Champion League

Man Utd exits, Carvalho Liverpool future

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It’s not been a good time for Manchester United lately after the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth and just one win from their last seven Premier League games now. It’s important to remember the incredible injury situation at the club, though, with 60 separate cases of players being injured or ill this season – a really shocking number and they are discussing this internally at United.

But of course many of you have been asking me about the Erik ten Hag situation – what I can say is that Ten Hag has been honest with what he’s saying in public about having positive talks with co-owners INEOS. This is the reality – Ten Hag is having conversations with INEOS about the project and about the summer ahead. This was also the case earlier in the season, when Ten Hag spoke with the board and approved the decision to sign an important centre-back in 2024.

But, of course, results are crucial. Even if Ten Hag has had a positive involvement so far, INEOS of course want to see something positive on the pitch in the final weeks of the season, for example in the FA Cup. The end of the season, in terms of both performances and results, is going to be important for INEOS to decide the future of Ten Hag, so the situation remains open.

We also know that this situation will be looked at by new people on the board. John Murtough recently left the club and Jason Wilcox will be an important appointment after doing fantastic work at Southampton, and previously at Manchester City’s academy. The call from Manchester United was a really big opportunity for him, and he’s not speaking with Liverpool or any other club, it’s only Man United. He has an agreement with United over a contract, so now it’s just about an agreement with Southampton. He looks like he’ll be really important for United’s present and future as he knows how to manage young talents really well.

Then there’s Dan Ashworth – it’s important to say that the conversations over this move continue. Ashworth wants to work for Man United, he hasn’t changed his mind, so everything is on track between him and the Red Devils, but it’s just about Newcastle. Talks are still ongoing for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and people at Newcastle to find an agreement, but the future plan is clear.

Moving on from the manager and the board, it’s also important to say that the summer at Manchester United will be very busy. Anthony Martial is going to leave – he had some opportunities in Turkey and France in the January transfer window, let’s see what will happen in the next months but for sure he’s not staying at Man United.

Raphael Varane is another who, at the moment, has not been offered a new contract by United. We had rumours back in March about a new contract based on appearances and game time, but I’m told this is not true. Let’s see if things change, but as of today Varane has not received any proposal from the club, so his future remains open.

Sofyan Amrabat has a buy option in his loan from Fiorentina but at the moment the intention is not to trigger the buy option. Amrabat at the moment looks like he could return to Fiorentina, while there will also be discussions over other players like Christian Eriksen and Casemiro – these players will discuss their futures at United in the summer.

Casemiro could seal a transfer away from Manchester United

With Casemiro, it’s important to clarify that although Saudi interest is there, Man United and Casemiro never received any formal proposal from Saudi clubs, so let’s see if that will change in the summer.

After that, INEOS expect the club to be busy in terms of signings. The plan is clear – there could be at least one new signing at centre-back, or maybe even two, depending on what happens with Varane. United have been scouting important centre-backs like Jean-Clair Todibo, Gleison Bremer, Antonio Silva, Jarrad Branthwaite – these are important players appreciated by United.

They will also invest at left-back, no matter what happens with Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia – the idea is to bring in a new left-back for next season who can be an important option, not just for rotation.

It’s also crucial to say that United will sign a new striker because Martial is leaving and so they want more competition there in the number 9 position. For the moment United are still discussing internally if they want to go for a young striker or a more experienced striker, for example Ivan Toney, who could be available on the market, while United are informed of his situation. Let’s see if they decide to attack this situation or go for a younger player.

Other outgoings will also need to be resolved, such as Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood. For the latter, I’m still told that the idea is for Greenwood to be sold, for the club to cash in on him. Despite reports, I don’t have anything on Lazio and Greenwood so far. Many clubs are monitoring him but all waiting to understand Man United’s final position. Lazio asked for Greenwood on Deadline Day last summer but it was always Getafe leading the race from what I heard.

To end on a more positive note, United remain optimistic on a new deal for Kobbie Mainoo. Discussions are ongoing, United are working strongly on that, also because INEOS are eager to make Mainoo one of the faces of the project for the present and future. He’s already on a long-term contract so it’s not a hugely urgent issue, but they want him to receive an important salary, and so this is one of the priorities of the club.

It’s important to congratulate Bayer Leverkusen for winning the Bundesliga yesterday, and they did it in style with a 5-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen before incredible scenes of celebration at their home stadium.

It’s been a fantastic job by Xabi Alonso – underrated in my opinion, as Xabi took over in October 2022 and in just 18 months they’ve been able to go from second bottom to first in the league and winning the Bundesliga in style with zero defeats, dominating since day one. It’s incredible. The board did an insane job, as well as Xabi and the players. Boniface, Grimaldo, Frimpong but also Xhaka are the perfect example of an incredible, perfect mix. What they’re doing is fantastic, congrats to Leverkusen.

As for what happens next, there have unsurprisingly been plenty of rumours about Leverkusen having their best players poached. My understanding is that Leverkusen could sell one player, it could happen; but I don’t see them selling more than one. Xabi Alonso decided to stay also because the club will back him on the market and keeping the main part of this group is crucial, so my expectation is for maximum one top, top player leaving, but not Florian Wirtz.

Fabio Carvalho – After some fine form on loan at Hull City, there is some interest emerging in Liverpool’s Fabio Carvalho. At the moment it’s just interest in terms of calling to ask for the situation, not a negotiation with Liverpool so it’s too early to discuss a potential formula of the deal or similar. Liverpool won’t decide now, it will depend on new manager, there are many things to sort before discussing Fabio’s future but his performances are appreciated by many clubs.

Zinedine Zidane – Linked again with the Bayern Munich job, but I’m not aware of something advanced involving Zinedine Zidane at this stage. Bayern have considered many managers during the last months, top coaches like Zidane and Conte are free so it’s normal to discuss internally, but I’m still told that Julian Nagelsmann is the favourite candidate with Ralf Rangnick and Roberto de Zerbi still on the shortlist, based on what’s going to happen with Nagelsmann.

Jose Mourinho – There have been some surprise reports linking Jose Mourinho with West Ham. Honestly I have zero about Mourinho and West Ham now. I have no idea if he’d accept this kind of job, because I’m not aware of anything happening. Let’s see if becomes concrete, but as of today, it’s not something I am personally hearing.



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