News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United have agreed yet another sponsorship deal – an Official Gaming Partnership deal with Japanese company gloops.
Meanwhile, the club have also announced season ticket prices will be frozen next term – gesture of recognition of the fantastic support of Red Devils fans.
As plans go ahead to celebrate United’s 20th league title win with a parade of the trophy through Manchester, it has been revealed that fives times as many Manchester City fans were in attendance at City’s parade last season than United’s previous parades as champions.
More than 60,000 City fans showed up in the city last year, whilst United’s numerous parades have tended to attract a maximum of 12,000 fans.
The official victory song for United’s parade and celebrations has been named as ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ by The Courteeners.
Former United defender Paul McGrath has stated his belief that Rio Ferdinand fully deserves the new one-year contract the club is expected to offer him this summer.
"I would go along with giving him a new contract. Watching some of his performances, he's as cool as he's ever been," he told the BBC.
United take on Arsenal at the Emirates this weekend – their first fixture since being crowned title champions. It will also be Robin van Persie’s first return o the club where he spent 8 years of his career.
Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger has promised a respectful greeting for the Dutchman.
"We will respect the players that have played for us a long time as we always have done and treat them well before and after the game,” outlined the Frenchman.
"As a champion or not as a champion it is exactly the same.”
Elsewhere, Gary Pallister has asserted his belief that Van Perise’s impact mirrors that of United legend Eric Cantona’s.
“It is hard to get over those kinds of disappointments and I think we needed Eric Cantona’s arrival and his different input then just as the team needed Robin van Persie this season. The arrival of such great players gives everyone a lift,” explained the former Red Devils’ legend.
In early team news, United’s ‘old guard’ are expected to return against Arsenal this weekend – Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are expected to return to central defence.
In transfer news, United ‘target’ Robert Lewandowski’s agent has revealed he ‘will move this summer’.
“We have reached an agreement with a club and intend (him) to move this summer," Maik Barthel told Sport Bild.
The Borussia Dortmund striker scored all four goals for his club in their emphatic 4-1 victory over Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg last night.
In other news, imminent arrival Wilfried Zaha has admitted he simply ‘couldn’t resist’ a move to United, despite being ‘an Arsenal fan’.
"I have always supported Arsenal. I did not expect United to come in but they did. Arsenal are a good team but United are one of the best in the world,” revealed United’s January signing.
Finally, United’s ‘Legends’ squad is almost complete. The provisional squad of former United players so far provisionally consists of:
Edwin van der Sar, Raimond van der Gouw; Clayton Blackmore, Denis Irwin, Jaap Stam, Lee Martin, Ronny Johnsen, Henning Berg; Jesper Blomqvist, Lee Sharpe, Quinton Fortune; Andy Cole, Dion Dublin, Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke.
image: © Paolo Camera