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WAYNE ROONEY EXCITED BY REDS’ NEW SIGNINGS

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United’s new signings can provide the “extra gear” needed to mount a challenge for major honours in 2015/16.

In an exclusive interview with MUTV, the Reds captain reflected on the squad’s work so far during Tour 2015, presented by Aon, and discussed an “exciting time” for the club.

“We’ve had new players come in, quality players, and we feel they can give us an extra gear to what we had last season,” said Rooney.

“Obviously the lads who were here already understand how the manager wants us to work. For the first couple of months last season it was probably a bit difficult to take everything in and go out and perform, but we fully understand what the manager wants and now we’ve added a few players it’s exciting.

“I feel we have the right squad in terms of hoping to be successful in the new season and I think it’s an exciting time for the team.”

Rooney has started the first three tour games alongside one of the new players, Memphis Depay, who scored his first goal against San Jose Earthquakes last week. The Dutch attacker has looked lively in his opening few appearances and the skipper hopes to continue developing a rapport with him.

“It’s still early days [for us playing together] but obviously Memphis is a fantastic talent,” said the captain. “We’re still working on things in training to try to get better together and get a better understanding of each other’s games which is important.”

Rooney followed Memphis in scoring his first goal of the tour when United beat the European champions Barcelona 3-1 in Santa Clara, to register the Reds’ third and most notable pre-season win.

“It’s always a difficult game against Barcelona but to get the victory and with the way we played made it very satisfying,” he reflected. “A lot of the younger players came on for the last 30 minutes and did really well against a quality team. That will give them a lot of confidence.

“We know pre-season is hard work but it’s important we do as well as we can and be ready for the start of the season. In terms of preparation and games it couldn’t have gone any better.”

Source: Manutd.com

PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED V PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

Manchester United will retain the International Champions Cup with any kind of victory over Paris Saint-Germain at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Reds’ final match of Tour 2015 presented by Aon takes place at 20:00 CT (02:00 BST on Thursday) and even a penalty shoot-out success following a draw in 90 minutes would be sufficient to secure top spot in the 10-team table.

Louis van Gaal’s men have racked up successes over Club America (1-0)San Jose Earthquakes (3-1) and Barcelona (3-1) in the US. The Dutchman is closer to finalising his strongest XI and kept his starting line-up on the field against European champions Barcelona for over an hour.

Predatory striker Javier Hernandez is back in the fold and has been training along with the club’s latest recruit, Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero. Sean Goss is the only player in the original tour party who has yet to make an appearance after David De Gea, Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini featured last weekend.

Spectacular summer signing Bastian Schweinsteiger missed the win in San Jose due to a minor injury and van Gaal must consider whether to start with the same outfield line-up for the fourth consecutive game with some stunning displays during the latter part of the Barça clash providing food for thought. For instance, Adnan Jaznuaj earned praise from the manager as he shone in a central attacking role and scored the final goal in stoppage time.

PSG performed well against Chelsea in their last outing and were unlucky to lose 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored during the 1-1 draw while Lucas Moura and Jean-Kevin Augustin caught the eye. Coach Laurent Blanc, the former Reds centre-back, fielded 22 players in Charlotte including Benjamin Stambouli, their recent signing from Tottenham.

Source: Manutd.com

ROBSON HEAPS PRAISE ON SCHNEIDERLIN

Bryan Robson has paid tribute to summer signing Morgan Schneiderlin and explained why the Frenchman has all of the abilities needed to become a top player for Manchester United.

Schneiderlin joined the Reds from Southampton on the morning of Monday 13 July and, incredibly, boarded the club’s flight to America in the afternoon for Tour 2015, presented by Aon.

Since then, Morgan has made three appearances during the International Champions Cup victories over Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and Barcelona, even scoring the winner in the first of those games at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.

Robson is of course an authority on central midfield players in English football after enjoying a legendary career for both England and United. During a Facebook Q&A with Reds supporters earlier this week, the club ambassador was asked which new signing has impressed him most so far.

“Bastian Schweinsteiger looks like a really top player,” Robbo explained in San Jose, California. “With his career and the way he is, he is absolutely quality. But the one who has really stood out for me in the first two games is Morgan Schneiderlin.

“He has really impressed me in the way he moves, the ways that he presses people all around the pitch and his range of passes is also really good. He always wants the ball, he is regularly dropping in between the two centre-backs, and I’ve been really impressed by him.”

As part of the interactive event on Facebook, Robson was also asked if he believes United can win the Barclays Premier League title this season and who might rival the Reds in that intriguing race.

