Manchester United transfer news: Gary Neville slams 'bad management' over David De Gea
Manchester United's handling of the David De Gea situation has been slammed by Old Trafford great Gary Neville after the goalkeeper sat out Friday's game against Aston Villa.
De Gea has not featured for United this season as talks continue over a possible move to Real Madrid - with conflicting claims over whether the goalkeeper has refused to play.
Neville criticised United for letting the Spaniard's contract run down - he will be a free agent next summer if he stays at Old Trafford.
"This has been badly managed by Manchester United -- make no mistake about that -- to allow a player of his quality not to extend a couple of years ago," Neville said.
"He had those couple of dodgy seasons at the start when he was a young, inexperienced goalkeeper adapting to a new country, but under David Moyes he showed real promise.
"The question has to be asked: why wasn't it extended in that period? To allow his contract to get to this situation is poor management, and now United are paying for it."
Neville is right, of course. Even taking in the managerial upheaval of the last couple of years, it seems inconceivable that De Gea was overlooked at the same time that long contract extensions were being handed to the likes of Nani. And, in all likelihood, he wasn't. Clubs are acutely aware of their players' contractual situation - but even if United did offer improved terms, they failed to present an acceptable deal and look set to pay the price.
- - -
Reports originating in the Spanish press initially suggested that Manchester City had met the release clause in Pedro's contract, leapfrogging United's long-standing offer and leaving both Barcelona and the player with a new decision to make.
However, the Daily Mirror subsequently reported that there had been no such City bid for the player, although the club is monitoring his situation. With Neymar currently injured, the European champions would certainly prefer to keep the Spain internaional.
The stories are surprising and unexpected, perhaps suggesting they are in fact a ruse from Barca to try and get United to up their offer for the player. The reality, however, is that the ball is now in Pedro's court - he has to decide if he is happy to play less regularly at his boyhood club or make the move for more game-time in a new environment. Everyone is waiting for that decision - but if, as expected, he ultimately decides to leave it would seem United will remain the side in the front of the queue for him.
Pedro with the Super CupImago
- - -
Manchester United are reportedly preparing an improved bid for Thomas Muller, as Pedro pursuit continues to move at slow pace.
Reports in Germany on Thursday indicated that Manchester United are preparing to return to Bayern Munich with an improved offer for Thomas Muller, as they bid to add another forward to their ranks before the summer transfer window closes.
German newspaper Kicker claims United are ready to offer the Germany international a lucrative five-year deal, while also raising the transfer fee they were initially willing to pay Bayern. The news comes on a day where the Premier League side appeared to suffer a blow in their pursuit of Barcelona forward Pedro, with Barca boss Luis Enrique denying the player was on the verge of an exit.
"We've heard his opinions, it's a difficult decision that he has to make but we'll wait and see what he decides," Luis Enrique told reporters ahead of Friday's Supercopa de Espana fixture with Athletic Bilbao. "He wants to leave because he's not getting minutes but we want to give him minutes so it's a difficult situation. I certainly want him to stay. I'm looking forward to the end of the transfer market so I'll know exactly what I do have."
United are clearly desperate to add another attacking player before the transfer window closes, with Pedro their main target. Presumably that is at least in part because they feel he is the most attainable, but Luis Enrique's recent comments highlight the fact that both clubs are waiting on the player's decision. With that being the case, it makes sense that the Premier League side would pursue an alternative - with Muller a costly but perhaps even more exciting option. The last thing Louis van Gaal will want is to come up empty-handed come September and exploring other targets until one is signed makes sense - but Pedro surely remains the more likely deal to be done.
"Our plan is not to sell Julian,” said general manager Horst Heldt. "That said, in this business it’s difficult to make definitive statements. If another club makes an astronomical offer for a player, for the good of the club you must always at least consider it.
We want to keep him, but we can only definitively put the issue to bed on August 31. To say anything else would not be honest. Today I could say ‘he will not leave’, but then a few days later a huge offer for him is put on the table.”
Draxler is only 21, and is a product of Schalke's youth system. He scored his first goal at the age of 17 in becoming the Bundesliga's youngest scorer. He made 100 appearances in Germany's top flight at the age of 20. There is little doubt that he has an astonishing pedigree for someone so young, but such talent does not come cheaply. You suspect Schalke will be looking for over £40m to sell the forward. If they land Pedro, would they would be willing to buy into Draxler future potential in the Premier League? Arsenal were apparently scared off by a £37m asking price just over a year ago.
Real Madrid have lodged a final offer for Manchester United’s David De Gea according to reputable Spanish newspaper ABC.
United are said to be holding out for £25m in one lump sum for the Spain goalkeeper.
Real have reportedly issued United with an ultimatum: accept this final offer or lose De Gea on a free next summer.
United are a financial behemoth, so ultimatums of this nature are unlikely to have the desired effect. In fact, they may have the opposite effect – United could dig in and refuse to do business with Real on principle. Put simply United can afford to let De Gea leave next season on a free. The Red Devils will more than likely make a football decision on this one. De Gea is a keeper of the highest calibre and could be the difference between United being also-rans and title challengers.
Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that this is Madrid’s final offer; if – and more than likely when - United turn this offer down, Madrid will be back with another 'final' offer.
Like Real Madrid?
Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea watches from the stands ahead of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 8, 2015AFP
David de Gea wants to be considered for selection for Manchester United despite continued interest from Real Madrid.
De Gea’s desire to play comes in the wake of news that Madrid have offered United an ultimatum – accept €25m (£17.65m) and €5m (£3.5m) in add-ons or lose him for nothing next season.
De Gea clearly wants to move to Madrid – of that there is little doubt. However, what cannot be questioned is the former Atleti man’s professionalism in the wake of months of constant speculation. He has not gone public with his desire to move and has, according to reports, trained with the same diligence and intensity as normal.
Having said that, it remains a difficult decision for United manager Louis van Gaal. His only point of match-day reference was an uncharacteristically sloppy performance against PSG; said performance may have nothing to do with the uncertainty surrounding De Gea’s future but Van Gaal is quite rightly unwilling to take that risk. Expect him to stay benched until he leaves or the window closes.
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos attends a training session at Tianhe Stadium in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, China July 26, 2015Reuters
Sergio Ramos has reportedly turned down the latest contract offer from Real Madrid as he holds out for a £7m-per-year deal.
The Spaniard has found himself subject to intense speculation regarding a transfer to Manchester United, although no move has materialised.
Instead, Ramos appears set to pen a new contract at the Bernabeu, with the two parties currently at odds over the terms. The latest offer, according to Cadena SER, is £6m-per-year, with the 29-year-old not prepared to lower his demands.
However, if Real refuse to budge it could tempt United into placing another bid to unsettle the Spanish giants.
Despite enjoying an astonishing 22-match winning run under Carlo Ancelotti last season, a defeat to Valencia in January sparked a collapse as Barcelona snared all three trophies to secure the treble.
Real begin their quest to regain the Liga title on August 23 against Sporting.
Even it Ramos doesn't get what he wants, there’s little suggestion he would demand a move to United.
No, sadly the whole transfer saga appears to have been fabricated with one intention: to get Ramos more money.
- - -
Porto's Bruno Martins Indi (3) fights for the ball with Benfica's Nicolas Gaitan (R)Reuters
Manchester United have shifted their attention to Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan, according to a report.
The Argentine, priced around £21.1m, is expected to play his last game in Portugal this weekend ahead of moving to Old Trafford, with the Metro reporting the two clubs have a “verbal agreement”.
Gaitan’s arrival could end United’s interest in Barcelona forward Pedro, who has been linked with a switch to the Premier League in recent weeks, although some reports suggest United will sign both.
United are looking to bolster their attack following the sale of Angel Di Maria to PSG.
He began his career at Boca Juniors before moving to Benfica in 2010.
Do United really need both Pedro and Gaitan?
The sale of Angel Di Maria leaves them with cash to cover both moves, but they’re already strong out wide – Memphis Depay and Ashley Young will expect to start, while Juan Mata may be fishing for a start on the flank – so the question remains: where will they fit in?
Unless injuries strike at Old Trafford, there’s going to be some unhappy players at Old Trafford next season as competition for starting roles become fierce.
- - -
Hugo Lloris ist Frankreichs Nummer 1AFP
Hugo Lloris remains hopeful that David De Gea will join Real Madrid, paving the way for him to join Manchester United, according to a report.
Lloris has been touted as a potential replacement to De Gea at Old Trafford, although that speculation has quietened since he sustained a fractured wrist in July.
However, according to French publication L’Equipe, a deal remains possible with De Gea’s future still unresolved.
The Spaniard, who has a year left on his current deal, continues to be linked with a return home.
United and Real have been awkward negotiators this summer, with the Premier League club complicating matters by bidding for centre-back Sergio Ramos and, apparently, Gareth Bale.
Lloris faces a fitness battle to make Tottenham’s XI for their opening day clash with United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Lloris is a quality goalkeeper… but De Gea is better. If United can’t get Ramos from Real Madrid – and the indication is they won’t – there appears to be little reason to part with De Gea.
Any money they recoup from the Spaniard’s sale would go on the Spurs man, leaving them with a similar financial position and a marginally worse goalkeeper. A successful season (and a turbulent one over at the Bernabeu) might just convince De Gea that United is where his future lies.
WEST HAM WILL MAKE NEW OFFER FOR CHICHARITO
West Ham are ready to come to Manchester United with a £12m bid for Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, per The Standard.
The Hammers already wanted a striker and had bid £8.5m for Chicharito earlier in the summer, but now that Enner Valencia is injured, they're desperate for help up front.
The only striker acquisition they have made so far is a loan deal for Raul Jimenez, but they still have a work permit battle on their hands for the Mexican.
Chicharito would be a terrific addition to West Ham. His movement in the box is excellent and he does a decent job of helping keep the ball.
The Hammers could use him alone up top or, after Valencia regains fitness, with Valencia. £12m is a bit of a steep price for a player with one year left on his contract, especially since Man United have no use for him, but the Hammers are desperate now and the Red Devils know it.
West Ham's leverage is gone and they need to get the man they clearly desire.
- - -
AUGUST 4 2015
Manchester United will finalise their £20m deal for Pedro in the next 48 hours and then could sign Pepe, according to a report.
Barcelona are hoping to recoup £24m for Pedro, but United believe £20m is enough to get the deal wrapped up.
Pedro has long looked bound for United so them verging on finalising the transfer isn't a surprise. Pepe going to Old Trafford certainly would be. Even if Ramos and Varane are first choice, Real Madrid would certainly need more than two centre backs this season. Plus, if they were going to offload him, several clubs would be interested and Real would undoubtedly prefer he go somewhere other than United.
- - -
'United made two £100m bids for Bale'
Gareth Bale has been linked with a move to Manchester UnitedPA Sport
How badly did Manchester United want Gareth Bale? The Sun claim that the Red Devils twice bid £100 million for the Welshman this summer, and Real Madrid turned them down both times.
The idea that Real Madrid would say no to £100m for Bale is crazy. Then again, so is bidding £100m for Bale. Normally, that would be enough to dismiss this as a silly rumour, but Perez is seemingly capable of holding spectacular grudges, while United have way too much money. So if any two clubs were going to make this kind of rumour come true, it'd be these two.
- - -
Benfica are trying to keep Nicolos Gaitan in Portugal amid claims Manchester United are keen on the attacking midfielder.
Forward Jonas is desperate for Galtan to remain at the club. United are apparently studying a potential move for Gaitan - who is valued at around £22m to replace Angel Di Maria - who is set to quit the club in a £44 million move to Paris Saint-Germain.
"He is a very great player and everyone knows the quality that Nico has," said Jonas in the Portuguese newspaper Record.
"He has been at Benfica for many years, knows every corner of the club and is happy.
"We know there are clubs that are interested in signing him but, for me in particular, I would love it if he stays because he provides a lot of assists.
"Not just for me, but also for Lima He is a player who gives a lot to the team with his determination and quality."
Gaitan would certainly bring a lot to the United side if they are serious about landing the Benfica playmaker. In a 3-5-2 formation, Gaitan would be operate as a natural wing-back. He has pace, skill and awareness. Would United find a role for him in the middle of the park behind Rooney? It could all depend on whether or not the apparent push to land Pedro from Barcelona comes off. Gaitan may well be the fallback plan if the Pedro pursuit collapses.
Manchester United are happy to allow Brazil international Rafael leave Old Trafford, with Lyon emerging as favourites for his signature.
The full-back has fallen down the pecking order under Louis Van Gaal after being an ever-present under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes. With Lyon appearing in this season's Champions League it represents an attractive offer for Rafael, who finds himself behind new signing Matteo Darmian.
It's pretty clear that Rafael is not hugely rated by Van Gaal, and a cut price move to Lyon looks the best option for all parties. The Brazilian remains a talented if frustrating player and may find his ability more suited to Ligue 1.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea on the club's pre-season tourAFP
Real have tracked De Gea all summer long and this apparent change in stance from van Gaal should prompt them to renew their attempts to bring him to La Liga.
This saga has been running all summer and still it refuses to go away. Whether Van Gaal's mind has been made up by one pre-season showing isn't clear, but if De Gea's head has been turned by Real Madrid's interest then it would make sense for the club to cash in.