Axel Tuanzebe

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Rashford, James, Pogba star as Manchester United hammers Leeds in Perth

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Manchester United topped Leeds 4-0 in a comprehensive victory in Perth that saw Marcus Rashford and new signing Daniel James run rampant down the flanks.

Rashford scored in the 27th minute with a beautiful move down the left that threw two Leeds defenders into each other, while James struck the post just before halftime on an overlap down the right in his Red Devils debut.

Also on the scoresheet was 17-year-old Mason Greenwood who received a hard, low cross from fellow debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka and beat two Leeds defenders in a footrace to the ball on the doorstep for a sliding finish. The move was started by Paul Pogba who found the new Manchester United defender down the right with a wonderful through-ball, leading to the delivery into the box. Greenwood has had quite the last 12 months, scoring for the Manchester United U-17, U-18, U-23, and now senior side all in that span.

After the break, Phil Jones found the back of the net by powering home a corner with his head, while Anthony Martial finished off the scoreline with a penalty after Tahith Chong was fouled in the area by Liam Cooper. Chong impressed throughout the second half, linking well with fellow Manchester United youth product Angel Gomes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer found playing time for just about every first-teamer, completely changing the side at halftime. Nemanja Matic was one of the halftime introductions, but was curiously withdrawn with 12 minutes to go, unclear if due to injury. The only Red Devil in the squad to not see the field was 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe.

Reports: Manchester United agree to world record Harry Maguire deal

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According to a number of tabloid reports across England, including The Mirror, The Daily Star, The Express, and The Sun, Manchester United has come to an agreement with Leicester City for a world record fee to complete a long-rumored deal to send Harry Maguire to Old Trafford.

The reports all claim the deal is worth $100 million, making Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in the world. The rumored fee would surpass the $96 million Liverpool paid for Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk. The up-front value is $88 million, with the rest to come later in add-ons.

The reports claim a medical is scheduled for Monday and the deal will be announced shortly after assuming all goes well.

Maguire has been linked heavily with Manchester United this summer, and Manchester City was connected two, with both clubs reportedly seeing bids of $88 million rejected by the Foxes this summer. Reports emerged recently that Maguire was unsettled by the rejected bids, with the club holding out for $113 million, but it appears Manchester United was ready to meet in the middle. Maguire was apparently annoyed that Leicester City was unfairly keeping him from a move up despite bids already in that topped the supposed value of highly touted Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, with Maguire also reportedly claiming the club had told him upon penning a new five-year contract last summer that they would not turn down a fair offer.

The 26-year-old England international fills a position of need for the Red Devils, who conceded 54 goals last campaign, the second-most of any team in the top half of the Premier League table. However, Manchester United will likely have to offload a number of central defenders this summer to balance the squad, with Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, and Axel Tuanzebe all already on the books.

Maguire would become the third signing of the summer for Manchester United behind Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Man United expect more arrivals; Pereira, Tuanzebe sign new deals

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Maybe Manchester United won’t splash a lot of cash this summer after all…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer locked down two academy products to long-term contracts on Friday, as Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe committed their futures to the Old Trafford club, but he has also been talking about signing new players.

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And it seems like he isn’t that confident off adding more than one new player this summer…

Speaking to Man United’s website as the squad prepare to head to Australia and the Far East for preseason, Solskjaer said he is delighted to have signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James this summer and is hoping to make just a couple of new additions between now and the 2019-20 campaign kicking off.

“Well, it’s a long-term and it’s a short-term project. You cannot just think three years down the line, so we’ve got short-term goals as well, of course,” Solskjaer explained. “I think we’ve been quite calm and good in the market as we’ve got the right people, and we’re still working on a case or two. Of course, we’re always looking to improve the squad and, all over the summer, I’ve been in touch with Joel [Glazer] and Ed [Woodward] and all the recruitment people, and analysis people. I’ve got to say it’s been very good so far. I’ve got the backing and we’ve got the people we wanted, for now, and there will probably be some more business being done.”

