In Brief

Man Utd transfer news: surgeon’s warning for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Swedish striker must take time to recover from his knee injury

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been warned by his specialist not to try and return to the game too soon after his injury.

The Swedish sharpshooter tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Anderlecht in April in the Europa League. He hasn’t been seen in action since.

At one stage, the serious nature of the injury was thought to have ended his Old Trafford career, but his rehabilitation is progressing better than expected. Consequently he was offered a one-year extension in August.

There were suggestions last month that Ibrahimovic has targeted United’s clash with Tottenham on October 28 for his return, but Sky Sports carries the comments of Dr Freddie Fu, the specialist who operated on him. 

“He is very strong but soccer is still a combative sport,” said the surgeon from his base in the US. “As a doctor, of course I want to see him return as slow as possible, only when he is fully fit for the game. There have been many cases of a player returning prematurely with bad consequences.”

But Fu added that he had no doubt the veteran marksman – who scored 28 goals for United last season – will once more grace Old Trafford.

“I have no worry about his injury as it always takes time to fully recover,” he said.

Meanwhile sources in Spain report that Inter Milan have seized the initiative in the race to land Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes.

According to the outlet Ok Diario, the Portuguese star – who is being eyed up by United – will be released by the Spanish giants, possibly as early as January, and Inter have made a “loan offer with a €20million [£17.6m] option to buy”. 

The problem for Inter is that Barcelona want around €35m (£30.9m) for Gomes and United could yet win the race if they’re prepared to match the asking price.

Red Devils launch £88m raid for Antoine Griezmann

27 September

Has Diego Costa’s return to Atletico Madrid given Manchester United fresh hope in their quest to sign Antoine Griezmann?

Yes, says the Daily Star, which reports that the Red Devils are ready “to launch a fresh £88m raid” for the French frontman. 

Jose Mourinho has been chasing Griezmann ever since he took charge at Old Trafford and, although there were rumours in the summer suggesting he was closing in on his prey, he ended the transfer window empty-handed.

But the Star says Atletico’s decision to bring Costa back from Chelsea has “increased the chances of United bosses making a renewed attempt to sign Griezmann”.

That’s because the Gallic goalscorer stayed loyal to the Spanish club in the summer, not wanting “to leave Atletico in the lurch” as they sat out a transfer ban imposed on them by UEFA.

But with the ban lifted in January, he feels less obligated to Atletico, particularly as they’ll have their ranks bolstered by Costa.

Mourinho’s ardour for Griezmann remains as strong as ever and the Star claims he has “told Old Trafford bosses to make a fresh new move for him at the end of this season”.

The Star also claims that if United are serious about making a bid for Juventus ace Paul Dybala they will have to see off competition from Real Madrid. 

The tabloid, quoting Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, says that Real president Florentino Perez “is keen to sign the Argentine striker”.

Apparently Perez has rejected the chance to sign Edinson Cavani and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, and instead has his eyes on Dybala.

United were linked to the frontman at the weekend and it’s believed that the presence of friend and former Juve teammate Paul Pogba at Old Trafford could be decisive as Dybala considers his future.

Barcelona plot moves for Ander Herrera and Mesut Ozil

26 September

Barcelona have come up with a couple of alternatives if they fail to prise Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool in the new year, reports the Daily Star

Quoting the Spanish sports magazine Don Balon, the British tabloid says that the Catalan club are “plotting a move” to sign Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Man Utd midfielder Ander Herrera next summer.

Both are available on a free transfer at the end of the season, although the pair would command hefty wages, but it’s believed that Barca’s priority remains Coutinho.

It’s claimed in Spain that Liverpool remain in contact with the Brazilian’s advisers and a deal could be brokered in January depending on circumstances.

Failing that, says the Star, Barcelona will turn their attention to Herrera and Ozil. The United playmaker seems a more likely bet for the Spanish giants, particularly as rumours emanating from Arsenal at the weekend suggest it’s increasingly probable that Ozil will head to Old Trafford to resume his solid working relationship with Jose Mourinho, his old gaffer from his days at Real Madrid.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde knows Herrera well from their time together at Athletic Bilbao, but while it’s true that the 28-year-old Spaniard is in the last year of his contract, United have an option to activate a one-year extension. Jose Mourinho could decide to do that if he fails to land Ozil.