“I think we have a chance but at this moment in time I have to say I still think Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal might be slightly ahead,” Bryan explained. “We might make more signings and strengthen that bit more, but I do think the manager has really upped the quality in the midfield.

“I think we could be really dominant in that midfield area. It gives us an outside chance and that’s all you need. If you get off to a good start and if confidence is up then you just never know.”

Source: Manutd.com

VAN GAAL EXPLAINS CAPTURE OF ROMERO

According to Manutd.com, Manchester United has signed Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero. Louis van Gaal explained why he has signed the Argentina international, who he previously managed at former club AZ Alkmaar.

Romero penned a three-year contract at the club on Monday morning (UK time) with an option to extend for a further year and the towering goalkeeper has now joined his new team-mates in San Jose, California.

During an exclusive interview with MUTV, van Gaal praised his fifth signing of the summer and spoke about a healthy working relationship that began while both were plying their trades in Holland.

“Sergio Romero is an international goalkeeper from the Argentina team,” the manager explained. “He was also a former player of mine. I was trainer-coach, manager of AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands, I picked him up when he was 19 and he was a great talent. We became champions with him, with a minor club, and in the Netherlands it was a fantastic result of course.

“I know him very well and I think in our situation, if De Gea is going or not going, it is always a threat and we have to take care, make sure that we are prepared and that is why I think it is very good that Sergio Romero is now a Manchester United player.”

Asked what he likes and admires about Romero, van Gaal continued: “He is a goalkeeper and he stops the balls, and that is also his position but he can also build up with his feet and that is, in our profile, very important. But also his stature is very good, he is tall.

“In the Netherlands he dominates the 60 metre area and I don’t know if he can do that in England, because it is a little bit different, but he is physically strong and he has confidence in himself, which is also very good I believe. He did very well in the World Cup against us [Netherlands] because he stopped the decisive penalties [in the semi-final].”

WILSON LOVES UNITED YOUNGSTERS’ CHEMISTRY

James Wilson hailed the relationship between Manchester United’s younger first-team players after goals from Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj helped secure Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona on Tour 2015, presented by Aon.

Following Wayne Rooney’s first-half opener, his fellow forward Wilson, 19, fed another young academy graduate, Tyler Blackett, down the left flank which allowed the defender to burst behind Barҫa’s defence and pull the ball back for 22-year-old Lingard to side-foot in for a two-goal cushion.

With the lead halved in the 90th minute by Rafinha, United responded immediately as Januzaj bamboozled Marc Barta and left the collapsed defender in his wake before driving the ball low past Jordi Masip.

The manner in which a young front four of Wilson, Januzaj, Lingard and Andreas Pereira stretched and punished the Barcelona backline in the second half left the Biddulph-born striker beaming in the aftermath of yet another rewarding pre-season triumph.

“We’ve all played together a lot in the youth and Reserves team and there is good chemistry between us,” Wilson explained. “We noticed one of their weaknesses was behind the full-backs and the centre-halves as they don’t have a great deal of pace and I think we utilised that well and scored a few goals.

“He (Lingard) came in from the back post to score. That’s something the wide players are always taught, to come in when the other wide player is crossing it. He got himself in a great position and we know he has the quality to finish off chances.

“The manager just told me to work hard and be a team player and I tried to show him what I had and to do the best job I could out there. It feels great to come away with a result. It was a great experience, to play against such a good team like Barcelona at such a great stadium.”

One aspect of the result that particularly pleased Wilson was the ruthless manner in which the Reds swiftly struck back to re-establish a two-goal lead after conceding Rafinha’s goal late into the meeting.

The striker added: “They say one of the most important times are the few minutes after you’ve scored. We managed to capitalise on Barcelona’s concentration maybe dropping a little after their goal and it was a great feeling for us to get another so soon.

“We take everything we can from the games. We’ve played a good team and come away with the result. You take confidence from any game you win but to beat a team like Barcelona means we’ve done a good job.”

Source: Manutd.com

INJURY UPDATE ON SCHWEINSTEIGER AND DE GEA AHEAD OF BARCELONA MATCH

Louis van Gaal expects David De Gea to return against Barcelona on Saturday, although the Manchester United manager has confirmed Bastian Schweinsteiger will not play through injury.

The German has made two appearances on Tour 2015, presented by Aon, but has sustained a “little injury” in training that will prevent him from facing the La Liga champions at Levi’s Stadium.

