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Manchester United have free run at Nemanja Matic

Only Ed Woodward could balls something like this up.

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Serbia v Wales - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier
Go on, then.
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Manchester United have given a 16-year-old Brazilian child, Gabriel Martinelli, a trial while the team were on tour in America. Martinelli plays for Ituano. Obviously, at 16, there’s little chance of there being any immediate impact on the first team, but it’s pleasant enough to see the club do some planning for the future.

There’s a lack of clarity over United’s chances of signing anyone ever again. More specifically, Gareth Bale. Bale could be available for £125m as Real Madrid look to raise funds for a Kylian Mbappe transfer. Bale might not be on offer just yet, but if it is made clear to him that he is required to leave Spain for a new shiny toy, then United will be one of the few clubs who could possibly afford the fee and his wages.

Chelsea have entered the race for Renato Sanches. There’s been a failure by the English clubs of late, to buy the best talent in the world. Perhaps Paul Pogba is the exception rather than a resurrection of a successful return to dominance for the Premier League. United, AC Milan have been considering a move for the scraps from Spain and Germany for a while now, and while it may be effective, it seems only Juventus play that particular game well.

Speaking of Juventus, they have turned their attention to Blaise Matuidi to stock their midfield, freeing up United for a run at Nemanja Matic. The player wants to come, the club wants to sell, and Jose Mourinho wants to buy him. If United fail to get him, then we can all blame the Glazers and Ed Woodward for yet more incompetence and hoarding of cash for their own ends.

The Guardian still exists as it burns millions of pounds every year. To see why it is losing so much money, or to throw it a fraction of a crumb, you can read its review of United’s tour so far, with the main talking points covered.