Eight out for Red Devils “mad genius” van Gaal, including RVP, Shaw

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Robin van Persie will miss Manchester United’s season-opening bow against Swansea City, one of eight players announced as out by manager Louis van Gaal.

Big-money signing Luke Shaw will also be out for the Red Devils, joining a list that includes Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Rafael, Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans and Sam Johnstone.

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That means either Reece James or Ashley Young will be starting out wide, a fact that will cause some concern for supporters already angry at chairman Ed Woodward for a lack of activity in the transfer market (though it’s worth noting fans were mad at David Moyes more than Woodward last year).

And Red Devils legends Paul Scholes is among those saying that United’s fate hinges on players more than the “mad genius” of van Gaal:

From the BBC:

“I’m sure he [Van Gaal] would have liked to have signed more players,” the ex-England international said. “He’s not managed to do that yet. Are the players out there available?

“People still want to play for United. It’s huge. You get the chance to win the Premier League, but possibly not this year if they don’t make any signings.”

One has to wonder how quickly LVG will face pressure if he doesn’t land names before the end of the window, and the team looks anything like the group that struggled — on a relative scale — last season. Marcos Rojo has said he wants to come, while some reports say a move for Arturo Vidal hinger on van Gaal’s concerns of fitness.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

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The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.