Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid The most obvious target but most probably the hardest to secure. Ronaldo made his name as a Manchester United player in a terrific six-year spell as David Beckham’s heir apparent in the number seven shirt. Talk of a return from Madrid – where he has established himself as one of the world’s two best players – has never really gone away and United’s best chance may come in the form of his advancing years. Ronaldo is now 30 and Madrid may reach a point when they think their man is worth as much as he is ever going to be. Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich Described as priceless by his chairman at the weekend, Muller is no stranger to Van Gaal’s methods having played under him for Bayern. A rangy forward with an uncanny ability to always pop up in the right place, he has been a star of two successive World Cups at the age of 25. He many not possess the direct threat of a Ronaldo but would undoubtedly vastly improve United’s attacking options. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid Another Real man who continues to be linked with Old Trafford, Wales international Bale endured a difficult second season in the Spanish capital after scoring in a victorious Champions League final in the first. Boos from the Madrid fans gave the impression all was not well, and his pace and direct style would certainly fit in with what United and their fans crave. There has been no suggestion of Real wanting to sell, though, and Bale has been a firm fixture throughout their pre-season commitments. Harry Kane – Tottenham Kane is certainly not a free-spirited player but his ability to make something out of nothing in the penalty area would appeal to many United fans. He scored 32 goals for club and country in a break-out season last term and, although Tottenham have shown no willingness to sell, the Old Trafford club would currently offer Kane a higher level of football to play at. Pedro – Barcelona Perhaps the easiest of the deals to be done, Barcelona forward Pedro has been linked with United all summer and a deal seems possible. Pedro has found opportunities in Barca’s frontline harder to come by since the arrival of Luis Suarez and his pace and eye for a goal would vastly increase United’s options. United have done plenty of business already this summer but Van Gaal’s stated admiration of game-changing players in the mould of Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben, and even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, shows he has not yet settled on his current squad. Here, Press Association Sport looks at some possible contenders to be United’s ‘marquee’ man. Louis van Gaal’s admission that Manchester United need a player with “speed and creativity” opens the debate as to who the Dutchman may pursue. Press Association
GLENS FALLS — Joe Girard III, a member of Syracuse’s 2019 recruiting class, needed 29 points on Sunday night to reach 4,000 in his Glens Falls (New York) High School career. To almost everyone in the Cool Insuring Arena, that somewhat large number seemed a foregone conclusion. It’d be easy for a senior guard averaging nearly 50 points per game to hit 29.But Girard started slow before heating up and finishing with 52 in a Glens Falls win. He made 17 shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and added 15 free throws.Here’s a look at the baskets that brought Girard to the milestone total and beyond, up to 4,023 points in his high school career.Points 1 and 2: After missing his first shot from the floor, Girard decided he needed to attack the basket to find an early rhythm. So on a transition opportunity, he used an in-and-out dribble with his right hand to attack toward the right block. Girard weathered the contact and finished for an and-1, although he missed the free throw.“Fastbreaks I knew I was gonna try and get myself going,” Girard said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Points 16 and 17: After popping out to the left corner as he’d done earlier, Girard sold his cut before sliding backdoor. His teammate lobbed a pass in, so Girard went up to grab it before finishing another and-1. He flexed after the finish, but then missed the foul shot. Points 3 and 4: Girard again chooses to attack the basket instead of settling for a perimeter jumper. He’d missed four-straight shots since the opening layup. As his teammate approaches to set a screen to drive left, Girard instead attacks right, double clutches near the basket, and lays it in. Points 42 and 43: Girard took it upon himself to break the Amsterdam press. On this play, he simply wouldn’t stop. Multiple defenders tried to throw themselves in front of him, but Girard kept going right and made it all the way to the basket.“I knew I had to help our team win,” Girard said. “… I wanted the ball in my hands.” He kept going right, @JG3_____ up to 43 and GF up 7 pic.twitter.com/uHa9YEM3Df— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Comments Points 8 and 9: On the next trip after that 3, Girard drove to the basket and couldn’t get a roll on the rim. But since he’d beaten a few defenders to get into the lane, he was relatively open to rise right back up and tip it in with two hands.Points 10, 11, 12: Early on, Glens Falls used Girard as their baseline inbounder multiple times. On this occasion, inbounding from the left side underneath the basket, he passed the ball out top before cutting off a screen to the left corner. After hesitating a moment, he rose up to knock down a 3 for his first basket in the second quarter.“It’s an IQ play of coming off a screen how your defender’s playing you,” Girard said. Point 46: Girard made one-of-two on a trip to the line as Amsterdam ramped up the pressure to try and get steals with a small deficit late.Points 47 and 48: On this baseline out of bounds, Girard set up near the elbow and benefited from a good inbounds pass. He faked as if going out to the corner before sliding toward the block and finishing on the left side of the rim.