8:38 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
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The Busby Babe 20 hours ago

Ángel Di María fit to face Aston Villa

Rejoice, for the great Ángel is back to spread festive cheer. And no, that's not the angel Gabriel. The most pleasing news from Louis van Gaal's press conference today is that Manchester United will be complete with star midfielder Ángel Di María as they take on Paul Lambert's Aston Villa TITANS in the Midlands on Saturday. He was snapped in training today, and though he's not fully fit, the Argentine midfielder is likely to at least make the bench. Di María hasn't played since he limped out of the Reds' Premier League victory over Hull City late last month. Interestingly, van Gaal...
The Busby Babe Dec 18, 2014

Atlético star snubs United move — reports

Uruguayan centre back Diego Godín has no intention of leaving the Spanish capital. Cross another centre back of the list, Diego Godín, thoroughly admirable Uruguayan hardnut and heart of the Atlético  Madrid side that won the Spanish league last season, is not interested in coming to Manchester. Or anywhere else, apparently. As he told ESPN ... At this point, I feel that I'm in the best time of my career and I still see my retirement very far. I would like to stay many years here [at Atlético]. But it is true that I also have an attraction from my country and at any point in the...
The Busby Babe Dec 18, 2014

Radamel Falcao would like to play football, please

United's Colombian striker is keen to get back on the pitch. Radamel Falcao, Manchester United's fourth-choice striker, has been talking to the press. And it turns out that while he'd quite like to stay at United, he'd like to do so as a footballer rather than as an extremely expensive bench ornament. From my point of view, yes, [I want to stay], but obviously I have to analyse the situation, see if I play more and see what decision the board takes. But I really want to stay. Fitness has been the issue, of course, along with the undroppability of Wayne Rooney, the recent good form of...
The Busby Babe Dec 16, 2014

So what is Ander Herrera alleged to have done?

Details of the match-fixing allegations laid against Manchester United's midfielder. As you've doubtless heard, Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera has been named in connection with a match-fixing scandal back in his native country. He denies all the allegations in the strongest terms — and we, poor little blog that we are, have no reason to doubt him — but for anybody wondering what the story is, here's a quick overview of events so far ... What happened? Going into the last day of the 2010-11 Spanish league season, Real Zaragoza were in 18th place in the table and...
The Busby Babe Dec 16, 2014

Ander Herrera denies match-fixing

The Manchester United midfielder affirms his belief in "fair play, on and off the pitch". Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has today denied being involved in a match-fixing scandal dating back to his time at Real Zaragoza. In a statement on his official Facebook page, the midfielder has reiterated that while he has been named in connection with the ongoing case, his connection is as a possible witness, not as the target of the allegations. In an on-going legal process involving Real Zaragoza (Spain), the club I was honoured to play from 12 until 22 years of age, there are 41...
The Busby Babe Dec 14, 2014

Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool: United cruise to victory

United put in a convincing performance to comfortably dispatch Liverpool at Old Trafford. A fair chunk of Manchester United's victories this season have come on the back of dodgy displays, but Sunday's emphatic 3-0 win over Liverpool was one of the Reds' more impressive performances the season so far. Goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie ensured United reversed the embarrassing defeat Liverpool inflicted upon them at Old Trafford last season. The opening few minutes of the game were United's shakiest, as Liverpool pressed high up the field and forced mistakes at the back....
The Busby Babe Dec 14, 2014

Wilson returns, Rojo out as United host Liverpool

Louis van Gaal has named James Wilson in his starting lineup vs. Liverpool, though Marcos Rojo hasn't made the matchday squad. Louis van Gaal has named young striker James Wilson in his starting lineup for United's clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford. He comes in for defender Marcos Rojo, who hasn't been named in the matchday squad, and is presumably the latest addition to the embarrassingly long injury list. The upshot is a switch from the back three to a back four, with Marouane Fellaini still preferred to Ander Herrera in midfield. Apparently his string of impressive performances...
The Busby Babe Dec 12, 2014

Van Gaal: Radamel Falcao could return against Liverpool

Could Radamel Falcao make only his fourth Premier League start against Liverpool? Louis van Gaal's press conferences never fail to entertain, but one of the more interesting titbits from this week's is that Radamel Falcao could make a "return" this weekend, as Manchester United host Liverpool in Sunday's early Premier League match. The Colombian, who has been suffering with some rather vague injury problems (that everyone hopes aren't related to THE KNEE, NOT THE KNEE!), has been a fixture in United's matchday squads for a while, but has only made a couple of substitute appearances since...
The Busby Babe Dec 12, 2014

Ángel Di María ruled out of Liverpool game

United's Argentine attacker is one of four absences from the squad. It's not a huge surprise, but it is still slightly disappointing: Ángel Di María, Manchester Untied's record signing and all-round general attacking terror, will not play on Sunday against Liverpool. That hamstring tear, minor though it apparently is, hasn't gone away completely. A shame. Still, there are only three other absentees — Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind — and, by the standards of this season, that's not all that bad. Options at the back, options in midfield, options up top; the tantalising...
The Busby Babe Dec 11, 2014

Phil Jones back in training

Manchester United's injury-prone centre half is back with the first-team, just in time for Christmas. Good news, one and all. Phil Jones has taken an important step towards his next injury by returning to full Manchester United training. While the utility defender/midfielder/whatever will not be in contention for this Sunday's game against Liverpool, he will — according to the Guardian — be back in the frame for selection against Aston Villa a week on Saturday. Jones is then expected to play five or six games throughout the Christmas period, mostly at centre half but occasionally at...
The Busby Babe Dec 11, 2014

