Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could drop Patrice Evra for the weekend’s game against Wigan and hand new signing Alexander Buttner his first start. Buttner was signed for £3.9m this summer from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and Ferguson is prepared to offer Buttner a chance to stake a first-team place in favour of Evra who appeared vulnerable in the game against Southampton.
Manchester United are monitoring the progress of 18-year-old Italian striker Domenico Berardi who plays for Serie B side Sassuolo. The Italian Under-19 forward has already made first-team appearances for Sassuolo and Sir Alex Ferguson has instructed his scouts to compile a dossier on the player before progressing with any concrete bid for the player. This past summer, United signed young strikers Nick Powell and Angelo Henriquez as prospects for the future.
And United are also rumoured to be interested in 17-year-old Real Betis winger Alvaro Vadillo. The young Spaniard has been touted as the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’ and United have reportedly offer €3m for his services. Vadillo was recently promoted from the Real Betis B team to the first-team and Barcelona and AC Milan are also said to be monitoring his progress.
Darren Fletcher stepped up his return from a bowel condition last night as he played the full 90 minutes in a Manchester United XI’s friendly game against Stalybridge Celtic. Alexander Buttner and Federico Macheda also appeared in the 2-1 defeat to the non-leaguers.
United have injury concerns going into Saturday’s game against Wigan with Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa picking up knocks on international duty. Van Persie was taken off during the Netherlands’ 4-1 win against Hungary due to a thigh injury and Kagawa missed Japan’s win over Iraq through a back injury. Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal allayed fears by insisting Van Persie’s substitution was precautionary and Kagawa has already reassured fans that the back injury will not sideline him.
Ashley Young has lauded teammate Antonio Valencia asserting that the Ecuadorian winger ‘has it all’. Valencia was named the club’s player of the year last season and Young believes Valencia has all the necessary attributes: "He attacks, he defends, he can shoot, he can cross, he can pass. He has it all and that's why he scooped up everything at the end-of-season awards. It's why the players voted for him and it's why the fans voted for him.”
Manchester United have denied speculation that Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent trip to New York involved ‘handover’ talks with Pep Guardiola and have insisted the trip was a personal holiday for Ferguson to see compatriot Andy Murray win the US Open. Ferguson admitted he had met Guardiola for a ‘few minutes’ and United claim this meeting only happened coincidentally.
Rio Ferdinand has been handed a six-month driving ban after being caught speeding three times in five weeks. A speed camera captured the defender driving over the limit at the same spot and Ferdinand will now be unable to drive for the period despite claiming he needs a car to drive his children to school.
image: © Paolo Camera