An active day in the media for Manchester United fans yesterday, as a legend leaves the stage – according to various media outlets, Rio Ferdinand has agreed a four year deal Queens Park Rangers, who will play under Harry Redknapp once again – the man who handed Rio his professional debut at West Ham in 1996.
After speaking to Dutch legend Ruud Gullit, Rio said: “He told me the couple of years he had at Chelsea were some of the most enjoyable of his career because there wasn’t at that time the pressure of trying to win trophies.”
Rio’s transfer isn’t his only activity in the media recently – writing in the Mail on Sunday, he bemoaned United’s missed opportunity of signing Dutch star Arjen Robben a decade ago. Rio wrote: “Arjen Robben has been the outstanding player of the tournament for me so far, and not for the first time I’ve being thinking ‘if only’ about the missed opportunity Manchester United had to sign him when he was young. “He should have been a United player. He would have fitted in. He had a brilliant breakthrough season with PSV in 2002-03, a campaign in which he turned 19, and Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign him. United made a bid of something around £5m and Sir Alex was always determined he wouldn’t over-pay for any player. When that was rejected, Chelsea paid something like £12m.” Arjen Robben, who like Rio said; has played a huge part in Holland’s domination of group D, told the Dutch media that “Maybe Louis does have a golden willy.”
According to the Manchester Evening News, three United midfielders are yet to find out if they are to feature in Louis van Gaal’s plans next season.
Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley failed to impress in the 2013/14 season, with Cleverley repeatedly being a scapegoat for United’s poor form. According to TuttoSport, an addition or replacement to the Manchester United midfield next season could be Nigel De Jong, as Louis van Gaal has reportedly told Ed Woodward to pursue a £6 million deal for the former City and current Milan midfielder. In the same article, reports say that Nicky Butt is set to stay on the coaching staff at Old Trafford, along with Ryan Giggs as the Dutchman’s no. 2.
A boost for Louis van Gaal and his back room staff, as Argentinian target Angel Di Maria admits he is unsure where his future lies, and doesn’t know if he will be wearing a Madrid shirt next season. The winger, who is currently enjoying Brazil with his Argentinian teammates, said: Di Maria said: “I’ve asked my agent not to tell me anything about the talks he’s having. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my career. I don’t want to know anything about my future right now. I’m focusing on my national team and not on what’s going on elsewhere. My teammates and I don’t read or listen to all the things being said in the media. We’re just thinking about ourselves and the unity of the group.” Di Maria isn’t the only transfer boost that’s been swirling around the media, as according to the Daily Star – Barcelona have withdrawn all interests in the signing of Porto star Eliaquim Mangala, therefore boosting United’s chances of securing the midfielder’s signature.
Chelsea and Manchester City are among other clubs reportedly chasing the Frenchman, but United currently sit in poll position. According to the Mirror, Manchester United have stepped their offer from £27 million to £34 million to Brazil located Luke Shaw in an attempt to bring the left-back to Manchester this summer. Evra for another year, Buttner to Dinamo Moscow; and Shaw to Old Trafford – these are the exact reasons Louis van Gaal insists Ed Woodward secures the starlets signature as soon as he lands back on British soil.
United are on the prowl for more defenders this summer, but some bad news from the Gunners saw them reject the Red Devil’s bid for Belgium brick Thomas Vermaelen. Wenger insists that in the unlikelihood of selling the centre-back, he will demand much higher than what Louis van Gaal is reportedly offering. Arsene is confident he can renew Vermaelen’s contract in London, luring him away from a move to Manchester.
Vermaelen’s Belgium teammate Marouane Fellaini insists that he is ready to look Louis van Gaal in the eye and tell him he wants to fight for a future at Manchester United. Marouane has been linked with a move away from Manchester in the summer, for a reported £15 million, but is confident he can gain confidence of the Dutchman in charge. Fellaini told the media: “I am not playing at this World Cup for a transfer. I feel good at Manchester United. I have to admit that this season was one which I want to forget as quickly as possible. But I am still the same Marouane.” Fellaini then went on to say, “There are positive and negative sides to the story of last season. One big reason was that I got injured and the team never got going into a good playing style. Because I know the reasons behind it all, I am not focusing on a transfer or a way to get out of Manchester United. I have a lot of respect for Louis van Gaal.” According to the Mirror, Louis van Gaal intends to employ Wayne Rooney in a deep-lying midfield role next season, as the Dutchman is ready to experiment with the squad in United’s pre-season tour of the States this summer.
Louis van Gaal is desperate to accommodate Juan Mata, van Persie and Wayne Rooney in his starting lineup next season; and is willing to experiment all summer to do so. To finish off today’s roundup of yesterday’s media, ex-Liverpool man Dirk Kuyt insists, whilst retaining his allegiance with Liverpool; that Manchester United will return to greatness next season, with the tactical mastermind of Louis van Gaal, and the leading force of Robin van Persie. When speaking to Turkish media, Kuyt said; Kuyt, now with Fenerbahce in Turkey, said: “I think Robin van Persie is an amazing player. He has shown that at United. Unfortunately, he was injured too many times this season. But I’m sure, with Van Gaal and Robin together, great things are going to happen with Man United … unfortunately!
Van Gaal is an open style of manager. He has a clear idea of what footballers need in training and also outside of training. And if you want something to change, his door is open – but you also have to have a very good argument! He treats players as adults. He is a very experienced coach and we are very lucky to have him. I think we have a great chance of doing well at the World Cup, but we have to take it step by step. Every player has a very good relationship with the manager – but everyone can see Robin has a great connection with the coach.”