De Gea is yet to make an appearance in the United States but the boss believes his Spanish goalkeeper will feature on Saturday, possibly from the beginning in an XI that will play for 60 minutes. Van Gaal also confirmed to MUTV that Antonio Valencia, who like De Gea has missed the opening two matches, is available again after a minor injury.

During his pre-match press conference the United manager revealed the team that starts against Barca could be selected to face Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on the opening day of the Barclay Premier League season on 8 August.

Asked if he will play two different line-ups on Saturday, just like he did in the previous victories against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, van Gaal admitted: “I cannot do that because, for example, Schweinsteiger cannot play because he had a little injury. So maybe I have Schweinsteiger in my head in the line-up but I cannot do that, but I will play the line-up I think could play against Tottenham.

“We play the first 60 minutes so I have to make a selection already between players, if you play 60 minutes or 30. Our building-up programme was 45 so now you can see which direction I think.”

Quizzed on De Gea’s fitness and the chances of him starting the Premier League opener against Spurs, the boss told reporters: “When a player is injured, it is the same thing what happens in the season. Then you have to wait and you have seen it because in England it is more usual players are coming in after injuries, but I give them time to recover and build up their fitness.”

Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez will all join the touring squad on Saturday, having enjoyed an extended break following their involvement in the Copa America and Gold Cup. On Di Maria, van Gaal says it is too soon for him to play against Barca.

“He cannot play in the game because we have to build him up,” the boss said. “When you come out of your holidays you cannot play a game immediately so that is out of the question.”

Source: Manutd.com

ROONEY CONFIDENT OF SCORING GOALS AND LEADING THE LINE THROUGHOUT 2015/16

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is confident of scoring goals during the 2015/16 season and admits he is relishing the responsibility of being Louis van Gaal’s primary striker.

The experienced, talismanic 29-year-old spent much of the last campaign playing in midfield but still managed to score 14 goals in all competitions, even finishing as the club’s top scorer. But the manager recently confirmed Rooney will play up-front this term and the player is up for the job.

“It is a positon where I think I can score goals,” Rooney told ManUtd.com and the media during Friday’s pre-match press conference at the Avaya Stadium, where the squad also trained. “Hopefully I can do that. I am ready to take that mantle on and be the one who gets the goals for us.”

Asked if he has set a personal target for the season, the captain claimed he is not looking beyond the tour. “None at the minute,” he said. “Obviously I’m working on getting fit and ready for the start of the season. I have never really been one to set personal targets, just to do well for the team.”

Saturday’s match against Barcelona in the International Champions Cup will provide United with an intriguing test following recent wins against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, and Rooney is looking forward to facing the European champions and finding out what shape the Reds are in.

“Over the last few years they have been probably the best team in Europe and it is down to us to prove we are as good as them,” Wayne explained, ahead of Saturday’s 21:00 BST kick-off. “It is good that tomorrow they will be playing against us and it will show us where we are at.”

On the gap between United and Barca, Rooney continued: “At the beginning of last season the manager told us it would take a while to adapt to the changes. As players you don’t think it will but towards the end of the season, from Christmas, I felt we played some great football, understood exactly what the manager wanted from us and particularly in the big games we did really well.

“We can take that as positives. It was the games we expected to win where we disappointed ourselves. We know what is expected of us and what we have to do. We are positive and excited for the season.”

Unfortunately, new signing Bastian Schweinsteiger will not face the Catalan giants after suffering a “little injury” in training and the German will now hope to recover in time to face Paris Saint-Germain in Chicago. Nevertheless, Rooney is delighted the World Cup winner has joined the United ranks.

“He is obviously a fantastic player,” the captain praised. “Everyone knows that over the years and since he has joined up with the squad he has been a fantastic person, talking with all the players and the young players too which is a great help to them, having someone of that experience and who is that successful. He is a great addition to the team and I feel it will be a very good signing for us.”

As the most senior player in the United squad, and as skipper, Rooney also feels he has a responsibility to help the club’s four summer signings settle into the club this summer. However, as he was keen to point out on Thursday, our new recruits must ultimately look after themselves and impress.

“It is obviously important to help the new players settle in but the ones we have brought in are experienced and successful. I am sure they will add a lot to the team. I can try and help them learn about the history of the club and what is expected to be at this club and be successful but it is down to the players themselves to prove themselves and create their own history.”

Source: Manutd.com

Report: United 3 Earthquakes 1

MANCHESTER UNITED   3

Mata 32, Memphis 36, Pereira 61

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES   1

Alashe 42

Memphis Depay netted his first Manchester United goal as Louis van Gaal’s men secured a 3-1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes in an entertaining encounter in California.

