12pm Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Pellistri coronavirus scare, Fosu-Mensah contract, Grealish LATEST, Watford build-up

MANCHESTER UNITED are gearing up for their FA Cup third round tie against Watford after losing their Carabao Cup semi-final to rivals Manchester City.

Meanwhile on the transfer front, the Red Devils confirmed the signing of Amad Diallo from Atalanta, while we've the latest on potential target Jack Grealish.

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Follow all the latest with our blog below…

  • Jake Lambourne

    DIM VIEW

    Former Man Utd striker Dimitar Berbatov has urged the club to sign Real Madrid contract rebel Sergio Ramos.

    Commenting on the veteran defender, Berbatov told Betfair: "I have read the reports about Sergio Ramos and there is a lot of speculation about his future. He could bring a lot of experience and steel to any team.

    "Although he is 34, he is still a top player and United could do a lot worse. If he is available I can see a lot of teams interested in signing him.

    “At his age of course Real Madrid are reluctant to offer him a long contract. Maybe they are arguing about money because it always comes down to money, but both sides should think long and hard about it because the grass isn't always greener.

    “I have no doubts that players would love to join United but January is a tough time to move. Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Bruno Fernandes did it, and turned out to be great signings, but the same was not true for others who joined at this time of year.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    CAI IT AIN'T SO

    Man Utd have reportedly decided against signing Ecuador starlet Moses Caicedo from Independiente del Valle.

    The 19-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford this month, but Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has now stated that the deal is off.

    He tweeted: "Manchester United are now oriented not to sign Moises Caicedo.

    "He’s been scouted and Man Utd were in control of the situation because Moises’ dream was to join #mufc, but he’s not the priority. It was never a done deal.

    "'Caicedo race’ is now on with many clubs involved."

  • Jake Lambourne

    HORNETS STING

    Man Utd midfielder James Garner – on loan at Watford – will play no part in the FA Cup third round meeting between the two club's tonight.

    This is because a player on loan is ineligible to feature against his parent club.

    An FA states: "The Association will not give permission for players on loan or work experience to play against the lending club."

    Garner has been a key player for the Hornets this campaign – featuring in a total of 19 Championship matches.

  • Jake Lambourne

    THE DAY HAS COME

    FAN'S VIEW – Dayot Upamecano could be the man to push Manchester United towards glory this season.

    The club failed to sign a new centre-back in the summer and, with a title tilt on the horizon, January could be the time to invest.

    It will be a busy month, at least in terms of departures for the Red Devils.

    Here, Tom McDermott delivers his Fan's View on the January window for SunSport.

    Click HERE to read the full article.

  • Jake Lambourne

    AL BE OFF TO SPAIN

    Man Utd and Chelsea looked set to miss out on a deal to sign Bayern Munich defender David Alaba on a free.

    According to AS, the Austria international is poised to make the move to Real Madrid when his contract in Germany expires.

    He is free to talk to other clubs about a summer switch, with the 28-year-old believed to be chased by a number of clubs.

    However it is the Los Blancos that are winning the race to prise him away from the Bundesliga.

    As well as Alaba, it has been claimed that Real also want to sign French duo Kylian Mbappe and Eduardo Camavinga this summer.

  • Alex Terrell

    TFM MIA

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Timothy Fosu-Mensah could leave Old Trafford this month.

    The defender, 23, who broke through under Louis van Gaal, made one Premier League appearance last year.

    Solskjaer said: “I’m not sure if Timo is going to stay or [if] he's going to take an option now,” the manager said.

    “He's not played enough, so of course he's been allowed to speak to clubs, with a view to leaving now in January.

    “It's difficult when you've got good players, talented players, and you can't give them game time.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    GAME OFF

    Man Utd Women's boss Casey Stoney has apologised for what she calls an ‘error in judgement’ after giving her players permission to travel to Dubai.

    The clash between the Toffees and the WSL’s league leaders is the third women’s top-flight game to be axed this week. 

    On their web site, Everton say this is due to injuries and five members of their squad getting coronavirus between Christmas and New Year.

