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Open thread…Juve mutterings.


First on the agenda must be Dejan Kulusevski. Who is rumoured to be on his way out, with none other than our old friend Paratici apparently eager to try pluck him from Turin and offer him a chance to shine in London. Arsenal also are in the mix, so say the usual suspects.

This talk bothers me, even depresses me, for it brings me no confidence whatsoever in the new management. Especially with the mooted price of 25m. Just to break even on the book value. Why the hell are we looking to offload one of our most talented youngsters? Who has been woefully mismanaged since arriving, first under Pirlo, played all over the shop, then under Max, unable to find anything but brief cameos. And yet…everything I have seen of the player oozes class.

And a brief reminder of his breakthrough season at Parma>>>

Powerful, a beautiful left foot, physically strong, creative, able to take on opponents in tight spaces and retain the ball and with a left foot more close to, perhaps even more accurate than Dybala. All this and still only 21 years of age.

I understand why he could be deemed surplus to requirements, as the club have signed Chiesa, a natural RWF, after renewing Juan, a natural RWF who can also play RM and RB, which leaves little space for the giant Swede. Still…Juan is in the latter stages of his career, Chiesa is so good he can prove potent at CF, LWF, RWF, likely behind the front line also.

As you may gather, I feel it would be an awful move for the club to remove one of the strongest young talents in the squad, before ever giving him a proper run in the side in a natural role to see what he can do in our colours.

Shelvey and Pogba pair up in the worst XI of the Premier League weekend...

Another old friend, Monsieur Pogba, is also not quite spoken of always in the same breath as Juve, but the link is inherent in any chitchat of his possible departure from United. Which seems far from inevitable, but certainly curious to track.

Paul has mega quality, world class talent, but has rarely shown this at United. And I am far from convinced he should be where we plunder a huge chunk of gold. He would improve us, no doubt whatsoever, and who knows eh? Perhaps he could regain a stronger mentality which has been lost – at club level – since he left.

The idea of somehow getting Rabiot and Ramsey off the wage bill and using that freed up money to pay Pogba…seems fanciful, but would be a strong move. The other issue with Paul is…why would he join Juve when we are unlikely to be challenging for any top honours and he will have much better placed, richer suitors? Does he have any sentimentality? Could Raiola’s grand designs actually help us become stronger?

Alvaro Morata has complained again about the abuse he receives off the field, which he is right to do so. Yet this does not detract in the slightest from his poor form for Juve. Whilst I was a fan during his first stint at the club, he has since proven everywhere else he has played that he will never be the prolific striker we desperately need. The deal to bring him back seemed mega expensive, and if we are to pay the demanded fee, add in the wages, and the move looks around 70m. Which is staggering and awful in relation to the output he delivers on field. Very much hope we cut our losses on this one. Never felt he had the right mentality, too sensitive, a sweet hearted chap, not really cut out to prosper in the cut throat climate where we exist.

Looking more expansively across the squad, it is no surprise to find most of the midfield linked with either other clubs or simply mentioned as players we hope to move on.

Rabiot, Ramsey, Mckennie…add in Kulusevski and it may well be the case that Max has made his conclusions and passed these onto the directors, with Cherubini and perhaps Arrivabene now set to task to get rid and bring in what the whole management consider stronger, or better suited replacements.

To have most the midfield available for sale very much confirms what many of us have been barking on about for many moons. Namely, that we have invested very poorly indeed, neglected criminally, the all important engine room of the squad.

We may well find some suitors for Rabiot and Mckennie, and if so, I hope we can sell them. Ramsey however, will be close to impossible to move on. His wages are far too high to be even near matched by another club, let alone a club he deems in line with his standing in the game. It is not as simple as FIFA or PES or Championship Manager. We don’t just put him up for sale and choose which interested party we like. The Welshman has been an appalling signing, rarely fit, and when available has offered next to nothing. A very expensive failure. Which we may be stuck with unless we agree to pay some of his salary at his next club, which could be the only viable option to cut the wage bill and free up space and funds to get someone else in who could offer more. The Paratici legacy haunts us at every step…

Of those who might come in…The Swiss midfielder Zakaria appears interesting. Who despite our ongoing links with Donny van de Beek, Ryan Gravenberch and Aurelien Tchouameni, it has been reported that Max Allegri contacted the player personally, to put us ahead of Barca in the chase for his signature.

The Swiss looks a physical menace with tidy feet for a big lad, naturally excelling as an anchor in the midfield yet also able to play in defence. The very skillset we have long missed, who could potentially allow Locatelli to move to a more exciting mezzalla position…a true holding midfielder.

I would also add in Arthur, as open for sale, perhaps not yet but in the Summer if he fails to find any form. We cannot afford to have any players who basically miss a whole season through ongoing injury concerns, then fail to make any meaningful impact thereafter.

And to end with…perhaps the most beautiful setting for a football field I have seen>>

May be an image of tree and nature
Moscow, Russia