The Daily Express says that United will offer David De Gea a contract extension in the near future. 

Real Madrid have continuously been linked to the shotstopper but the Red Devils are poised to “tie up his long-term future” by opening talks.

The Express adds that the club is confident they can come up with a package to keep De Gea at Old Trafford.

Mesut Ozil wants shock move to Old Trafford

25 September 

Described by the Sunday Mirror as a “contract rebel,” Mesut Ozil is “hoping for a shock move to Manchester United,” according to the paper.

It’s not the first time the 28-year-old German has been linked with a trip north to Old Trafford but the Mirror goes a step further in stating that Ozil has “decided to run his contract down” at the Emirates.

That means he will be a free agent next summer and apparently he’s anxious to be reunited with Jose Mourinho. The pair worked well at Real Madrid when the Special One was in charge and the German international believes that United offer him the best chance to get his hands on some proper silverware.

The Mirror says that Ozil’s advisers have “put out feelers” over a potential move to United and the feedback has been positive. The fact that Ozil would cost nothing at the end of the season is a big boon to United, although they would have to meet his wage demands that are believed to be in the region of £250,000 a week.

Perhaps Ozil’s availability on a free transfer will have a bearing on United’s pursuit of Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

It’s claimed by the Daily Express that the Red Devils have scouted the highly-rated 22-year-old playmaker but according to the paper they’ve been told that they will have to pay £75million if they want to secure his services.  

Who are United’s biggest rivals for the hand of Milinkovic-Savic? Manchester City are keen to bring the young midfielder to the Etihad.

The Express says that City boss Guardiola has been “impressed” with reports that he’s received about the Serbian and is likely to make a move at the end of the season. The Italian media claim that Lazio are ready to cash in on Milinkovic-Savic.

Finally, the Daily Star says that United are preparing a “staggering £155m bid” for Juventus star Paulo Dybala. They’ll face competition from Barcelona, who are also said to be keen on the 23-year-old frontman. But apparently United chief executive Ed Woodward has told Dybala’s representatives that if he decides to leave Juventus they are “interested in bringing him to England”. 

Lucas Lima agent confirms Red Devils interest

21 September

The agent of Santos star Lucas Lima has confirmed that Manchester United are indeed courting his client, as are a number of other European powerhouses, and also Crystal Palace.

Apparently the Eagles made an audacious bid to land the South American attacking midfielder in the summer, but their £12million bid was not surprisingly kicked into the long grass.

However, United manager Jose Mourinho is now eyeing the 27-year-old Lima, who has grown in stature since signing from Internacional in 2013.

The Daily Express reports that apparently United scouts have watched Lima in action and his representative, Luccas Badia, has said the English giants are serious about making a move. 

“Inter, Roma and Barcelona are keeping close tabs on Lucas [and] Manchester United want him,” Badia told Turkish newspaper Haberturk, who added that Fenerbahce had failed with an £18m bid last month.

Asked when his future might be decided, Badia said: “His contract ends on 31 December and there are many clubs interested but I am not sure what Santos is trying to do.”

It may all come down to money, and which club is prepared to bid the most for the Brazilian international.

Elsewhere the Express also claims that United and Arsenal have joined the chase for Schalke ace Leon Goretzka. 

Described by the paper as “the toast of German football” after helping his country win the Confederations Cup this summer, the 22-year-old midfielder has attracted the interest of Bayern Munich and Barcelona in recent weeks.

But German paper Bild says United and the Gunners are also tracking the youngster, aware that his contract with Schalke expires at the end of this season.

The Daily Star believes, however, that United will have their work cut to sign Goretzka with the paper claiming that his preference is to join Barcelona, which is welcome news for the Spanish giants (and Liverpool), who continue to search for young midfield blood having missed out on Philippe Coutinho last month.

