Papers: D-day for Heinze
Heinze still keen on Anfield
United rebel Gabriel Heinze will have crunch talks about his future - but insists he is still determined to go to Liverpool. Real Madrid and Barcelona have enquired about the Argentinian defender Heinze who has begun a legal battle to try and force through a move to Anfield. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to block the deal and Heinze's lawyers will today meet to try and thrash out an agreement. Heinze said: "I'm a professional and I'm concentrating every day on my career with Manchester United, but now my head is thinking about Monday's meeting and I want a definitive solution. My lawyers are optimistic about this case. My idea has not changed and my objective is to go to Liverpool. I will always be grateful to United but now I hope they allow me to get my wish."
John Cross, Daily Mirror
Owen Hargreaves will not play for England against Germany on Wednesday. The 26-year-old was hugely impressive in his first 90 minutes for the Reds against City, but a knock on his knee will rule him out of the midweek friendly at Wembley.
Round up by Ben Hibbs
Haiz...say dunno how many times, but i think SAF doesn't surf CS lar...
Its HIGH TIME to buy that HUNTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ronaldo hits out 'unjust' three-match ban
Cristiano Ronaldo has described his three-match ban as 'unjust' and claimed the provocation leading up to the incident with Richard Hughes at Portsmouth was 'absurd'.
The 22-year-old has two more games to serve of his suspension for aiming a headbutt at Hughes during Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Pompey last week.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Portugal winger only had himself to blame after falling for what he described as Pompey's 'intimidation tactics'.
However, Ronaldo is unrepentant.
He told the Daily Mirror: 'I am frustrated because three matches is unjust.
'I am willing to resist the provocation - but only up to a limit.
'That limit was passed at Portsmouth. It was just absurd.'
Reds pleased with Heinze outcome
Finally the verdict is out!!!Gabriel Heinze has lost his case to force through a move to Liverpool, after a Premier League arbitration panel ruled in United's favour on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old left-back claimed that he should be allowed to move to Anfield - a transfer that has not been made since Phil Chisnal left for Liverpool in 1964 - because of a letter his advisors received from United which enabled him to join another club if his asking price was met.
Heinze took legal advice after United rejected an offer from Liverpool for the Argentine international, but as the Premier League ruled on Tuesday, the letter was "unambiguous in that it envisages only an international transfer".
The Premier League announced on Tuesday afternoon: "The Premier League panel has heard submissions of evidence from both parties and has ruled to dismiss the player's case."
A United spokesman told ManUtd.com: "The Club is pleased that the panel has endorsed its case."
In a two-day hearing on Monday and Tuesday, the panel concluded that "the nature and intention of the disputed 13 June letter, especially when taken in context of verbal discussions and Manchester United's transfer policy, was unambiguous in that it envisages only an international transfer.
"Furthermore the hearing finds the letter constitutes an 'agreement to agree', and did not create an obligation or binding agreement for the club to transfer the player to any particular club.
"In other words the letter is evidence of an intention to negotiate, both between the parties and with potential buying clubs, and not evidence of any intention to create legal relations."
100 years ago: The first title
For United, 2007/08 is all about defending the Premier League crown, but it also marks 100 years since the first of the Reds' 16 championship successes. At the end of each month throughout the season, we'll chart the tale of United's first ever top-flight triumph...
By the broadest of reckonings, there have been seven truly exceptional United sides.
Three were the inspired creations of Matt Busby, three more the exhilarating work of Sir Alex. But what of the magnificent seventh, or to be more precise, the fabulous first? That team was the brainchild of one Ernest Mangnall, and in the early seasons of the 20th century, its impact was as sensational as that of the outfits assembled later with such flair and imagination by the two great Scots.
Mangnall’s United was a beautifully balanced fusion of breathtaking skill, canny organisation and determined industry. It embarked on the glorious campaign that climaxed in breaking United's league championship duck exactly 100 years ago this season.
The immediate parallels with Sir Alex's current combination are irresistible, particularly in attack. In terms of profile, if not in the exact nature of their play, Cristiano Ronaldo might be compared to Billy Meredith, and for Wayne Rooney, read marauding striker Sandy Turnbull.
Okay, it’s a little surreal to imagine the twinkle-toed Portuguese flankman sucking on a toothpick as he prances mesmerically beside the touchline. However, Welsh legend Meredith was known to sport his trademark aid to dental hygiene between his lips even as he tormented defenders with his devastating sleight of foot. But if Billy was a born match-winner and the club’s first superstar, Cristiano offers an unmistakable modern equivalent.
Meanwhile, between Wayne and Sandy there is an obvious similarity, not only in their prodigious goal-grabbing talent and their natural feel for the game, but also in their appearances. The pair are powerfully sturdy and compactly built, and both face the camera with a slightly belligerent ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ gaze.
