Manchester United could soon be up slack alley in the Champions League. Because of the ways in which the group finished, United and other English teams might come up against some of the best teams in the world. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus are all potential last-16 opponents, and United are comfortably worse than all of them.
That doesn’t mean that they have no chance, it just increases the importance of a good transfer window this winter, and of Jose Mourinho’s tactical acumen (ability to park the bus and still score a couple).
United have denied Manchester City the chance to film their behind-the-scenes documentary this weekend as they meet for the derby.
Quite reasonably, they probably have no need to help an opponent, and don’t want the pointless distraction of some kind of new Being:Liverpool carry-on.
Also, they are probably jealous that City have found a method to monetise their existence in a way that Ed Woodward has yet to pull off.
Juan Mata has not ruled out United competing for this season’s Premier League title. As one of the few players in the squad to have won a league title, he is probably one of the senior players in the squad with the responsibility to keep players going until, or if, Manchester City have a wee wobble, at which point they can increase the pressure.
And according to this story in the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United are not interested in just one playmaker, but two.
The first is Arsenal midfield Mesut Ozil, who has somehow transformed his performances now he has a new contract and transfer in site this winter or next summer, and also James Rodriguez. Rodriguez is on loan at Bayern Munich so there’s still a vague chance that United could foul up their deal.