UK Where Manchester United stand on Frenkie de Jong amid reports he prefers Chelsea last minute news
PremierLeague-News.Com- The MEN's chief Manchester United writer Samuel Luckhurst answered your questions in a wide-ranging webchat.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Manchester United commence their Premier League season against Brighton on Sunday afternoon and it remains all-systems go on and off the training ground before that curtain raiser. After signing Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez this summer, Erik ten Hag continues to pursue his priority target, Frenkie de Jong, while speculation over Cristiano Ronaldo's future is still at fever pitch even after his return to Carrington - lacing up his boots for the first time this pre-season against Rayo Vallecano. During his latest Q&A session with supporters, the MEN's chief Manchester United writer Samuel Luckhurst spoke about transfer business, selection dilemmas and a whole range of other subjects - bringing you closer to what goes on behind the scenes at Old Trafford. READ MORE: Ronaldo drops selection hint Here are the highlights from that Q&A session; Q: Do you expect many more ins/outs from United? Are the club sources maintaining that they are 'busy' and any specifics to what they are working on? SL: I do think they will sign one or two more players but only because they have to. It's already a failing of the new regime that the season starts in three days and they have not recruited for either of their priority positions. United always expected outgoings would be busier towards the end of the window because - let's face it - there's not a market for United duds. Nobody wants to pay a fee for flops on high wages and obscenely long contracts. So there will be more loans than sales (if there are any more of those). Q: What's the latest on [Jadon] Sancho? Is he going to be available for selection for Brighton? SL: They'll give him until the final session on Saturday - if needed - to be fit. He was out for a while due to tonsillitis at the end of last season. Q: Is it true that Frenkie de Jong prefers a move to Chelsea? Or is it just people putting two and two together as he values playing in the Champions League and Chelsea can offer it? If so is Ten Hag a big enough factor to outweigh Chelsea and their ability to offer Champions League football? SL: I couldn't say for certain De Jong prefers a transfer to Chelsea, but put yourself in his position and you probably would; London living, Champions League football and maybe a bigger wage. Cristiano Ronaldo with Amad and Alejandro Garnacho at Carrington (Image: Manchester United via Getty Images) Q: Sancho and [Anthony] Martial weren't in the training images. Will they be available for the game? If not, who do you see starting as the striker when Ronaldo is not match fit yet? SL: Ronaldo started at the weekend and if one of the tour front three is out then you have to put him in. I think Ten Hag would as well. If he didn't, then that is a headline in itself and United could do without it.
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. Q: Very simple question, how do you see United's season going IF they do not land De Jong and attacking reinforcements? Basically, with the squad as it is (maybe with a few fringe player departures) do you think top four is achievable? SL: It'd be Europa League or bust. [Thomas] Tuchel's narky nature or [Antonio] Conte's combustible streak may let United into the top-four, but they would be banking on a rival imploding. Their squad is not one of the four best in the league; the goalkeeper will be scrutinised. Has he adapted? [Harry] Maguire will be scrutinised, the midfield is mid-table standard at best and there is no strength in depth in attack. Ten Hag has improved the team - at least on the early evidence.
Christian Eriksen shone on his first 'proper' appearance.
(Image: Manchester United via Getty Images)
Q: Are we likely to see Martinez or Eriksen start this weekend or are they still not fit enough? SL: I would have them both start and United have also had the benefit of a 'closed week' of training to prepare. It could have a bearing on Ten Hag selections more than some pre-season games. Just to signal a shift, taking [Victor] Lindelof and [Scott] McTominay out for Martinez and Eriksen would be advisable. Ten Hag has favoured continuity with selections, while Lindelof and McTominay have more match rhythm than Martinez and Eriksen. Q: Do the club still have confidence that De Jong will get signed before the deadline or does the supposed Chelsea interest make it unlikely now? This has to be the most confusing saga for fans... SL: I got a message at the Youth Cup final from a source to say there had been movement and I thought; really? A 25-year-old Barcelona starter and Netherlands international dropping down to Europa League fodder, who've had an abysmal season and are almost permanently in disarray? There were red flags the moment the interest emerged, and someone should have reluctantly pulled rank over Ten Hag. MORE TO READ: The latest Manchester United news United could land ideal £8million bargain Neville sends United transfer warning Neville gives 'unpalatable' Ronaldo verdict Sesko could get 'dream' squad number