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09 Jan 2022 18:40:01
I don't think we will see too much activity in this window at OT.
Perhaps a few loan deals out which will help thin out the squad a bit.
I think poch will be our new manager so is it not best to let him or whomever it is have as much input and budget as possible.
Looking forward to tomorrow night. Should see a few fresh faces and some cohesion after a few days training.

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09 Jan 2022 19:08:32
I'm sure the club still expects to finish top 4 at least, and not getting CL for next season could well have a bearing on any summer signings - manager or players. So if any signing can be made in this window that would walk into this side (not out of the question where midfield is concerned) I'm hoping things are being looked out.

09 Jan 2022 21:35:05
Ken I’d hope to see a few fresh faces too, in fact I think us fans would like to see a statement by Ralph and some under performing names dropped!
I think it’s time he put his marker down and by that I mean drop the big names who quite clearly shouldn’t be playing. Maguire, Ronaldo, Bruno even! We’ll see!

08 Jan 2022 11:51:32
ED002,

I've seen on the Eurpoena pages that Utds preferred CM target is Haidara.


Do you think the club will try and sign him during the current transfer window or are they waiting to do business in the summer?

{Ed002's Note - It is very difficult to answer questions about timing, but possibly. Much will depend on departures over the coming months and there will be an added complication of a new manager/coach arriving in the summer - and he or she may well have their own views.}

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08 Jan 2022 14:56:45
Thanks ED002.

08 Jan 2022 16:50:39
He or she!

08 Jan 2022 23:58:25
If you were a betting man/ woman Ed2, who would you say will be appointed as next manager?

{Ed002's Note - There is no final agreement with anyone at this time but the preferred target will likely be unchanged.}

09 Jan 2022 08:39:00
Cool thanks Ed.

09 Jan 2022 10:48:18
Ed002, hope you are doing great.

If I may ask you. Hypothetically let's assume you're given Manchester United today and it's all yours.

With the knowledge you have of the system and all, can you kindly just give a brief look at what you'd do to get the club back to glory days? That includes your managerial choice.

Thanks.

{Ed002's Note - I am afraid I cannot answer that question Yaz. The problems are significant and relate to the structure and the individuals involved, and the way the business is rum.}

09 Jan 2022 10:48:18
Ed002, hope you are doing great.

If I may ask you. Hypothetically let's assume you're given Manchester United today and it's all yours.

With the knowledge you have of the system and all, can you kindly just give a brief look at what you'd do to get the club back to glory days? That includes your managerial choice.

Thanks.

{Ed002's Note - I am afraid I cannot answer that Yaz. The problems remain as I have explained, the structure, the individuals and the way the business is run. It will make it difficult to attract players when folks know so many are unhappy with their lot at the club.}

09 Jan 2022 13:47:11
For me this is the reason i wouldn't rush to appoint a "top" manager i'd let ralf rangnick get proper coaching staff in place give him a year or 2 to get things in place and organise the club its what he's very good at. I feel like appointing a manager at this point they will most probably have the same issues as the last 4 have had.

{Ed002's Note - That is not the plan.}

09 Jan 2022 13:55:06
Thanks Ed002, I appreciate.

I just hope we find our way out of this mess.

09 Jan 2022 14:26:13
I assume the primary target is Pochettino, who has won even less than OGS.

09 Jan 2022 18:04:15
Ed can you see this changing when Ed Woodward leaves his position?

{Ed002's Note - I think it is a bigger deal than that.}

09 Jan 2022 19:25:33
Ed in your humble opinion, do you think it will need a change in ownership for it to change?

{Ed002's Note - No.}

09 Jan 2022 14:15:32
Hopefully rr js the man to change the way the footballing side of things is run.

09 Jan 2022 23:08:37
Thanks for the replies ED002 ?.

05 Jan 2022 18:07:05
Neves news, but also Kamara today. Kamara would be so smart to do. He's practically going to be free, and we don't have much competition. I really hope we pursue him, Ed you seemed to have great insight on it, has any other club moved further to snap him up in January? It seems he did not re-sign by January, so Marseille want to sell now right?

