The Hard Tackle brings to you some of the transfer news and stories concerning Premier League side Manchester United.
Schneiderlin set for £25 million Everton switch
Since his move from Southampton in the summer of 2015, Morgan Schneiderlin has endured a tough spell at Manchester United, struggling to accrue game time in a team overflowing with midfield players. It doesn’t look like it’s going to change for the better under Jose Mourinho. According to Telegraph, Everton are willing to match United’s offer to Southampton from a year and a half ago, in-order to bring him over to Goodison Park.
The 27-year-old was highly rated during his days at St. Mary’s and has shown that quality in bits and pieces at Manchester United, but a lack of playing time has done his case little good. Schneiderlin has enjoyed a combined playing time of only 238 minutes this season across 8 games in four different competitions for the Red Devils. With a potential reunion with former boss Ronald Koeman on the cards, a move to Merseyside will be in the best interests of the Frenchman who is seeking to recuperate his career after being frozen out by Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Yet to earn a start this season, Schneiderlin was foreseen as a main-stay in the United midfield in the years to come, but inconsistent performances and a probable burden to justify his price-tag at such a high-profile club proved to be his undoing. West Brom are also reportedly interested to acquire his signature but the prospect of working under Koeman once more, after their Southampton days, will be a major factor behind his decision in January.
Schneiderlin has played just 11 minutes in the Premier League this term and has even fallen behind Bastian Schweinsteiger in the pecking order, despite the German World Cup winner being written off in the club’s annual accounts in the expectation that he would not play until he was sold.
Koeman regards Schneiderlin as a quality long-term replacement for Gareth Barry, the 35-year-old former England midfielder, and Everton are willing to meet the player’s £120,000 a week wages in addition to funding a significant transfer fee. It is unlikely United will receive a flat fee of £24 million but with add-ons, the total package could be around that total.
Mourinho willing to sell ‘disgruntled’ players
If there is a lesson or two Mourinho has learnt from his catastrophic capitulation at Chelsea last season, it’s the need to maintain a positive team spirit. It’s a common requirement for any team irrespective of what honours they are fighting for. And on Wednesday, the boss made it absolutely clear that there is no place for ‘disgruntled’ players in his team. He further established that he will not stand in the way of players should they feel the need to leave the club, even if it was to a Premier League rival.
Citing Juan Mata’s high-profile move from Chelsea to Manchester United in 2014, Mourinho stated, “I am always open to listen to offers for every player. More than listen to offers, I am always ready to listen to the players themselves. When [Juan] Mata left Chelsea to come to Manchester United [in 2014], in my mentality, [it’s] no problem at all. I am always open.”
“So any player who knocks on my door and is not happy and wants to move, when the offers are correct, I will never stop a player from leaving even if it is to a rival.”
The futures of players like Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger appear to be on the balance at Old Trafford, with the former duo already expressing their desire to move out in favour of more playing time. Both Depay and Schneiderlin arrived in the summer of 2015 under Louis Van Gaal and have failed to establish their credentials under new boss Mourinho.
The Portuguese also cleared the air about any dressing room tension stating that while he may be dismayed by some performances on the pitch, he ensures that doesn’t come in the way of his professional relationship with the players. He said, “Sometimes in matches – and matches is the place where the evaluation is real – you get disappointed with a performance.But in training, the professionalism and the way they do it, I can only say good things about everyone.”
“I am happy with the squad I have. I would like my squad to be my squad until the end of the season and I am not going to any player to say, ‘You are going to leave’ because I am not happy, because I don’t want to have him.”
The question obviously came about owing to reports in the past claiming friction between him and Luke Shaw to which Mourinho stated that he respects the talent of the youngster but as a coach he feels the England international could perform better. He further urged him to raise his level of performances upon return from his groin injury.
Dimitar Berbatov to return to Manchester United?
Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov has fond memories of his time at Old Trafford where he enjoyed an immensely successful four-year stay between 2008 and 2012. He featured in a Red Devils jersey on 149 occasions scoring 56 goals and assisting 27 others as he helped his side win two Premier League titles, a League Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.
Berbatov is currently without a club after being released in the summer by PAOK and is reportedly travelling to Manchester to train under Jose Mourinho for a week at the club’s Carrington facility. During his stay, the Bulgarian seeks to improve his fitness and also learn valuable insight from the Portuguese on his coaching methods as he looks ahead to a career in management.
According to Bulgarian outlet Sportal.bg, Berbatov is reportedly travelling to London on Wednesday along with some of his close friends before they head up to Manchester. He is not expected to be at Selhurst Park to watch United take on Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening but instead they will be at the Etihad on Sunday to watch Manchester City face Arsenal in the crunch league tie. The 35-year-old will long be remembered for his exploits in the Premier League with United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham as he completed a combined total of 229 games registering 94 goals and 42 assists spanning almost eight years.