Jose Mourinho set to hijack City’s bid for Alexis Sanchez

20 September

Could Alexis Sanchez end up at Old Trafford? The Sun claims that could be the case with Jose Mourinho ready to hijack Manchester City’s bid for the Arsenal striker. 

The paper claims that the Manchester United boss “has been quoted a £25million signing-on fee” for Sanchez, who is expected to leave the Emirates in the new year.

Apparently the Sky Blues interest in the Chilean has cooled in recent weeks with Pep Guardiola realising that he doesn’t really need Sanchez when he has Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. Mourinho also has strength in depth up front but he’s a fan of the South American and is ready to lure him from the Emirates.

He’s described as a “prodigy” and according to The Sun Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini is on Mourinho’s shopping list. The paper says it has it on good authority that United “have sounded out possibility of a deal being done” in the new year with Mourinho keen to bring the 21-year-old to Old Trafford as soon as possible.

The Special One had his scouts in Italy to run the rule over Pellegrini during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Verona and the reports he received have only strengthened his determination to sign the young playmaker.

Italian paper Corriere dello Sport claims that a line of communication has been opened between United and Pellegrini’s advisors, adding that Roma are aware of the interest.

Pellegrini spent the last two seasons on loan at Serie A rivals Sassuolo where he blossomed into an accomplished midfielder.

Consequently, reports the Sun, Roma recently pinned him down to a new contract, which runs until the end of the 2021-22 season, and should United want to prise him from the Italian capital it will cost them in the region of £25m. 

Nonetheless, Pellegrini’s wage is still an alarmingly modest £35,000-a-week and it’s believed United could offer to treble that figure in an attempt to turn his head in the new year.

Jose Mourinho wants to extend Marouane Fellaini deal

18 September

Jose Mourinho wants the United board to pull out all the stops to ensure Marouane Fellaini extends his stay at Old Trafford, reports The Sun

The Belgian midfielder arrived in Manchester from Everton in 2013 in a £27.5million transfer, and although he hasn’t always been a favourite of the fans, he’s highly regarded by Mourinho.

In recent months there have been suggestions that the 29-year-old could be tempted by a fresh challenge, particularly if a long-term extension isn’t forthcoming from United, and the Sun says that the Special One actually blocked an approach from Turkish side Galatasaray during the summer.

Now the paper says that Mourinho is badgering the Old Trafford board into offering the Belgian a new and enduring contract. Saying that he considers United “weaker” when Fellaini isn’t in the team, Mourinho added: “I have always thought of Fellaini as a player with special qualities. You always want a player like that on your team or squad.”

Meanwhile, Jack Butland has admitted that it’s “nice” to hear he’s being linked to Old Trafford.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old goalkeeper was asked about rumours suggesting he’s in the sights of Mourinho. 

“I hope the speculation keeps coming as that means I’m playing well,” he said. And pressed on whether he would welcome an approach from United, the Stoke and England shotstopper added: “I’m happy where I am and just doing what I can do for Stoke. Whatever happens in the future is a long way away and it’s not part of my thought process right now.”

Red Devils plan sensational swoop for Mesut Ozil

15 September

Speculation is mounting that Mesut Ozil is set to join Manchester United, reports The Sun.  

The German playmaker, who was absent from Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Cologne in the Europa League last night, is apparently “eyeing a sensational switch” to Old Trafford when his contract at the Emirates expires at the end of this season.

Taking German newspaper Bild as its source, the British tabloid claims that the Gunners have recently “offered Ozil £8.1million-per-year contract to stay at the club” but he’s ready to turn that sum down and head north to Manchester.

It’s claimed that Ozil has tired of life at Arsenal and “wants to reunite with Jose Mourinho at the Red Devils”. The pair worked together at Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013 and Ozil retains an admiration for Mourinho’s managerial qualities.

Speaking earlier in the week, Arsene Wenger admitted that talks between the club and Ozil over a new contract “have slowed down a little bit” in recent weeks but he remained optimistic that the midfielder will pen a new deal in the coming months.

Elsewhere and the Daily Mirror believes that United goalkeeper David De Gea has dropped his clearest hint yet that he sees his future in Manchester. 

