7.45am Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Diallo signing CONFIRMED, Grealish LATEST, Van de Beek urged to LEAVE club

MANCHESTER UNITED are gearing up for their FA Cup third round tie against Watford after losing their Carabao Cup semi-final to rivals Manchester City.

Meanwhile on the transfer front, the Red Devils confirmed the signing of Amad Diallo from Atalanta, while we've the latest on potential target Jack Grealish.

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Follow all the latest with our blog below…

  • Richard Forrester

    GOOD MORNING UTD FANS,

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised United fans one of the most exciting young players in world football with the arrival of Amad
    Diallo.

    The Red Devils have confirmed the £37million transfer of 18-year-old Diallo from Atalanta as their first January signing.

    He said: “As a club, we have followed Amad for a number of years and having watched him myself, I believe he is one of the most exciting young prospects in the game.

    “Manchester United has such a proud history of developing young players and everything is in place to enable Amad to reach his potential here.”

    Diallo himself has admitted it is a dream come true to finally seal his move to Old Traford.

    The winger – who is yet to decide on his shirt number – told the United website: “After waiting since the summer, it is finally
    a dream come true to complete my move to Manchester United.

    “I am hugely ambitious and there is so much that I want to achieve in the game; when I spoke to the manager I knew that I had joined the perfect club.

    “This is a really exciting squad with so many great players, I can promise that I will work hard every day to learn from them and give everything to develop my game.

    “The coaches have been fantastic since I signed, we have been in touch regularly and they have already given me a lot of great advice.

    “I have had time to prepare for this move, both physically and mentally, and I have worked really hard to be ready to make the step up to this amazing club.”

    And finally, United’s wantaway keeper Sergio Romero is reportedly nearing a move to Boca Juniors.

    The Manchester Evenings News claim the Argentinian has already said his goodbyes to his Red Devils teammates ahead of his Old Trafford exit.

    The 33-year-old, who is out of contract this summer, is expected to end his six-year stint with the club in this month’s transfer window.

    Romero has been training in Argentina and local reports in Buenos Aires claim he is keeping fit in the Argentinian capital ahead of a move to Boca.

  • Joe Brophy

    SILVER LINING

    Paul Pogba has his sights set on ‘the big stuff’ after shaking off yet another semi-final disappointment.

    He said: “The club is built on winning big things so that is all we want to get — the big stuff.

    “We have to learn. Next time, we will do better. Last year they dominated us, that wasn’t the case so we are improving.”

    United team-mate Bruno Fernandes agreed and posted on Instagram: “I’m very sad to once again don’t reach a final.

    “We have to learn and understand we can’t make the same mistakes.”

  • Joe Brophy

    JAMES IS THE NAME

    Lionel Messi is now the world’s 97th most valuable footballer.

    Incredibly, Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself 131th with two of the greatest players of all time both trailing Manchester United star Daniel James.

    That is according to the latest CIES Football Observatory, whose algorithm uses such factors as performance, age and contract length, as well as club and country represented to determine an individual’s worth.

  • Joe Brophy

    DIAL M FOR MANCHESTER

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Amad Diallo has all the tools to prove an important player for Manchester United in the years to come.

    Diallo has made five senior Atalanta appearances – however, just two of those came this season, totalling 35 minutes of action.

    He did score six minutes into his senior debut last term, though, in a thumping 7-1 win over Udinese.

    Solskjaer said: “It will take time for him to adapt but his speed, vision and fantastic dribbling ability will stand him in good stead to make the transition.

    "He is a player with all of the raw attributes that are needed to be an important player for Manchester United in the years to come.”

  • Joe Brophy

    WET HIS BEEK

    Donny van de Beek, 23, has started just two Premier League games this season and has been completely left out the squad for United's last three fixtures.

    Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Scott McTominay have all been featuring ahead of him in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's preferred centre-midfield.

    And Berbatov is not convinced they are better than Van de Beek.

    He told Betfair: "Are all these players better than him? I don't think so, everybody is different and everyone can bring different qualities to a game. That's why I'm wondering what is going on.

    "I still think he can help the team. The minutes he is getting isn't enough to build his confidence and integrate him into the team and to get used to the Premier League.

    "Sometimes you can be ahead of other players purely based on your name and reputation, this is how unfair it is in football sometimes."

     

  • Joe Brophy

    DON AND DUSTED

    Donny van de Beek should be banging on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's door, according to Manchester United legend Dimitar Berbatov.