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06 Jan 2022 07:42:50
This is what Ed02 wrote late last year in the now legendary shappy-esque update post, hope this helps.

Boubacar Kamara (DM/ CB) is doing himself no favours by not committing to a new contract. Bayern Munich are still keen and may well have a pressing need to replace Marc Roca in January. Marseille have been approached by a third party on behalf of Newcastle, but they will be seen as a less than attractive option. Milan may just bite and look for a pre-contract, but Marseille could look to a January sale with ex scout Georges Santos joining West Ham and recommending the player - but he would probably be a Declan Rice replacement if anything were to happen, so it is unlikely. Interest of Chelsea has shifted elsewhere but Barcelona remains keen on taking Boubacar Kamara and a member of the Marseille staff. The member of Marseille staff says she is still hopeful that agreement can be reached to extend his contract. If there is no decision by the end of December, then Marseille accept he will move on - possibly as a Free Agent. Manchester United have spoken with his agent, which would be as a Matic replacement. Manchester City, like Chelsea, have a preferred option now.

06 Jan 2022 07:54:10
That klessie. from ac milan would be a good shout, going for a free aswell in the summer.

06 Jan 2022 09:21:47
To be honest Kamara is probably my preferred option for CDM. Similar in style to Declan Rice, but available at a fraction of the cost.

Ideally I'd like to see a move for him in January, as I think we need the boost. Plus paying a small fee to Marseille is better than creating tensions with them by signing him to a pre-contract.

While the likes of Kessie, Zakaria and Haidara are all excellent players they are better suited to the box to box role. While we have McTominay and Fred who are box to box midfielders and only Matic who is a true holding midfielder.

We look a far more stable and balanced side when a fit and on form Matic plays. He is the player we need replacing and for me either Rice or Kamara are the ideal options. Kamara is just the far more achievable signing while leaving significant funds to boost the squad elsewhere.

{Ed002's Note - There were discussions between Marseille and a club about Kamara yesterday and tehre are further discussions today with yet another side.}

06 Jan 2022 10:30:56
Ed002, that is interesting. I assume Marseille are resigned to losing him now. Are Manchester United either of the sides in discussions with Marseille currently?

{Ed002's Note - No. Boubacar Kamara (DM/CB) is doing himself no favours by not commiting to a new contract. Bayern Munich are still keen and may well have a pressing need to replace Marc Roca in January. Marseille have been approached by a third party on behalf of Newcastle but they will be seen as a less than attractive option. Milan may just bite and look for a pre-contract but Marseille could look to a January sale with ex scout Georges Santos joining West Ham and recommending the player - but he would probably be a Declan Rice replacement if anything were to happen, so it is unlikely. Interest of Chelsea has shifted elsewhere but Barcelona remain keen on taking Boubacar Kamara and a member of the Marseille staff. The member of Marseille staff says she was still hopeful that agreement could be reached to extend his contract by the end of December but that did not happen and there are talks going on with Juventus and Roma and Marseille accept he will move on - possibly as a Free Agent. Manchester United have spoken with his agent, which would be as a Matic replacement. Manchester City, like Chelsea, have a preferred option now. Roma offer a very good option and there is a very good relationship with Mr Mourinho. There will be other clubs looking for discussions this month.}

06 Jan 2022 10:50:10
Don’t know much about Kamara to be honest so can’t comment, but him and Neves should both be achievable this window. Ship out Lingard, Mata, and Donny on loan to make space.

06 Jan 2022 17:44:05
Sigh. Sounds like once again another club getting the jump on a bargain, low risk signing and we are sitting by twiddling our thumbs playing Matic b2b when his legs have gone.

06 Jan 2022 23:32:13
Get the feeling Ralf prefers Haidara.

05 Jan 2022 13:53:50
Ruben neves links back would be a good signing start of a midfield revamp. I think we'd have to lose lingard and mata (id also let pogba and martial go personally) at least before anyone comes in, for me i'd get the player in and then it forces you to make space.

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05 Jan 2022 15:15:02
Decent player, but is the fact that he's better than anything we've got enough? Probably.

