Footy Extras

Man Utd news round-up: Club on alert, Varane transfer blow, Albiston hails academy talent

20-year-old Man Utd full-back still interests Southampton

Southampton remain keen on Manchester United star Brandon Williams and are paying close attention to his current situation at the Old Trafford outfit, according to The Athletic.

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl wants to add to his defensive options and expressed an interest in the Englishman in the recent transfer window.

The 20-year-old star was open to a loan move to St. Mary’s with a view to getting regular game time, but the transfer was blocked by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Manchester United chief assured Williams that he was part of his plans for the 2020/21 season, but the Englishman is yet to feature in the league.

Southampton, who remain interested in the star, are paying close attention to his situation at the club and could consider a move when the market opens.

The Reds Devils have been reluctant to bolster their rivals in the past, with Sergio Romero’s denied transfer to Everton a testament to that.

However, it remains to be seen if the club will consider letting Williams join Southampton in the January transfer window, with a move potentially more likely if they fall down the table.

Hasenhuttl’s side view the 20-year-old as an all-around defender who can operate on both the left or right and can provide competition for Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand.

In the meantime, Manchester United could reportedly “turn to” Inter Milan star Christian Eriksen to solve their problems in the starting eleven – but they may have to battle fellow Premier League club Arsenal for his signature.

Man Utd blow as World Cup winner will not be allowed to leave Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has ruled out the possibility of Manchester United target Raphael Varane leaving Real Madrid in the near future after reports linking the centre-back with a move to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils want to add a high-quality centre-back to their roster and have long been admirers of the Frenchman.

The club are considering making a big move for Raphael next summer, but Zinedine has warned them off doing so, saying that the star is categorically not for sale at any price.

Since arriving from Lens back in 2011, the Frenchman has made over 300 appearances for the club, winning four UEFA Champions League titles and three La Liga crowns.

With 10 appearances already this campaign, Varane remains an integral figure for his compatriot and Zidane insists he is going nowhere.

‘It’s not just me [who wants to keep him],’ said Real Madrid chief. ‘He is part of this club, we were very lucky to be able to bring him to Madrid.

‘He has a great career, he’s achieved a lot since he’s been here. Of course, he is untransferable for the club, for the coach that I am, for people in general.

‘That’s clear and unambiguous. Now we can’t stop people from talking.

‘They’re not just talking about Varane, but about all the players, Real Madrid ones and others. But for Varane, my position is clear, and it’s the same as the club’s position.’

He has less than two years left on his current contract in Madrid, with his existing deal expiring in June 2022.

U23s striker backed to become Man Utd first-team player in future

Manchester United icon Arthur Albiston has tipped teenage forward Joe Hugill, who was snapped up from fellow English club Sunderland, to soon knock on the door of the senior team squad at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils identified the young striker while he was at Sunderland’s academy and last summer tempted the player to Old Trafford; Joe has already been a hit in the Manchester United reserve roster.

Hugill, who turned 17 in October, has netted four times for the U18s this season and has already broken into the U23 team, netting three goals in six appearances for Neil Wood’s side.

Arthur is a regular watcher of the academy reserve teams and commentates for the club’s in-house television channel on the youth matches.

The Manchester United hero has expressed his delight at the way Joe has started since joining from the Black Cats and believes the Red Devils could have signed the academy’s next big thing.

He feels if the attacker continues to bang in the goals at the youth level, he could soon be in line to be in the first-team roster as well.

Quizzed about the next big thing from the academy, the ex-defender said on MUTV: “A lad there we signed from Sunderland, Hugill.

“He has got off to a fantastic start in his career, scoring goals right away.

“He played in a couple of Under-18 games and then went into the Under-23s and scored goals there as well.

“Wouldn’t surprise me if he keeps doing that, he might be knocking on the door of the first-team squad.”

Manchester United fought off competition from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to snap up the youngster last summer, with losing the player a major blow for Sunderland.