Rumour Reel: Van Gaal and Mourinho to make Man Utd dream team?


Holly Thackeray | May 20, 2016

Who doesn’t love a Friday morning? With the weekend, and the small matter of an FA Cup final, just around the corner, football’s rumour reel has gone into overdrive.

Perhaps the strangest tabloid whisper regards an unusual move for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal but that is not the only tantalising transfer tale doing the rounds this fine morning…

Van Gaal set for new Red Devils role?

It seems as though, ahead of Saturday’s showpiece with Crystal Palace, the papers are getting as much mileage out of Man Utd’s managerial saga as possible, with the latest idea being that current coaching incumbent Louis van Gaal and mooted replacement candidate Jose Mourinho could work together at Old Trafford.

No, don’t worry, this isn’t a hark back to a 90s style joint Gerard Houllier-Roy Evans managerial duo, with reports suggesting Dutch gaffer Van Gaal would instead move upstairs and become director of football, with former protege Mourinho taking on dugout duties.

Punters will remember how well (or not) this type of arrangement worked out for Van Gaal at Ajax with his former coaching assistant at Barcelona and compatriot coach Ronald Koeman….

Vardy in view, Valencia out of Hammers time

Another audacious rumour fresh off the reel, is that West Ham United’s search for a striker could now lead the Londoners to Jamie Vardy’s door, with the lethal Leicester City forward an ambitious attacking target after the Hammers saw moves for frontmen Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) and Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon) recently rejected, along with an offer for Cherries winger Matt Ritchie.

Since those bids failed, the Foxes sensation who scored 24 goals this Premier League season almost certainly seems out of reach – Vardy’s Hollywood producers would surely rather the movie script ended with more Leicester heroics or a shock move to Real Madrid than a stint in east London!

The reason West Ham may be intensifying their attacking recruitment could relate to a different Midlands club entirely, as West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis is believed to have the Irons’ Ecuador international Enner Valencia on his rarefied radar.

Injuries disrupted energetic Valencia’s season, in which the 26-year-old found the net just four times while on league duty, with Pulis apparently pondering a loan move or cut-price offer for the South American.

Toffees targeting rearguard reinforcement

Finally, no sooner is attack-minded manager Roberto Martinez out of the Goodison Park door, than Everton are being refreshingly linked with a handful of defensive prospects.

As veteran keeper Tim Howard is primed for an exit and number one Joel Robles has flattered to deceive between the posts, the Toffees are being linked with Hellas Verona stopper Pierluigi Gollini.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the 21-year-old previously spent time in the Northwest at Manchester United’s youth academy. The Italy Under-20 international made 26 Serie A appearances this season though could not save his current club from relegation, but could provide Robles with some much needed competition between the sticks.

While, Club Brugge’s centre back Bjorn Engels, called up by Belgium, has also apparently caught Everton’s eye, as the Merseysiders seek to solidify their backline after a league campaign in which they leaked 55 goals in 38 games, leaving the Toffees with a goal difference of just four.


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