8:34 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
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Manchester United miss out on key Van Gaal target

Manchester United have missed out on the signing of Stefan de Vrij, reported to be one of Louis van Gaal's key targets. Manchester United have missed out on Stefan de Vrij after the young defender opted to sign for Lazio. De Vrij was reported to be a key target for Louis van Gaal, and was reported by Neil Custis in the Sun as such recently, which was then backed up by United fanzine Red Issue. It's hard to believe that De Vrij would've chosen Lazio over Van Gaal's United, so we're assuming that United have for some reason decided to pursue other targets. The other names mentioned in that...
The Busby Babe 12 hours ago
Injured Rafael leaves United's pre-season tour

Injured Rafael leaves United's pre-season tour

Insert sad face here. Manchester United right-back Rafael da Silva will play no further part in the Red Devils' pre-season tour of the United States, thanks to a groin injury he picked up in training. A statement on the club's official website read: Rafael has returned to Manchester to continue treatment on the groin injury sustained in training in Denver. As he was unlikely to participate in the remaining tour games, returning to the Aon Training Complex affords the best overall option for his recovery in time to continue preseason preparation when the team returns. The good news is that...
The Busby Babe 12 hours ago
United set to offer €60 million for Arturo Vidal

United set to offer €60 million for Arturo Vidal

The Arturo Vidal Saga, Part XXV The respite in the Arturo Vidal transfer saga was brief indeed. La Gazzetta dello Sport have today reignited speculation that the Chilean could be on his way to Manchester United, claiming that the Red Devils are offering Juventus €60 million for their star midfielder. He would reportedly be paid around €8 million per year plus bonuses for four seasons -- more than twice his salary in Turin. The Chilean's agent, Fernando Felicevich, will apparently discuss the offer with Juve's director general Giuseppe Marotta tomorrow. Gazzetta add that coach...

Manchester United beat Roma in style as Van Gaal revolution continues apace

Manchester United clinched a win over Roma that was a bit simpler than the scoreline suggests, going 3-0 up in the first half before the Italians rallied after United made 9 changes at the break. Well, this looks nice, doesn't it? Manchester United were once again victorious in pre-season as they dispatched Roma 3-2, scoring all of their goals in the first half before the Serie A side pulled two back late on. Wayne Rooney bagged two goals and set up the other, which was finished off nicely by Juan Mata as United's key players put in excellent performances to beat the Italians. In truth,...

Van Gaal Out: Cleverley starts as captain as lineup announced for Roma game

It's been nice having you, Louis, but it's time for you to go. Our new manager has decided to award the captaincy to Tom Cleverley as Manchester United face Roma in a pre-season friendly. "I think I'm going to be his type of player" was Tom Cleverley's view of our new manager, doing much to dissuade us of the notion that the Bradford Iniesta is something of a self-centred little oik. Sadly, however, it appears he may well be right as he starts as captain tonight versus AS Roma. Only Cleverley and youngster Tyler Blackett will play 90 minutes, with the rest of the team to change at...

Farewell, sweet prince: Bebe joins Benfica in £3m deal

Bebe is off to Benfica, bringing to a close one of the most bizarre careers at Manchester United of all time. We couldn't possibly guess why Bebe was bought. We could speculate, at length, about the skulduggery and dodgy dealings on behalf of the dark Lord Ferg, and what he might've possibly been trying to do, but we probably shouldn't for legal reasons. Anyway, unfortunately the dear loveable old winger is now sadly off, as, after a surprisingly good season in Portugal, Benfica have signed him for £3m. Which is a fair old loss, although United have negotiated a 50% sell-on clause. One of...
The Busby Babe Jul 25, 2014

Video: Louis van Gaal teaches Wayne Rooney how to shoot

Stop leathering it, Wayne. TBB's favourite thing of the day so far is this video from Manchester United's United States training camp, in which Louis van Gaal attempts to teach Wayne Rooney how to shoot: Now, we imagined a player as successful as Rooney would understand basic football techniques like actually looking at the goalkeeper before shooting, aiming for the corners instead of blasting it at the man in the colourful shirt, and not leathering it as hard as humanly possible, but apparently not. Groundbreaking football education from our new Supreme Leader. In light of these...
The Busby Babe Jul 25, 2014
Vidal rules out United move, unless he doesn't

