Shinji Kagawa pulled out of the Japan squad to face Iraq today due to a back injury. Japan beat Iraq 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier but Kagawa was left out after complaining of a back injury in training. The injury is said to be only minor but it remains to be seen if Kagawa will be ready for United’s game against Wigan on Saturday particularly when considering he has to fly back from Japan.
According to the Manchester Evening News, United will look to sell Nani to raise funds for a January move for Everton’s Leighton Baines. The club seemingly ended their search for a left-back when they signed Alexander Buttner from Dutch side Vitesse but Ferguson will look to Leighton Baines to compete with Patrice Evra for a starting berth. And with contract negotiations stalling with winger Nani, the club may use the opportunity to sell the Portuguese to reclaim money from the deal to sign Robin Van Persie.
And United have ordered Nani to not divulge further information regarding contract talks. The 26-year-old has been angered by what he perceives as mistreatment from the club after they offered the player to Zenit St. Petersburg. United have so far not yielded to Nani’s contract demands but have instructed the player to concentrate on playing football in the meantime.
Manchester United are reportedly considering selling midfielder Anderson. The 24-year-old joined as a teenager in 2007 for £18m but a cruciate knee ligament injury in 2010 has somewhat hindered his progress. The Brazilian only made 10 Premier League appearances last season and with Benfica and Tottenham Hotspur interested, United could sell Anderson in January or next summer.
Northern Ireland will risk the ire of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson by starting Jonny Evans. Evans had ankle surgery in the summer and has yet to play for United this season but played in Northern Ireland’s loss against Russia on Friday. Evans revealed after the game that he experienced pain in the ankle after five minutes of the game start but played through the pain barrier. National team boss Michael O’Neill is expected to play Evans again tonight in the game against Luxembourg despite assuring Manchester United that he would not risk the fitness of Evans.
Darren Fletcher and Alexander Buttner will be part of a Manchester United XI team that faces Stalybridge Celtic tonight in a friendly. This marks another step-up in Darren Fletcher’s return to first-team action and will see Buttner make a first appearance in a United shirt following his summer move from Vitesse. Federico Macheda will also be available.
New signing Angelo Henriquez has admitted that he is not yet ready to fight for a first-team role. The 18-year-old joined from Universidad de Chile but has accepted that he will need to improve in training and with the Under-21 team before he can challenge for a spot in the first-team squad.
Following rumours last week that Sir Alex Ferguson would be holding ‘hand-over’ meetings with Pep Guardiola in New York, the United boss told El Comercio that he indeed spoke to Guardiola but only for a few minutes. Ferguson took the opportunity in New York to also see compatriot Andy Murray win the US Open.
image: © Marcel Sigg