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Manchester United

In Paul Scholes and Roy Keane, Manchester United had two of the greatest central midfielders to grace the Premier League. However, the void left by them has never been filled. It became such a problem that Scholes had to come out of retirement in 2012. United have tried a various number of players during this time who haven’t made a mark. Shinji Kagawa, Anderson, Tom Cleverley to name a few. Darren Fletcher had a prolonged absence due to illness and he was never the same player on his return to football.

Michael Carrick silently rose to be one of United’s most important players. He brings a certain calmness every time he’s on the pitch. One of the most underrated players in the league, Carrick has tremendous vision and is very good at reading the game. He often sees a pass that other players don’t. He helps to build the attack from the back and gets more players involved. During the 2014-15 season, United won 72% of the games that Michael Carrick played. Not only that, his passing accuracy of 89.62% was the highest of any United player.

In the summer transfer window, Louis Van Gaal bought Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin to strengthen the midfield. Schweinsteiger has played at the highest level for a long time and seemed like an excellent addition even though his age is catching up with him. Schneiderlin on the hand was a crucial part of Ronald Koeman’s Southampton. He formed a formidable partnership with Victor Wanyama helping the Saints to record their highest ever points total, finishing in 7th place.

Having these three players playing the same two positions means one of the three has to be on the bench each week. So far, Carrick and Schneiderlin have started 5 games together and United have won all. United have conceded twice scoring 8 times in those 5 games. However, each time Carrick has been substituted for Schweinsteiger around the 60th minute mark.

Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger have started 3 games together out of which United have just won one. Carrick and Basti have started just 2 games together. However, those two games have been United’s two biggest games so far. Liverpool at home and Arsenal away. While it worked brilliantly against Liverpool, it completely fell apart against Arsenal. The main problem with this combination is that the pair is too slow and as Schweinsteiger goes forward to attack, they leave way too many gaps.

carrick schweinsteiger schneiderlin

One of United’s player of the season so far has been Juan Mata. Playing on the right, he has been involved in 44% of United’s goals this season in all competitions. There are only three players who have contributed a higher percentage of their team’s goals this season. Barring one horrible game in Eindhoven, Mata has made it very hard for Manchester United to drop him so far.

United’s biggest disappointment, excluding Wayne Rooney, this season has been Memphis. Signed from PSV in the summer, he has been tipped to become one of the best. However, he has had an underwhelming start to life at Old Trafford. He hasn’t adjusted to the pace of the game at all, scoring just once in his 8 League appearances. It’s a little unfair on Ashely Young to be sitting on the bench on account of Memphis. Young had a terrific 2014-15 and has made an impact every time he’s been brought on this season.

Conclusion:

When you think of Manchester United’s mid-field, you automatically think of Carrick, and the pairing of Carrick and Schneiderlin is what LVG should look at with Basti coming on later to influence proceedings. Juan Mata on the right and Ashley Young on the left completes United’s best midfield with of course skipper Rooney in the number 10 role.

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Transfer blow for Man United as £13m difference could stop the deal for Portugese star

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Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes transfer to Manchester United at the risk of collapse

The transfer of Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon is at the risk of collapse with Sporting Lisbon holding out for £55million, according to Portuguese station TVI24 (h/t Metro).

The 25-year-old midfielder has informed the Portuguese club of his wish to move to Old Trafford and has already agreed on personal terms with United. Sporting are unhappy with United’s opening offer of £42m, which is £13m short of the Portuguese club’s expectation.

United’s offer contains a number of add-on clauses that can eventually take the deal to £60million. Sporting, however, deem the conditions improbable and are seeking a greater fee upfront.

Bruno Fernandes

Sporting are unwilling to drop their asking price as United have failed to include a player in exchange as a part of the deal.

The Portuguese side were willing to accept a lower fee had a player been included. However, neither Andreas Pereira or Marcos Rojo were willing to move to the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Fernandes played in the 2-0 loss to arch-rivals Benfica in what could be the player’s last match for Sporting.

