‘Lukaku not right for Solskjaer’s Man Utd’

first_imgRomelu Lukaku is not the right fit for Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer’s vision at Manchester United, claims Ben Thornley, a member of the Red Devils’ fabled Class of ’92.The Belgium international striker is expected to be on the move before the summer transfer window slams shut.He has not been used by the Red Devils during their pre-season campaign and has hinted that an announcement on his future is close. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Serie A side Inter have been leading the hunt for his signature, with Antonio Conte having made no secret of his desire to take the 26-year-old to San Siro.Former United academy graduate Thornley believes a move may be best for all concerned, with Lukaku clearly not an option that Solskjaer favours in his new-look side.“It may not be a Romelu Lukaku team that he would thrive playing in, but with that being said, he does offer something different with his presence up front, so if he stayed it still wouldn’t be an issue,” Thornley told Tribal Football.“I just feel that Ole Gunnar is moving to a slightly more dynamic and fast forward line.”A man who emerged into the United first team fold alongside the likes of David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes added on Lukaku: “I think he proved in his first season that he can score goals. I think he scored 27 goals that season. There’s no question that he’s got that ability.“At Man United, when you’re challenging for honours, you need to have a striker that’s going to be scoring you 25, 27 goals a season and he was the last United player to do that.“I just think that for whatever reason it didn’t happen for him last season. He just hasn’t hit the heights after that season.“I’m not too sure that with the way that Ole Gunnar wants to play, and certainly the way that he’s indicated that he might play from the pre-season games so far, Lukaku’s stature probably doesn’t fit the style of play that Solskjaer wants.“I mean, he’s got nimble players up there, he’s got fast players there that are quick off the mark that look like they are going to try and win the ball back up the park if people give them an opportunity to do that.”If Lukaku has taken in his last game for United, then he will leave the club having recorded 42 goals in 96 appearances.last_img read more

CoucheTard on cusp of deal to buy CST Brands says published report

by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 16, 2016 8:52 am MDT Last Updated Aug 16, 2016 at 4:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Couche-Tard on cusp of deal to buy CST Brands, says published report MONTREAL – Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard says it’s in talks about potential acquisitions but would not confirm a published report that it could be on the cusp of reaching a deal to purchase rival CST Brands.The Wall Street Journal reports the deal — which would bolster Couche-Tard’s position as one of North America’s largest convenience store chains — could be announced as early as this week and would be worth at least US$3.4 billion, the market value of the Texas-based company.The paper cites sources familiar with the matter.However, WSJ warns other bidders — rumoured to include 7-Eleven, Marathon Petroleum, OXXO or a private-equity firm — could ultimately prevail.Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B), which operates the Circle K brand, has about 7,900 locations in North America, behind leader 7-Eleven. CST Brands has more than 2,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada.In a news release issued at the request of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company confirmed that it’s in discussions with unnamed third parties about possible business transactions.“No formal agreements have been reached. There is no assurance that transactions will result from any of these discussions,” it said in a news release.“Couche-Tard reiterates that it will maintain its disciplined approach to acquisition opportunities to create value for its shareholders.”Chief executive Brian Hannasch said earlier this year that recent acquisitions, including the Esso retail network, don’t prevent the company from pursuing other acquisition targets such as CST Brands — which in March said it was conducting a strategic review that could include selling its network.Analyst Irene Nattel of RBC Capital Markets expects the transaction would face Competition Bureau challenges, especially in Quebec, where Couche-Tard has about 800 stores and CST has 533 locations. In Ontario, it has some 1,000 stores while CST has 146 locations.“Nonetheless, an analysis of the potential combination of CST’s footprint in Canada and U.S. and that of Couche-Tard remains intriguing,” she wrote in a report.Nattel said the deal could provide cost savings, including better inside-store supply terms, more efficient gas margin/volume management, reduced corporate overhead and increased market presence.However, Nattel said that existing long-term fuel supply agreements with Valero/Ultramar would appear to offset cost savings from a renegotiated fuel supply agreement.After failing in its public battle a few years ago to acquire Casey’s General Stores, Couche-Tard has preferred “done deals” over public market transactions, she added.Couche-Tard has been a consolidator in the convenience-store sector. Last year, it bought American retailer The Pantry’s 1,500 locations for about US$1.7 billion, including US$840 million for capital leases and debt.It operates convenience stores in Canada, the U.S. and Europe under the Couche-Tard, Mac’s, Kangaroo Express, Topaz, Ingo and Circle K brands. The company earned US$1.2 billion on US$34.1-billion of sales last year, compared to US$11.4-billion of revenues by CST.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Alimentation Couche-Tard’s shares closed up 3.14 per cent to $62 on 1.1-million shares in Tuesday trading.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter. read more