News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
It will be a ‘tough start’ for new boss David Moyes – United will play Capital One Cup winners Swansea away, Chelsea at Old Trafford, Liverpool at Anfield, Crystal Palace away and Manchester City at the Etihad in their opening 5 games.
The full 2013/14 fixture list can be found here via The Telegraph.
In transfer news, United have ‘emerged as favourites’ to sign Thiago Alcantara of Barcelona this summer.
However, United could face a ‘tussle’ to bring Alcantara to Old Trafford claims his Barcelona teammate and former United defender Gerard Pique, who has urged the youngster to stay at the Camp Nou with the Spanish champions.
"There is a possibility that he could leave but we have to convince him that the best place for him is Barcelona," said Pique.
"Players in his position like Xavi were patient and they ended up defining an era."
There are also reports claiming Wilfried Zaha could leave United on loan next term after Crystal Palace’s chief executive Phil Alexander stated his hopes to keep him at Selhurst Park.
“Would we love to see Wilfried back? Of course we would but he's got a career at Manchester United and, after a few training sessions up there, I'm not sure they'll be willing to let him out on loan," he conceded.
In other news, United goalkeeper David De Gea won the UEFA U21 Championships with Spain on Tuesday evening with their 4-2 victory over Italy in the final of the competition.
De Gea is now ‘dreaming of world domination’ after his triumphant season for both club and country.
“I’ve grown a lot. I’m more experienced, I’ve played a lot of games for United and I’m sure of myself and confident,” he explained.
“Now my objective is to be right up there with the best players in the world. That’s what makes me excited, and I’m doing everything I can to achieve that.”
Meanwhile midfielder Shinji Kagawa has urged fans not to compare his form for Japan with his form for United.
"Playing for club and country are two very different things and you shouldn't always compare them," Kagawa told reporters, following Japan’s 3-0 defeat to Brazil in their Confederations Cup opener last weekend.
Elsewhere, former United player Quinton Fortune claims United are ‘different now’ compared to the last time Jose Mourinho was in charge at Chelsea.
“Mourinho has been boasting about his record against United," Fortune told MUTV.
"He always brings it up. But this is a different manager, with a different style of play. If David Moyes brings the same desire and fighting spirit that he had at Everton I am sure Mourinho will find it tough.”
"He is playing a completely different United and I am sure he is worried about that. He knew Sir Alex Ferguson for many years. He knows what type of team to play against him. It is a different ball game now," he added.
Meanwhile, United legend Gary Neville is looking forward to United’s upcoming pre-season games in Scandinavia.
“Sweden is somewhere I’ve always enjoyed visiting,” explained Neville.
“It’s a different culture of fans compared to when you visit Asia, for example. It’s more measured in Scandinavia than it is in Asia, but they’re as passionate about the club in their own way. “
“I always think Scandinavia is a really good place to go and play football. There are lovely places to visit with good, respectful people. That’s always the nice thing about going over there,” he added.
Tickets for United’s friendly with AIK in Stockholm in August have gone on sale and are available through the club’s website Manutd.com
image: © Paolo Camera