Here is your Manchester United morning digest on Saturday, February 13.
Manchester United‘s interest in Watford’s Ismaila Sarr last summer failed to materialise into a loan move due to a disagreement over whether there should be an option to buy, according to the player’s agent.
United were keen on signing a right-winger in the summer, with Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho their main target, but when it became clear that a move for Sancho wouldn’t be feasible, United considered other options, including Sarr.
The 22-year-old joined Watford from Rennes in 2019 and was widely tipped to leave Vicarage Road after just a season at the club following some impressive performances.
Yet no move materialised and Sarr remains with the Hornets in the Championship.
The player’s agent, Thierno Seydi, has now claimed that United saw a summer bid turned down due to the fact they did not want to insert an option to buy Sarr into a potential loan deal.
Seydi said: “During the summer, the Manchester club wanted to sign him. At the last moment, they offered a loan without an option, which Watford didn’t accept because the loan was expected to be accompanied by an option with right of first refusal for the Manchester club.”
United make the trip to West Brom on Sunday looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League following last weekend’s draw with Everton.
The Reds were able to bounce back from conceding a last-gasp equaliser against the Toffees by beating West Ham 1-0 after extra-time in the FA Cup in midweek.
With such a hectic fixture schedule, playing a further 30 minutes was no doubt not what manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted for his players.
Whilst the Reds appear to have come through the contest unscathed, Solskjaer may still be without three players for the game at the Hawthorns.
We have put together a round-up of the latest news on United’s injuries and expected return dates.
Van de Beek analysed
Judging by how long he stayed on the pitch, Donny van de Beek’s 73 minutes against West Ham United in the FA Cup might have signalled an improved display from the Dutchman. It was, after all, only the fifth time this season that he’d managed 70+ minutes in a domestic fixture for United.
Yet the realities of his performance were much difference, and despite his patience up until that point, with the scoreline still in the balance, Solskjaer was reluctantly forced to again turn to his maverick creator Bruno Fernandes to try to turn the match in his side’s favour.
United went on to secure progression to the quarter-finals with an extra-time strike courtesy of Scott McTominay. However, a lot of the talk post-match was dominated by another unremarkable display by United’s costliest summer recruit.
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Manchester United beat West Ham 1-0 in the FA Cup, thanks to Scott McTominay’s extra-time winner.
United sealed a spot in the cup quarter-finals with victory over David Moyes’ side at Old Trafford, and now they travel to West Brom in the league on Sunday.
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Solskjaer defended the 23-year-old in his post-match conference: “I thought in the first-half we and Donny played really well. We created spaces, there were one or two where he was part of that. He did his job neat and tidy, he had a half-chance when Alex (Telles) pulled it back to him.”
That ‘half-chance’ proved to be Van de Beek’s only shot of the game.