Manchester United are monitoring Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld contract situation: report

Manchester United reportedly keeping an eye on Tottenham Hotspurs defender Toby Alderweireld as they look to bring in recruitments in the summer.

Reports have claimed that Jose Mourinho is keen on bolstering his team’s defence after recent fixtures have exploited the club’s only weakness.

United’s losses to Newcastle and Tottenham were frustrating and of themselves but it was more so due to some defensive errors.

Against Tottenham Phil Jones was at fault, scoring an own goal whilst at Newcastle Chris Smalling was at fault after he conceded a free-kick for diving in which the Magpies capitalised on.

Rumours have surfaced that Mourinho is going to move on both players and is monitoring Alderweireld just in case an opportunity reveals itself.

According to the Mirror, Manchester Evening News reports that the Red Devils are keeping tabs on Toby whose contract runs out in the summer of 2019.

Spurs are currently attempting to negotiate a contract renewal but perhaps Jose will attempt to swoop in and buy him for a cheaper than usual price.

Although the Portuguese manager bought in Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, Toby Alderweireld represents a more experienced option.

The soon to be 29 year old will surely add quality to Manchester United’s backline and has plenty of Premier League experience as well.

What the possible transfer means for both Bailly and Lindelof is yet to be seen but the move may prove too tempting for Jose Mourinho to ignore.

It could possibly be a case of Alderweireld attempting to negotiate a bigger pay raise at the London club too.

Links between Man United & Napoli star intensify

Italian outlet Rai Sport are the latest publication to insist that Premier League giants Manchester United are considering a move for Napoli midfielder Jorginho.

Metronome

Jorginho, a Brazilian-born Italian international, joined Napoli from Hellas Verona for 9.5 million Euro in 2014, since going on to develop into one of the finest midfielders in Serie A.

In an incredible statistic, it was revealed last summer that the 26-year-old made more passes per game than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues last season (as per Football-Italia.net).

Sitting in his deep-lying midfield berth, the Verona youth product has flourished behind Napoli’s fearsome attacking quartet of Marek Hamsik, Jose Callejon, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens, and has started 21 of his side’s 24 Serie A fixtures to this point in the campaign.

PL links

Despite his near-indispensable presence in Maurizio Sarri’s Partneopei squad, though, Jorginho has often been linked with a departure from the San Paolo over recent seasons, with Arsenal having long been touted as a potential destination.

However, as per a number of reports emanating from Italy over recent months, it is in fact Manchester United who look to have jumped to the front of the queue for Jorginho, having held talks with the representatives of the midfielder regarding a summer switch to the club.

The Red Devils are known to be on the lookout for reinforcements in the middle of the park, with Ander Herrera struggling for form and Michael Carrick set to retire at the end of the season.

Manchester battle?

And, as per the aforementioned update from Rai Sport this afternoon, it was Jorginho’s performances during Napoli’s Champions league group stages matchups with Manchester City which caught the eye of United, with Jose Mourinho and co. having been keeping tabs on him since.

However, Rai also claim that Manchester City could rival the Red Devils for Jorginho’s signature in the summer, with Pep Guardiola keen to add another deep-lying creative influence to his Citizens’ squad.

Thierry Henry fears for Man United’s Marcus Rashford

‘Man United could sign Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld’

Manchester City could wrap up the title at home to Manchester United

Manchester City could wrap up the title at home against Manchester United after Jose Mourinho’s men suffered a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday.

The Premier League leaders went 16 points clear at the top of the table with a 5-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday evening.

Man United’s blunt-edged display at St James’ Park means that Pep Guardiola’s side could claim the title in just six games.

And yes, that sixth game comes at home to United on April 7, giving Man City the chance to reflect their supremacy over their neighbours this season by clinching the title with a win over Mourinho.

Both United and City would need to win their next five games for this to happen. Dropped points against either Chelsea or Liverpool at home, however, will mean City could claim the Premier League crown before then, leaving open the galling prospect of having to give them a guard of honour in front of their supporters.

If they progress past Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup fifth round next weekend then their clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on March 17 would be postponed, meaning victory over United would leave them just one win away from the title.

An unlikely prospect, then, but one still very much alive and menacingly lingering in the distance. If anything, perhaps a mauling at the Ethiad, followed by unbridled celebrations, would serve as an important kick up the backside ahead of next season.

Jose Mourinho could lose Manchester United trio worth £37.4m this summer

Jose Mourinho could lose Manchester United trio worth £37.4m this summer – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could lose three midfielders worth £37.4m from the first-team at the end of the season, leaving him incredibly short in a key area with mere weeks to replace them.

Michael Carrick, who joined from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006, has made more than 450 appearances for United but is set to retire this summer.

