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 Louis van Gaal praised the Manchester United fans throughout his first year in charge at the club and the manager admits he was astonished by his first taste of their adulation – during last year’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Hundreds of thousands of supporters followed the Reds’ progress during Tour 2014, presented by Aon, as van Gaal led the side to International Champions Cup success with victories over AS Roma, Internazionale, Real Madrid and Liverpool preceded by a comprehensive friendly win against LA Galaxy.

The match against Real Madrid in Michigan was particularly memorable given it was attended by over 109,000 people – a record crowd for a soccer match in the US – with many of them wearing United colours, much to van Gaal’s astonishment.

“The support was unbelievable,” the Dutchman declared in part three of our exclusive interview with and MUTV. “That was also during the first days of my time as manager here and the enthusiasm of our fans and the size of the crowds there was incredible.

“We played five games and there were 300,000 fans there in two weeks – and that’s for friendly games! Of course there were white shirts of Real Madrid [at the match in Michigan] but most of the fans were in red shirts. It was amazing. It’s unbelievable how popular Manchester United is.”

Fans attending this year’s tour matches will no doubt be hoping to see a repeat of the 2014 results and performances and van Gaal insists all the players will get their chance to impress, including some of the club’s budding youngsters.

“You always get chances, especially in pre-season, and if you grab that chance then maybe you the possibility to join our first-team squad next season,” added the manager.

“I shall take a lot of youngsters with us to the USA and they have the chance to show themselves and then we shall wait and observe how they can develop.”

Real Madrid to block Manchester United on Sergio Ramos – sources

Real Madrid will rebuff all Manchester United offers for Sergio Ramos and hold talks with the defender to resolve his future, sources have told ESPN FC.

United are reported to have had a £35 million bid for Ramos rejected, but are said to be prepared to table an improved offer.

However, sources told ESPN FC that Real were not interested in selling the 29-year-old.

Ramos is reported to be unhappy that his contract at the Bernabeu has been allowed to run down to its final two years.

That encouraged United, whose boss Louis van Gaal has been targeting a world-class centre-back ever since taking over, to make their move.

There have been suggestions that the Old Trafford club will demand that Ramos is part of any deal to bring goalkeeper David De Gea to Madrid, but ESPN FC has been told Real have no interest in an exchange.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos is reportedly unhappy about his contract situation.

Madrid president Florentino Perez has personally intervened to convince Ramos to stay, and the club are now expected to offer the player a new deal.

Meanwhile, Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has said he believes the storm around Ramos is intended to secure a fresh contract and stressed he has no interest in becoming involved.

Some reports had suggested Barca could be in the market for Ramos, while another Camp Nou presidential candidate, outsider Jordi Majo,claimed to have been offered an opportunity to sign him.

Laporta told Madrid’s Al Primer Toque that he saw Ramos as “an emblem” of Madrid and added: “I do not want to intervene in negotiations between a player and his board.

“If anyone was looking to improve their contract by using us, I would block it very quickly.”

AS reported that Madrid had started to look at Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi as a potential replacement should Ramos leave.


Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is hoping to test his skills against the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain during next month’s Tour 2015, presented by Aon.

The Reds will again travel to the United States to take part in the International Champions Cup, a tournament the team won on last year’s trip, and Januzaj is already looking forward to the four matches.

The young Belgian, who made 21 appearances in all competitions during 2014/15, would welcome the chance to play against La Liga champions Barcelona and French title-holders PSG, as well as Major League Soccer side San Jose Earthquakes and United’s opening tour opponents from Mexico, Club America.

“I think the game against Barcelona will be a good challenge, because they’re a massive team. Everyone knows who Barcelona are, and everyone knows Manchester United too, so it will be a great game,” Januzaj told

“They’ve got great players, the football that they play is unbelievable, so we’re looking forward to playing that particular game. It will be a good experience.

“It will be a very good test against PSG too,” Adnan added. “They’re also a big club, they have a lot of good players – I look forward to playing against teams like them because they’re massive sides. Not many defenders like to play against Zlatan Ibrahimovic either.”

Januzaj has been impressed by the growth of football in the States in recent years and thinks San Jose Earthquakes will also prove to be tough opposition when United meet them at the California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley on 21 July.

“It’s good to see ‘soccer’, as they say over there, on the rise,” he acknowledged. “It’s getting very good – a lot of big stars are going to play in America, so it won’t be an easy game.

“When we played in Australia, in Sydney, it was a tough one then too. We also played in Thailand and Japan against local teams, and those were two tough games. It’s always hard to play against teams like that.”