In recent summers it’s become a tradition to link the Spanish gloveman with a move to Real Madrid but the Mirror reports that De Gea has just moved into “a new luxury pad” in Manchester. That, says the paper, is irrefutable evidence that he is going nowhere in the near future.

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Old Trafford return

13 September

The word used by The Sun is “sensational” to describe Cristiano Ronaldo’s appearance in a video in which he appears to check himself in mid-sentence from saying he wants to return to England. 

Rumours have been rife for months that the Real Madrid goal machine is angling for a move back to Old Trafford after running into strife over a £13.1million tax bill.

Now comes the clearest indication yet that the 32-year-old wants a reunion with United thanks to a video obtained by the Sun.

Hauled in front of a Spanish court to answer questions about his tax returns, Ronaldo denies he has done anything wrong. Asked if he had financial difficulties in England, he replies: “I never had any problems in England. Never. That’s why... no I’m not going to say that I’d like to go back to England.”

According to the Sun the video footage “will give more encouragement to United fans” as they dream of welcoming back Ronaldo to Old Trafford.

The paper says that the club didn’t make a move for the Portuguese star last summer because chief executive Ed Woodward “preferred” to try and lure Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale to the club, although those moves both fell through.

And the Daily Express joins in the speculation fun by saying Ronaldo “appears to have taken a step closer to returning” to United. How exactly? Why, by appointing the same lawyer as Jose Mourinho on the advice of agent Jorge Mendes.  

The lawyer in question, Jose Antonio Choclan, works closely with Mendes, who “has influence at United” and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo believes that means Ronaldo is “set to quit Real at the first opportunity”. Of course it does.

Thomas Muller nearly joined Red Devils in 2015

12 September 

German marksman Thomas Muller has admitted he nearly left Bayern Munich for United two years ago, and has said the move might yet come to pass.

The Manchester Evening News says that Muller, who was speaking to German magazine Kicker, has struggled for form at Bayern in the last year, finding the net just five times in 2016-17. 

That’s led to speculation that he might be moved on by the German champions and Muller has said he’s prepared for the worst.

“It’s possible,” he said, when asked about leaving Bayern. “When my time is up, it’s up...if life takes you somewhere else then I would make myself at home there as well. I would follow the same principle as here, enjoying as many good things as possible every day.”

Asked why he didn’t accept the advances of United in 2015 when Louis van Gaal tried to lure him to Old Trafford, the 27-year-old Muller said: “I considered it, but then the club immediately backed me and I was told I belong here. I didn’t have to think about it a great deal after Bayern said we are counting on you and that you are an important man for us.”

Elsewhere and the Red Devils are still keeping a close eye on Anderlecht star Leander Dendoncker, says the Daily Mirror, and are “hoping to pursue a deal” for the 22-year-old.  

The defensive midfielder, who comes with a £30million price tag, has been on United’s shopping list for a while and according to Belgian newspaper Het Belang Van Limburg Jose Mourinho will “make a move in the near future”.

Dendoncker has also been linked to Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Everton in recent months but United were said to have been in contact over the summer, and although those discussions broke down it looks like a move could be finalised at some point in 2018.

Red Devils join race to sign Thomas Lemar

11 September

First Arsenal, then Liverpool and now Manchester United are the latest name to be linked to Thomas Lemar.

The Monaco ace was apparently the subject of a £92million bid from the Gunners on deadline day, but the playmaker said ‘non’ because of the north London’s sluggish start to the season.

There were also rumours that he actually had his eye on Anfield, but according to the Daily Mirror United are now “prepared to fight Arsenal” for Lemar. 

The paper says that Jose Mourinho will table a January bid with the France international willing to listen to what he has to say.

Monaco, who were thrashed 4-0 by Nice at the weekend, are reluctant to sell having already seen several of last season’s title-winning stars leave, but if United meet their asking price of £92m bid they will let Lemar leave.

The youngster’s advisers are aware of the interest from Old Trafford and the pull of Paul Pogba could be crucial when it comes to making a decision in the New Year.

Elsewhere, the Daily Express reports that United are “ready to battle” Chelsea for the hand of Antoine Griezmann. 

The paper, as many of their rivals have done in the past, states that the France international is poised to leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season. He was linked to a £100m move to Old Trafford in May but stayed loyal to the Spanish outfit.

Chelsea were subsequently mooted as suitors but the Express claims that Mourinho hasn’t taken Griezmann off his wish-list and will come calling next May.

Apparently, as a sign of his intent, the United gaffer has “kept the iconic No 7 shirt free for the 26-year-old”.

Chelsea’s interest is said to be spearheaded by Antonio Conte with the Blues boss keen to bring a world-class striker to Stamford Bridge.

Red Devils will ask Jose Mourinho to extend contract

8 September

Jose Mourinho will be asked to extend his Old Trafford contract beyond 2019, according to The Daily Telegraph.  

In November, the Special One will have reached the halfway point in his existing deal - but the Telegraph says the Manchester United board are keen to keep him on board beyond the current end date. 

Nothing concrete will be signed before the end of the season, but the paper says that “negotiations about the future are expected to start before Christmas to enable a smooth conclusion to any potential deal next summer”.

United are keen to bring back stability to Old Trafford after the years of turmoil under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, and the board believe Mourinho can deliver that.

Asked this week about his future, Mourinho replied: “I don’t think about it. I don’t need a new contract to work to my limits. I don’t have a problem to arrive at the end of my contract and be free to decide what I want to do and the club free to decide what they want to do.”

However, he also admitted that he would “like to stay many years” at United, and given how well the club have started the season, only a slump in form would prompt the board to reconsider their position.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says United target Marek Hamsik has admitted that an approach from the Red Devils would be tough to resist. 

It’s believed the Slovakian midfielder is on Mourinho’s wish list, and the Mirror claims that Napoli “could consider a sale next summer with just two years left on his deal”.

The 30-year-old has spent a decade with the Serie A side but said that if United do table an offer, it would be “the hardest decision” of his career.

Diego Simeone intent on keeping Antoine Griezmann

6 September

Diego Simeone committed himself to Atletico Madrid yesterday by signing a new deal and according to the Daily Star his “major task is to ensure star forward Antoine Griezmann does not leave”. 

The French frontman has been heavily linked with Manchester United in recent months and although Griezmann rebuffed their advances in the summer it’s believed that the Red Devils will try to again lure him to Old Trafford next year.

The Star says Jose Mourinho is “still very keen” on signing the 26-year-old and Simeone is aware of that interest. But after penning a new two-year deal with Atletico, the Argentine manager is now intent on persuading “Griezmann to snub Man Utd until 2020”.

Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that Simeone hopes to talk the Gallic goal-machine into also extending his stay in Madrid for the next three years. But that may prove impossible with Mourinho ready to trigger the £92million buyout clause while Griezmann is reportedly attracted by the idea of playing for a club of United's stature.

Elsewhere and ESPN says that Mourinho is also determined to last the pace in the race to bring Gareth Bale to Old Trafford. 

The £90m move that was mooted in the summer never came to pass, despite rumours that the European champions were ready to offload a player who has been booed by his own supporters at the Bernabeu.

But Bale is made of stern stuff and according to ESPN the Welshman is “keen to stay and prove himself” under Zinedine Zidane, at least for another season when he will reassess his situation and perhaps hear what United have to say.

Cristiano Ronaldo was close to Old Trafford return

4 September 

Cristiano Ronaldo came close to returning to Old Trafford in the summer, reveals The Sunday Times, but the deal was scuppered by the father of Kylian Mbappe. 

According to the paper the Real Madrid goal-scoring machine was genuinely interested in making a move to United, and Real were so sure he was going to leave that they reached out to Mbappe.

Apparently Madrid president Florentino Perez spent most of his summer working on a deal that would have brought the 18-year-old French star from Monaco to the Bernabeu. 

Perez’s plan, says the Sunday Times, "was to couple an expected £100m-plus transfer fee from selling Ronaldo back to United with savings on the player’s £19m after-tax salary to purchase the teenage France international". 