The 36-year-old has been on the periphery this season, making just three appearances in all competitions, and will join Mourinho’s coaching staff ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. He’s worth just £1m as a result.

United still haven’t made any progress in contract talks with Marouane Fellaini which could result in the £6.4m-rated Belgian international leaving at the end of the season on a free transfer.

Signed from Everton in 2013, the 30-year-old has fallen down the pecking order this season, making only four starts in all competitions for United, and might consider a move away to get more playing time.

Ander Herrera is the third first-team midfielder whose future is uncertain this season. The Spanish international, who joined from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, has struggled to dethrone Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic from the midfield.

Herrera’s been linked with a £30m move to AC Milan, and given the 28-year-old has made just eight Premier League starts this season, it’s possible he could be lured away from Old Trafford.

It’s bad news for Mourinho, as the 2018 summer transfer window closes before the new season starts, leaving him with less time to replace three midfielders from the squad.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Juan Mata sends message to Man United supporters following Newcastle defeat

Juan Mata has expressed his dismay after Manchester United suffered a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.

Jose Mourinho’s men created a litany of chances, with Anthony Martial missing a one-on-one with Martin Dubravka and Alexis Sanchez failing to take advantage of an open goal, before they were made to pay for their sloppiness by Matt Ritchie’s 65th minute goal.

Martial and Michael Carrick both went painfully close to claiming a late equaliser but Newcastle stood firm to register their first win at home since October.

And Mata, writing in his weekly blog, adopted a notably disappointed tone when reflecting on the defeat to Rafa Benitez’s side.

“Unfortunately this is one of those days when you don’t feel in the best mood to update your blog, neither do you to read it,” he wrote.

“It’s not easy to write after a defeat. The truth is, after losing an away game you think a lot about it on your way back home. You remember every play, every moment, and you try to change the outcome but obviously that’s impossible.

“You can’t turn back time, so the only way to carry on is to turn all this rage into a desire to win, work and attitude for the next game.

“The 1-0 in Newcastle hurts because we had chances to score both in the first and in the second half, but they took better advantage of their weapons.

“We already have to focus on the FA Cup and Huddersfield. It will be a great opportunity to prove that a new win can help to forget yesterday’s game. By the way, thank you to those who travelled to Newcastle, you deserved a different game and a different score.”

This was a not a performance from the same cut of cloth as woeful displays away to Huddersfield Town or Tottenham Hotspur, and perhaps on another day United would have found the opening goal which has so often served as a platform for solid wins this season.

But the cold reality is that United, with 27 games of the season gone, still don’t have a known best starting XI, or even a formation that Mourinho and his staff have agreed upon.

And yet, somehow, they have remained second throughout most of the campaign – a sign of the natural talent and winning nous in the side as well as the fallibility of teams like Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool.

In other words, the margin for improvement – greater execution, greater tenacity, greater diversity of options – is massive, and ought to serve as a positive challenge for next season.

Arturo Vidal breaks silence over Man United transfer rumours

Manchester United target Arturo Vidal has made it clear that he has no intentions of leaving Bayern Munich in the summer.

The Chile international, who was heavily pursued by Man United to no avail in 2014, could be moved along following the arrival of Leon Goretzka from Schalke.

And Jose Mourinho, according to reports, has pinpointed Vidal as one of his main midfield targets ahead of the retirement of Michael Carrick and possible departure of Marouane Fellaini in the summer.

But Vidal, when asked about the rumours, was adamant that he wasn’t planning on going anywhere in the transfer window.

“I’m not thinking about a transfer. I feel very comfortable here,” he said.

“Of course I would like to extend my contract. That’s an option. My kids are very happy here, too.”

With Ander Herrera also reportedly subject to interest from AC Milan, plans need to be put in place ahead of the summer to secure two midfielders at the very least.

And with the transfer window set to be shorter than normal, United simply cannot waste their time chasing dead ends, or even players who need convincing. The case of Vidal in 2014, along with David Moyes’ numerous failed transfer exploits the year before, are examples of why doing this can be fatal.

Pursuing the likes of Nice’s Jean Michel Seri and Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic, therefore, would be far more sensible given that the pair both expressed a desire to leave last summer and will be on the market next time around.

Pundit: Chris Smalling was embarrassing against Newcastle United

Former West Ham United defender has lambasted Chris Smalling for what was an ’embarrassing’ defensive performance against Newcastle United.

The Englishman could have easily given the hosts a penalty in the first half with a trip on Dwight Gayle just inside the box.

Referee Craig Pawson waved play on but Smalling eventually found himself in his book after a woeful dive near the halfway line having lost the ball in far from challenging circumstances.

