Arsenal & Spurs on Red Alert as Man Utd Defender Eric Bailly Considers January Transfer

​Manchester United defender Eric Bailly could be set to leave Old Trafford in January according to reports, alerting two of the Red Devils’ Premier League rivals.

Bailly has been relegated to the bench for United’s last three matches, only coming on as a substitute in the 89th minute of Saturday’s ​win against Watford at Vicarage Road.

​The Mirror reports that ​Arsenal and ​Tottenham are both interested in the Ivory Coast international and could make a move in January if Bailly remains an outcast at that point.

Having rotated his central defensive pairing for the first few games of the season, Jose Mourinho now appears to have settled on Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof, leaving Bailly out in the cold.

The 24-year-old last started in the 3-2 defeat to Brighton in August, where he had one of his worst days in a ​United shirt alongside Lindelof at the back.

Arsenal could do with defensive reinforcements as they are yet to keep a clean sheet in five Premier League matches so far this season.

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Tottenham have also struggled at the back recently and looked very shaky against Liverpool at the weekend. Their only clean sheet of the season came against a Bailly-less United at Old Trafford.

Mourinho made no secret of his desire to sign a centre back during the summer transfer window and could revisit the market in January, which would push Bailly further down the pecking order.

Bailly joined United from Villarreal in 2016 for £30m. He has since made 60 appearances for the club, scoring once.

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Potential Inter Move for Man Utd Star Anthony Martial Scuppered By Demand for Ivan Perisic

​Any chance for ​Manchester United’s Anthony Martial to move to ​Inter on loan this season has been ended after the club reportedly demanded a swap deal for Ivan Perisic.

Martial has fallen out of favour with United boss Jose Mourinho and is struggling to get game time, but the club hierarchy are still said to be unwilling to let the 22-year-old leave.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

Having joined the club in September 2015, Martial has gone on to make 138 appearances in all competitions and score 36 times, but has so far managed just two appearances this season.

The ​Mirror reports that Mourinho wants to bring a replacement in for Martial before he allows the Frenchman to leave ​United, with World Cup finalist Perisic identified as the number one choice. However, due to ongoing disagreements with Ed Woodward, it is unlikely a move for the ageing Croatian would be sanctioned.

Rapidly approaching 30 years of age, Perisic will not be viewed as having as long-term a potential as someone like Martial could offer.

​Inter have little reason to let the Croatian star leave, either.

He has already provided crucial goals for the club in Serie A this season and is seen as one of head coach Luciano Spalletti’s crown jewels. As such, even as just a temporary move, it would be unlikely the Italian club would be willing to trade away their key man.

Internazionale v Torino - Italian Serie A

Considering Inter have found themselves falling behind league leaders Juventus already, and want to bolster their attacking line-up – letting Perisic leave would certainly undermine their aspirations going forwards.

Spalletti is thought to be a big fan of former Monaco star Martial, and was very interested in the possibility of bringing the Frenchman in on loan in January – despite already having Monaco’s Keita Balde on loan in a similar position – but with the demand of getting Perisic in return makes any chance of a deal looking all but over.

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Report Claims Man Utd Will Look to Make Shock January Swoop for Arsenal Ace Mesut Özil

A stunning report has claimed that Manchester United will make a shock January swoop for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil, as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward looks to appease manager José Mourinho by finally splashing the cash.

According to the Express, Mourinho was keeping a close eye on Özil during his contract stalling antics last season, and is still keen to bring him to Old Trafford. The Gunners playmaker scored for his side in their 2-1 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday, and his new boss Unai Emery is desperate to see the player continue banging in the goals throughout the campaign.


The report seems farfetched to say the least, given that Özil still have two and a half years left on his deal, and ​United would be forced to stump up a hefty transfer fee as well as covering the eye-watering £350k per week wages. Furthermore, Mourinho’s side already have a host of quality attacking options, and are more likely to invest big money in a new central defender.

United surprised fans and pundits alike with their shrewd spending, as the club brought in just three new players – veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant from ​Stoke City, teenage full-back Diogo Dalot, and Brazilian midfield ace Fred. With their ​Premier League rivals splashing the cash, the Red Devils could have missed a big opportunity to strengthen their side over the summer.

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Meanwhile, ​Juventus are reportedly desperate to re-sign Paul Pogba from United, and will look to make a massive player plus cash offer for the Frenchman, with tenacious forward Paulo Dybala heading in the opposite direction. With both players believed to be unsettled, there is a chance that the deal could go through at some point – be it January or next summer.