With United linked with moves for Harry Maguire (United had a $87 million bid turned down by Leicester earlier this week) and Bruno Fernandes among others, those two deals could cost over $200 million to complete. Maguire in particular would be a huge coup with Manchester City also said to be interested in him, as United’s main aim in the transfer this summer is to get younger across the board and better defensively.

It seems like Solskjaer is keeping his cards close to his chest, and the amount of signings he makes will likely depend on which players he can shift on with no UEFA Champions League action to rely on.

As for the players signing new contracts, Pereira, 23, signed a new three-year deal, while Tuanzebe has agreed a three-year contract. There is an option year for both players to extend the deal, as both look like being a part of United’s squad this season.

Pereira featured 29 times for United last season and the Brazilian scored a screamer in a 3-2 win against Southampton, and with Ander Herrera leaving for PSG and Pogba potentially being sold, Pereira adds extra cover in central midfield and a little extra attacking flair.

Tuanzebe, 21, excelled on loan at Aston Villa last season at center back and it was thought he could return to PL new boys Villa for the upcoming campaign. That may still happen, but he will spend preseason with United and try to beat Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof to one of the starting center back spots.

Pereira and Tuanzebe join Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata in signing new deals at United over the past week and with AWB their new first-choice right back and James set to compete for minutes right away, the squad is starting to look settled and needs to be large to deal with the Thursday-Sunday grind of the UEFA Europa League.

But there is still plenty to sort out.

Both Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku sound like they want to leave this summer and Solskjaer is likely to want that issue resolved as soon as possible so he can bring in replacements.

Solskjaer doesn’t sound certain about other big additions this summer, and that may be worrying for United’s fans who want a huge overhaul between now and Aug. 8 when the window shuts.

Aston Villa will reportedly turn to ex-Leicester CB Huth

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Out with one Premier League champion, in with another?

Aston Villa is reportedly targeting Robert Huth to help fill the void opened by John Terry‘s move to Spartak Moscow.

[ MORE: USMNT loss to Brazil still shows hope for future ]

Younger than Terry and one of his former teammates, the 34-year-old Huth won the PL with Leicester City in 2016 but lost most of his 2017-18 season with an injury that cost him his spot in the lineup once healthy.

Villa is mid-table in points but near the bottom of the table in goals conceded (11). James Chester (ex-Hull) and center mid Mile Jedinak played center back in their last match, with Manchester United center back prospect Axel Tuanzebe at right back.

So, yeah, lots of out-of-position stuff there. Huth could help.

Manchester United releases squad for preseason U.S. tour

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Manchester United has released its squad for the preseason tour of the United States, and it’s chock full of first-team players with a few youngsters sprinkled in.

Romelu Lukaku is missing from the squad as his transfer has not yet been officially announced, but it’s likely that he will be added in the coming days as he begins to train with the squad, especially with the lack of attackers on the squad. Lukaku is in California with United and has already told the media he has completed his medical and will join the Red Devils.

In typical Jose Mourinho fashion, almost half the entire squad is made up of defenders. The Portuguese defender is no doubt hoping to parse out where his group of young defenders stands along with the senior squad. New signing Victor Lindelof is part of the group, with the defender having completed his move from Benfica in early June. Youngsters Demetri Mitchell, Axel Tuanzebe, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are on the trip hoping to break into the crowded defensive unit.

The midfield features stars Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera, but also 20-year-old United youth product Scott McTominay who made his senior team debut back in early May. 21-year-old Andreas Pereira is also part of the group, included with a chance to earn his place after a successful loan spell at Granada last season.

United is set for friendlies against MLS clubs LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, plus International Champions Cup games against Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester City.

MANCHESTER UNITED SQUAD

GK: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Joel Castro Pereira

DEF: Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rojo, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Demetri Mitchell, Luke Shaw.

MF: Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young.

FWD: Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial.