Manchester United pre-game latest: Including derby build up and sponsorship deals

19 Old Trafford

News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has asserted that Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini must give his youth players a chance ahead of the Manchester derby this evening.

"I don’t know why they’ve not created a player in the last five years when Manchester City have won the [FA] Youth Cup and been in the latter stages of that competition,” questioned Neville.

Meanwhile, United striker Wayne Rooney has warned that ‘everything could fall’ if United are defeated by City in tonight’s clash at Old Trafford.

"One bad game and everything could fall and so we go out and play each game with a positive attitude," Rooney told the Daily Mail.

However, his teammate Danny Welbeck insists he ‘can’t wait’ for the derby.

"Of course, knowing victory tonight would put us within a few points of the title is a massive incentive for us,” said the young Englishman.

Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand asserted that the ‘record can wait’ and he is focused on winning the title above all else.

"If you win the league before the end of the season then you can set other targets. For me, personally, we need to get the trophy first, then you can think of all the other stuff that goes on around it,” he explained.

Roberto Mancini declared that all teams ‘play with fear’ against United.

"No one plays well against United because they only play with fear," claimed the Italian coach.

“Every team that plays against United plays very soft because they think the game is difficult, that they can't beat them. It is not true,” he added.

However, Mancini’s hopes of victory have been boosted by the facet that defender Matija Nastasic has been declared fit for tonight’s game.

The expected line-ups are:

De Gea – Ferdinand – Evans – Rafael – Evra – Carrick – Cleverley – Kagawa – Welbeck – Rooney – Van Persie

and…

Hart – Kompany – Nastasic – Zabaleta – Clichy – Y Toure – Barry – Silva – Milner – Aguero – Dzeko

United fans beat City supporters in a Twitter competition to get the iconic Manchester Town Hall building lit up in their team’s colours.

Virgin Media's ‘No Likey, No Lighty’ game asked fans to Tweet with a hashtag for their team, and United fans won by a landslide 84 per cent to City's 16 per cent.

United have confirmed that there will be no minute silence held prior to this evening’s game at Old Trafford following the death of Baroness Thatcher, former Prime Minister, who dies today at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke.

In transfer news, United are linked with AC Milan youngster Yuri Meleleo, according to reports.

Meanwhile United winger Nani insists he is hoping to stay at United, despite heading into the final year of his current contract this summer.

The Portuguese has dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, The Express reports that United are ‘still in the frame’ to sign ‘target’ Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.

In other news, United have agreed a £120 million training ground sponsorship deal with Aon who will rename their Carrington training ground in an 8-year contract extension.

Finally, United fans were ‘outraged’ by a public house landlord who wrote an ‘offensive’ sign in relation to the Munich air disaster in which claimed the lives of 23 people in 1958.

Kevin Banks of the Sweet Green Tavern wrote: Manchester United Never Intended Coming Home.

After receiving complaints from customers, he responded,

“If someone is offended by it that is tough on them. Why should I have an issue with it? People die everywhere. Why is this distasteful? I put it up on the blackboard, there is nothing disrespectful about it. People are edging round death all the time, this is the real world, get on with it.”

“I am a Manchester United supporter and went to 500 consecutive matches. I don’t find it disrespectful — whoever does needs to get a reality check. To me it is something thought-provoking to make people stop and think. Last week, it was about planet earth celebrating its 13.82 billion birthday,” he added.

image: © Paolo Camera

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch