Manchester United latest: Including Shakhtar and January ‘spending spree’

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

Manchester United take on Shakhtar Donetsk away in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The Ukrainian side’s coach Mircea Lucescu believes Moyes’ ‘tinkering’ cost him so far this season but expects that the Scot will come good if he’s given time.

“We have analysed the games of United and noted there are always some changes, you see four or five new players every match,” Lunescu explained.

“Because of rotation the links between players are not very good. Turnover creates a lot of problems for them. In the Ukrainian championship we are not rotating the squad as much so maybe that is why we have been more secure,” he added.

“We know the work of Moyes at Everton. He needs time to get his ideas over. Carlo Ancelotti has some problems taking over Mourinho at Chelsea and Manuel Pellegrini is the same at Manchester City. You need some time to prepare the team. Let’s hope they find it but only after tomorrow’s game!”

In team news, the M.E.N expects Rio Ferdinand to be ‘axed’ for the fixture in midweek after some underwhelming displays in Moyes’ backline of late.

The BBC’s chief football writer Phil McNulty asserts there is ‘no crisis’ at United but outlined his belief that David Moyes must be ‘more decisive’.

McNulty also points to the Red Devils’ struggles to score goals from open play so far this season – United have failed to score from open play in 450 minutes of league football since Danny Welbeck’s 90th minute goal against Swansea on the opening day of the season.

In transfer news, various sources today are reporting that David Moyes will be given funds to boost his squad considerably in January by the club’s owners the Glazer family.

The Mirror reports that Moyes will have a ‘£50 million war chest’ to spend in the New Year.

However, The Express claims the Glazers are willing to spend £80 million to bring in the players David Moyes wants in January to boost his title challenge.

The same source also asserts that summer targets Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera are on Moyes’ shortlist for his January sales ‘shopping spree.’

In other news, midfielder Shinji Kagawa aims to ‘improve’ after a fairly pedestrian display in the first half of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to West Brom at Old Trafford. The Japanese international was taken off at half time and replaced by 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj after spending the early stages of this season on the bench.

"I have to take this like some kind of message [from the manager]. I need to improve more and more, or I cannot survive at this club," said Kagawa.

"I have to take this in a positive way and keep trying to do my best.”

"I thought that I would have been able to find some space to create the chances in the second half [against West Brom] - in that sense I was disappointed,” he added.

Meanwhile, veteran Ryan Giggs could break a Champions League record on Wednesday evening if he features in United’s clash with Shakhtar Donetsk. The Welshman, should he appear for the Red Devils in midweek, will have made more Champions League appearances than any other player, taking his total to 145, just one goal more than Raul.

Elsewhere, United legend Phil Neville revealed the senior players ‘kicked’ Cristiano Ronaldo in training to stop him from diving during his time at Old Trafford.

“The boys [at Man Utd] were hard on him for his diving and it was putting us under pressure,” he explained.

"I'd say the first 12 months there was a massive toughening up process. In training at the time you had Keane, Butt, Scholes, and every time he got the ball they kicked him and they kicked him – not just once, they kicked him every day, every week, all season."

image: © Gordon Flood

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