Of course, the 1907/08 vintage was no two-man show. For all the crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics of Billy and Sandy, the heartbeat of the team was the majestic halfback line of Dick Duckworth, skipper Charlie Roberts and Alex Bell, while goalscoring left-winger George Wall was yet another headline grabber.
Off the field, the Reds were a club reborn. United had just survived a life-threatening cash crisis at the turn of the century, thanks substantially to two men. Local brewer, benefactor and visionary entrepreneur John Henry Davies had supplied the money and business acumen to rescue the ailing Newton Heath, renamed Manchester United in 1902, while wily secretary-manager Mangnall had been recruited from Burnley a year later.
The boss had built a new side, shrewdly snapping up winger Meredith, marksman Turnbull, full-back Herbert Burgess and inside-forward Jimmy Bannister from the ruins of the Manchester City team - a side broken up after the Blues had been found guilty of making illegal payments to its players in the pre-professional days. Promoted to the top flight in 1905/06, United consolidated the following term. Hence they were all set in September 1907 to face Aston Villa, on the opening day of what was to be an unforgettable season.
ManUtd.com will bring you a month-by-month account in our season-long feature starting next month.
Transfer Rumours: August 07
Wayne Rooney's fractured foot, married to United's profligate early-season form in front of goal, has prompted the inevitable wave of late-summer transfer speculation.
With the transfer window closing until January on August 31, the common concensus is that Bolton's Nicolas Anelka could be the subject of a United bid. The Sun, however, buck the trend and credit the Reds with an interest in Newcastle and Nigeria star Obafemi Martins, who allegedly has a release clause in his contract which would be triggered by a £13million bid.
Although Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith and Giuseppe Rossi have already been sold this summer, funds for such a new striker could well be provided by the sale of Gabriel Heinze. As well as Liverpool's high-profile interest, the likes of Lyon and Juventus are also allegedly monitoring his availability.
Anderson's star set to shine
United fans may only have seen glimpses of Brazilian midfielder Anderson's talents, but Sir Alex Ferguson is certain everyone will be impressed when he overcomes injury and make his Reds bow.
Perhaps the least known of United's four summer captures, Anderson is currently recovering from a hamstring strain and is yet to make his competitive debut for the Reds.
At just 19, he barely had time to impress at his former club FC Porto, who signed him from Brazilian side Gremio in January 2006, before United snapped him up in the summer for a fee reported to be around £20million.
He suffered a broken leg last season, further limiting his exposure at Porto, but that snapshot was enough to impress United's scouts and Sir Alex revealed that the Reds were reluctant to risk losing Anderson to a rival.
"Anderson is a fantastic talent," he told Inside United, the club's official monthly magazine. "He can play in centre midfield or in the middle in attack.
"We've taken a bit of a risk because he broke his leg last year, but we thought that if he starts the season at Porto it won't be long before everybody wants him, so we decided to do the deal in the summer.
"We've spent a fair bit of money on him and Nani, but I think the deals are good value. They'll both give us terrific attacking options."
heinze off to real madrid together with robben...
Ronaldo kicking his heels
Cristiano Ronaldo admits his three-match suspension and temporary inability to contribute to United's season has left him frustrated.
Sent off at Portsmouth for an altercation with Richard Hughes, the Portuguese winger served the first part of his three-game ban as United slipped to defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.
And with the champions currently holding just two points from the opening three games of the season, Ronaldo is itching to lend a hand.
"I'm feeling sad not being able to play for United and it is so frustrating, particularly when we are not able to win right now," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror.
Although unable to resume action until the Reds' visit to Everton on September 15, Ronaldo is confident that his team-mates can get back to winning ways in his absence.
"I'm optimistic and I have confidence in United, even though the beginning to the season is bad," he said. "But the situation will change soon and we will be positive."
Time bomb in the making! Everton is going to feel the explosive!
Papers: Saha to return
Fergie in SOS plea to Saha
Louis Saha will answer Manchester United’s SOS for goals by returning to action against Spurs. Saha has not started a game for the Red Devils since 24 February, scoring in a 3-2 win over Reading. Knee problems have blighted his time at United but he has a healthy goalscoring record. United were set to sell him at the end of last season but more injury problems put paid to that. Now Saha, 29, wants to resurrect his Old Trafford career, starting against Tottenham on Sunday. The French striker has been training at full pelt for 10 days and was close to being called up to the bench for Sunday’s Manchester derby at Eastlands, which United lost 1-0. With goals hard to come by, boss Alex Ferguson will now throw him straight into the action.