    Meanwhile Stoney said: “I said before Christmas that I will always take my players’ wellbeing into consideration and I granted permission for my players to go home and see their families to have a break.

    "On reflection, I do trust my players wholeheartedly to stick within government guidelines, everything we allowed them to do was within government guidelines, but I have to be honest and on reflection, it was a poor error in judgement from me. I am sincerely sorry for that.

    "The buck starts with me and it stops with me so I am sorry for that."

  • Alex Terrell

    TROPHY CHASE

    Arsenal have leapfrogged United in recent years having won the FA Cup now 14 times.

    Today begins the FA Cup third round… is this a chance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to close the gap on the Gunners in the stakes of the world's oldest trophy?

  • Alex Terrell

    SNEAK BEEK

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to Donny van de Beek to reassure him of his Manchester United future.

    The Dutchman has made just eight starts, only two in the league, since his £40million move from Ajax.

    But Van de Beek, 23, will start Saturday's FA Cup tie against Watford.

    United boss Solskjaer said: “I’ve spoken to him and made him aware of how much we rate him. There’s many examples of players needing a bit of time, quality players.

    “You don’t expect people who care for him to be quiet at times. Donny will play against Watford, it’s another chance for him to kick on.”

  • Jack Figg

    MORNING, UTD FANS

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reassured Donny van de Beek he still has a Manchester United future – on a big day for the Dutchman and Odion Ighalo against Watford in the FA Cup.

    Midfielder Van de Beek will start the Saturday evening tie, while loan striker Ighalo is expected to play some part against his old club.

    Holland legend Ronald De Boer and Van de Beek's agent have voiced concerns over the former Ajax superstar's lack of game time.

    But Solskjaer said: “I’ve spoken to him and made him aware of how much we rate him.

    “There are many examples of players needing a bit of time, quality players. You don’t expect people who care for him to be quiet at times."

    Meanwhile, Ighalo “can’t wait” to come out of the cold, adding "It’s always exciting" to take on the Hornets.

    Solskjaer said: “He’s been training really well… Hopefully I don’t need to put him on in that we need goals, but hopefully he can join in.”

     Everton have reportedly joined Newcastle and Southampton in targeting Manchester United left-back Brandon Williams on loan.

    And United were said to have been keen on Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier – until the FA suspended the England right-back for alleged betting offences. 

  • Ian Tuckey

    HEN HEARTY AFTER NEW DEAL

    Ex-Arsenal and Manchester United wideman Henrikh Mkhitaryan has reportedly extended his Roma deal until June 2022.

    The Armenia skipper, 31, had four disappointing years in the Premier League before joining Serie A side Roma permanently in the summer.

  • Ian Tuckey

    OLE REASSURES DONNY

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to Donny van de Beek to reassure him of his Manchester United future.

    The Dutchman has made just eight starts, only two in the league, since his £40million move from Ajax.

    His agent and Dutch icon Ronald De Boer have both voiced concerns over the midfielder’s situation.

    But Van de Beek, 23, will start Saturday's FA Cup tie against Watford.

    United boss Solskjaer said: “I’ve spoken to him and made him aware of how much we rate him.

    “There’s many examples of players needing a bit of time, quality players.

    “You don’t expect people who care for him to be quiet at times.

    “Donny will play against Watford, it’s another chance for him to kick on.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    ZAHA 'GOT LOST' AT UTD

    Wilfried Zaha says he lacked the confidence to show his true self at Manchester United and suffered from home sickness.

    The Ivory Coast superstar also rues not playing for the legendary manager who signed him – as Alex Ferguson stepped down at the end of the 2012-13 season.

    The frontman, 28, who rejoined Crystal Palace in 2015, told The Greatest Game with Jamie Carragher podcast: "I lost myself…

    Palace ace Wilfried Zaha insists he was never given a 'fair chance' with Man UtdCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    "I definitely feel like I should have got more opportunities. I feel like the only way you’re going to learn and grow in confidence is by playing. I don’t think I was given a fair chance. 

    "If I was to go in there now… I’d put across to everyone, ‘this is how I play, I’m going to take on players, I may lose the ball but I will get an opportunity and I will score or I will assist someone’. 

