Valerenga vs. Manchester United: 8 Things We Learned from Preseason Friendly

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Valerenga vs. Manchester United: 8 Things We Learned from Preseason Friendly
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United buying Luca Moura and Robin Van Persie by the end of the week?

In that context, a preseason match against Norwegian club Valerenga seems like small beer.

So was this a meaningless friendly? Far from it. For starters, the Old Firm of Vidic and Ferdinand is back.

Although Valerenga finished only sixth in the Norwegian League, blew out of the Cup in the third round and the Europa League in the 3rd qualifying round, this was their "Champions' League." They were well-organised and massively determined, both to win and not score.

It is not unusual for top teams' preseason to be disrupted by international tournaments. This year is no exception, with United losing up to 14 players to first Euro 2012, and then the Summer Olympics.

In addition, every major club is engaged in transfer activity of some sort. So far, Arsenal have been the most active, with Chelsea not far behind.

But the backdrop to the European leg of United's preseason tour is mounting speculation of imminent major signings. 

There must be something going on, because Sir Alex Ferguson has stayed back in Manchester and will not rejoin his team until Gothenberg on Wednesday.

With Brazil playing at Old Trafford on Tuesday night and rumours in the Daily Mail that Lucas Moura was having a medical in Manchester today, it is no surprise that Sir Alex has "business matters" to deal with.

So he entrusted this fixture to his number two, Mike Phelan, with the result that United

The full squad for the European leg of the preseason tour is:

De Gea, Lindegaard; Evra, Ferdinand, Jones, M Keane, Vidic; Anderson, Carrick, Nani, Powell, Lingard, Scholes, Valencia, Young; Berbatov, Hernandez, Kagawa, Macheda, Rooney, Welbeck

That does not mean that others can't be added by the time United play their last friendly against Hannover next week.

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