Why Vidić won't be leaving Inter for United

The rumour mill seems to think that Manchester United's former captain might be on the way back. We're not convinced ... As you may have noticed, the names "Nemanja Vidić" and "Manchester United" have been floating around one another recently. Rumour has it that United, desperately seeking some reinforcement at the centre of defence, might turn to their former captain in their hour of need, and look into some kind of short-term January loan. Just to get through to the summer, when they'll buy Ayphaël Godmels and everything will be fine. Sounds plausible, no? Well, we don't like it. We...
The Busby Babe Dec 10, 2014

Central defender to miss Liverpool game

Chris Smalling, who limped off against Southampton on Monday evening, will be out for two weeks. At what point does this start to get funny? Manchester United's injury crisis started out as annoying, quickly got very annoying, then passed beyond that and into the realms of something irritating but permanent, like drizzle, or back pain, or calls from robots about your no-fault accident. But when does it get so ridiculous that the only possible response is to laugh? Now, perhaps, with the news that Chris Smalling will be out for at least two weeks with a groin strain. Smalling, who has been...
The Busby Babe Dec 10, 2014

City hold the key to United's January business — reports

According to the papers, Kevin Strootman's move to United is only a matter of time. And Manchester City might be able to lend a hand ... The search for a new angle on the apparently inevitable transfer of Kevin Strootman to Manchester United has taken a exciting twist today. The Telegraph, thinking firmly outside the box, have worked out that it's in the best interests of United fans to support Manchester City. Just for this evening, like. United's cross-town pale blue cousins are playing Roma, you see, and a place in the last 16 of the Champions League is on the line. While the various...
The Busby Babe Dec 9, 2014

VIDEO: Watch United's winner from the away end

LOUIS VAN GAAL'S RED AND WHITE ARMY! LOUIS VAN GAAL'S RED AND WHITE ARMY! Manchester United weren't particularly brilliant against Southampton, but their fans more than made up for it. The away end was bouncing all night long, and Robin van Persie, scorer of both goals, was impressed: They were unbelievable. I just want to say that it felt like the old days - like two years ago. It was a really special day, and they were unbelievable. I want to thank them because I know they've been travelling from all over England, maybe some from abroad. It's a long journey. Thanks everyone for coming -...
The Busby Babe Dec 8, 2014

Southampton 1-2 Manchester United: Poor United sneak lucky win

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! They say the mark of a top team is when they can win games when playing badly. If that's true, then this team may well go down in history as one of the all-time greats. Manchester United turned in an utterly abject performance away at Southampton, but the hosts' wastefulness in front of goal combined with Robin van Persie's uncharacteristic precision to seal a 2-1 victory. The tone for the entire game was set in the first quarter of an hour, in which Southampton dominated the possession before José Fonte's dodgy backpass sent van Persie through on goal in the 13th...
The Busby Babe Dec 8, 2014

Rooney returns, Herrera dropped as Manchester United face Southampton

Wayne Rooney has returned to United's starting XI for tonight's clash with Southampton. Ander Herrera drops to the bench. Ander Herrera may have been impressive in Manchester United's victory over Stoke City last weekend, but apparently he wasn't quite impressive enough. The Spaniard has dropped to the bench as Wayne Rooney returns to Louis van Gaal's starting lineup for tonight's clash away at Southampton. James Wilson has also dropped to the bench to make way for young centre-back Paddy McNair, as van Gaal reverts to the 3-5-2 formation last used as United romped to a comfortable victory...
The Busby Babe Dec 8, 2014

Revealed! The real reasons Louis van Gaal and Ronald Koeman don't get on

The Premier League's managerial Dutchmen are famously intolerant of one another ... Manchester United play Southampton tonight, and as you may heard, the two managers, Louis van Gaal and Ronald Koeman, don't exactly get on. Here's a piece explaining why in FourFourTwo. And here's one in the Guardian. Oh, and the Independent. And the Telegraph. And, er, the Times. And, oh, here's one in Bunty. All of them are wrong. Here, the Busby Babe can exclusively reveal the real reasons why Van Gaal and Koeman don't get on. • Koeman thinks Kevin Strootman is "alright, nothing special"; •...
The Busby Babe Dec 8, 2014

Falcao can "only play for twenty minutes"

Manchester United's Colombian striker is still some way from full fitness, according to Louis van Gaal. The Busby Babe is a glass-half-full kind of website. Optimism is our watchword, silver is the preferred colour of our linings. So when we see that Louis van Gaal has said that ... I have selected [Radamel Falcao] in spite of the fact he can only play for 20 minutes. It would be a better contribution if he played with the second team, but I cannot do that because on Tuesday we had the match against Stoke and Wayne Rooney was injured. ... then we take the positives. By the standards of...
The Busby Babe Dec 5, 2014

Hummels and Strootman in, Van Persie out? Breaking down United's reported spending spree

We take a look at the reported targets of United's multi-million pound spending splurge. As you may have noticed, the English press are all of a tizzy this morning. It's all to do with Manchester United, you see. Apparently the club are on the verge of spending a serious amount of money, anywhere between £100m and £300m, depending on who's counting and what they're counting. There are names, too, the same names across all of the papers. All of which serves as a decent reminder of the first rule of footballing transfer gossip: the plural noun for rumours is a briefing. Anyway, here at TBB...
The Busby Babe Dec 5, 2014

Are Leicester City set to terminate Nick Powell's loan?

The midfielder has made just two appearances off the bench since signing for the Foxes. Nick Powell arrived at Manchester United as England's Next Big Thing, though the former Crewe Alexandra man has failed miserably to make a mark on the Premier League since being sent off to Leicester City on loan back in September. Both of the 20-year-old midfielder-cum-striker's appearances have been off the bench, though he's been sat in the stands for the Foxes' last three games. Now, the word on the street (or in the Telegraph) is that Nigel Pearson is ready to send Powell back to United next month,...