The Portuguese club have demanded a minimum of £55.3million as a guaranteed payment. They also expect United to include bonuses that are more achievable.

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Sporting will have to pay 50% of the sell-on fee to Fernandes’ previous club Sampdoria and will look to get as much as they can from United.

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Man Utd agree on contract terms with midfielder who could be signed for £51m

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Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes. (h/t Sun)

The player has reportedly agreed on a Manchester United contract until 2025 worth £5milion-a-year ahead of a £51m transfer in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

Bruno Fernandes

United were to make their first formal offer for the player. It is being reported now that the deal has already been agreed upon. (h/t Sun)

It’s claimed that Fernandes has been offered a deal nearing £100,000-a-week at United.

The signing of the Sporting skipper should provide the United midfield with numbers and an attacking impetus.

The midfielder has an £85million release clause in his contract but Old Trafford bosses have been working to drive the price down. The club were also open to offering two players to bring the price down. (h/t Sun)

Fernandes was part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

He has won 19 caps for the Portuguese national side and has scored 2 goals since making his debut in 2017.

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Manchester United are interested in Wolves striker Raul Jimenez
Ashley Young rejects one-year contract extension offer
Barcelona willing to sell United target Samuel Umtiti

United next play Manchester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals at the Etihad on Wednesday.

The Red Devils trail 3-1 from the first leg as they aim to get to their first final under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

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Man United veteran snubs extension and demands immediate transfer

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Ashley Young rejects one-year contract extension offer

Veteran star Ashley Young has rejected a one-year extension on his contract at Manchester United. (h/t Sky Sports)

The 34-year-old’s contract at United expires at the end of the season and the player looks likely to leave in the summer. Inter Milan are said to be interested in securing Young’s services (h/t Sky Sports).

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is keen to keep the player at Old Trafford. Young is one of the leaders in the United dressing room and has the versatility to play in multiple positions.

Ashley Young

Antonio Conte has been a long term admirer of Young and even tried to sign him when he was at Chelsea. Conte is ready to offer the play an 18-month contract at Inter with a considerable pay rise.

Young joined United in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to make 261 appearances for the English giants.

He took over as captain from Antonio Valencia at the beginning of this season.

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Ashley Young could be on his way to Inter Milan in the summer
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Manchester United to offer £45m plus Jesse Lingard for James Maddison

Young is keen on moving to Inter immediately rather than waiting for the summer (h/t Daily Mail). He has been left angered by United’s refusal to sanction the deal in January.

United are in the midst of an injury crisis and losing Young would deal a harsh blow to whatever little chances we have this season.

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Man United to enter head-to-head battle with Arsenal for this £19m-rated MLS wonder kid

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Ezequiel Barco

United and Arsenal to fight it out for Atlanta United forward Ezequiel Barco

Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in the signature of MLS wonderkid Ezequiel Barco. (h/t Daily Star)

The 21-year-old winger, who plays for Atalanta United, has impressed since his move to the MLS from Independiente in 2018. Barco has made 59 appearances for Atalanta and has scored 9 goals and 9 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

He won the 2017 Copa Sudamericana with Independiente and scored in the second leg of the final through a penalty as the Argententians prevailed 3-2 over Flamengo.

Both Manchester United and Arsenal need midfield reinforcements in the January transfer window and Barco would be a good signing for either club.

Ezequiel Barco

United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer needs additions in the midfield with Paul Pogba and Scott Mctominay out injured. United also sold both Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera in the summer and failed to replace them. Barco can score and assist and  be the creative spark that we need.

The 21-year-old has represented the Argentinian Under-20s, 9 times and has scored 2 goals. (h/t Whoscored)

Atlanta value Barco at around £19m, which would be a snip in today’s market.

With the likes of  Inter Milan, Sporting Lison and AS Roma also interested in the player, United must move quickly to secure him if we want to avoid a bidding war.

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With the player’s contract running till 2022, Atalanta hold the aces in any negotiations

Barco’s impressive form has seen him be selected for the MLS all-star teams in 2018 and 2019.

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