Vidal rules out United move, unless he doesn't

Extremely important transfer update! No, wait! Come back! Before we proceed with chapter 427 of the Saga of Vidal, we draw your attention to the following facts. One of Arnold Muhren's middle names was "Hyacinthus", and wombat shit is cuboid. We do this to demonstrate that this world can, at times, be a fascinating place containing interesting information. Hold on to that thought, then, as we approach the news that Arturo Vidal has ruled out a move to Manchester United. Maybe. Perhaps. Depending on who you ask and how they tell it. Basically, somebody with a microphone ran up to Arturo...
The Busby Babe Jul 24, 2014

Louis van Gaal hails "beautiful" United

Following the hammering of LA Galaxy, Manchester United's new manager was delighted at the ease with which the team took to his plans. Seven-nil, hey? Not bad. Not bad at all. The results of pre-season friendlies are things of very little consequence, but still, there's no way last night's performance can be considering anything other than encouraging. Particularly where a squad are being asked to play football in a shape to which they are thoroughly unaccustomed. And Louis van Gaal was certainly pleased: We introduced a new system that we have only played two times on the training pitch...
The Busby Babe Jul 24, 2014

Louis van Gaal and the resurgence of the 3-man defence

Louis van Gaal is bringing the three-man defence back into fashion. The back three certainly isn't a new invention, though it is enjoying a resurgence in domestic and international football at present. Louis van Gaal led a pretty unspectacular Netherlands side to a World Cup semifinal with a 3-4-1-2, while Costa Rica and Mexico also progressed beyond expectations with a similar formation. Now it's hitting domestic football outside of its natural home in Italy, and van Gaal is leading the revolution. "I can change back if the system doesn't work," said van Gaal in the aftermath of...
The Busby Babe Jul 24, 2014
Manchester United 7-0 LA Galaxy: Ander Herrera stars as United romp to victory

Manchester United 7-0 LA Galaxy: Ander Herrera stars as United romp to victory

The Louis van Gaal era has started with a bang. Manchester United cruised to a 7-0 win over the LA Galaxy in their first pre-season game under Louis van Gaal. It was about as confident a performance and convincing a victory as the Red Devils could have hoped for, with their MLS opponents totally taken apart. Van Gaal opted to start the game with the same 3-4-1-2 formation he used to impressive effect with the Netherlands at the World Cup. Luke Shaw was given the nod on the left, Antonio Valencia on the right, with captain Darren Fletcher and Ander Herrera in the centre of midfield. Juan...

Manchester United vs. LA Galaxy: Live thread

The Louis van Gaal era begins with three at the back. So, the official first teamsheet of the Louis van Gaal era is as follows: (3-4-1-2): David de Gea; Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans; Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Darren Fletcher, Luke Shaw; Juan Mata; Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck. Intriguing. It seems like it could suit everybody involved, particularly the defenders, although the record of three-at-the-back systems in England is not particularly great. Unfortunately, The Busby Babe lives in London, Paris and Manchester, and so it will be 4am when we start. And I'm writing this...

VIDEO: Dutch TV show parodies Louis van Gaal in English

A Dutch TV show has made a comedy sketch featuring our new manager, which is mildly amusing. Louis van Gaal has something of a reputation in his native land. It's preceded him to a certain extent here, but we're still unsure of him, and were English TV to attempt a comedy sketch poking fun at him, they'd probably come out with something terrible and faintly xenophobic. Well, let's be honest, English TV would probably do that regardless of how much they knew about him. Still, on the continent, they know what makes their man tick, so we thought we'd share this clip of Van Gaal taking English...
The Busby Babe Jul 23, 2014

