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Manchester United sign incredible contract extension with Epson

Dignity – Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

In astonishing news, Manchester United have extended their contract with Espon office supplies to make sure that the club have enough printers, paper, and I don’t know what else, who cares.

Ed Woodward and Louis van Gaal moved quickly when they heard that clubs from around the company, and at least one club in the English Premier League were circling the suppliers of wires and electronic bits and bobs. Ironically, it is thought that a last minute hitch with a fax machine supplied by a rival was the reason for Paris Saint-Germain failing to complete a desperate swoop for their highest summer target.

None of that stress was betrayed this morning, though, when a United Twitter account was able to announce that the deal had been extended. It is believed that Epson were relieved to agree to the deal, despite other interest, as Manchester United were the strongest Champions League brand in their target geographical areas. The deal had been held up until their position in at least fourth was confirmed.

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool’s manager, said at this morning’s press conference, ‘We were never really interested in the company. The stats for the printer efficiency are less than outstanding.”


Sky sources: Manchester United not interested in Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling: Set to leave Liverpool
Raheem Sterling: Set to leave Liverpool

Sky sources understand that Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling is not on Manchester United’s radar and they have no plans to sign him.

Reports on Thursday claimed United had made an enquiry with their Premier League rivals over the prospect of signing the 20-year-old, but Sky believes that not to be the case.

Sterling has been linked with a move away from Anfield after reports claimed he was unwilling to sign a new contract.

The England international, who has been linked with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, is under contract until the summer of 2017.

Sky sources also understand that Gareth Bale’s availability this summer will dictate whether United attempt to buy the Real Madrid winger.

Bale is not on manager Louis Van Gaal’s current list of targets but it is understood if United were given the impression that the Spanish club were prepared to do business they would find the necessary funds to bring the Welshman to Old Trafford.

Manchester United move swiftly for Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling

“Yep, I’m off.” – Alex Livesey/Getty Images
According to the BusbybabeManchester United have been linked with summer transfers for the unsettled Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling, and also are lining up Valencia’s central defender Nicolas Otamendi, with a move agreed with the player.

In The Mirror, there are couple of stories. One is that Pep Guardiola is dragging his heels on deciding his future. City have obviously tried to get him a year earlier than his contract ends, but with Manuel Pellegrini probably staying, that appears to have failed for now. Guardiola is apparently weighing up the chances of replacing Louis van Gaal in the future before deciding on City.

John Cross says that Gareth Bale will be staying at Real Madrid. You can read and dismiss that one here.

At ESPNFC, John Brewin has looked at possible replacements for David de Gea. He includes Bernd Leno, Hugo Lloris, Victor Valdes, Petr Cech, Samir Handandovic, Jan Oblak and Jasper Cillessen.

There’s bad transfer news, too. Mats Hummels has reportedly decided he will remain at Dortmund, raising questions as to which are the two players that United have already lined up to sign when Van Gaal wants them. You can read that on Goal. Conversely, United have apparently struck an agreement with Valencia player Nicolas Otamendi, with a fee yet to be negotiated. Read more of that in The Daily Mail.


Ryan Giggs admits his first season as Louis van Gaal’s assistant manager has been fuelled and inspired by an immovable desire to become the best at his chosen profession.

The Welshman set almost impossibly high standards of performance throughout his 964 games and 24 seasons as a player at Old Trafford. Having retired in May last year, he has since taken strides towards a career in management within the new coaching regime at the Aon Training Complex.

During Tuesday night’s Player of the Year awards ceremony, van Gaal explained how much he has enjoyed working with Giggs and those kind words were well received by Ryan, who is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

“I’ve given it my all, like I did as a player,” Giggs told MUTV in an exclusive Q&A. “It’s completely different. You have to think like a coach rather than a player. All I can do is what I did as a player. I wanted to be the best player on a Saturday and now I want to put on the best sessions I can for the lads.

“I want them to enjoy it but I want them to get something out of it as well,” he continued. “This is the perfect transition for me – where that takes me, who knows? But whatever I do – whether it be coach, assistant manager or manager – I want to be the best, just like I was as a player.”

A year on from his retirement, the former winger is pleased with the route his education is taking him.

“I’ve enjoyed the transition,” said Giggs. “The lads have been great with me and Louis and the rest of the staff who have come in have been great as well. I’m learning every day and the experience of being out on the training pitch, putting sessions on rather than being part of them, has been invaluable.”



Dwight Yorke has described Louis van Gaal as “box office” after the Manchester United manager stole the show during Tuesday’s Player of the Year awards at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal gave a passionate and emotional speech at the close of the evening that explained why the Reds are close to challenging Chelsea for the Barclays Premier League title, before hailing the club’s fans as the “best in the world”. It has since become a viral hit on the internet and social media.

The manager also took part in a charity auction that raised funds for the MU Foundation by placing a £10,000 bid to play golf with Yorke, fending off competition from Ryan Giggs in the process. During an exclusive interview to promote this summer’s Legends Are Back match at Old Trafford, Dwight gave his reaction to both events and explained why he’s excited to tee off against van Gaal.