The Dutchman’s effort – a low finish after he took advantage of a wayward backpass – was sandwiched between efforts from Juan Mata and substitute Andreas Pereira, who also netted his first goal for the senior team at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

Van Gaal started with the same side that overcame Club America in Seattle – Sam Johnstone in goal, a backline of Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw and a midfield featuring Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ashley Young and Mata; Memphis once again sat behind Wayne Rooney up front.

United’s attacking duo were at it from the off with Memphis looking sharp. On four minutes, the Dutchman powered forward, twisted and turned before seeing his shot parried by David Bingham in the Quakes goal. Rooney looked to pounce, as did Mata but the Spaniard could only find the side-netting. Five minutes later, a brilliant run down the left from Shaw almost resulted in Memphis’ opening Reds strike after a Rooney dummy, but the Quakes just about managed to clear the danger.

The Reds continued to look a threat – on both wings. Shaw and Young combined well on the left, while, on the opposite side, Mata enjoyed some neat link-up play with Darmian who showed his eye for attacking on a number of occasions inside the opening 45 minutes.

It was the left side that proved to be the most fruitful for van Gaal’s men as the half drew to a close. Young went on another forward run and

pulled the ball back for Mata on the edge of the area. After taking a touch in the box he fired a low shot past Bingham and, although Memphis nearly got the final touch, it was Mata’s goal. Four minutes later, Memphis did get his name on the scoresheet as he capitalised on a loose backpass from Jean Baptiste Pierazzi to calmly slot home.

It had been all United up to that point but the Quakes, playing in their home stadium, weren’t going down without a fight and, three minutes before the break, Fatai Alashe’s low sliding finish pulled a goal back.

It was all change for the Reds as van Gaal brought on the same outfield players who featured in the second half at CenturyLink Field, although Johnstone remained in goal due to fitness concerns over David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard. There was one tactical tweak as Adnan Januzaj went on the left to allow Pereira to the no.10 role.

And it was Pereira who restored the Reds’ two-goal advantage after the hour mark with a fine headed finish from Jesse Lingard’s curling cross. It was the Brazilian Under-20 international’s first senior goal and you could see how much it meant from his celebration.

One of the Earthquakes’ raft of half-time changes, former Liverpool youth-teamer Marc Pelosi, blasted an excellent drive just over the bar, while the last chance fell to Chris Smalling, but the defender couldn’t keep his half-volley down from a corner after the Earthquakes keeper totally misjudged the flight of the cross.

Source: Manutd.com

Manchester United want Jasper Cillessen as David de Gea replacement, Pedro and Gareth Bale

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

According to the Busby Babe, Manchester United are confident of signing Jasper Cillessen from Ajax should David de Gea leave for Real Madrid, and Gareth Bale and Pedro are targets to reinforce the forward line.

Also in the Mirror is the rumour that the surprise signing for United will be Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. Well, there is a new kit to launch, after all. You can read about that here.

On ESPNFC, they believe that United are after Thomas Muller to add to the forward line. It does seem unlikely that Bayern would sell, but United are throwing money all over the place, and perhaps Angel Di Maria could be used to persuade them. Have a read.

In the Mail, there’s a story which is in plenty of other papers too, which is that Di Maria will have to put in  transfer request should he want to leave, presumably because it will cost United less money if he puts in a request, and Louis van Gaal doesn’t appear desperate to get rid of him. You can read that here.

Lastly, in the Guardian, there’s a story that Ed Woodward is flying home to sort out two more signings. That could be Nicolas Otamendi, who is being heavily linked in Spain still, and Cillessen, should it come to pass. Another name mentioned is Pedro of Barcelona, whose name has not gone away yet.

Are Manchester United going to end up keeping David de Gea?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Time is ticking, and David de Gea still hasn’t joined Real Madrid. Could Manchester United hang on to him for at least another year? And what would happen if they did?

You can decide for yourself which of the above categories Ed Woodward falls into. But we’re getting on towards the end of July, and nothing’s happened yet. Real Madrid have sent Iker Casillas on his way and bought a new goalkeeper, but not the one that matters. Manchester United, meanwhile, have taken De Gea on tour, and Louis van Gaal has delivered unto Victor Valdes an almighty (if metaphorical) kick in the balls. And the apparent unhappiness of Sergio Ramos has only confused things further …

Short answer: Manchester United will have one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League (and, indeed, the world) for another season. Which is, obviously, a Good Thing.