Mbappe and Real agreed personal terms with the player's father, Wilfried, acting as his advisor. Madrid were also ready to meet Monaco’s asking price of £165m for the teenage sensation using the money made on the sale of Ronaldo. 

However, everything collapsed when Mbappe and his old man decided that the weight of expectation was too great with the youngster required to fill the boots of a player whose goals have made Real the dominant club in European football in recent years. 

In a desperate attempt to persuade Mbappe to move to Spain, Perez suggested the club would sell Gareth Bale to United instead of Ronaldo. But by then Mbappe had begun talks with Paris Saint-Germain and his move to the French outfit was confirmed at the end of last week.

Sanchez now linked with Old Trafford

30 August

There are few things certain in football these days - other than an Arsenal implosion - and nowhere does the uncertainty reign more than in the transfer market.

Take Alexis Sanchez, for example, who one day is about to sign for Manchester City and then the next is being linked to their neighbours.

According to the Daily Star United "will make a move for the Arsenal superstar" if they sniff the slightest hesitancy on City's part. 

While the paper acknowledges that the Sky Blues are in the ascendancy, the Star says that the deal is by no means certain with Arsenal insisting on taking Raheem Sterling or Sergio Aguero in return.

If City aren't willing to meet the Gunners' demands then United will muscle their way onto the scene and offer the north London club whatever they want in exchange for the Chilean frontman.

The Daily Express also carries the story and claims that Sanchez's representatives "have been in touch with Manchester United to see if they would be interested in signing him".

There's no doubt that the South American would prefer to join City, reuniting with Pep Guardiola, who was his coach at Barcelona, but Jose Mourinho is monitoring the situation and in his inimitable way hasn't given up hope that he does the dirty on United's noisy neighbours.

Finally, The Sun reports that Riyad Mahrez will remain at Leicester City this season "despite interest from Manchester United". 

The Algerian international has been linked to Arsenal, Roma and of late the Red Devils but according to the Sun he's decided to give it one more season at the King Power Stadium.

French broadcaster RMC Sport says Jose Mourinho has been "keeping close tabs" on the 26-year-old but decided that for the moment he doesn't fit naturally into his starting line-up.

Man Utd transfer news: Red Devils keen on last-minute deal for Gareth Bale

29 August

With the transfer window set to shut at 11pm on Thursday evening, time is of the essence for any eleventh-hour moves and according to the Daily Mirror one of the biggest could involve the Red Devils. 

The paper claims that United "have bid £92 million for Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale" and are waiting to hear back from the European champions. 

Taking Spanish outlet Don Balon as its source, the Mirror says that United, who have been linked with the Welsh winger for several months, are keen to test the "resolve" of Real Madrid.

The former Tottenham star looked off the pace for Real against Valencia at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening and the Mirror says that Bale "endured criticism from section of Real's support" and that may prompt him to ask for a move back to England.

Metro says that the 28-year-old Bale could well make a "dramatic transfer" to Old Trafford in the coming days, despite manager Zinedine Zidane's comments to the contrary.

Asked about the rumours suggesting he was edging towards a move to United, the Frenchman said: "Gareth is Gareth. We keep working hard and we rely on Gareth, just as is the case with the other players… He had scoring opportunities but did not convert them. We're going to keep working on this."

Finally, Croatian national team coach Ante Cacic has ruled out a move for Inter Milan star Ivan Perisic to Old Trafford. In reporting the news, caughtoffside carries the comments of Cacic when asked about the winger ahead of Croatia's World Cup qualifier later this week.  

"Perisic is happy at Inter," he told Calciomercato.com. "The new coach appreciates him a lot and they are preparing a new contract for him."

United had been linked with a bid for Perisic earlier in the summer but Inter refused to lower their asking price of £50m and that seems to have killed off any chance of a deal.

Man Utd transfer news: Zlatan returns to the Red Devils

24 August

Some people think of him as a footballing god, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic himself believes he has god-like tendencies - if his latest tweet is anything to go by.