“I thought he was box office,” Yorke told on Wednesday. “I have a good relationship with the manager. Every time he sees me, he has always made me smile and he has always congratulated me on the way I carry myself and that kind of stuff.

“I have a lot of admiration for the gaffer and he certainly didn’t disappoint last night. He really was box office – what we have come to expect from the manager, and I thought it was outstanding.”

Quizzed on van Gaal’s auction victory, Dwight continued: “I didn’t expect the manager to really want to play golf with me, I have got to say. I expected some other pundit who was in there supporting the Foundation and I was surprised that it went for that much money.

“I thought Giggsy had made a good effort in terms of trying to get me to play in his four-ball, but the manager seemed determined to get me to play with him.

“Maybe he wanted to see how good I can play golf, or he just thought I was kind of kidding. Hopefully I won’t disappoint him on the day, I am looking forward to it and I’m sure it will be a great round of golf.”

Manchester United line up Lazio’s £33.6 million Felipe Anderson

“No, the Roman salute is just one hand.” – Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Lazio’s Felipe Anderson is the latest midfielder to be linked with Manchester United, with a fee of £33.6 million rumoured to be the cost. Elsewhere, there’s discussion on who will replace David de Gea out of Asmir Begovic, Hugo Lloris and Petr Cech.

He’s your first streak of Chris: Smalling things that Radamel Falcao is improving his fitness and becoming sharper as a result. That’s in ESPNFC, where he discusses what he might be able to achieve next year.

Over to The Mirror, now. Manchester United have apparently readied a £33.6 million bid for Felipe Anderson. That from reports in Italy, but I don’t read Italian and this is an English language website. Anyway, you can file this story as ‘probably rubbish’. If you take a look at that link you can also see Smalling at it again, saying fourth place being barely adequate, which is a good sign.

David de Gea news? There isn’t any. Victor Valdes news? There is some. Also in The Mirror, Valdes has told someone who asked him that he was pleased to make his debut for Manchester United. Petr Cech is probably the best alternative to De Gea around who is available, but even in those 20 minutes Valdes impressed with the ball at his feet.

In The Telegraph, there’s a handy gallery guide to potential replacements. However, it’s set up as a gallery, one of the most truly annoying innovations of a website. Barely any text that takes more clicks and time to negotiate than is really fair. As long as I’ve a choice, I’m going to be a man of principle and never do a photo gallery for the site. Unless the hits drop and I get desperate. That could happen. Probably by June.

Ian Ladyman knows what’s going on at United, and he’s also looking at the possible replacements. There’s no tedious gallery, but it is the Daily Mail, so you can’t have everything.


Victor Valdes reflects on Manchester United debut

Victor Valdes described his Manchester United debut as “incredible” after making his first appearance for the club during Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal.

The decorated goalkeeper came off the bench to replace the injured David De Gea with just over 15 minutes remaining, and was given a vociferous welcome by those inside Old Trafford.

Though there was nothing Valdes could do about the wicked deflection which saw the Gunners claim a point late on, the Spaniard was left frustrated by the result, but thanked both his team-mates and the Reds faithful for their support.

“It felt very good,” he told “David asked to come off very quickly and the next thing I knew I was on the pitch. It was a great feeling to be on the pitch at Old Trafford, the fans welcomed me very well and for that reason I am happy.

“I wasn’t happy with the result because it wasn’t a good one for us. It was a lucky goal for them, but I’m happy I made my debut. It was all very quick: David came off and I didn’t know what was happening, but then someone said ‘Victor, get in there'”.

“It’s been a good few months; my team-mates have treated me well here. The coach has also treated me well. The truth is that it has all been good. We have an incredible group of fans – to come on and be welcomed like that is incredible for a footballer.”

Herrera: United will compete for all trophies

Ander Herrera is confident Manchester United will compete for trophies next season after attaining this season’s target of a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Herrera scored his eighth goal of 2014/15 during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford and told MUTV the Reds will target all competitions next term.

“We are happy because we are in the top four and that was the first aim of this season. But we are Manchester United and next season we have to fight for all trophies,” he explained. “We are representing the biggest club in England and we fight for everything.”

The midfielder also said the Theatre of Dreams is the best place for him to develop as a player. “I’m a young player, so I want to keep improving, to keep playing for Manchester United. I feel lucky. I am at the right club, in the right city, in the right country. We have the best stadium and the best supporters in the Premier League – we have to play for them.”

Herrera also thanked the fans for their support against Arsenal and, despite United conceding a late equaliser, the midfielder took encouragement from another solid performance against a fellow Premier League heavyweight.

“I think the result was a pity – we were controlling the game completely in the first half. I think it’s a good signal for us when we play against the best teams – we have shown we can win against anyone.

“Today the supporters were unbelievable again.  We have to say thank you every day because they support us whether we play well or badly.”


Report: United 1 Arsenal 1


Herrera (30)


Blackett own goal (82)

A cruel deflection handed Arsenal a late goal and an equaliser at Old Trafford on Sunday, as Manchester United ended the home campaign with a 1-1 draw.

