Manchester United Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 18

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2014

Manchester United Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 18

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    Manchester United's world came crashing back down to reality after Louis van Gaal lost his first competitive game in charge on Saturday.

    The Red Devils fell to their knees against an opportunistic Swansea team, with LvG unable to positively influence the result, losing 2-1 at Old Trafford.

    The end of the current transfer window is now only a matter of days away and supporters are fearing that Ed Woodward will be unable to deliver the talent needed for their new Dutch manager to form a competitive football team.

    Here we take a look at the latest transfer news surrounding the north west giants:


Angel Di Maria Asks to Leave Real Madrid

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Friday, August 22

    Angel Di Maria has requested a transfer away from Real Madrid, with Manchester United now on red alert to grab the player.

    Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph writes that the Argentina winger has declared that he wants to leave the Spanish capital after declining a new contract offer from Los Blancos.

    Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that the player wants an exit route away from the Galacticos but that he would be fine if Di Maria remained with him, per Bascombe:

    Di María asked to go in the summer and has rejected an offer from the club. The player has to look for a solution. If when the transfer market closes he’s still here, he will work with us like last season and there will be no problem.

    Bascombe says that the lack of Champions League football is a hurdle for United to get over in their chase of Di Maria and that only a huge financial package would tempt the player to ignore the advances of Paris Saint-Germain. 

United in Shock Xabi Alonso Move

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Thursday, August 21

    Reports suggest that Manchester United could be about to pull off one of the shocks of the summer by signing former Liverpool hero, Xabi Alonso.

    Ben Jefferson of the Express says that Alonso has become a target for Louis van Gaal after moves for Arturo Vidal and Kevin Strootman failed to bear fruit.

    Madrid are said to be keen to move the Spanish international on due to their overcrowding in midfield, per Jefferson.

    United are desperatedly short of experience in their squad and Alonso would fit straight into the first-team.

Marco Reus Snubbed United Bid

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Wednesday, August 20

    Atletico Madrid's club president Enrique Cerezo has revealed that Marco Reus has turned down a bid from Manchester United to sign him, in recent times.

    The Metro reports that Cerezo let slip that the Red Devils had moved for the German attacker but that he had snubbed the approach:

    I don’t know where the Marco Reus rumour came from. It’s a player who, at this time, is impossible to us. Look, he had an offer for a lot of money from Manchester United and he has not gone—we will not sign him with a lesser offer.

    Atletico had been tipped to land the Borussia Dortmund man in the past few days but Cerezo has unequivocally rejected the idea with his statement. 

    Reus has also been linked to Liverpool and Arsenal, per the Metro. 

Barcelona Alert Manchester United to Alex Song Availability

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    Fernando Llano/Associated Press

    Tuesday, August 19

    Barcelona have decided to sell Alex Song and have alerted Louis van Gaal to the player's availability.

    Jamie Anderson of the Express writes that Spanish press believe Song has also been offered to Arsenal and Tottenham, as Luis Enrique looks to find a suitable buyer.

    Song signed for Barca in 2012 for £15 million from the Gunners and it is thought that Arsene Wenger and the player would consider a reunion, per Anderson.

    Anderson also says that United's own interest in Song will depend on the outcome of their chase of Arturo Vidal before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. 

Barcelona Pull out of Race to Sign Juan Cuadrado

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Monday, August 18

    Manchester United's chase of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado received a huge boost after Barcelona discontinued their intention of purchasing the player.

    Vaishali Bhardwaj of Metro says Spanish publication Sport has reported that the Camp Nou club have dropped their interest in the Fiorentina player after refusing to meet his wage demands and their internal worries about Financial Fair Play rules. 

    Bhardwaj comments that Cuadrado is thought to prefer a move to La Liga despite United being in a position to offer a superior salary.

    She also says that Chelsea are tracking the 26-year-old, who starred for his country at the recent World Cup in Brazil.

    However, Nick Lustig of the Daily Star quotes new Barca boss Luis Enrique name-dropping Cuadrado:

    I won't talk about Cuadrado because he is not my player. Having said that, our market isn't closed yet. At times it can happen that we like players, we negotiate for them and the other clubs aren't always prepared to sell them.

    United are desperately short of creativity in the wide areas, as witnessed in the team's first league game of the season.

Manchester United Continue Talks for Marcos Rojo

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Monday, August 18

    Manchester United continue their pursuit of Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, with his club, Sporting Lisbon, thought to want a sweetener to complete the transfer.

    Sky Sports claims that Sporting will accept United's £16 million bid for the player if they also include a player going on loan to the Portuguese capital in the deal.

    Sky's sources suggest that Rojo will not play for Sporting again after the club suspended him for not training in an attempt to push through a move to Old Trafford.

    However the player has since apologised for his recent behaviour and promised to return to the Sporting fold, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian:

    I was hot-headed and I’m sorry. I’ll be back with the rest of the squad tomorrow. Sporting signed me when I was not at my best and gave me the opportunity to play for a big club in Europe. I would like to thank the trust they had in me and I will resume training on Monday.

    Should the potential transfer for Rojo fall through, United are prepared to turn their interest to Stuttgart's Antonio Rudiger, according to the same report. 

Philippe Mexes Eyed by Louis Van Gaal

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Monday, August 18

    If the Italian press are to be believed, Manchester United are on the verge of a shock swoop for AC Milan veteran defender, Philippe Mexes.

    Corriere dello Sport, via Ben Burrows of the Mirror, say that Louis van Gaal may make a move for the 32-year-old Frenchman before the end of the transfer window.

    They also say that the player has just one year left on his current deal and could be available for a minimal fee.

    The Metro reports that United's chase of Roma's Mehdi Benatia has stalled, making Mexes' capture all the more likely. 

    Mexes was once one of the most highly-rated young players in the world but his form has collapsed in recent years making his current link to United all the more confusing.