05 Jan 2022 15:22:47
hes more than decent spenno and fits the 24 and under that RR likes to buy.

hopefully there is some truth to the rumours,

got to think why did we buy vdb? what a waste.

05 Jan 2022 15:45:50
He was purchased as a Pogba contingency plan. In the end we are stuck with both.

05 Jan 2022 15:56:01
well both will most likely be gone in the summer,

could be a big window for us in the summer with out goings.

05 Jan 2022 16:27:43
Neves is a lot more than better than we have - he is one of the best players in PL and has been for 2-3 years now.

I know this is only one game but my Hammers fan mate told me Neves is the only midfielder opponent that has outplayed Rice this season - I think it was in November and Neves was best player on the pitch in that game. Very underated.

{Ed077's Note - Ruben Neves one of the best players in the PL? Really? I tend to disagree boyfromburrenway..

He isn't even in my top 5 midfielders in the league let alone. But he would be an upgrade on our midfield.

05 Jan 2022 17:14:19
ED077,

UTD should be looking at Bissouma and not Neves.

{Ed077's Note - I agree 100%. Even more so now than under Ole I think. Maybe his off field issues have deterred us a little. OR more likely our recruitment team don't think he can sell much shirts or has enough instatwitbook followers?

05 Jan 2022 18:03:11
Neves has a good range of passing and vision to open up defenses from deep.
Although he is not very mobile, his attributes are what we need in our midfield.

05 Jan 2022 17:40:27
ED077,

Exactly. If a player can't sell shirts then interest in that players begins to wane. Sadly, that is hiw the club is run. I hope RR can change that.

05 Jan 2022 16:38:46
Someone who can look after the ball and actually make a pass.
I think it's a good signing, still only 24 as well.

05 Jan 2022 19:23:47
I might be biased because I really love watching Neves- that pass for tehir goal this week - Bissouma is also class act - as mentioned on these pages over the last month, lot of very good players out there 20-40 million that would improve us no end but are possibly not big name or sexy enough for a lot of the fanbase.

06 Jan 2022 00:51:06
Who out of neves or Bissouma would cost 20-40m? ?.

06 Jan 2022 05:55:17
Im not saying Bissouma or Neves would be in that price bracket -although last transfer window it was reported Brighton would have been looking for 40 mill for Bissouma when he was linked with Arsenal and Livepool.

But Zakaria, Kessie, Kamara and just about every player RR has been linked with in the media as admiring so far if true that I hadnt heard of such as Hardrida, Adams, the CH from Barcelona and the german right sided full back none has a price tag of over 35 mill and if RR is really tracking them and recruitment is his strongpoint then I would trust his judgement and the club should too rather that always buying big name indivuduals with big egos who thingk they've made it once they sign their first contract.

02 Jan 2022 23:50:36
What do people make of the Martial Dembele swap, one Moody French man for another.

{Ed002's Note - If it were to happen then Barcelona will be over the moon. They are looking at out of contract players, cheap deals, swaps and creative proposals.}

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03 Jan 2022 00:28:00
Would Barcelona entertain some kind of offer for de Jong from Utd, Ed? And would the player be interested?

{Ed002's Note - I would not hold your breath. There have been discussions with three sides (two from England) and Barcelona are looking to avoid selling de Jong whilst they have plenty of others to move ion.}

03 Jan 2022 00:56:24
Pity. Cheers Ed.

03 Jan 2022 10:31:13
Speaking of outs, we need to do the same. Any concrete interest in Martial or Lingard yet Ed?

{Ed002's Note - Yes Eric. As I have explained in great detail.}

03 Jan 2022 13:29:08
Dembele is horribly injury prone. Stay well clear imo and not what we need.

03 Jan 2022 13:47:40
If we did the swap would either team be able to tell the difference. like for like in so many ways!

03 Jan 2022 14:12:23
Cool thanks Ed.

03 Jan 2022 15:54:14
Wouldnt want Dembele as a free gift. i'm guessing Barcelona fans aren't overjoyed about getting Martial either.

