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Manchester United: Depay shines for Netherlands; De Gea release clause revealed; centre-back targeted

Memphis Depay sent a message to Jose Mourinho with a brace for the Netherlands yesterday and will be hoping that he can force his way into his club manager’s plans. It was a difficult evening for Oranje once more as they only managed to beat Luxembourg 3-1 and Depay was the match-winner. His second goal came from a beautiful free-kick and this could be the confidence booster that the winger needs after a disappointing 18 months at Old Trafford. He still has a lot of talent and could have a part to play for Manchester United over the coming weeks.

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There have been concerns about his attitude and training level, which was the case last season as well. Although he has talent, he needs to do more to make it in the Premier League. Depay was the star of the Eredivisie and was allowed to put in less effort defensively because he was producing the goods at the other end. At Manchester United, he is a small fish in a big pond and has yet to realise that. He has the potential to be a huge star, but he must deal with his attitude problems before he can develop into that. The next couple of months will be fascinating. If he fails to break into Mourinho’s plans, then surely he will leave the club in January.

The Mirror carry a report taken from the Spanish press that David De Gea’s contract contains a release clause of €60 million. That equates to roughly £51 million at the current exchange rate, which could be seen as a good price for arguably the best goalkeeper in the world. Real Madrid remain interested in the goalkeeper, despite the development of Keylor Navas. The one good thing for Manchester United is that Real Madrid are set to enter an 18-month transfer ban, which will prevent them from activating the release clause.

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De Gea has remained patient at Manchester United and has applied himself, despite the club’s fall down the league table. He has the ability to play at the highest level and won’t be willing to remain at Manchester United for many more years without Champions League football. It is crucial that United climb back up the table to stand any chance of keeping hold of De Gea for the long term. This season, they have already lost ground on the leading pack and it is important that they climb the table over the coming weeks or they could lose De Gea sooner than they think.

Jose Mourinho will be planning his January transfer business already and one player on the club’s radar is Benfica centre back Victor Lindelof. The Swedish international is wanted by several of Europe’s biggest clubs and is set for a move over the next 12 months. The 22-year-old has an intimidating physique that allows him to dominate in the air, but he is also very good with his feet, making him a complete defender. United may have to spend a lot of money to capture Lindelof, but it would strengthen their defence significantly.

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Eric Bailly has been excellent since joining the club in the summer, but he and Chris Smalling have picked up injuries, leaving the club short of options ahead of the New Year. The defence has had problems this season and United always look vulnerable at the back, which will concern Mourinho as his sides are normally very solid. Although Lindelof would need time to adjust to the Premier League, he could form an excellent partnership with Bailly. They are both young and could become the mainstays of the Manchester United starting eleven for years to come.

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