Manchester United weekend round-up: Januzaj ‘ahead of schedule’; Moyes criticises Young

All the news, views and transfer rumours from Old Trafford this weekend…

While the transfer window is now officially closed, that has not stopped a number of stories coming out this weekend about Manchester United. To read our United-specific morning news, you can find our Saturday report here and our Sunday report here.

It was the hope at the back of every United supporter’s mind – that one day Cristiano Ronaldo would return to Old Trafford. But that dream now appears to be over, with the Real Madrid forward agreeing a new deal that will see him remain at the Bernabeu for at least the next five years.

With less than two years remaining on his previous contract, speculation had been rife that he would return to United either this summer or next, especially following the arrival of Gareth Bale. But the Portuguese has put an end to the speculation by revealing that United is a part of his life now ended.

I will be honest with you,” he said. “Everyone knows I was in Manchester for six years. Manchester is in the past.

And in a tantalising suggestion that United did attempt to bring the player back to England, he added, “I respect all the clubs who ask about me. But they always know that my decision, that my only goal is to be here and to play at this club until, maybe, the end of my career. The future nobody knows.”

That final sentence has become something of a catchphrase for Ronaldo, but it appears the short-term future is known, and it will be spent exactly where he has been for the last four years.

If Ronaldo is the past, United fans may have got a glimpse of the future yesterday, as Adnan Januzaj made his first league appearance in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

The Belgian teenager looked confident and composed during his 28-minute cameo and after the game David Moyes revealed he almost played him from the start.

Adnan’s ahead of schedule,” the manager said. “I would have introduced him earlier if the games had been suited but the start of the Premier League has been a bit more difficult.

“The boy’s going to be a good player.”

That may be an understatement, as he already appears a very good player, with the potential to one day become a great one. But fans will know they will have to be patient with someone who is after all just 18-years-old.

United won yesterday courtesy of goals from Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, but it was Ashley Young’s first-half dive and subsequent booking that generated many of the headlines after the match, along with the contentious awarding of a penalty for a foul that took place outside the box.

But Moyes has since gone on record to state that he will be speaking to Young about the dive.

I’ve always said I don’t like diving,” he said. “He deserved to get booked. I don’t want any of my players diving; I don’t want anybody doing it.”

And finally, as United prepare for their Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday evening, we have published the latest report on their group stage rivals.  You can read about the latest results and form for Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Socieded here, and we will be publishing new reports every weekend.

image: © eirikref

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