Newcastle proceeded to score the winner from the resultant free-kick and Gale, speaking on Sky Sports, was quick to note that Smalling’s display was nothing short of embarrassing.

“Well I think he got embarrassed so quickly he got up so quickly didn’t he,” he said.

“He realised what he had done. His defence would be that he was anticipating the challenge, but that’s not enough.

“You’ve got to have a connection on you and it was embarrassing really, it was quite embarrassing. Watch how quickly he gets up here, he goes down and he’s ‘oh blimey, what have I done, up I get’.”

It is nothing short of astonishing to think that Smalling has been at this club for almost eight years.

Newcastle’s last win over Man United at St James’ Park came back in 2012 on a night that saw Smalling kill the came completely with an own goal, and six years on there he was, once again, needlessly gifting them a chance to score. Someone on Tyneside certainly owes him a beer.

The main point here, I guess, is that despite the number of opportunities and years of experience under his belt, Smalling hasn’t shown any discernible signs of improvement, or even upward trajectory. He continues to thrive and fall short in the same areas – strong in the box but technically way off the mark – and at a club of this magnitude you simply cannot accommodate players who stand still.

Agent confirms Gareth Bale's position on joining Man United

Gareth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett has confirmed that his client has no intention to leave Real Madrid in the summer.

Jose Mourinho publicly expressed interest in the Welshman over the summer when it appeared he may be dispensable for Zinedine Zidane ahead of the potential signing of Kylian Mbappe.

Any possible deal was off the table when Mbappe joined Paris Saint Germain instead, but reports of Man United’s interest have nonetheless refused to subside this season.

But Barnett, when asked about Bale’s future, insisted that his client wasn’t planning on going anywhere over the summer.

“I really respect Raiola and Jorge Mendes, we are like the Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar of agents,” he said. “Bale? I think he’s worth as much as Neymar. He loves Real Madrid and doesn’t want to leave. Gareth does not need Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid, he is already a top star of the club.”

“Bale is such a positive example for children. You will never see him in a fast food. He goes to bed early and I don’t think he is worse than Neymar. He can also battle it out for the Ballon d’Or in the future. When he joined Real Madrid Florentino Perez gifted me a pen to sign contracts. I always have it with me now.

“I think no Serie A club can afford to buy Bale. There was the interest of a top Italian club but I can’t name it. Tottenham, however, refused to sell him.”

Whether or not Bale wants to stay at the Bernabeu is somewhat beside the point given that wholesale changes are expected to occur at Madrid over the summer of which the winger could be a victim.

But given that Mourinho noted last year – back when he needed an attacking winger – that pursuing Bale would be time consuming and difficult, you sense that notion will be doubly pertinent next summer as the 54-year-old places emphasis on bolstering his midfield and full-back options.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez brilliantly trolls Manchester United

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez was caught on tape at his witty best following his side’s shock victory over Manchester United yesterday afternoon.

Matchup

The two sides went head to head at St. James’ Park, with Jose Mourinho’s visitors having put their disappointing loss to Tottenham last week behind them with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield last time out.

Newcastle, meanwhile, had slipped into the Premier League relegation zone ahead of kick-off yesterday, with the Magpies having picked up draws in their last two outings with Burnley and Crystal Palace respectively.

Shock

The visiting Red Devils understandably headed into the clash as heavy favourites, and took control of the majority of possession from the off.

However, Newcastle made it clear from early on that they would not allow the aura of their opponents to intimidate them, with Rafael Benitez’s men working like dogs when out of possession and making every tackle count.

And, after holding United at bay for the opening 45 minutes, Newcastle were rewarded for their valiant efforts shortly after the hour mark, when Chris Smalling’s ridiculous dive near the halfway-line saw the hosts awarded a free-kick.

The ball was subsequently lofted in towards the edge of Man United’s area, before a flicked header landed at the feet of Dwight Gayle.

From here, Gayle proceeded to expertly lay the ball off into the space behind him, where Matt Ritchie arrived in perfect time to slam home a quality finish into the bottom-left corner of David De Gea’s goal.

Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial were both guilty of fluffing guilt-edged chances for the visitors on ‘one of those days’ for United, with Newcastle in the end holding on for a potentially-crucial 3 points.

Benitez banter

Following the full-time whistle, Jose Mourinho’s praise for Newcastle’s ‘animals’ quickly garnered widespread attention, with the Portuguese tactician having proven uncharacteristically magnanimous in defeat.

However, one aspect of the post-match interviews which slipped relatively under the radar revolved around a comment made by Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, at the expense of Manchester United.

A recap of the exchange, as well as the soundclip itself, are linked below:

Virgil Van Dijk can’t hold back a smile when finding out about Man United’s loss

Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey criticised after Man United win