    "Just showing everyone I am me and they’ve got to accept it. That’s the only thing I regret, not showing me real self." 

  • Ian Tuckey

    EVERTON 'JOIN BRANDON LOAN HUNT'

    Everton have joined Newcastle and Southampton in targeting Manchester United left-back Brandon Williams on loan, reports suggest.

    The Manchester Evening News say the 20-year-old is keen for a temporary exit after just six minutes of Premier League action this season – and would prefer to stay in the Premier League.

    Alex Telles' arrival pushed Williams down to third-choice, with Luke Shaw also ahead of him.

    Newcastle emerged as favourites for a loan deal, reportedly agreeing terms in principle.

    But The Athletic claim seventh-placed Everton are now also in for the Manchester-born England Under-21 star.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GHEE CAN BE A WHIZ FOR BRAGA

    Much-wanted ex-Manchester United midfielder Dion McGhee has completed his switch to Portuguese top-flight club Braga.

    The 20-year-old trialled with Newcastle after United released him last summer, before being linked with Rangers, Derby and Antwerp.

    And McGhee's new club posted a picture of their new arrival on social media, alongside his words: "I came to SC Braga because it is a great club, with a lot of history."

    The Oldham-born ace spent 14 years on United's junior books.

    Now he believes Braga, coached by former Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal, offer him the best route towards fulfilling the successes he was tipped for.

  • Ian Tuckey

    WAT A THRILL FOR ODION

    United striker Odion Ighalo "can't wait" to come out of the cold and face old club Watford in the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Saturday night.

    The Nigeria star, 31, barely used by United this season, told the Hornets' website: "It’s always exciting.

    Odion Ighalo is tipped to play some part against Watford on SaturdayCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    "Hopefully it will be the second time I’ve played against Watford since I left.

    "I can’t wait to see the lads I had such a good time with.

    “Me playing for Manchester United today, they saw what I did with Watford in the Premier League, that’s why I have the opportunity to be here today.

    "So my story would not be complete in my career, my life, without mentioning Watford.”

    But Ighalo seems certain to head back to parent club Shanghai Shenhua at the end of the month.

  • Ian Tuckey

    IGHALO TO FACE OLD CLUB WATFORD

    United striker Odion Ighalo will be recalled against his old club Watford in the FA Cup.

    That's all but a promise from Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after the on-loan Shanghai Shenhua striker has been out of the squad for most of the season.

    Solskjaer said: “He’s been training really well… He’s not lost any of his quality.

    "It’s been difficult for him to be out of the squad as many times as he has because he did really well up until the summer.

    "Hopefully I don’t need to put him on in that we need goals, but hopefully he can join in.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD 'WANTED TRIPPIER'

    Manchester United were keen on Kieran Trippier – until the FA suspended him for alleged betting offences.

    That's the claim from talkSPORT, amid suggestions United want current right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to provide more assists. 

    Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier was reportedly a target for Man Utd in recent weeksCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Ex-Spurs star Trippier, 30, has regained his England place in the past 12 months, since shining for LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

    Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer publicly insists Wan-Bissaka "has improved" and is better at getting forward

    But it is still thought United want the option of more attacking thrust from his position.

  • Ian Tuckey

    FAC'S WRITTEN OFF

    Manchester United have confirmed that Facundo Pellistri’s chances of an FA Cup debut have been dashed by testing positive for Covid-19.

    Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I think we’ve done well to follow the protocols as we have.

    “We’ve had the odd case and Facundo Pellistri got a positive, so he reported that on his Twitter site.

    “We don’t normally comment on who they are but Facundo is well and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD HAPPY NOT TO BUY

    Manchester United won’t do anything in the January transfer window, according to the club’s former No2 Rene Meulensteen.

    Amad Diallo has arrived from Atalanta – but the deal was agreed in the summer and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is supposedly ‘happy’ with his existing squad.

    Former Fulham boss Meulensteen told talkSPORT: “I don’t think they’re really going to do anything in the January transfer market, I think that’s been made clear by Ed Woodward and Ole.

