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Manchester United are about to make a transfer mistake and the Glazers are to blame

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At Manchester United, it’s the Glazers – and Joel specifically – who have the final say when it comes to the club’s transfer business.

That means both signings, none of which will be arriving before Monday’s deadline, and outgoing as well.

So, with Donny van de Beek poised to join Crystal Palace, it appears they’ve made yet another bad error of judgement at Old Trafford.

Big things were expected of Van de Beek when United announced his signing back in the summer transfer window of 2020.

Having sparkled for Ajax, particularly in the 2018/2019 campaign when they came agonisingly close to making the Champions League final, his arrival was seen as a major coup.

Many at the time also believed he’d been brought in as a replacement for Paul Pogba, who was being courted by Real Madrid and Juventus at the time.

And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared happy with the signing, with the 48-year-old saying: “Donny has all of the technical attributes needed to perform in this team and has the personality required to succeed at Manchester United.

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“His ability to see space, time his movements and read the game will really complement the qualities that we have in midfield and his arrival really strengthens the depth of talent we have in that position.”

Except, Van de Beek’s time at United hasn’t worked out.

Under Solskjaer, he was often left on the bench and forced to watch on from the sidelines – no matter how matches were panning out.

It was perhaps ironic that Van de Beek was the best player on the pitch in United’s 4-1 defeat to Watford, a match that ultimately triggered Solskjaer’s sacking.

And the Netherlands international has fared little better under Ralf Rangnick, with the 24-year-old starting just one match under his new manager.

Now, a loan move to Crystal Palace is on the cards.

Patrick Vieira is set to welcome the midfielder to Selhurst Park thanks to a little intervention from Van de Beek’s father-in-law, Dennis Bergkamp.

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Yet United fans aren’t happy. Understandably so.

They’re now short on midfielders, an injury away from being left in a tricky position.

Throw in the fact that Nemanja Matic is waning, Pogba wants to leave and Scott McTominay and Fred are too inconsistent, it’s definitely a gamble.

And the Glazers must take responsibility for yet another poor signing having deprived Solskjaer of the reinforcement he wanted instead.

Back in 2020, the Norwegian was adamant Jack Grealish should be signed from Aston Villa.

He was a huge admirer of the England international’s directness, believing he’d be perfect on the left wing along with other talents such as Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Except the Glazers flatly refused to make a bid for the player.

They felt that while Grealish was a good forward, Villa’s asking price of £75million at the time was far too steep.

Solskjaer was disappointed but, with United also focusing on Jadon Sancho, accepted the decision.

Yet United then bought Van de Beek from Ajax instead and Solskjaer was left with a player he never really wanted.

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That has set the tone for what’s unfolded over the past 18 months, with the 24-year-old regularly left on the bench no matter what’s happening on the pitch.

Had the Glazers coughed up the cash for Grealish, who would later go on to join Manchester City for a massive £100m in the summer just gone, this whole situation would have been avoided.

Instead, it’s allowed Van de Beek’s career to drift.

For Palace, his arrival is certainly a major coup. Especially given the potential in his partnership with Connor Gallagher, who has sparkled since moving on loan from Chelsea.

Yet United made his signing for all the wrong reasons and, now, they’re set to pay the price by being so short in the middle of the park.

Whether Van de Beek can rediscover his mojo over in the capital is something only time, ultimately, will tell. 

Chelsea

Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend

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Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

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With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.

Midfield

Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

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Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

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Attack

The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker

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Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

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However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Chelsea

Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

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And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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