Manchester United, the 2016-17 Europa League champions, are set to kickstart their new campaign with a mega-clash on Tuesday night against Champions League winners Real Madrid in UEFA Super Cup Final.
Jose Mourinho, the former Los Blancos boss, is currently in charge of Manchester United and keen to improve his sixth-place league finish of last season. He has brought in three high-profile names – hitman Romelu Lukaku has arrived from Everton, ex-Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has reunited with his former gaffer and Victor Lindelof, the highly-rated Swedish centre-back has been recruited from Portuguese heavyweights Benfica.
A few of their youngsters, however, have moved out in order to achieve regular minutes at senior level. Custodian Sam Johnstone has joined Championship outfit Aston Villa on a season-long loan, Adnan Januzaj, ‘tipped to be next Cristiano Ronaldo’, has completed a permanent move to La Liga outfit Real Sociedad. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s loan move to Leeds United is imminent and Guillermo Varela, another promising prodigy, is reportedly set to return to his boyhood club Penarol on a permanent deal.
The 24-year old Uruguayan right-back joined the Red Devils back in the summer of 2013 for a €2.8 million fee from his boyhood side and became David Moyes’ first signing as Manchester United boss.Varela, who represented his country at U17 and U20 level, spent his first season with the reserves before being loaned out to Spanish Segunda Division B outfit Real Madrid Castilla (aka Real Madrid reserves) and appeared 33 times for them.
Following a successful loan spell, Varela was included in Manchester United’s squad for the group stage of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League and Louis Van Gaal, the then boss, handed him a sporadic role due to significant injuries to senior stars. He was handed 11 appearances across all competitions and once again loaned out by new boss Jose Mourinho in his debut managerial campaign as United boss. But his spell with Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt went in vain as he was suspended by the club for disciplinary concerns and the loan deal was not extended this summer.
Varela, being surplus to Mourinho’s requirements, is now set to depart permanently and if the reports are believed to be true, his boyhood club Penarol have reached an agreement over a transfer fee which includes a sell-on clause and the Uruguayan will sign a three-year deal.
Photo by Ronnie Macdonald