The Reds dominated the first half and went into the break 1-0 up courtesy of a stunning Ander Herrera strike. Louis van Gaal’s side were no less impressive for long periods after the interval, too, and will feel aggrieved that Theo Walcott’s cross on 82 minutes ended up in the back of the net via a deflection off Tyler Blackett.

Still, the way United controlled large parts of the game will have pleased the manager and is further proof that this squad has what it takes to compete with the best sides around. An injury to David De Gea, which forced the goalkeeper off just before Arsenal scored, was less pleasing.

The boss had to make two changes from the side that beat Crystal Palace last weekend, with Radamel Falcao and Marcos Rojo coming in for the injured Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw. In Rooney’s absence, Chris Smalling wore the armband for the first time and the central defender looked composed from the first whistle.

It was one-way traffic from United in the opening 15 minutes. Ashley Young, Falcao, Smalling and Juan Mata all blazed efforts goalwards, with Mata’s free-kick forcing Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina into a smart save. Arsenal then began to exert some pressure of their own, although any momentum they may have gained was eradicated in spectacular fashion on 30 minutes when Herrera volleyed home first time after superb work from Young down the left.

Daley Blind would have doubled United’s advantage on the stroke of half-time had his shot from a cleverly-worked free-kick not struck Smalling

on its way into the bottom corner. Van Gaal’s men were perhaps unlucky to go into the break just one goal to the good. Indeed, Arsenal failed to trouble David De Gea in the first 45 minutes – the first time they’ve failed to land a shot on target in the first half of a Premier League fixture since 2004.

There was no let-up in tempo at the start of the second half, either, with United flying out of the traps in search of a second goal. A quickly-taken free-kick almost yielded reward, while Ospina had to ensure he was fully behind Marcos Rojo’s long-distance drive.

Van Persie replaced Falcao just after the hour mark before De Gea was finally called into action, spreading every inch of his frame to save Olivier Giroud’s close-range effort. Marcos Rojo then made a goal-saving clearance after Aaron Ramsey dinked the ball over De Gea. But both Rojo and De Gea soon left the pitch injured – the United goalkeeper was hurt after coming to punch clear an Arsenal cross. That paved the way for the introduction of Tyler Blackett and Victor Valdes – the latter making his Reds debut – but the pair were unfortunate to both be involved for the visitors’ 82nd-minute equaliser.

Blackett attempted to block Walcott’s low cross and the ball skipped up off the defender’s boot and past Valdes into the far corner, who was moving off his line to cover the cross. It was tough on the Reds after dominating for so long, but the performance provided plenty of positives, even if the final scoreline is one that will be viewed with regret.



Match preview: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Scene-setter: United need one more point to secure qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League, although that could be secured in advance of the match at Old Trafford if Liverpool fail to beat Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday.

Form guide: The Reds returned to winning ways against Palace at Selhurst Park last weekend after a run of three consecutive defeats, thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini. Louis van Gaal’s men now have an opportunity to complete a Barclays Premier League double over Arsenal, following this season’s previous win at the Emirates Stadium in November. The Gunners suffered a shock defeat to Swansea City on Monday night but head north to Manchester with confidence, having beaten United in this season’s FA Cup sixth-round encounter at the Theatre of Dreams.

Team news: Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney suffered injuries in the first half of United’s 2-1 win at Palace, but van Gaal has confirmed both should be fit to face Arsenal. Marcos Rojo is edging closer to a comeback, though it remains to be seen whether Angel Di Maria or Robin van Persie will return. Michael Carrick and Rafael are both out for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck is nursing a knee injury for Arsenal and Mathieu Debuchy will miss out with a hamstring issue.

Quote/unquote: “We’re looking forward to it. It’s a game that everyone wants to play in, it’s a big game and we want to win it. We want to finish the season on a high and as strongly as possible; hopefully we can finish with three wins.” – Phil Jones

Opposition view: “I think most important are the duels in midfield, around Marouane Fellaini. Francis Coquelin did really well last time. I think that is a major part of their game so we need to try to control this. It’s not going to be easy. They obviously want to keep the ball as much as possible. Can we restrict it? Can we get the ball in their half and break? That is what we did last time and we did really well.” – Per Mertesacker

Sub-plot: This is the last home match of the 2014/15 season and the players are determined to finish with a win, particularly to reward the fans who have cheered them on all season. United have earned 15 wins and four draws from 22 final home fixtures in the Premier League era, which equates to a 68 per cent win ratio. The last time the Reds didn’t triumph in the final home game was in 2009, when Sunday’s opponents Arsenal recorded a goalless draw with Sir Alex Ferguson’s champions.

Rivals watch: Liverpool must beat Palace on Saturday to retain any hopes to finishing in the top four. On Sunday, Manchester City travel to Swansea and champions Chelsea also head north to West Bromwich Albion and The Hawthorns.

Match officials: Mike Dean will be the man in the middle at Old Trafford, with Lee Betts and Simon Long on the flanks as his assistant referees. Michael Oliver is the fourth official.



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