News, views, and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
In transfer news, Manchester United have agreed a deal with Crystal Palace for youngster Wilfried Zaha. The 20-year-old forward will sign a long-term contract this weekend after a £15 million fee was agreed between the two clubs.
However, the player will remain at Crystal Palace on loan for the remainder of this season as the Championship side push for promotion.
The youngster released an official statement, ending speculation over his future.
“I am delighted to be joining Manchester United and ending the recent speculation. However my focus for the next five months will be solely at Crystal Palace.”
Television broadcasters have come under fire over their decision to select every Manchester United FA Cup tie for live broadcast over clashes involving ‘smaller clubs.
Every United FA Cup fixture has been televised live in the 2005 third-round replay between United and Exeter City, a decision described as “farcical” by John Harris, chief executive of Macclesfield Town who face Wigan Athletic as United host Fulham this weekend.
“For us, that money, £135,000, would be massive, it would save our season after relegation to the Conference, which was a huge blow.”
In other news, the Daily Mail reports that dating website UndercoverLovers.com currently have ‘a dozen top-flight players’, including players contracted to both Manchester United and Chelsea registered on the database.
The website is regarded as the UK’s premier extra-marital dating agency online.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is ‘convinced’ injured winger Ashley Young will be fit and available for selection for United’s showdown with Real Madrid in the Champion’s League next month.
“He has done a bit of training and he is on the road back,” confirmed the Scot.
Reports linking United with a ‘move’ for young Saint Etienne defender Kurt Zouma have been revealed, including interest, which the player rejected last January from archrivals Manchester City.
The Sun reported today that United are set to make a £10 million opening bi for Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama.
United veteran Paul Scholes has agreed to take part in a 300-mile charity bike ride on May 23 but the midfielder has admitted he would have to pull out of the event if United were to read the final of the Champion’s League held at Wembley on May 25th.
Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to criticism of first-choice goalkeeper David De Gea, most notably, from United legend Gary Neville. Ferguson hit back saying,
"We have to listen to some idiots in the game."
Ferguson confirmed that both Ashley Young and defender Jonny Evans will miss United’s FA Cup clash with Fulham with weekend:
"Jonny Evans and Ashley Young are still not 100 per cent fit.”
United veteran Ryan Giggs has been reminiscing abut the ‘magic’ of Dimitar Berbatov who makes his first return to Old Trafford since leaving in the summer.
Giggs told the club’s official website,
“United fans always appreciate talent and Berba certainly has talent.”
"I think Berbatov is Fulham's best player," said Ferguson.
"I don't think he was a failure here. He did a great job here.
The full squad sheets for Saturday’s game at Old Trafford have been released and the expected starting line-up is:
De Gea - Ferdinand - Vidic - Rafael - Evra - Carrick - Cleverley - Rooney - Valencia - Kagawa -van Persie
Queen’s Park Ranger manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he will not sell reported Arsenal, Real Madrid and United ‘target’ Julio Cesar.
“I don't want to sell Cesar or Green. They're two good quality keepers,” explained the QPR boss.
image: © Magnus D