There’s sure to be plenty of Manchester United fans wondering what to do with themselves on certain Tuesday and Wednesday nights this year, what with the Red Devils having failed to qualify for the Champions League.
It’s Manchester City who are the main talk of the town ahead of their showdown with Spanish giants Barcelona tonight, and all United can do is look across to the Etihad Stadium with envy as a host of the world’s best players - and subsequently the eyes of the footballing masses - descend to determine the first leg of the round of 16 tie with Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
What United can boast is virtually unparalleled levels of club news, with papers keen to cash in on the fact that they are going through a period of major transition. A direct result of that means plenty of stories doing the rounds. Here, we’ve compiled some of the best.
Ander Herrera has singled out United hero Paul Scholes for praise, describing the ex-England international as being the main source of inspiration at the club. Despite rumours indicating that he’s set for an early exit from Old Trafford the Spanish midfielder insisted he wanted to learn from the likes of Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick as well, and that his aim was to become a fan favourite.
Since transferring from Athletic Bilbao Herrera has experienced mixed fortunes in the Premier League, and his position in Van Gaal’s squad has hardly been that of a stable first-team regular. However his latest comments will be received well by Red Devils fans.
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"Paul Scholes is maybe the biggest midfielder in United history," he said.
"I want to be Ander Herrera, [but] I want to learn things from Paul Scholes, things from Michael Carrick, things from Wayne Rooney.
"I wish one day, I can be so important to the fans, but I have to work very, very hard for that.
"I wish one day, I can be so important to the fans, but I have to work very, very hard for that"
"But, I am 25 years old, I have to learn a lot from my team-mates, [and] from great players like Paul Scholes and I want to learn."
Feisty U21 affair
Meanwhile fireworks ensued in United’s U21 clash with Sunderland last night, with first-team forward James Wilson suffering a dead-leg that could impact on Van Gaal’s plans and Tyler Blackett being shown a red card.
The news on Wilson is arguably more pertinent given that Robin van Persie left Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium with a protective boot on following the 2-1 loss at the weekend and Radamel Falcao has hardly impressed.
Lastly, AS Monaco aren’t sweating over the future of Falcao, despite his poor form for United. Vice-president Vadim Vasilyev confirmed that a number of ‘great’ clubs were interested in the Colombia international and were waiting on Van Gaal’s decision with regards to if he wants to sign him permanently or not.
A poultry return of four goals in 16 appearances has left fans disappointed with the usually-prolific forward, and as such his days in Manchester seem numbered.