Who have Manchester United been linked with the most?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bastian Schweinsteiger is the player that has most often been linked with Manchester United over the last month.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Have you ever stopped to wonder which player Manchester United have most often been linked with over the past 30 days? No? Well now you have. And thanks to statistics compiled for the Wall Street Journal, we know the answer is Bastian Schweinsteiger, with Sergio Ramos a close second and Nicolás Otamendi just a place further back in third.

Still, that hasn’t stopped us coming up with a Transfer Rumour XI that would probably cruise to a Premier League title:

Hugo Lloris; Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Nicolás Otamendi, Sergio Ramos; İlkay Gündoğan, Paul Pogba; Gareth Bale, Alexandre Lacazette, Felipe Anderson; Karim Benzema.

Ed, we shall be most disappointed if that’s not what our teamsheet looks like against Spurs on August 8. You have been warned.

That is a fairly impressive list of players who’ve been consistently linked with moves to Old Trafford. It’s just a pity that the real journalism and clickbait rehashing have been blurred to the extent that it may as well be totally useless in gauging if there’s any fuel to the fire.


Manchester United want Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Jasper Cillessen

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Manchester United have reportedly identified their top four targets for the summer: goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, defender Sergio Ramos, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and striker Karim Benzema.

According to the BusbyBabe, Rumours continue to be slight as Manchester United fail to make any concrete progress in the transfer market ahead of their pre-season tour.

The Mirror reports, by the reliable David McDonnell, what Manchester United’s top four targets are this season. Jasper Cillessen, Sergio Ramos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Karim Benzema are all wanted, and negotiations are clearly going on with Ramos and Real Madrid. The rumours about Schweinsteiger persist, and Jasper Cillessen would, eventually, be released by Ajax if United find the cash. As well as Ramos, Harry Kane is noted in the article as another potential target.

Also in the Mirror is an article about Jesse Lingard aiming to break into the first team next season. Louis van Gaal likes him but he suffered a serious injury last season. More on that here.

Good news in the Daily Mail: Luis Nani could soon be off to Fenerbahce for £7 million. Bye!

Lastly, in ESPNFC, there’s news on Javier Hernandez finally leaving to moan about his lot elsewhere, and also there’s something on the suspicion that, as much as United want Ramos, Ramos is merely using United to get a new, improved contract at Real Madrid.

Manchester United tell Real Madrid of Sergio Ramos interest

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Manchester United have responded to Real Madrid’s interest in their goalkeeper David de Gea by telling the Spanish club of their wish to sign Spanish central defender Sergio Ramos.

Manchester United have told Real Madrid that should they wish to sign David de Gea, then they want to sign central defender Sergio Ramos.

United have been linked with Nicolas Otamendi and Mats Hummels, of Valencia and Borussia Dortmund respectively. Both players would represent significant upgrades on the hapless Phil Jones, unconvincing Chris Smalling, the decaying Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo, who has yet to fully adapt to the Premier League. It is believed Otamendi is more willing to force a move to United than Hummels, but Hummels is the preferred option for Louis van Gaal.

However, according to Sid Lowe writing in the Guardian, United have made it clear they are willing to exploit the tension between Ramos and Real Madrid (see this story in AS saying Ramos wishes to leave) as they try to both strengthen their defensive options and also negotiate a tougher deal with Real, who have offered a low £13 million pounds in their first offer for De Gea.



Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says pre-season is a vital period because it gives him and his coaching staff prolonged time on the training field with the players.

Van Gaal has a large team of fitness and sports science specialists working alongside him at United in order to monitor every aspect of each player’s fitness level. Those stats will be of prime importance as the Reds aim to be in the best possible shape to kick off the new season, with Tour 2015, presented by Aon, forming a major part of the overall fitness plan.

The boss will lead his side back to the United States in July to take part in the International Champions Cup with matches against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. He says the tour will also provide him with ample opportunities to work on a number of key aspects in training.

“The most important thing is always the training hours on the pitch because that is the time when the players have to cooperate in team tactics. That is what we call team performance and that has to be very good,” he told and MUTV in an exclusive interview.

“We have a big number of staff, I have never worked with such a big number of staff. For example, we have a fatigue specialist, a warm-up specialist, a strength specialist and I also have an assistant, Jos van Dijk, who creates the programmes for every player with the sports science department.”

Van Gaal, who started work at the club shortly before last summer’s tour, has had a big input into the planning of this year’s trip to the US, including the selection of two training bases in Seattle and San Francisco Bay. He also requested that the team will be fixture-free between flying home after the final match in Chicago at the end of July and starting the new Barclays Premier League season on 8/9 August.