Neil Custis, The Sun
Elsewhere, the tabloids are all reporting on Gabriel Heinze's Premier League hearing, which concluded yesterday that United have no obligation to sell the defender to rivals Liverpool. The Mirror quote Heinze as admitting he must "consider that my stay at United is over".
The Sun claim West Ham have made a "sneaky" inquiry about Heinze, which the publication believe Sir Alex may pursue. The manager has a good relationship with Hammers boss Alan Curbishley.
Edwin van der Sar was reportedly injured last night while training with the Dutch national team. The Mirror say the United goalkeeper landed awkwardly and hurt his left leg. It's not known if the injury is likely to keep him out of this Sunday's match against Tottenham.
Round up by Nick Coppack
Edwin's injury scare
Edwin van der Sar could miss tonight's international against Switzerland after damaging his foot while training with the Dutch national team.
The United goalkeeper was apparently involved in a clash with Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt and required immediate treatment.
"Edwin had a pain in his foot and we will put some ice on it," Holland manager Marco van Bastern said last night.
"We will see what the reaction is, but if it is wrong then we will have to call up another goalkeeper."
Sir Alex will be hoping the injury isn't too serious and van der Sar will be fit enough to face Tottenham at Old Trafford on Sunday. If not, Tomasz Kuszczak will be handed his first start since May when he kept a clean sheet in the Reds' 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
With Ben Foster on the sidelines until early 2008, that scenario would also see 21-year-old Reserves stopper Tom Heaton drafted in to sit on the bench. Heaton is yet to make a first-team appearance for United.
obafemi martins! ohh nooo, hope saf dun waste money on him
anelka would be a much better choice
Big Sam: No Martins move
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has pourned scorn on rumours linking United with a move for Magpies striker Obafemi Martins.
The Nigerian has a much-publicised release clause in his contract, allowing any club bidding an alleged £13million to open talks with him over a transfer.
United's injury problems upfront, allied to a shortage of goals in the season's early games, has prompted speculation of moves for a host of strikers, including Martins.
However, Allardyce said: “We all know the situation regarding the clause in Obafemi’s contract, but no one has enquired about activating it since I’ve been here.
“We’ve had a massive amount of speculation all summer, but not one football club has made contact with us saying, ‘We’re going to activate the clause’.
"Manchester United are the same, they’ve made no contact whatsoever and he’s still a Newcastle player.”
With the transfer window closing at the end of the month, Allardyce expects Martins to remain at St James' Park this season.
"The only way he wouldn’t be a Newcastle player (beyond next week) is if someone activates that clause," he said. "But no one has."
Nani feels settled at United
Needs to prove with a goal or 2!Portuguese winger Nani is surprised at how quickly he has settled in to life at Old Trafford, but says close friends Cristiano Ronaldo and Anderson have helped him immensely.
Nani has played in all of United's opening three matches in the league following his debut as a substitute in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
The 20-year-old is seen as a prospect for the future by Sir Alex Ferguson, but his increased involvement so far – partly down to injuries and suspensions in attacking areas – has come as a surprise to the former Sporting Lisbon star.
"I thought the adaptation would be more complicated, but I’ve felt good and managed to play," he told reporters in homeland after playing his part in the Under-21s' 3-0 win over Malta. "The training is similar to what we did at Sporting, the biggest difference is in the matches themselves, because they require more fight and effort."
Nani has had plenty of help getting up to speed with the style of play in the Premier League and the English lifestyle from his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Cristiano has been unsurpassable in the support he's given me," he added. "He's really helped me and he is a friend who I spend a lot of time with off the pitch. Anderson and I have also both helped each other. He has been working really well, and although he hasn’t made his debut yet, I'm sure it won't take long before he does."
Nani also decided to set the record straight after reports suggested he had been banned by Sir Alex Ferguson from doing his trademark somersault celebration for fear of injuring himself.
"That is not true," he said. "Ferguson has never spoken to me about this subject and I am going to continue to celebrate goals in this way. The conversations he has had with me are normal conversations, like he has with all players."
Scholes on Hall of Fame shortlist
United midfielder Paul Scholes has been shortlisted for a place in the National Football Museum Hall of Fame 2007.
The 32-year-old became United's highest Premier League scorer last week with his fine strike - his 96th in the league - in the 1-1 draw at Portsmouth.
He has now been included on a shortlist for the Hall of Fame along with six other names who will be announced shortly.
Viewers of BBC's Football Focus programme will be asked to decide who should join the prestigious roll of honour in a text vote scheduled for 1 September.
The winner will be inducted at a special ceremony at Old Trafford in Manchester on 15 November. Tickets are still available for the event but are selling quickly.
The Hall of Fame is now in its sixth year and players and managers already inducted include George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Stanley Matthews and Bill Shankly. Each year the names are chosen by a panel including Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Lineker and Gordon Taylor.