The Hard Tackle brings you a roundup of some of the major news stories regarding Manchester United
Everton have officially ended Morgan Schneiderlin’s United stint by signing him for a reported £22 million. In doing so, they have reunited the 27-year-old with his former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman after one and a half seasons apart.
During his time at Old Trafford, he made a total of 47 appearances and scored one goal for the Red Devils. He was never able to scale the heights he reached at Southampton under Jose Mourinho and quickly fell out of favour with the Portuguese after a good first season with Louis Van Gaal.
The competition for midfield spots from Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Fellaini and even Bastian Schweinsteiger for a while, never let him establish himself in the United first XI and this move helps United recuperate a large portion of his signing amount.
Another player edging closer to a move is youngster Adnan Januzaj. According to the Daily Mail, the Belgian was the subject of an enquiry from Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais regarding a possible a January switch to the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
The Belgian is currently on a season-long loan at Sunderland, where he is currently in the midst of a relegation battle with David Moyes’ side. The 21-year-old has reportedly revealed his desire to leave Old Trafford after not being rated highly by Jose Mourinho.
He has made 16 appearances for the Black Cats this term, but has never been able to live up to the promise he showed in the 2013-14 season under David Moyes. A failed loan spell to Borussia Dortmund last season was cut short after the youngster was only able to make 12 appearances.
One person who hasn’t failed to live up to expectations this season is summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 35-year-old was recently awarded the EA Sports Premier League Player Of The Month for December and has been an integral part of United’s return to form.
After a bright start to life in the English top flight, the former Swedish captain went through an uncharacteristic dry spell in front of goal, where he didn’t find the net in 6 consecutive games. However, he returned with a bang and since his brace vs Swansea in November, he has scored 7 in his last 8 games.
In 28 appearances in all competitions this season, he has scored superb 18 goals, 13 of which come in 19 Premier League appearances and the former Barcelona and AC Milan forward told Premierleague.com that he was ‘adapting slowly’ to the English game.
On winning the award, he said: “Slowly I’m adapting. I feel comfortable, I feel confident. I’m playing in a great team with great team-mates and a great coach – it’s just a great club. I just had to come and do the things I know I can do well; when you work hard, it pays off.”
Ibrahimovic is also set to extend his one-year contract with United, but Jose Mourinho has already set his sights on Juventus sensation Paulo Dybala and sees him as the heir to 35-year-old’s position at the club, once the Swede hangs up his boots.
According to a report by The Sun, the ‘Special One’ is set to go head-to-head with fierce rivals Manchester City and Pep Guardiola for the 23-year-old’s signature. Guardiola reportedly wants to team him up with compatriot Sergio Aguero to lead City’s attack as he looks establish his dominance in England.
Dybala has been in fantastic form for Juventus since joining in the summer of 2015, where he scored 23 goals in 46 appearances in his first season and has 6 goals this term in 17 appearances, a statistic that would have been far more pleasing if it weren’t for an thigh muscle injury.
Dybala’s form has also courted interest from Spain, with Barcelona and Real Madrid both reported to be interested in the highly rated Argentine. The Biaconeri paid Palermo a mere £23.4 million to secure his services, and they will not even entertain any offers below £50 million for him.
However, Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has no fears of his star man leaving the Turin anytime soon. When he was asked about Dybala’s current situation, he said: “I want to point out that we have a multi-year contract with Dybala and approached his entourage a few months ago to improve his wages, which is only fair. Our rapport is good. There are no fears he could leave.”