Van Gaal unhappy with pre-season arrangements

And when Louis van Gaal is unhappy, things get done. One week, he's been in the job. One week, and not only has Louis van Gaal already decided to take on the might of Manchester United's sprawling commercial arm, but he's taken it on and won. Asked in a press conference whether United's pre-season schedule was have a negative effect on his preparations for the coming season, he replied: More or less, yes. We have to prepare the season and when you have commercial activities and dreadful distances, having to fly a lot and the jet lag, it is not very positive for a good preparation. The tour...
The Busby Babe Jul 23, 2014
Jürgen Klopp dismisses speculation linking United with Mats Hummels

Jürgen Klopp dismisses speculation linking United with Mats Hummels

According to the Borussia Dortmund manager, his star defender won't be moving to United any time soon. Yesterday "reports in Spain" suggested that Manchester United had moved a little closer to signing Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. Unsurprisingly, those Spanish reports about the future of a German defender moving from a German club to one in England don't seem to be very accurate. Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp seemed fairly bullish in his response: Klopp about Hummels to Man Utd: "If that's not a bullshit story, I'll eat a broom stick" (via @SkySportNewsHD) — Raphael...
The Busby Babe Jul 22, 2014
Louis van Gaal orders United to change training surfaces

Louis van Gaal orders United to change training surfaces

Does this count as a big summer signing? Louis van Gaal hasn't taken long to start implementing his famed 'vision' with characteristically uncompromising command. According to a report in the Guardian today, Manchester United's new boss has ordered the Red Devils' training pitches at Carrington to be ripped up and replaced by a "synthetic-grass hybrid material" known as Desso. Now, this isn't quite as radical as it may seem, as according to journalist Jamie Jackson, Old Trafford has had Desso since last year, and a quick look at the Desso GrassMaster Wikipedia page (exciting stuff!)...
The Busby Babe Jul 22, 2014

Italian press: new bid for Juventus midfielder

It is happening again. It is happening again. It is happening again. We at tBB are officially bored of Arturo Vidal. The backlash begins here. He's rubbish, he's got silly hair, he's definitely not exactly the kind of player that United's midfield has been crying out for since ... since Roy Keane left, maybe, and he's rubbish. And has silly hair. And is rubbish. But that's not swaying Louis van Gaal and it's not swaying Ed Woodward; at least, not if you believe Italian newspaper Tuttosport. A bid of €40m has been rejected, apparently, but a new bid's going in, one that starts at €43m...
The Busby Babe Jul 22, 2014
United

United "closing in" on Dortmund star - reports

A couple of papers have United getting closer to a deal for World Cup winner and part-time pirate lookalike Mats Hummels, which would be nice. Unfortunately, it might also be nonsense. "Reports from Spain". It's a good phrase. Both mysterious and reassuring, as though the short hop across the water from the Iberian peninsula has invested these reports with an exotic authority. Surely a rumour wouldn't come all that way just to waste everybody's time? These particular reports from Spain have originated with the Catalan newspaper Sport, who are claiming in no uncertain terms that (a) Borussia...
The Busby Babe Jul 21, 2014

Ferguson may explain Moyes' appointment in expanded autobiography

News that Alex Ferguson is to publish an expanded edition of his autobiography raises an obvious question: will he explain exactly whose decision it was to appoint David Moyes? Exciting publishing news, ladies and gentlemen. Alex Ferguson — you remember him: noted wine expert, author, business studies lecturer — is to publish an expanded edition of his autobiography, first published in October 2013 According to manutd.com, this expanded edition will include: reflections on events at Manchester United since [Ferguson's] retirement as well as his teachings at the Harvard Business...
The Busby Babe Jul 21, 2014

Patrice Evra leaves United for Juventus

Manchester United's veteran left-back has left the club after nine trophy-laden years. Well, it's been coming for a while, so hopefully you're all braced for the blow. Patrice Evra, left-back and hero, has officially left Manchester United. He will join Italian champions Juventus for a fee of around £1.2m. In a statement to the club website, Evra thanked Alex Ferguson, his teammates and coaches, the Old Trafford staff and, of course, the fans: My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together, we lifted all of those trophies together and that night in Moscow...