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Man United chief Ed Woodward had four fantasy transfer targets for the Glazers to sign



Today is set to be Ed Woodward’s last day at Manchester United before he’s replaced by Richard Arnold.

The 49-year-old announced earlier in the year that he’d be leaving Old Trafford following the failed European Super League plot. And he’s set to depart having signed just one of his four fantasy transfer targets.

United had hoped Woodward would be a huge hit upon giving him enhanced responsibilities at Old Trafford following the departure of David Gill.

However, on his watch, the Red Devils have regressed.

United have failed to get anywhere near winning the Premier League title during Woodward’s stint as executive vice-chairman.

And that’s meant the likes of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all losing their jobs along the way.

To make matters worse, Woodward has also long struggled when it comes to pulling off transfers.

Sure, he deserves credit for big and complicated deals for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria and Romelu Lukaku over the years – even if three of the four never lived up to expectations.

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But many other players evaded the club on Woodward’s watch.

In 2017, the Manchester Evening News say the United supremo had drawn up a list of four fantasy targets he wanted the Glazers to sign.

Yet, Ronaldo aside, the club failed to get any of them in the door.

Ronaldo moved back to the Theatre of Dreams this summer after 12 years away, having previously looked set to join Manchester City.

But without wanting to take anything away from Woodward, he moved back because there was a shortage of clubs rivalling United and City for the player’s signature.

Also on Woodward’s list was Gareth Bale.

Yet the Wales international has never moved to United despite being the subject of transfer rumours for the best part of a decade.

Bale was wanted by Mourinho back in 2017 yet chose to stay at Real Madrid, having become settled over in Spain.

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He did move back to the Premier League with Tottenham last year however, despite impressing towards the end of his loan spell, then returned to the Bernabeu again.

Neymar is another name Woodward was eyeing four years ago.

However, Paris Saint-Germain signed him in 2017 and it’s likelier he’d leave for Barcelona if he’s to ever quit the Parc des Princes.

The fourth player on Woodward’s list was Thomas Muller.

Yet he remains a Bayern Munich player and has long indicated he wants to see out his career over at the Allianz Arena.

Woodward can hold his head up high for giving this job at United a good go over the years.

But supporters will be hopeful his successor, Arnold, can pull off the deals to make the club Premier League champions once again.

Woodward said earlier this year that he was ‘proud’ of the work done at Old Trafford over the past seven years.

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He said: “I am extremely proud to have served United and it has been an honour to work for the world’s greatest football club for the past 16 years.

“The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year.

“I will treasure the memories from my time at Old Trafford, during a period when we won the Europa League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup.

“I am proud of the regeneration of the club’s culture and our return to the Manchester United way of playing.”

United chief Joel Glazer added: “Ed Woodward has served the club with great distinction. On behalf of everyone at United I would like to place on record our sincere thanks for his tireless work and dedication.

“His contribution to the club has been massive, and he will always be welcome at Old Trafford as a part of the Manchester United family.”


Barcelona youngster in line to bench Jordi Alba for Real Sociedad clash – report



As Barcelona drew 0-0 against Rayo Vallecano for the season opener, Jordi Alba was among the five to be substituted off to make way for offensive depth. The Spaniard is usually among the brightest offensive outlets in the team, but failed to make an impact last week.

Alba also looked out of his depth during pre-season, and it was reported that people within Barcelona were surprised that he started over Alejandro Balde.

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The 18-year-old was impressive during the run-up to the league opener, and was expected to take Alba’s place in the lineup.

While that did not happen vs Rayo, Javi Miguel reports that he is in line to start against Real Sociedad as the left-back. Xavi has informed Balde about his decision, and has told him to train with high intensity leading up to the game.

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Balde has been linked with an exit from Barcelona, especially given Marcos Alonso’s imminent arrival. However, an impressive performance at Anoeta could open the doors for his continuity.

The Chelsea defender has reportedly completed his move to Barcelona, subject to registrations and signatures. The club plan to announce it in the coming days if they are able to register Jules Kounde in time for the game.

Balde played in every single one of Barça’s pre-season fixtures, even registering an assist — to Raphinha —, against Inter Miami.

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Barcelona fans will hope the gamble pays dues, especially because it will likely not go down well with Alba, who is one of the team captains

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Barcelona yet to receive any offers for exit-bound right back, price tag sits at €20m



Barcelona are said to be pushing Sergino Dest towards an exit, but a recent report from journalist Adria Albets has confirmed that the player does not have any offer at the moment.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, neither have Manchester United tabled any formal offer for the right-back, nor have they made contacts with the 21-year-old’s representative.

For the moment, Barcelona are clear pretty clear about offloading Dest but in order to fulfil the operation, they are demanding in excess of €20 million.

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For that particular reason, his agents are finding it hard to find a suitor as no club is willing to match the valuation for a player who is already fallen down the pecking order.

Xavi has so far preferred to use make-shift centre-back, Ronald Araujo, as a full-back. And while the Uruguayan has done well at times, it’s pretty clear that the team is looking to bring in a full-time right-back this summer.

For that, several players such as Hector Bellerin, Juan Foyth, Diogo Dalot, Thomas Meunier and Jeremie Frimpong have been considered, but there remain several complications in carrying out the operation

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To begin with, Villarreal’s valuation of €42 million for Juan Foyth is proving to be a hindrance.

Barcelona are finding themselves in this situation mostly because their attempt to sign a certain Cesar Azpilicueta failed.

Meanwhile, as far as Dest is concerned, he knows in order to get regular minutes, he needs to move away from Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s asking price of €20 million is putting a stop to his desire.

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Manchester United were thought to be weighing up a fresh move worth €20 million for the defender, but the Premier League side is yet to make any formal move. Hence, the Dutch-born American defender continues to train within the Barcelona ranks for the time being.

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m



Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Chelsea would reportedly prefer to sell Christian Pulisic rather than loan him out this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing the 23-year-old Blues attacker on loan

is understood that Chelsea would rather offload the American on a permanent basis, though.

The report says they’ll listen to offers for Pulisic during the next couple of weeks, but want to recuperate the full £58million they paid for him a few years ago.

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With Chelsea demanding nearly £60million for the forward, will any club step forward with a bid?

Chelsea prefer to sell Pulisic

It makes little sense doing Man United a favour by sending them Pulisic on loan, so you can fully understand why a permanent transfer would make much more sense.

Described as a “huge talent” earlier this year by Gary Neville, Pulisic is a player that frustrates supporters at Stamford Bridge.

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The winger can produce moments of brilliance in the final third, but there’s no major consistency in his game.

He finished last season with eight goals and five assists in 38 matches across all competitions, which wasn’t a bad return considering he missed a couple of months with an ankle problem

However, the United States international can’t seem to become a real favourite under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

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His 2019/20 campaign is proof of what a talented player he can be.

The forward had 21 direct goal contributions in 34 Blues appearances, but it was a familiar case of injuries interrupting him whenever he builds up some momentum.

It would be quite a surprise if a clubs willing to fork out a near-£60million sum for him.

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