“Just being tough and trying to carve out a way to get a shot off,” Girard said of this finish. Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 28, 2019 at 10:16 pm Contact Billy: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Wheyen3 A fast break layup gets @JG3_____ to six away from 4000. pic.twitter.com/xlnmbiIih2— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 A step back 3 for @JG3_____ has Joe Girard just one bucket away from 4000, he’s at 3997. pic.twitter.com/ZqgjCVPPn3— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Another 3 for @JG3_____ he’s got 12 pic.twitter.com/TuzIZ6udJf— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 4000 for @JG3_____ pic.twitter.com/Y3uzBeg9M1— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Points 24, 25, 26: Girard stepped back right in front of SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara and his father Joe Girard II, a 2,000-point scorer himself. Then he faded even further than the stepback took him. But he drained the 3 in his defender’s face to get within three points of 4,000. Four points for @JG3_____ . GF leads 6-5. He’s 25 from 4K pic.twitter.com/1zmPPmtjyz— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 And @JG3_____ is on the board through contact. Two points, free throw miss pic.twitter.com/E6gcNxj2Yu— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Points 5, 6, 7: Girard misfired on his first three 3-point attempts. But on the fourth, he used a screen to go right. Even with a hard hedge, the senior created space for himself near the right wing, dribbling almost parallel to the foul line. Girard rose up and knocked down the 3. Points 13, 14, 15: Girard, for the second time, went to the in-and-out right-handed dribble to get to the rim. Again, he finished through the contact. This time, he added the free throw.“When your shots aren’t falling, even at the free throw line, you’ve got to kind of find other ways to score,” Girard said of attacking the basket. Here’s @JG3_____ hitting his first 3. Then he gets a tip back. 9 points, 20 from 4K. pic.twitter.com/VBissEAQJK— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Points 18 and 19: Girard finished another putback basket to go into halftime with 19 points. That’s a slow start for him, and his father was nervous.Points 20 and 21: Girard got the second half underway with a pull-up 3 from the top of the arc. It went awry, but the whistle blew, signaling a foul. Girard made the first and third free throws.“When the ball’s in my hand, there’s a lot of focus on it,” Girard said of being hounded by his defenders.Points 22 and 23: Amsterdam, Glens Falls’ opponents, used full-court pressure for much of the game. When Girard and the Indians could break it, that led to easy opportunities like it did here. Good ball movement ended with a cutting Girard being fed the ball for an easy finish on the right side of the rim. Points 44 and 45: Again, Girard made it his duty to be a one-man press break. No defender in front of him had the answer, and he eventually hop-stepped to finish inside.“At the end of the game, I was tired, but you kept looking at the score, and it kept being closer and closer,” Girard said, “and big time players make big time plays at the right time.” Another and-1 for @JG3_____. With the foul shot, up to 15, 14 away from 4K pic.twitter.com/NIlav3Bdhh— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 And @JG3_____ has 48 after this BLOB cut. pic.twitter.com/CuTq4Gqlsp— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Another and1 and this time a flex for @JG3_____ after backdoor and going up to get it. 17 before the FT pic.twitter.com/yUWNbdrBld— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 And @JG3_____ keeps going. With this basket, he’s got 41. Now 4012 points in his GF career. pic.twitter.com/2NtpgfftGd— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 He goes all the way and a hop step for @JG3_____ and 45 points. pic.twitter.com/va3wBCapQG— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 For good measure, a 50 spot for @JG3_____. GF up 4 with 44 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/48EEk8euku— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) January 28, 2019 Points 27, 28, 29: Another slice along the right baseline gave Girard an opportunity to finish off the glass, and he did. Even with limited contact, the whistle blew, and that sent Girard to the foul line for a bonus foul shot. Just as he broke the New York state all-time scoring record from the linea free throw, he reached 4,000 points on a free throw, too.“Struggled a little bit in the beginning but just had to keep up my confidence,” Girard said. “Make sure that I was playing my game and when I got to the line had to step up confidently like I said, and on that shot I felt good.” Points 49, 50, 51, 52: Girard iced a four-point win for Glens Falls with four free throws down the stretch, both perfect two-of-two trips to the line.“Our main focus today was winning,” Girard said. “And the only way to do that was make your free throws at the end of the game.” Points 30 and 31: After being fouled as a ball-handler, Girard knocked down both on a one-and-one trip to the line.Points 32 and 33: Girard stripped the Amsterdam dribbler near half court before breaking away for an easy finish. There was a quick buzz around the Cool Insuring Arena in anticipation of a dunk attempt, but Girard just placed it softly off the glass.Points 34 and 35: Girard swished two more free throws to put early troubles at the foul line behind him.Points 36 and 37: Another strip of an Amsterdam ball handler. Another clear runway to the rim. Another simple layup.Points 38 and 39: Girard worked back to the foul line one more time in a tight game and made both foul shots.Points 40 and 41: Showing a comfort against Amsterdam’s full-court press, Girard worked his way to the middle of the floor. From there, he cut back to his right hand before holding off a defender and extending to finish.