All the news, views and transfer rumours from Old Trafford this weekend…
As always, the rumour mill has been awash with speculation surrounding Manchester United this weekend. To read our United-specific transfer news you can find Saturday’s report here and Sunday’s report here.
One player long-linked with a move to the Premier League champions is Leighton Baines, and reports today suggest he will have to make a formal transfer request should he wish to reunite with David Moyes.
The left-back is said to be happy at Goodison Park, and new boss Roberto Martinez has no intention of selling him. But that hasn’t stopped speculation that the England international may be swayed by a move to United.
One new arrival tipped to grasp his move with both hands is Wilfried Zaha. And despite stories linking him with a temporary return to former club Crystal Palace, Eagles boss Ian Holloway can’t see that happening.
“Let’s be perfectly honest,” Holloway said, “I think the boy is so exciting he’s going to have a chance at United and I can see him getting in their first team and I genuinely mean that.”
United’s current wide-men will certainly hope not. But something suggests that Zaha will embrace every opportunity next season.
Another player set to embrace any chance to play is Darren Fletcher, who has undergone one final operation in an attempt to overcome the ulcerative colitis that has disrupted much of his recent career.
Moyes attempted to sign Fletcher when he was Everton’s manager, and will hope to call on the midfielder’s tenacity and experience in his first season in charge.
“It’s been a big battle,” Fletcher said back in June, “but if I come through the last operation okay…then that will be the breakthrough I’ve been waiting for and I should be okay to resume playing again.”
United fans the world over will be hoping he hasn’t pulled on the shirt for the last time.
Following the appointment of Ryan Giggs as player-coach, it has been revealed that Paul Scholes turned down the chance of a similar role.
“I wanted to make sure I had connections to what happened here,” Moyes said. “I spoke to Paul Scholes as well. He wants to have some time off with his family.”
Having retired from England duty and United (twice) to do the same, it would still be no surprise to see the former midfielder return to the club in due course.
And finally, Usain Bolt will finally get the chance to play for the club, having spoken of his ambition numerous times in the past.
The sprint star will appear in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial next month against Sevilla.
Expect the Spanish side’s full-backs to have quite a busy evening.
image: © apasciuto