But short and pleasing as that answer is, there’s a couple of caveats. The first is that while De Gea generally appears not to be a particularly stroppy footballer, and also by all accounts quite likes living in Manchester and playing for United, he does want to go. Indeed, as Sid Lowe points out above, he already has an agreement.

You’d hope, of course, that personal pride, general professionalism and the fact that Euro 2016 is coming up would combine to keep De Gea’s performance levels nice and high. But footballers are people and people (even the hardest, even the coldest) are delicate bundles of neuroses and ambition and dreams, and when such delicate bundles see their desired future postponed a year in an argument over a central defender … well, that might have some kind of impact. Might. It’s a risk.

Also a risk: since De Gea will be in the last year of his contract, he’ll be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid (or any other non-English team) come January. So even if he does manage to keep his head straight all through autumn, come the second half of the season he could be somebody else’s player. Again, questions of motivation and focus come into play. Again, you’d hope professionalism wins the day. Again, you’d be hoping.

But offsetting those risks are a couple of upsides, even in addition to the obvious Good Thing. Firstly, annoying Real Madrid is always a pleasure. Second, if Van Gaal gets the two further players he’s been talking about, then over this and the last two transfer windows United will have brought twelve players into the first team squad. So keeping one of the side’s more established professionals in situ for another year makes sense, on the basis that chaos should generally be minimised. Even if he does then need replacing next summer, the rest of the side should be more settled. Should

Then, of course, there’s the tantalising possibility that he could be kept for longer than a year. September, October, November and December represent an opportunity for some extreme persuasion. Ed Woodward, Louis van Gaal and Ryan Giggs get four months to whisper sweet, sweet nothings into his ear, while Old Trafford get a few more games to sing “We want you to stay”, for all the good that’ll do.

Might that work? We’d be guessing. But if you made us to guess — put that gun away! — we’d say that it’s possible. He does, after all, like the club, and much has been made in the press about his family having settled well in Manchester. We know that United are perfectly happy to pay him cash in Scrooge McDuck amounts. If United’s new-look side starts the season well, and if “Rafa Benitez, Real Madrid manager” lives up to its comedic potential … well, De Gea only has to sign on the dotted line once.

Ultimately, “Don’t go and play for Real Madrid and live in your home city with your pop star girlfriend” is quite a hard sell, even when “Real Madrid” slump into a raging bonfire of ego, maladministration and fairly rubbish football. United getting an extra season of football, and a few extra months to try to make that sell, is probably worth the risk, and certainly worth whatever fee Real Madrid might reluctantly cough up. It might even be worth missing out on Ramos. And hey, if De Gea can’t get his head right and starts throwing the ball into the net, then there’s always Anders Lindegaard.

If you put a gun to the head of this particular aspect of the Busby Babe, you’d get the response: “Don’t shoot your computer, you idiot. Guns don’t work on websites. Now, did you have a question about David de Gea?” And then, if you put the gun away and asked, you’d get the answer: “…yeah. He’ll probably go.” Which is some change from definitely, and so we’re at the point where it’s worth considering what will happen if he does stay.

Barcelona’s Pedro says he wants to join Manchester United

Clive Mason/Getty Images
Barcelona forward Pedro has told friends that he wishes to leave to join Manchester United, who also want a top class striker.

In the Telegraph, as well as welcome news that Wayne Rooney will no longer be allowed to stink up the midfield, is the information that Pedro has told his mates that he favours a move to Manchester United. A move could happen quite swiftly, now Ed Woodward will be back in the UK. Felipe Anderson has also been mentioned as a potential forward, but unless Louis van Gaal can get a player of the quality of Robert Lewandowski or Edinson Cavani, he’ll focus on targets in other positions. You can read that here, yo.

In the Mail is a story perhaps linked to the above – Javier Hernandez could get another chance at Manchester United as Van Gaal can’t get his hands on anyone better. Quite how being a substitute, yet again, will improve Hernandez’s mood is not clear, but he can expect more games if United get into the proper stages of the Champions League. READ. Also in the Mail is a report on Sergio Romero replacing Victor Valdes. That’s here.

In the Mirror, Manchester United are apparently close to signing Pedro, but that means that Angel Di Maria will be allowed to leave to Paris Saint-Germain, with talks ongoing on a fee, so far at £40 million. United want more, but they will do well to have a player who actually wants to be at United, rather than one who joined so reluctantly and already wants to leave. You can have a look at that story here.

In the Guardian, Van Gaal has explained why Fellaini faces a fight for a place – because he’s suspended for the first three matches of the season. That short piece is here.

Source: thebusbybabe.com

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