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Manchester United deadline day stance shows they’re learning from mistakes and panic

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There was no need for yellow ties or 24-hour rolling coverage at Manchester United’s training ground on transfer deadline day this year, not that it stopped many media outlets from milking the club’s brand to market their output.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick had already warned early on that there would be no new faces at United during the winter window — even if he wanted there to be — given the global pandemic that has affected many clubs and pushed squad depths to their limits.

It is believed Rangnick would have liked to have seen the United squad reinforced ahead of a pivotal end to the campaign, but with plans to hire a permanent manager before the end of the season, the club had a perfect excuse not to get involved in the buying side of things this January.

The club’s stance on signings was as it always is in these circumstances.

United had no plans to sign anyone but were always open to a late move if the right player came available for the right price — see Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

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Even that sensational swoop for Ronaldo at the start of the season was cloaked in desperation. Sure, this was the return of a club legend, but it was not a planned one, as Sir Alex Ferguson delved back into United matters to ensure he didn’t end up on the wrong side of Manchester.

With 14 goals in 24 appearances this season, many fans will point to his late signing as a triumph, yet there are still many who would question whether it has actually been a success.

Ronaldo brought an increase in standards back to Old Trafford, which haven’t been met, and has netted some hugely important goals.

However, there is also an argument that they might not have needed late heroics so often had they focused on cohesion rather than individual brilliance.

The Portuguese polarises opinion, but United’s lack of buying activity on the first deadline day of 2022 does at least signal this is a club that has a long-term plan and is planning big things for the summer.

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Two years ago, it was a desperate swoop for Odion Ighalo after a failed move for Erling Haaland left the club with only one recognised striker following an injury to Marcus Rashford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried, and failed, in pursuit of Joshua King and Salomon Rondon, eventually leading to a deal for Ighalo with only hours of the window remaining.

Two summers ago, there was further desperation as United scrambled on deadline day for reinforcements, eventually signing four players to bolster a squad that had hitherto only been enhanced by Donny van de Beek.

Edinson Cavani was signed after being flaunted around Europe to no avail — a gamble which has since paid off. Alex Telles arrived from FC Porto, while teenage duo Amad and Facundo Pellistri joined after the club had failed to sign Jadon Sancho.

A year later, they would land the Dortmund attacker, further evidence of a club that lacked flexibility and imagination in the market.

See also  Manchester United have other deadlines to meet in the transfer window

However, this year, the passing of the deadline signals the start of United’s summer plans and an opportunity for them to get creative when whittling down their list of targets.

The Manchester Evening News reported last month, United are already planning for up to four signings this summer, with strengthening the midfield viewed as top priority.

United actually commenced plans for the summer window in September and are currently finalising their shortlist of targets, something made slightly harder by the uncertainty regarding their next permanent manager.

United are planning with the intention of appointing their next permanent manager before the end of the season, with the club mindful of the benefit of settling on Rangnick’s successor well in advance of the summer window opening in order to avoid a scenario as chaotic as when David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

With no new faces in the January window, there will be even more pressure to deliver the goods this summer.

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Report: Arsenal now really Keen to sign ‘Astonishing’ attacker who scored more goals than Gabriel Jesus last season

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According to But Football Club, Arsenal want to sign Bayer Leverkusen and France winger Moussa Diaby before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners are looking for a new wide player. Raphinha was high on their wish list and Mikel Arteta tried really hard to bring him in. The Brazilian, however, joined Barcelona for £55 million (Sky Sports) instead, and Arsenal have now apparently turned their attention to Diaby.

Arsenal really keen to sign Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen

Diaby is one of the finest players in the Bundesliga.

See also  Man United closing on game-changing signing with term almost agreed

The 23-year-old France international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions, which is a truly sensational return for a wide player.

His performances have caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Arteta’s Arsenal. The report claims that Diaby ‘strongly appeals’ to the Gunners boss, who is really keen to bring in a new winger before the window shuts.

The ‘astonishing‘ winger has come out and claimed that he wants to stay at Leverkusen this season, while the German outfit are keen to retain his services too.

See also  Jurgen Klopp explains why he is not happy with Cristiano Ronaldo's Man United transfer

However, the report claims that if an offer in the region of £59.2 million arrives, they will let him go.

Arsenal don’t intend to pay that figure, but the report claims they will try to negotiate a deal for a lower fee.

Diaby still has three years left on his contract at Leverkusen.

Diaby really is a sensational player.

31 goal involvements in a single campaign for a 23-year-old wide player is a truly sensational return.

See also  Jose Mourinho slams Man Utd and Tottenham as new Roma boss claims he's "a victim"

Even Gabriel Jesus, who is viewed as the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring woes, didn’t score as many goals as Frenchman last season.

Arsenal’s backup winger at the moment is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, on his day, is unplayable, but sadly for Arsenal supporters, those days have rarely ever occurred over the last three years.

Diaby would be a massive upgrade over Pepe, but whether Arsenal can lure him in remains to be seen.

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract

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The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

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Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

See also  Man United closing on game-changing signing with term almost agreed

Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

See also  Manchester United have other deadlines to meet in the transfer window

Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one

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Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

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However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

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Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

See also  Manchester United have other deadlines to meet in the transfer window

Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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