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United’s Dutch connection


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Piers Barber

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And so the inevitable finally becomes a reality. Louis van Gaal is the new Manchester United manager, an unsurprising but highly important piece of news which will prove vital to the future of the Old Trafford club. He will leave his current job – as boss of his national side, the Netherlands – following the conclusion of his team’s involvement in this summer’s World Cup.

Yet the Netherlands – the home of legal weed, Total Football and a loads and loads of flat land – has produced surprisingly few players who have gone on to star for Manchester United. Only eight, in fact, one of whom is Alexander ttner, a player so raw, excitable and defensively shaky it seems likely he won some sort of scarcely publicised competition to win brief ownership of the No.28 shirt at Old Trafford. Read the full story

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Mourinho talks Sneijder out of Old Trafford


Inter Milan Holland international Wesley Sneijder claims Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho influenced his decision not to transfer to Manchester United according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The 27 year old summer long target of Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that he spoke with the Premier League side over a move to Old Trafford after the Serie A giants considered selling him. However, the transfer was never forthcoming and Sneijder admits Mourinho influenced his decision.

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19 is done and dusted, now for the United Youth


Football’s increasingly global nature means Manchester United will approach the FA Youth Cup final with Sheffield United pledging to continue their worldwide search for talent. The likelihood is Paul McGuinness’ side for Tuesday’s first-leg duel at Bramall Lane will include representatives from Italy, Holland and France. Spanish World Cup winner Gerard Pique appeared in the competition for United in recent years, as did Giuseppe Rossi and Federico Macheda. And, given the glory Lionel Messi has helped Barcelona enjoy since arriving in Catalonia as a 13 year old, it is clear operating purely within the boundaries of Greater Manchester is not an option.

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