Meet Pedro, the man behind the curtain

Pedro Rodriguez

“If Pedro was Brazilian, he’d be called Pedrinho and we wouldn’t have enough money to afford him.” Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola had little but positivity for Pedro – full name Pedro Eliezer Rodriguez Ledesma – in 2011. It aptly sums up the Catalan winger’s career. Despite the Spanish international winning every trophy attainable before his 23rd birthday, […]

Di Maria experiment fails, now comes the fallout

Angel Di Maria

In the end it was just four words that ended Angel di Maria’s time at Manchester United: Louis van Gaal’s curt assertion that he “does not know why” the Argentinian failed to board a plane to the United States on Saturday. Four words that will hasten Di Maria’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in the coming […]

The curious case of Ilkay Gündoğan

Ilkay Gundogan

A few months ago it looked certain that Ilkay Gündoğan would be heading through the exit door at Signal Iduna Park and into the arms of the red half of Manchester. At one stage Sky Germany even reported a transfer done – pending a medical that never materialised. Soon the rash of media reports went cold and the story […]

Data Rant: United’s summer game of Moneyball II

Morgan Schneiderlin

The ‘Moneyball’ approach is now omnipresent in sport. Sabermetics, econometrics as applied to baseball, translates poorly to football, but the overall thought still holds. The idea of ‘buying’ goals and assists, rather than players, is not all that revolutionary. Last summer, Data Rant utilised the Moneyball approach to look at some potential signings. With Manchester […]

Schweinsteiger adds new dimension to Van Gaal’s burgeoning squad

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Three transfers concluded, how many more to come this summer? Manchester United’s confirmation that Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is to join from Bayern Munich adds to a growing sense of momentum at Old Trafford. The player may be creeping towards his 30s, but Schweinsteiger is legitimately one of the world’s finest central midfielders – and […]

Van Gaal builds from the back but cannot neglect United’s attacking front

Matteo Darmian

Manchester United’s impending capture of Torino right-back Matteo Darmian is the first in what could be three defensive acquisitions this summer; the Italian international may even join before Louis van Gaal’s squad leaves, next Monday, for a short tour of the United States. It is a sound purchase in a window that promises a more […]

United must heed Cesc education

Sergio Ramos

July 15, 2013. The ides, it turned out, of Cesc. Ed Woodward, freshly appointed as Manchester United’s new executive vice chairman, made his first big move in the transfer market that day: a £25 million bid for Barcelona’s Cesc Fàbregas that was swiftly rejected. Woodward’s was a pursuit that ended in failure; just one in a […]

Poll: who tops your summer transfer wishlist?

Gareth Bale

Transfer season is in full swing, with Louis van Gaal having already signed £30 million Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven this summer. The Dutch winger is likely to be the first of four or perhaps five top quality signings in a busy summer that could stretch to another £150 million spree. At least if Van […]

Deadwood

Radamel Falcao

“When you purchase other players you get another stimulus in the group and you need that. Our selection is out of balance and we have managed to be fourth in the league but we have to manage to be the champions. So it shall be a rough summer I think for a lot of players.” […]

Europe awaits – now United must prepare

Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Ashley Young

Short of a 15 goal swing to Liverpool over the final two games of the campaign Manchester United’s return to Europe’s élite is all but confirmed, with Louis van Gaal’s side set to enter the Champions League at the play-off stage next August. After more than a year away from Europe’s premier competition it is a […]