03 Jan 2022 16:29:30
Literally a swap deal where somehow everybody loses ?.

04 Jan 2022 10:19:32
Does lose lose equal win win?

02 Jan 2022 17:30:01
Well the January transfer window is open and the player we are linked to most strongly is Julian Alvarez.

Who on the face of it doesn't seem to fit our most pressing need, yet maybe that is why he might be a good option.

The January transfer market is notoriously difficult to make good signings in. Clubs are not prepared to lose their best players mid-season while they will either be fighting it out for honours or battling relegation. While typically only the players either not playing well or not playing at all are keen to move, those doing well often don't want to disrupt themselves.

Look at our squad, its players like Martial and Donny who want to leave, players not getting much game time.

For us while CDM might be the most important position to address, it is because its such a key position which is why we might not see a signing there in January. It's not a position/ role where we can afford to sign our 4th or 5th choice, or worse just whoever is available.

It's a position where we absolutely need to sign our first choice, and only if they are available in January should we sign them.

I'd be more inclined to recall James Garner from his loan if we absolutely needed another midfielder in January (only if he is going to play) rather than sign anyone just to get a body in.

That is why a player like Julian Alvarez makes more sense, its not a key position we need for the first 11 immediately. While with Martial looking to leave, Cavani off in the summer and Ronaldo 37 by the start of next season it is an area we will need to address in the not too distant future.

Therefore signing a player who is happy to move in January while taking advantage of the clause in his contract that allows him to leave for the fairly "cheap" fee of 17m makes sense.

As for that midfield role the only signing for me that makes sense in January would be Boubacar Kamara IF he is the clubs first choice.

Paying a relatively small fee for a player in January who we could get in the summer for free isn't normally the best thing to do. Yet in this case for two reason's I think it might make sense. Firstly the fight for top 4 is real and a tough one this season. Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester and West Ham are in with a chance along with ourselves. So any signing we could get that helps would be greatly appreciated. Secondly, I think the situation with Marseille is such that if he left for free it would create "bad feeling" between the clubs. Which is always best avoided if possible.

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03 Jan 2022 00:32:23
Rangnick said himself midfield is the priority, and another player repeatedly linked is Haidara, maybe because yes he has played for Rangnick but also (supposedly) has a release clause. I agree we shouldn’t be going for players too far down the shopping list, but also hope we’re not just looking at the easier premium names like Rice when we’ve already proved the marquee signings aren’t always the wisest.

{Ed002's Note - Try searching - there is interest.}

03 Jan 2022 06:53:26
Denis Zakaria will soon be out of contract.
I feel he is perfect for the EPL.

03 Jan 2022 09:46:07
Id argue with our midfield options of Matic and McFred, even getting our 4th or 5th choice would be an upgrade in that position.

Even a loan deal stop gap signing would be worth pursuing in January to get someone with a half decent first touch and not scared of passing the ball. Even someone like jonjo shelvey would be an upgrade on our current midfield options in terms of passing certainly.

03 Jan 2022 10:32:40
I’m Assuming that’s tongue in cheek DSG. Shelvey would look out if place in League One. Awful.

03 Jan 2022 12:14:24
DSG, that's not true though. We didn't sign a midfielder in the summer because we still had Matic, Pogba and Donny on the books.

Therefore signing a sub-par player now just to get someone in could mean we are stuck with that player in the summer and they restrict our ability to sign a top class player then.

Spenno, sometimes the obvious choice (Rice) is obvious for a reason. He would instantly improve our side and is both a top player and someone with potential to get even better. That doesn't mean he should be the player we sign, but I wouldn't be against the club signing him just because he is an "obvious" choice.

TRD, Zakaria looks a bit of a beast. I doubt the physicality of the EPL would be too much for him, in fact I think he'd thrive in it. He reminds me a lot of Patrick Viera, tall, strong, strides forward with the ball but technical and a great passer as well.

Personally I think we need less of a box to box player and more of a holder. Matic is the only natural holding midfielder, McTominay and Fred work better when given the freedom to roam around a bit more.