After signing a one-year deal with Manchester United, the Swedish star announced his new contract in true Zlatan style. Tweeting from his @Ibra_official account he published a picture of himself arm-wrestling the devil. The words "I UNITED it" accompanied the image.

Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in his debut season at United, but his campaign finished early after he suffered a knee ligament injury in April. He was expected to be out of action until early 2018, but the striker proved his quick return to fitness with a video uploaded to Twitter in which he was practising his martial arts skills.

The 35-year-old was released by the club in June, but after spending the summer at United's training ground recovering from knee surgery, Ibrahimovic did enough to show Jose Mourihno that he is worth another year at Old Trafford.

"After his contribution last season he deserves our trust and we will be patient waiting for him to return," said Mourinho. "We are delighted Zlatan is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us.

Ibrahimovic said: "I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club's intention for me to stay.

"I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready. I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch."

With new signing Romelu Lukaku taking over the number nine shirt, Ibrahimovic will don the number ten previously worn by Wayne Rooney.

United fans were delighted with the news that Ibrahimovic will return for another year.

Ibrahimovic expected to sign new contract with Man Utd 

21 August

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to sign a new Manchester United contract this week, sources have told ESPN FC

The 35-year-old Swede has been out of action since April with a knee ligament injury and was not expected to fully recover until early 2018. However, a Twitter video uploaded by the striker certainly appears to prove his return to fitness.

Despite being a free agent, Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals last season, has been doing his rehabilitation work at Man Utd’s training centre. There had also been interest from MLS side LA Galaxy to sign the striker, but his performances on the pitch and his personality off it would certainly boost Jose Mourinho and the young strikers in the United squad.

One player who could benefit from Ibrahimovic’s Old Trafford return is summer signing Romelu Lukaku, says Alan Pardew in the Daily Mail. Ibrahimovic could teach Lukaku a “a few old tricks”, the former Newcastle United and Crystal Palace manager writes.

"Romelu Lukaku is the man," Pardew says. "He looks like Manchester United's No 1 striker, he plays like Manchester United's No 1 striker. But he needs Zlatan Ibrahimovic to teach him a few old tricks. If United announce that Zlatan has signed on again later this week, it should be a relief for Lukaku.

“They could play together, but also it could take the weight off his shoulders. He will tire in what could be a long campaign and Zlatan can show him how he can lead the line.

“Lukaku is a top signing for United and his start has proved that but he needs a little work on his finesse. Brute force can only get you so far in this league.”

Man Utd transfer news: £50m move for Arsenal target Lemar

18 August

Having got one over on Chelsea with Romelu Lukaku are United poised to do something similar to Arsenal? The Daily Express warns the Gunners to be on their guard because the Red Devils are up to no good again and are "considering hijacking Arsenal's move for Monaco star Thomas Lemar".

Arsene Wenger has had his eye on the French ace for a while now but according to the Express Jose Mourinho is now zeroing on the Monaco magician. 

Having failed to lure Gareth Bale and Ivan Perisic to Old Trafford, the United gaffer is now stalking Lemar with a view to beating Arsenal to his signature. There have been mixed messages swirling around the Emirates for a number of days regarding Lemar, with suggestions at the weekend that Wenger is resigned to trimming his squad before he makes a move for the £50m-rated Lemar.

That's given Mourinho encouragement and the Express says he's ready to meet Monaco's asking price.

Meanwhile the Express also claims that United are ready to get shot of Luke Shaw in order to "fund a deal for a new left-back". And who might that be? Well, that's just the point. The Express doesn't say who Mourinho has in mind, only that Shaw could be on his way to Tottenham as they search for someone to fill the shoes of Danny Rose, widely expected to sign for Manchester City before the month is out.

Finally, Metro returns to an old favourite at Transfer Talk - David de Gea. The United goalkeeper is linked with a return to Real Madrid whenever there's a quiet moment in the rumour mill and this time it's reported that the European champions are about to "lodge a £46m bid for the Spaniard". But that's likely to have little effect at Old Trafford, other than to cause much merriment within the Manchester United board room, with Metro saying that they value their goalkeeper at closer to £80m.

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