Could injury scupper Welbeck's Manchester United exit plan?

THE INSIDER: The England international is poised to leave Old Trafford before the transfer window closes, but has been sent for scans on a knee problem

Manchester United's plans to offload Danny Welbeck in the summer transfer window could be scuppered by a knee injury, the Insider can reveal.

The striker is available for around £15 million but was sent for scans this week after complaining of pain in the knee area for the last fortnight.

Louis van Gaal's side have moved a step closer to signing Angel Di Maria, with Goal revealing on Saturday that the Argentine wants to move to Old Trafford, and thus Welbeck's United's future has been placed in further doubt.

The England international's preferred position is as a central striker but he is behind both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie in the pecking order and could now see his path to the starting XI further blocked by Real Madrid star Di Maria.

Van Gaal has perservered with Ashley Young a wing-back position of a 3-5-2 formation during pre-season and in United's opening day defeat to Swansea City although a similar role for Welbeck would appear unlikely.

United are now awaiting the results of Welbeck's scan but any underlying issue would undoubtedly put potential bidders on hold.
- By Paul Clennam


Contract talks between Everton and James McCarthy have stalled after the club's initial offer fell well short of the midfielder's expectations.

McCarthy had been promised an improved deal on the back of his brilliant first season at Goodison Park, following his move from Wigan last summer.

But the Republic of Ireland international is understood to have been less than pleased with the progress of the talks thus far and it has now emerged that offer on the table does not match his demands.

McCarthy is thought to be on Manchester United's radar this summer, and they will be more than interested to learn that talks over a new deal have not gone according to plan.
- By William Joyce