That's why I feel someone like Rice or Kamara would work better than Zakaria or Haidara.

03 Jan 2022 13:26:18
We actually can get Zakaria and Kamara combined for probably less than 20 million.
But need to move on Matic, Lingard, Martial, Mata and few others.

03 Jan 2022 14:40:33
TRD, maybe so but do we NEED both?

Would both be able to settle at the same time?

Typically it's never a good idea to bring in two new players in the same position at the same time. Invariably one succeeds and the other struggles. Case in point when we signed RvN and Forlan at the same time. Both quality players, but it's difficult for two new players in the same position assimilate into the team at the same time.

Football is a team game and the team dynamic is important. Players knowing how the manager wants them to play and be used to those demands. Players knowing their colleagues and knowing when, where and how to pass to them, or where to move to receive the ball etc.

I'd imagine over the next couple of windows we'll see us sign a CDM, a CAM/ winger, a ST, then maybe a RB and maybe a CB depending on departures.

I think we might see a couple of youngsters be added to the first team on a more regular basis. Maybe someone like James Garner, which would give us potentially a second "new" body in midfield.

02 Jan 2022 10:41:28
The Alvarez rumours seem to be really picking up pace. Really don't understand this one - another striker/ inside forward type.

Cavani, Ronaldo, Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood, Martial, Elanga, Diallo, Shoretire, Pellistri.

I know he's had an injury but I'm already disappointed by the lack of game time given to Amad Diallo - a far better prospect than Elanga IMO.

The only reason I can see for Alvarez is if Martial (thank goodness), Cavani (gutted) and Diallo/ Elanga (loan) exit in January.

EDs - is Alvarez likely? If so, how about the above mentioned exits? (HNY to you all, too and thanks for all your continued hard work) .

{Ed002's Note - He would be a Martial replacement. I have explained about potential departures.}

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02 Jan 2022 12:41:11
Only based on ropey YouTube footage (sorry, not a frequent visitor to the River Plate stadium) he looks an exciting player, with lots of goals from outside the box so he's not afraid to have a pop. Whether there is any substance to the rumours I have no idea but it looks like the front-line is up for a little fine-tuning.

02 Jan 2022 14:55:22
I don't know much about him, supposedly highly rated and has a better record in Argentina than Lautaro Martinez had before his move to Inter Milan.

If we are going to persist with a front 2 formation then we will need to find a younger striker.

Martial will be leaving, possibly in January While Cavani will be off in the summer.

That leaves a by then 37 year old Ronaldo, as well as Rashford and Greenwood as our options in the striker positions.

At a reported 17m and on fairly low wages I think he could be a excellent replacement on Martial.

02 Jan 2022 16:41:46
Lets just hope there is some kind of clear thinking behind it. Diallo, Pellistri, VDB seem to have been bought in with no clear plan what to do with them.

02 Jan 2022 23:29:32
Pellestri and amad are clearly for a couple of years time. both would have been out on loan but amad got injured. I'd be interested to see if we send pellestri somewhere else in January because he's not getting much game time this season and he seems a bit behind . i have a feeling donny will go to Newcastle on loan this month they need to sign decent players and he could help dig them out if the hole their in.

02 Jan 2022 08:58:51
HNY to all.
Ed, what is the situation with Alvarez? Will he be moving to United?

{Ed002's Note - Julian Alvarez (S/RW/F) was looked at by Aston Villa but they opted for Buendia. Milan at one point thought that they would lose Alexis Saelemaekers and declared an interest but that has likely passed. Spurs have several versatile forwards they have shown an interest in and see value in Alvarez. Bayer Leverkusen are looking to the player as a potential Bellarabi replacement. There are significant changes coming at Inter Milan in the summer of 2022 and they could make an attractive offer. Fiorentina see him as an option to replace Vlahovic. Joaquin Correa arrived on loan but they continue to look for options who can provide more width and Alvarez is very much on their list. Juventus and Barcelona are keen although he is not the preferred choice for either. A potential Anthony Martial replacement for Manchester United. His is agent, Fernando Hidalgo, has been speaking with all of the clubs mentioned.}

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