    The Bulgarian told Betfair: "He should be banging on the manager's door and asking 'what is going on?'

    "He should be asking why he's not playing and what he can do to improve his situation. Then depending on what answers he gets, he can evaluate and do what is necessary.

    "He's only 23, so he's got lots of football in him and he won't want to waste any time. It's an unpleasant situation for the player and hopefully it gets resolved soon.

    "He needs a run of games in a row to give him confidence. I can see that his confidence isn't high at the moment, and that's normal because when you don't play you start punishing yourself and ask questions of yourself.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if he is starting to look for the exit and nobody will blame him. Something isn't working."

  • Joe Brophy

    HE DOESN'T LIKE ME TAKING MIC

    Micah Richards joked that broadcasting buddy Roy Keane "definitely wants to punch me" after suggesting the pair go on tour.

    Former Manchester City defender Richards and ex-Manchester United midfielder Keane have been a surprise hit as a punditry double act on Sky Sports.

    Taking to Instagram, Richards floated the idea of touring their double act before covering the Carabao Cup semi-final clash between their old clubs.

    Keane looks up from his phone and lets out a wry smile as Richards films and says: "Roy, you said we're going on tour? Didn't you?"

    The former England international then brings Sky Sports presenter Laura Woods into the shot, commenting: "Loz, you're my witness. We're going on a road tour!"

    Richards lets out his iconic laugh and then pans the camera back to a clearly amused Keane.

    He captioned the clip: "@LauraWoodsy is my witness. Road trip Richards/Keane. He definitely wants to punch me."

  • Joe Brophy

    GAME ON

    Sean Dyche says footballers should be fast-tracked for coronavirus vaccination, to prevent the game being forced into another shutdown.

    He explained: “I think vaccination throughout the game is the way forward for football.

    “I appreciate some people will be surprised by that comment, but if you think about it, we’re all going to get vaccinated.

    "And we all wanted football back, for the cash it generates through tax, and the well-being it generates has been seen.

    “The obvious most high-profile example is Marcus Rashford and what he achieved. There’s a lot of good come through football,

    “I am not trying to step in front of key workers, the vulnerable or anyone who needs it. But if there is a window to fast track football, then you would keep it on the TV in a really tough period.

    “I appreciate there will be people who disagree with me wholeheartedly. But I just feel the balance between getting vaccinations to footballers quicker, the payback would be enormous by comparison.”

  • Joe Brophy

    POT LUCK

    This season's FA Cup winners will bank just half what Arsenal received last year – at £3.4million.

    The Gunners scooped a total £6.8m for beating Chelsea at Wembley in May.

  • Joe Brophy

    TITLE TROUBLE

    Manchester United need to get their hands on silverware to ease the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Gary Neville.

    He told Sky Sports: "I said before tonight that I felt there was more expectation on this game for me as a Man United fan than there will be a week on Sunday against Liverpool at Anfield.

    "No one this season expected Man United to challenge for the league title, but I think there was a feeling: win a trophy.

    "Ole, at the end of this season, will have been there two-and-a-half years, and to go two-and-a-half years without a trophy, it will start to bring a pressure, because it helps you on your way."

  • Joe Brophy

    DEVIL MAY CARE

    Amad Diallo has admitted it is a dream come true to finally seal his move to Old Traford.

    The winger – who is yet to decide on his shirt number – told the United website: “After waiting since the summer, it is finally a dream come true to complete my move to Manchester United.

    "I am hugely ambitious and there is so much that I want to achieve in the game; when I spoke to the manager I knew that I had joined the perfect club.

    “This is a really exciting squad with so many great players, I can promise that I will work hard every day to learn from them and give everything to develop my game.

    "The coaches have been fantastic since I signed, we have been in touch regularly and they have already given me a lot of great advice.

    “I have had time to prepare for this move, both physically and mentally, and I have worked really hard to be ready to make the step up to this amazing club.”

  • Joe Brophy

    A-MAD FOR IT

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised Manchester United fans one of the most exciting young players in world football with the arrival of Amad Diallo.

    The Red Devils have confirmed the £37million transfer of 18-year-old Diallo from Atalanta as their first January signing.

    Solskjaer said: "As a club, we have followed Amad for a number of years and having watched him myself, I believe he is one of the most exciting young prospects in the game.

    “Manchester United has such a proud history of developing young players and everything is in place to enable Amad to reach his potential here."

