News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Young Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has spoken of his ‘relief’ to return from a thigh injury which kept him sidelined for the summer and the start of the season. He has now made 12 appearances for the Red Devils since making his comeback in November last year.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho will fly-out to England this weekend, to attend United’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, ahead of his preparations for United’s upcoming Champion’s League games with the Spanish champions in February and March.
“I have already told Sir Alex Ferguson I am coming,” Mourinho told The Sun.
In team news, both Wayne Rooney and Nani are hopeful of returning to the United squad in time for their FA Cup replay with West Ham next Wednesday.
In transfer news, United youngsters Scott Wootton and Davide Petrucci, both 21 years of age, have agreed the loan moves to Championship side Peterborough. Wooten will remain there until the end of the season, whilst Petrucci’s deal will be reviewed after one month.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly interested in bring both Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole to Old Trafford in the summer upon the expiry of their contracts with Chelsea.
However, veteran defender Rio Ferdinand’s recent fallout with the Blues left-back over racism incidents involving his brother Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry would have to be resolved should the proposed move for the pair come to fruition. The Mirror have described the situation as potentially a ‘bit awkward’.
Ferdinand looks set to sign a new deal with United, snubbing more lucrative offers from China, America, and the Middle East, in favour of remaining at Old Trafford until his retirement.
United has a well-maintained history of keeping their veteran players at the club to offer continuity in the team through the generations.
United are also linked with a move for Rayo Vallenco youngster Leo Baptisto, whose availablitiy is also being monitored by Athletico Madrid, Liverpool, QPR, Brighton and Leeds United.
United are reportedly ‘very close’ to completing the signing of Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha with a £12 million bid that they hope will see off compettion from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
However, another of United’s suggested targets this January, Wesley Sneijder, could be out of reach soon as Galatasaray have opened negotiations with Inter Milan and the player’s representatives in order to bring him to Istanbul.
In other news, United will play their 38th consecutive televised FA Cup match should they progress in the competition with a victory over West Ham United in their replay fixture next Wednesday.
A victory over the Hammers would see them face either Fulham or Blackpool at Old Trafford, televised live on ESPN on the evening of Saturday 26th January.
Ryan Giggs met with a terminal-ill father of two from Burnley at The Christie, a specialist cancer hospital. Tom Cooper, 24, said it was his dream of a lifetime.
Finally, Wayne Rooney has taken out a full-page advert in the Liverpool Echo to pay tribute to his sister in law, Rosie McLoughlin who passed away last weekend at 14 years of age.
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