Danny Welbeck future: David Moyes says 'I want him to stay', amid talk of exit for Manchester United striker

'I think everybody knows we are on track to make some changes and do some different things'

A defiant David Moyes insisted last night that Manchester United “were on track to make changes”, but said he would attempt to keep Danny Welbeck at Old Trafford despite reports that the England striker wishes to leave the club.

Welbeck, who was one of three players disciplined by Moyes for going out drinking following Manchester United’s Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich, is said to resent the lack of opportunities he has been given.

Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley, the two others disciplined by United, were not included in the squad. Welbeck came on as a substitute.

However, Moyes stated there was still a place for the forward after his team’s 2-0 defeat to Everton. “Danny Welbeck is extremely  important to me and I really value him,” he said. “There have been a lot of stories about him but I can only tell you that Danny is really important to me, and really important to Manchester United.”

This was United’s 11th Premier League defeat of the campaign and ensured that, for the first time since 1995-96, the club will not be involved in the Champions League next season.

As United budget to reach the quarter-final of the competition, it will cost the club around £30m. United are now on course for their lowest top-flight finish since 1990 when they ended up in 13th place, although Alex Ferguson’s side also won the FA Cup.

Asked if performances like these would convince United’s supporters that he was the man for the long term, Moyes replied: “I think everybody knows we are on track to make changes and do some different things.

“We are rebuilding and we have things that we want to do next season. Today there were things on show that were not that good but there were some positive aspects to our play. We need to get rid of the bad things.

“The fans have been incredible in their support. They realise it has been a difficult season but they have backed their team. They understand it has not been good and I recognise it has not been good. It needs to be better.”

The fact is that the now dethroned champions of England have managed just one victory over a team above them, a scrappy 1-0 win over Arsenal in November.

If there has been progress, it has been away from Old Trafford, but Moyes denied that this defeat – the first time United have lost home and away to both Merseyside clubs in a single season – was indicative of a wider pattern.

“If you look at our away games recently, I think we have scored fours and threes and won games,” he said. “I think that this is the first time in five away matches that we have conceded a goal, although I thought the two we did concede were rank, rotten.

“I thought in the first half we passed the ball well. We could have played better, we could have created chances. There was one that fell to Wayne Rooney and there was Chris Smalling’s header, but there should have been more.”

Moyes’ successor at Goodison, Roberto Martinez, said that he had been quite happy for Manchester United to have possession because he knew how well this Everton side could counter-attack.  Ultimately, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling – who Jamie Carragher, commentating on Sky, argued were not a good enough pairing for Manchester United – had no answer to them.

There were many more questions for Moyes to answer but, as they were put, the Manchester United manager got up and left the stage. He took a wrong turning that would have led him straight to a room where the man of the match was being paraded.

Even had the ceremony been staged at Old Trafford there would not have been any of his players who would have remotely been a candidate for the accolade.

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