Following the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw, one tie stuck out head and shoulders above the rest: Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich.
With the Red Devils stuttering through the current Premier League campaign, but somehow finding themselves in the last eight of Europe, they now facing the reigning European champions Bayern to make the semis. David Moyes’ men have arguably been handed the toughest draw, but will be relishing the chance to knock Bayern off their perch as European champions elect.
Munich have been in ominous form throughout the 2013-14 season, with Pep Guardiola demolishing the old playing style which saw them win the treble last season… and somehow making the Bavarian club even better.
On their day, United can beat anyone. With supreme individual talents like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Bayern won’t be relishing a trip to Old Trafford in the first leg. But surely United would have preferred to play away at the Allianz Arena first, then bring the Germans back to Manchester for a showdown.
These two teams have squared off nine times in Champions League history, United winning just twice, drawing four times and losing on three occasions. One of those victories came in the UCL final in 1999 when United famously scored twice in the final minute to break Bayern’s hearts and win the title.
Can they break Bayern’s hearts again this season? Vote below to let us know, as United are the heavy under dogs vs. Bayern.
The player-swap/trade/transfer between Arsenal and Manchester United still appears to be heading towards completion, but it was further delayed Friday.
Multiple reports in England state that while Alexis Sanchez seems set to move to Manchester United, Henrik Mkhitaryan has yet to agree to move the other way, as talks between the player’s agent and Arsenal continue. Mkhitaryan was seen training at Manchester United’s practice facility on Friday, and because the latest delay, both players would be unable to debut for their new teams this weekend after missing the Premier League registration deadline.
Arsenal hosts Crystal Palace Manchester United travels to Burnley, both on Saturday at 10 a.m. (Watch Arsenal live on CNBC, Manchester United live on NBCSN, and both live on NBCSports.com)
The London Evening Standard reports that Mkhitaryan would command a $242,000-per-week salary but that as of Friday morning he had yet to undergo a medical for the transfer. Arsenal reportedly still wants a transfer fee included for Sanchez, while Manchester United would prefer to just swap the two players.
Am told Mkhitaryan yet to undergo #afc medical. Plus, he's been pictured at #mufc's training ground this morning so debut v Palace extremely unlikely. Means Sanchez will have to wait for #mufc debut too. Deal will happen, but source close to it says it may not happen today.
It’s also looking as if that won’t be Arsenal’s only business in the transfer market. While it seemed like a far-fetched rumor at first, the links between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal have only grown stronger in the past few days, and the Gabon international appears to be in the Gunners sights. It appears that Bordeaux’s young striker Malcolm is now off the table.
No developments expected today on Sanchez/Mkhitaryan. Still work to do as currently Mkhitaryan deal hasn't moved on & could yet go either way. Arsenal hopeful on that + Aubameyang. Talks continue. Malcom off – meetings held but eventually deemed too inexperienced #AFC#MUFC#BVB
The 39-times capped Mexico veteran has inked a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps, joining a strengthened unit which came within a point of winning the West last season.
Juarez, 29, was unveiled as a midfielder by the ‘Caps, though he’s primarily played right back in his club career. He’s played at Celtic, Real Zaragoza, Club America, Monterrey, and Pumas.
Last capped by El Tri in 2012, Juarez has played every position except goal, center attacking mid, and center forward in his career (picture a ‘U’ on the pitch).
“I’m so happy and excited for this new stage in my career,” Juarez said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep growing in a new league and to be a part of an amazing club in Vancouver. From the moment they showed interest me, Carl Robinson and the Whitecaps staff have made me feel very important. I promise to put all my effort into this club and do my best to help us achieve our goals.”
That’s because hopeful buyer Amanda Staveley has responded to claims that her hopeful takeover of the team won’t be happening any time soon.
Talks had stalled, said Tuesday reports, much to the chagrin of an #AshleyOut brigade that at times can make Arsenal’s #WengerOut brigade look like a yard full of happy puppies.
A “source” had said, “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time,” but Staveley shot back on Thursday to reignite the fire. From the BBC, taken from The Times:
“Our bid remains on the table. This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”
She also said that popular manager Rafa Benitez is integral to her interest in the team, and that fact combined with her insistence that an offer remains on the table will have many Newcastle fans seething with current ownership (and there havebeen protests for years). It’s Ashley’s move now.