    “I think they’ve got clear ideas on how to take it forward, it’s a long-term process and I think he’s happy with the squad he’s got.

    “If they had all their players available against Man City, including [Edinson] Cavani, it could have been a different game.

    “I don’t think they will do anything.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    PREM GIANTS QUEUE UP FOR MILIK

    Arkadiusz Milik is being chased by the 'best Premier League clubs', his agent claims.

    The Napoli striker is at loggerheads with his current club, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

    Arkadiusz Milik is attracting interest from around Europe

    He hasn't made a single appearance all season, after being left off Gennaro Gattuso's squad lists.

    But out of sight hasn't meant out of mind for some of Europe's top clubs.

    Agent Fabrizio De Vecchi explained: "The best clubs in the Premier League, Atletico and Marseille are interested in Arek. Of course, no team offers what Napoli asks for."

    As for last summer, he continued: "Roma and Juve were also close to signing him, but for different reasons, and in some cases still difficult to understand, the negotiation did not work out.

    "But this often happens in football. If they come back to him? I don't rule it out, but I can't be the one to say it."

  • Ian Tuckey

    ROJO, ROMERO ON WAY OUT

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Argentina duo Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero will soon leave Manchester United.

    Centre-back Rojo, 30 and keeper Romero, 33were allowed to return home over Christmas after failing to make an appearance all season.

    The Red Devils have asked them to find transfers this month, ahead of their contracts expiring in the summer.

    Solskjaer said: "Both of them have contracts until the summer and they're not going to be extended. We're looking for them to find clubs.

    "Marcos has been given time to go home, so he's still in Argentina. Sergio has been back home as well to see his family but they're pros, working hard and ready if they call in for us.

    "Marcos will have to travel and do the quarantine before."

  • Ian Tuckey

    DIAL 19 FOR SUPERSTAR OF THE FUTURE

    Manchester United's new 18-year-old winger Amad Diallo will wear the No19 shirt.

    Old Trafford boss  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed the former Atalanta star as "one of the most exciting prospects in the game".

    And as United confirmed Diallo's kit number, Solskjaer said: "As a club, we have followed Amad for a number of years and having watched him myself…

    "Manchester United has such a proud history of developing young players and everything is in place to enable Amad to reach his potential here.

    "It will take time for him to adapt but his speed, vision and fantastic dribbling ability will stand him in good stead to make the transition. 

    "He is a player with all of the raw attributes that are needed to be an important player for Manchester United in the years to come."

  • Ian Tuckey

    I'M DON WITH TALKING

    United’s Donny van de Beek is so ‘disappointed’ with his lack of game time he reportedly doesn’t want to give interviews anymore.

    Van de Beek signed for United from Ajax for £40million in the summer but has been used sparingly by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Dutch media have kicked up a fuss after the midfielder featured for just 762 minutes in 20 games.

    Voetbal International journalist Suleyman Ozturk said: “I think Donny is also disappointed by this situation and therefore doesn’t want to give interviews. He’s upset about the situation.”

  • Josh Graham

    PREM COVID CLAMPDOWN

    Premier League bosses laid down the Covid law for the first time since the summer when the protocols were agreed with the Government and scientific experts – and warned there will be sanctions if players continue to hug, shake hands or swap shirts.

    Those regulations demand players wear masks at ALL times on match-day other than when they are playing, engaged in warm-up sessions and giving socially-distanced post-match interviews.

    Clubs must now ensure they follow instructions to transport first team players and staff to matches in three separate coaches.

    In addition, all external staff working for travel services or in hotels used for stays must have returned negative Covid tests, while each club must submit a risk-assessed travel plan to the League for every game.

    Amid suggestions that too many hangers-on have been accessing grounds on match days, clubs have again been ordered to ensure they each have a maximum of 10 representatives in directors’ boxes.

    At training ground, indoor meetings will be banned unless they are fully socially-distanced, with canteens banned other than on matchdays the previous day.

    And clinical passports will be required by players and staff at training ground, with Prem-appointed compliance officers having the right to ask for spot-checks of credentials.

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