  • Joe Brophy

    DIALLO DONE

    Manchester United have confirmed the £37million signing of 18-year-old Amad Diallo from Atalanta as their first January signing.

    The clubs agreed a deal before the transfer window closed in October but the teenager stayed with his boyhood club for the first half of the 2020-21 season while work permits, personal terms and a medical were finalised.

  • Joe Brophy

    SERGI-GO

    Manchester United's wantaway keeper Sergio Romero is reportedly nearing a move to Boca Juniors.

    The Manchester Evenings News claim the Argentinian has already said his goodbyes to his Red Devils teammates ahead of his Old Trafford exit.

    The 33-year-old, who is out of contract this summer, is expected to end his six-year stint with the club in this month's transfer window.

    Romero has been training in Argentina and local reports in Buenos Aires claim he is keeping fit in the Argentinian capital ahead of a move to Boca.

  • Josh Graham

    GIVE IT A JESS

    Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has been linked with a move to West Ham.

    The Star claims the Hammers have opened talks with the player's agent.

    Lingard, 28, is entering the final six months of his contract at Old Trafford.

    David Moyes is looking to reunite with the attacking star after coaching him at the Red Devils.

  • Josh Graham

    MEUL IT OVER

    The way Manchester United played in the Carabao Cup semi-final 'would not have been allowed' under Sir Alex Ferguson, according to the Scot's old No2 Rene Meulensteen.

    Rene Meulensteen implied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have changed tactics against CityCredit: Action Images – Reuters

    Via talkSPORT, he said: "If you look back at the amount of United wins in the last minute of games and extra-time, it was all based on keeping the pressure on but mainly making sure there was the quality and the composure.

    "The game that springs to mind was the game also against City when Michael Owen scored the winner, and if you look at that, that was on the highest quality when Ryan Giggs played in the ball to Owen.

    "Sir Alex would never have allowed that [how United ended the game on Wednesday night].

    “He would have changed things tactically to even put more more pressure on the opposition and force them to make mistakes. But there was always quality that got the goal that was getting us the draw or the win.”

  • Josh Graham

    NOT RACIST

    Edinson Cavani was NOT racist when he wrote the “negrito” comment that earned him a three-match ban.

    But FA disciplinary beaks agreed they had no option other than to impose the minimum sanction available to them – and suggested Manchester United should have warned Cavani about unacceptable language.

    Edinson Cavani was not racist when he used the word 'negrito' onlineCredit: AFP or licensors

    South American football chiefs have rushed to Cavani’s defence after the Uruguay striker was banned last week, demanding the FA rescind the punishment of thre ban and £100,000 fine.

    The charge came after Cavani’s response to an Instagram congratulatory message from a friend, Pablo Fernandez, after his match-winning contribution off the bench at Southampton on November 29.

    While Cavani and Manchester United said they accepted the ban, the Old Trafford outfit insisted they expected the FA to state the striker’s comments carried no racist intent.

    And in the full written reasons for the commission decision, published by Wembley chiefs, it emerged that the FA made clear it was NEVER their case to question Cavani’s intent.

    However, the three-man commission, which included former Aston Villa and Bolton midfielder turned lawyer Gareth Farelly, did suggest United should have explained the regulations that were brought in by English football in August.

  • Josh Graham

    PELL OF A CHANCE

    Manchester United youngster Facundo Pellistri has been promoted into the first-team squad ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie against Watford.

    The MEN reports the 19-year-old has made the step up from the Under-23s after a number of impressive performances.

    He joined on deadline day in the summer window from CA Penarol.

    The Uruguayan forward could make a senior debut at Old Trafford this weekend.

  • Josh Graham

    DOUBLE TROUBLE

    Manchester United defenders Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were blasted for 'costly' after the Red Devils crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the semi-final stage.

    United lost 2-0 to rivals Manchester City and former France ace Frank Lebouef has taken aim at the back four.

    He told ESPN: "Football is made of mistakes and that’s what it is. You concede goals because you make mistakes. The thing is with Manchester City this season they don’t make mistakes.

    "Stones and Ruben Dias have been absolutely fantastic.

    "It’s not the case for Manchester United where on the first goal, I want to know what Maguire has to say about that. He doesn’t react, the ball comes close to him and he doesn’t react.

    "The second goal, the first thing you know when you’re a defender is when you kick the ball away you never kick it in the middle of the park.

