EPL Insider: Man Utd hoping for midfield boost & City plan Yaya talks

Louis van Gaal’s side hope to have Michael Carrick back to full fitness soon, while their rivals will sit down for talks with the Ivory Coast international over his future

Manchester United hope for midfield boost

While all eyes will be on the incomings and outgoings at Manchester United over the next two days, under the radar one man is looking to provide manager Louis van Gaal a welcome boost with a return to fitness ahead of schedule.

Michael Carrick underwent ankle surgery in mid-July, and was expected to be out for at least three months.

Van Gaal described the midfielder’s injury as “a big blow” at the time, and despite the arrival of Ander Herrera this summer, Carrick’s absence has been keenly felt as United have picked up just one point from their first three league games and crashed out of the Capital One Cup thanks to a 4-0 defeat at MK Dons this week.

The Englishman has, however, impressed coaches and medical staff with his recovery process so far.

While keen not to put a date on his first-team return at this stage, both player and club are hopeful he could be ready for a possible comeback in October.

With Chelsea scheduled to visit Old Trafford on 26 October, Carrick will be desperate to have proven his fitness before then.

– By Paul Clennam

Tottenham to continue tradition of busy deadline days

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is usually the busiest man in the country on deadline day and it is unlikely to be any different this year.

The priority for Spurs is to trim their squad and a number of players are expected to depart before the transfer window closes.

Sandro, Lewis Holtby, Paulinho and Vlad Chiriches and Benoit Assou-Ekotto – all proven internationals – are among the players actively being offered to clubs across Europe.

A number of youngsters are also likely to leave for loan spells, including 23-year-old midfielder Ryan Mason should a Premier League club make a suitable offer.

But manager Mauricio Pochettino would be happy to keep Mason, who spent last season on loan at Swindon and has been hampered by injuries over the last few years.

Pochettino has told confidants that he was taken aback by Mason’s ability in pre-season and he was even in line for a shock start in the Premier League opener against West Ham earlier this month.

Despite being ruled out through injury since the start of the campaign, Mason has been visibly around the first-team on matchdays and could yet emerge as a surprise package for the Londoners this season.

– By Greg Stobart

Manchester City to discuss Yaya Toure’s future

Manchester City will sit down with midfielder Yaya Toure in the coming weeks with a mind to clarifying the Ivorian’s international future.

After a summer of public machinations about a move away from the club, interest from Paris St-Germain, a furore about the club’s failure to recognise the player’s birthday, and subsequent insistence from Toure that he is happy at Eastlands, the Insider understands that City’s hierarchy now want to meet to discuss his potential international retirement.

With the African Cup of Nations scheduled from 17 January to 8 February next year, City would welcome Toure stepping down from Ivory Coast’s national team.

However, the decision will be left to the player who, at 31, may feel he still has at least one big tournament in him.

If he opts to continue with the national team, his resulting absence will certainly prompt activity in the January transfer market.

– By Paul Clennam

One Night In Istanbul to thrill Liverpool fans

Liverpool supporters can relive one of the club’s finest moments when the feature film ‘One Night in Istanbul’ is released next month.

The Insider was privy to a secret screening of the flick in London this week – and Reds fans are sure to love the tale of a group of hardcore supporters watching the 2005 Champions League final.

Featuring Robbie Fowler and ‘Denzil’ from Only Fools and Horses, the film will be released in September following a glitzy premiere on Merseyside featuring Liverpool players past and present.

In fact, the low-budget film was made possible thanks to some generous donations from Liverpool players and it features a cameo appearance from Jamie Carragher’s young daughter.

– By Greg Stobart

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