News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
United have announced their starting line-up for the game away to Real Sociedad:
Starting Team: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fellaini, Giggs, Kagawa, Rooney, Hernandez
Subs: Lindegaard, Jones, Buttner, Anderson, Nani, Young, Van Persie
The English champions can knock the Spaniards out of the competition but the Red Devils cannot qualify for the knockout stages just yet.
David Moyes has called for ‘greater protection’ from referees for Adnan Januzaj following Fulham’s Sacha Riether’s charge with violent conduct retroactively by the FA for his stamp on the Red Devils’ youngster.
“I do think Adnan is going to need a little bit of protection or we are going to find he is getting kicked up and down,” he said.
“I do think he deserves a little bit more than he is getting at this time.”
Sacha Riether has apologized to Adnan Januzaj for his conduct via Twitter.
"I want to say I am sorry to Adnan Januzai," he said.
"It was very unlike me and I can only say that frustration got the better of me. I also want to apologise to my teammates, fans and everyone at the Club, for the ban incurred following Saturday's match.
"I will accept the consequences of my actions, and hope to put it behind me when I return,” he added.
However, Sacha Riether could ‘get off’ the FA’s charge of violent conduct by way of the same loophole that allowed Chelsea’s Fernando Torres to escape punishment by the authority for ‘clawing’ Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen in the face.
Riether face a three-match ban for his stamp on Januzaj on Saturday after referee Lee Probert failed to spot the incident leading the FA to review the footage from the game but Fulham could appeal the charge on the basis that the match officials did in fact see the incident and chose not to punish the Fulham player during the game.
In transfer news, David Moyes insists Javier Hernandez is ‘needed’ at United, following speculation over the Mexican striker’s future at Old Trafford this week and in recent months.
"We need Javier Hernandez; he's very good for us," Moyes said.
"He's scored a lot of goals over the last few years and continues to do so, so we'll continue to use him."
This comes as his Mexico teammate Carlos Vela spoke out calling for him to gain more regular playing time – something which Chicharito retweeted on Twitter yesterday.
In other news, Manchester United’s first FA Cup final programme has sold for £16,000 at auction at Sotheby’s in London.
Finally, former United captain Roy Keane is in talks to sign a management deal with the Republic of Ireland along with Martin O’Neill.
image: © Doha Stadium Plus