    "You kick it on the side. Wan-Bissaka did it straight to Fernandinho’s feet."

  • Josh Graham

    MIND GAMES

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is adamant Manchester United do not have a psychological problem in semi-finals.

    The Red Devils boss suffered a fourth successive last-four cup exit last night as the noisy neighbours across Manchester KO’d them 2-0 – leaving Solskjaer with the unwanted record of losing as many domestic semi-finals in the last 12 months as Sir Alex Ferguson did during his 26 years as United boss.

    Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said their semi-final hoodoo is not psychologicalCredit: AFP

    The Norwegian said: “It is not psychological. You meet good teams in the semis and at the moment they are the best team in England and we did not have enough. I don’t think it’s a mental issue.

    “We played a really good Man City team. When they play well, you have to play really well to beat them.

    “That is the reality of where we are at. We are getting closer. This is a much better United compared to a year ago in that semi.

    “That is positive but that is not enough. Tonight it was about that lack of quality compared to them. When you get to this stage of a competition, you are always playing against the better teams and it is fine margins.

    “So I repeat, it’s not a mental thing. We need to be better, that’s it. It comes down to having the right practices, some habits and some desire at times.”

  • Josh Graham

    RED RETURN

    Manchester United have recalled goalkeeper Matej Kovar from loan at Swindon Town.

    The 20-year-old headed to the County Ground last summer to spend the campaign with the Robins.

    Now the Czech stopper has had that stint cut short – although he is expected to go elsewhere for the remainder of the season.

    Kovar started impressively at Swindon but kept just one clean sheet in 20 appearances for the League One strugglers.

    He will link back up with United’s Under-23 squad back at Carrington.

    But the club are looking into the possibility of sending him out to another EFL team.

    Swindon want to replace him before the weekend and have been linked with Bournemouth’s Mark Travers.

  • Josh Graham

    NO GARN DO

    Manchester United youngster James Garner will NOT be able to face his parent side in the FA Cup.

    Garner is on loan at Watford but FA rules forbid him taking the field against the Red Devils.

    Th 19-year-old will sit out of Saturday's third-round tie.

    There are three former United men in the Championship side's squad including keeper Ben Foster, midfielder Tom Cleverley and defender Craig Cathcart.

  • Josh Graham

    TABLE TOPPER

    Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward is back at the top of Premier League's highest-paid directors.

    Accounts posted at Companies House show the 49-year-old earned a whopping £3.09million last season.

    Ed Woodward is the best paid Premier League execCredit: PA:Press Association

    He lost top spot to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in the 2018-19 season after he raked in a staggering £7m.

    The Times reports that figure included a generous £3m bonus after Spurs moved into their new stadium.

    Levy's earning dipped to £2.96m last season, slightly below that of Woodward.

    The main reason for the drop was because Levy took a 20 per cent pay cut for two months at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Woodward's latest salary is a tiny drop of the previous year where he earned £3.16m.

  • Josh Graham

    'DISAPPOINTED'

    Paul Pogba spoke of Manchester United's players' disappointment after crashing out in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup to neighbours Manchester City again.

    The French midfielder told MUTV: "Of course it is disappointing because it is not the first one against City at home.

    “We are disappointed with the result, obviously, with the two goals from set-pieces.

    “It can go both ways but we lost today. It is not the first one, like I said.

    “It is very annoying to lose because there is a trophy behind all of this. We have to do better, we have to do better for sure.

    "It is details. Details make the difference all of the time and now when it is big games like this, it is details and at set-pieces we lost.

    We have to learn, we have to get through this because, after this, there are big games coming up after tonight and tomorrow we will go again."

  • Josh Graham

    KNICKER-BOCA GLORY

    Marcos Rojo could finally end his Manchester United turmoil after agreeing a two-year deal with Boca Juniors, according to reports.

    The Argentine defender is on the brink of heading back to his homeland after being frozen out at Old Trafford.

    Marcos Rojo could be set to finally quit Old TraffordCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Rojo, 30, spent the second half of last season on loan with boyhood club Estudiantes.

    He has yet to feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side this campaign and is happy to leave in search of regular football.

    According to ESPN, Rojo has agreed personal terms with Boca Juniors but the fee remains a stumbling block.

    The Argentine giants are hoping to sign him for nothing as he approaches the final six months of his contract.

    United do have the option of extending his £100,000-a-week contract by a further year.

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