to offer him a new deal. Aston Villa, Newcastle and West Ham have also been sniffing around the defender but the Mirror says the London club is quietly confident they can put a package together to ward off interest from United and the rest.

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