“I asked the board for us not to play the week before our first Premier League match,” the manager revealed. “Last year we played against Valencia a few days before we had to play Swansea City and that was too much. Therefore they have permitted that we don’t play one week before the first game as that [first] match is very important. We want to win it this time and I hope we can start very well.”

Manchester United winger Luis Nani linked to Fenerbahce

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Manchester United winger Luis Nani has spent the year on loan at Sporting Lisbon but might be set for a move to Turkey with Fenerbahce.

According to The Busby babe, it seems that Manchester United winger Luis Nani will not get the chance to impress Louis van Gaal or United fans, nor to frustrate them both. According to the Sun, Nani is linked with a move to Fenerbahce this summer.

He is apparently going to sign a contract worth £3 million a year, and this comes after a year in Portugal with his former club Sporting Lisbon, where he intermittently impressed, but Sporting were never going to be able to afford his wages, which were subsidised by United as part of the Marcos Rojo transfer.

Nani was part of what looked like an incredible transfer window for Manchester United in 2007, including Anderson, Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves – all of whom eventually or quickly disappointed.

Manchester United want Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane

Michael Regan/Getty Images
Manchester United want Raphael Varane as negotiations start with Real Madrid over David de Gea, and there are developments on the proposed Bastian Schweinsteiger transfer.

Last night we had the Romelu Lukaku news up, so let’s have a look at the rest.

Matt Radcliffe joined in October from southampton in order prevent injuries. You may have noticed that if that were the case, and he succeeded, then there was still a way to go to prevent another 500 or so injuries. He’s left the club, either voluntarily or not. That’s here, in the Mirror.

In the Telegraph, they’ve translated a Marca story saying that Louis van Gaal wants Raphael Varane as any part of a David de Gea transfer, and also have included a story that De Gea won’t join Real unless they sell Iker Casillas beforehand, given rumours of his ruthlessness when it comes to competition for places. Read that here.

In the Daily Mail, Roma are aiming to keep Radja Nainggolan away from both United and Liverpool. He’s been hugely impressive this last season, carrying his good form into the international games for Belgium, and is precisely the kind of player United should be buying. Should. Here’s the article.

Lothar Matthaus thinks that Bastian Schweinsteiger should leave Bayern Munich to rock up at Old Trafford. If he’s available, andMorgan Schneiderlin also joins in the summer, that’s an excellent couple of buys by United for the midfield. The quotes are in the Manchester Evening News, here. As is a report on Andreas Pereira’s success at the U20 World Cup.



Manchester United will open the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season at home to Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend of 8/9 August.

Spurs were beaten 3-0 at Old Trafford last March as Louis van Gaal’s men produced one of the best performances of the campaign. The two clubs last met on the opening weekend in 1997, with United winning 2-0 at White Hart Lane, but this is the first time the Reds have hosted the North Londoners in a first league fixture.

All dates are provisional and are subject to change. For example, United’s match away at Southampton on 19 September could move if the Saints have a Europa League fixture on the preceding Thursday.

You can download these fixtures to your calendar with our exclusive app

Barclays Premier League fixtures 2015/16

Sat Aug 8 Tottenham Hotspur H
Sat Aug 15 Aston Villa A
Sat Aug 22 Newcastle United H
Sat Aug 29 Swansea City A
Sat Sep 12 Liverpool H
Sat Sep 19 Southampton A
Sat Sep 26 Sunderland H
Sat Oct 3 Arsenal A
Sat Oct 17 Everton A
Sat Oct 24 Manchester City H
Sat Oct 31 Crystal Palace A
Sat Nov 7 West Bromwich Albion H
Sat Nov 21 Watford A
Sat Nov 28 Leicester City A
Sat Dec 5 West Ham United H
Sat Dec 12 A.F.C. Bournemouth A
Sat Dec 19 Norwich City H
Sat Dec 26 Stoke City A
Mon Dec 28 Chelsea H
Sat Jan 2 Swansea City H
Wed Jan 13 Newcastle United A
Sat Jan 16 Liverpool A
Sat Jan 23 Southampton H
Tue Feb 2 Stoke City H
Sat Feb 6 Chelsea A
Sat Feb 13 Sunderland A
Sat Feb 27 Arsenal H
Tue Mar 1 Watford H

Sat Mar 5 West Bromwich Albion A
Sat Mar 12 Crystal Palace H
Sat Mar 19 Manchester City A
Sat Apr 2 Everton H
Sat Apr 9 Tottenham Hotspur A
Sat Apr 16 Aston Villa H
Sat Apr 23 West Ham United A
Sat Apr 30 Leicester City H
Sat May 7 Norwich City A
Sun May 15 A.F.C. Bournemouth H

Dates are subject to change. Fixtures compiled by the Premier League in association with Atos.



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