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Jose Mourinho Lavishes Praise on Marouane Fellaini Whilst Slating Chris Smalling’s Hair After Win

​Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian put in a performance worthy of the man-of-the-match title in their win against Watford, whilst also taking a swipe in jest at Chris Smalling’s new hairstyle. 

The ​Daily Mail has reported that the Portuguese boss was impressed by the 30-year-old’s performance in front of the back four, where he was vital in shutting out the Hornets attacks. 

Fellaini also played a pivotal role in the ​Red Devil’s goals from set pieces thanks to his aerial ability, and Mourinho was keen to highlight the former ​Everton man’s importance. 

The United boss said: “We made defensive mistakes against ​Brighton and ​Tottenham. Against Brighton, we didn’t deserve to win.

“Then we go to two difficult matches, difficult stadiums, ​Burnley and Watford, and I thought my central defenders needed somebody to support them and give them the first wall of physicality.

“But Marouane gives us more than that. He gives us quality and simplicity. He is playing simple and well. I am really happy for Marouane.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

“I am very happy. With the points, with the spirit. I feel a bit frustrated because we had everything in the first half to kill the game.”

The ​20-time ​Premier League champions have reportedly been working on their set piece routines in training, with both of their goals against ​Watford coming from dead ball situations. 

​Romelu Lukaku got the first before Smalling quickly bagged a second, and Mourinho was overjoyed to see their training ground work come off, adding: “We trained the corner and it’s the best thing that can happen to coaches when you train and see it happen in the match.


“They are happening in last three matches, even against Tottenham. Things we are working on, position and movement. The set pieces are a very specific thing. You work and work and for weeks you don’t see the result so when it happened it was happiness for coaches.

“The only thing I don’t like at this moment with Chris is the haircut but I am no one to tell him that.”

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Watford 1-2 Man Utd: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Red Devils Hold Off Hornets for Vital Win

Manchester United secured a second consecutive victory after overcoming Watford thanks to goals in quick succession from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.

Andre Gray pulled one back for the Hornets in the second half but Javi Gracia’s side were denied by an in form David de Gea, who made a number of eye-catching stops.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


​WATFORD

Key Talking Point

Following their win over Tottenham before the international break, the Hornets looked good value for a potential upset over United.

However, while they pressed the Red Devils heavily in the second half, things never quite fell into place for Javi Gracia’s side, who also lost their perfect start to the Premier League season with defeat.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Foster (6), Janmaat (6), Cathcart (6), Kabasele (7), Holebas (7), Doucoure (7), Capoue (6), Hughes (7), Pereyra (6), Deeney (6), Gray (7)

Substitutes: Feminia (6), Masina (6), Success (6).


STAR MAN – Considered one of the best central midfielders outside the top six in England’s top flight, Abdoulaye Doucoure supplied the assist for Andre Gray’s strike and battled hard in midfield.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

WORST PLAYER – After a brilliant start to the season, Roberto Pereyra was disappointingly quiet for Saturday’s game.

The former Juventus attacker has three goals so far this term but never looked quite as threatening as he has in previous fixtures against Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Tottenham.


MANCHESTER UNITED

Key Talking Point

Jose Mourinho will be pleased with the fight his players have shown following the 3-0 loss to Tottenham.

After smashing Burnley, United shot into a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road with a quick pair of strikes from ​Lukaku and Smalling, and the away team had to show real character to get through the game relatively unscathed.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Mourinho will hope his side can take their newly acquired form into their next game, a Champions League fixture at Young Boys.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: De Gea (7), Valencia (6), Smalling (8), Lindelof (6), Young (7), Pogba (7), Fellaini (7), Matic (6), Lingard (6), Lukaku (7), Sanchez (6).


​Substitutes: Martial (6), McTominay (6), Bailly (N/A)


STAR MAN – Scoring what ultimately proved to be the winning goal, Smalling ensured United climbed to eighth in the Premier League with a solid defensive display.

While Andre Gray’s 65th minute effort made the game tense for Jose Mourinho’s side, Smalling was dominant at the back and made sure United got over the line. An honourable mention must also go to Marouane Fellaini, who was also brilliant.

Watford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

WORST PLAYER – Alexis Sanchez lacked service on Saturday night and also failed to make any kind of clear cut opportunity for himself.

He was brought off towards the end of the match for Scott McTominay but United fans will definitely be worried by Sanchez’s lack of form, with the Chilean registering just one assist in four Premier League appearances so far this season.


Looking Ahead

Next up for ​Watford is a trip to Craven Cottage to play Fulham, before travelling to MK Dons for their Carabao Cup tie with Tottenham.

​United have Champions League football to look forward to on Wednesday as they fly to Switzerland to play Young Boys, before a home fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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