What the papers say

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw facing months out of action with injury

What the papers say - Wed, 02/21/2024 - 22:27
  • Left-back picked up injury in win against Luton on Sunday
  • Club to assess Shaw but expect him to miss ‘a few months’

The Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is expected to be out of action for “a few months” with a muscle injury.

Shaw had to come off just before half-time on Sunday in the 2-1 victory at Luton, a match for which he had been a doubt. The 28-year-old left-back had been substituted at the break in the 2-1 win at Aston Villa a week earlier in what the manager, Erik ten Hag, said was a precautionary move.

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Swagger, soul … and patience: inside Ratcliffe’s plans for Manchester United | Sean Ingle

What the papers say - Wed, 02/21/2024 - 21:36

Billionaire says he wants to bring glamour back to the club but warns fans success will not happen overnight

On the second floor of the Ineos office in west London, there are lingering reminders of Manchester United’s glory days. You see it in Eric Cantona’s No 7 shirt, collar upturned, hanging in the main meeting room. In the pristine match programmes from those famous European trophy nights. And, most of all, in the eyes of Jim Ratcliffe, as he promises to restore a swagger and soul to the club he has supported for 65 years.

“The Manchester United style of play is attacking football, exciting football, bringing the youth through,” he says, speaking publicly for the first time since acquiring a 27% stake in the club. “You want players that are committed. You want players that play 90 minutes or whatever the number is. At the end of the day we are in the entertainment business. You don’t want to watch bland or characterless football.”

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Ratcliffe vows Manchester United will knock City and Liverpool ‘off their perch’

What the papers say - Wed, 02/21/2024 - 16:30
  • Billionaire talks of ‘three-year plan’ to revive club
  • Ratcliffe says decision is needed over Greenwood

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has outlined his plans to put Manchester United back on top of Europe, with a combination of glamorous football and hard-headed realism which he believes can knock Manchester City and Liverpool “off their perch” within three years.

Speaking less than 24 hours after taking control of football operations at Old Trafford, the 71‑year‑old ­billionaire admitted that United would have to learn stark lessons from the way their rivals had moved so far ahead in the 11 years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United culture not set up for success

What the papers say - Wed, 02/21/2024 - 11:34
  • Ratcliffe certain positive results will come in new environment
  • He wants every person in management to be ‘world-class’

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he needs to embark on a culture transformation at Manchester United because the club is not geared for success. The British billionaire’s 27.7% minority shareholding purchase was completed on Tuesday and he has set about making key appointments as part of a restructure.

Omar Berrada will join as chief executive in the summer from Manchester City and talks continue to bring the Newcastle sporting director, Dan Ashworth, and Southampton’s director of football, Jason Wilcox, into senior roles. A deputy chief executive is also wanted as Ratcliffe aims to make “world-class” appointments to help facilitate change on the pitch.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Manchester United buy-in gets official sign-off

What the papers say - Tue, 02/20/2024 - 21:27
  • Ineos owner’s acquisition of 27.7% of shares completed
  • Ratcliffe vows to take United ‘back to top of world football’

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 27.7% buy-in at ­Manchester United has been officially completed. Confirmation of the Ineos owner’s purchase has been a formality since the announcement on Christmas Eve that his offer of a little more than £1bn for a quarter of the club had been accepted by the Glazers, the majority shareholders.

Ratcliffe, who has gained control of United’s football policy, completed his acquisition of 25% of the club’s Class B shares and 25% of the club’s Class A shares. The deal makes him the largest individual United shareholder.

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Is Dan Ashworth a marquee signing that Dan Ashworth would recommend? | Jonathan Liew

What the papers say - Tue, 02/20/2024 - 08:00

The lines of credit and responsibility in football are unclear, so how can Manchester United put a value on a sporting director?

Newcastle United are demanding around £20m from Manchester United for their sporting director, Dan Ashworth. That’s a lot of money, and I wanted to know whether he could possibly be worth it, but it was hard to tell for sure.

I went on the popular search website Google and there were lots of articles saying that he definitely was, that Dan Ashworth is a genius who buys footballers for tiny amounts and sells them for hundreds of millions. And lots of articles saying that Newcastle wouldn’t miss him at all, that football is played on a pitch by actual players, and so in an ideal world you probably want to be spending your £20m on them, instead.

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Football Daily | Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth, a very expensive suit and a pair of secateurs

What the papers say - Mon, 02/19/2024 - 17:28

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As the days get longer and the temperatures warmer, there’s plenty to be getting on with for those of a green-fingered bent. Vegetable beds need to be prepared, seed potatoes need to be chitted ahead of planting and fruit crops need to be netted to protect them from our hungry feathered friends. Once you’ve taken care of all that grunt work, your winter-flowering shrubs and wisteria will need pruning, while heaven forfend you should forget to cut back your deciduous ornamental grasses to make sure there’s plenty of room for spring’s new growth. With so much to do and so little time to do it, Dan Ashworth can consider himself lucky to have been put on gardening leave by his employers at Newcastle United after being approached by Manchester United to become their new director of football.

I wonder how many readers plugged 하나를 수행 into Google Translate to make sure you’d got it right (Friday’s News, Bits and Bobs). I was one who checked and was hoping for some conjugation error that would’ve translated to something like ‘He done did one’; but you were spot on. Well done one!” – Jim Christie.

For a very brief moment I had the notion to check the translation of 하나를 수행. After an even briefer moment I decided getting a life would be more beneficial” – Kevin Worley.

Is there anything more mind numbing than the ongoing, revisited, regurgitated Kylian Mbappé leaving PSG saga? Well is there?” – Russell D Pulford.

As far as I’m concerned, the only way the everlasting and tired Mbappé transfer saga can be made even remotely interesting again is if Wolverhampton Wanderers were suddenly rumoured to gazump Real Madrid. The Boy Who Cried Wolves!” – Peter Oh.

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Manchester United baulk at £20m fee for Newcastle director Dan Ashworth

What the papers say - Mon, 02/19/2024 - 10:24
  • Magpies’ sporting director placed on gardening leave
  • 52-year-old currently prevented from taking new job until 2026

Dan Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle after finally telling the St James’ Park ­hierarchy he wants to join Manchester United. It seems the starting pistol signalling an intense period of ­haggling between the two clubs has been fired, with Newcastle wanting £20m in compensation.

Ashworth has been sporting director at St James’ Park for 20 months and Newcastle’s majority Saudi Arabian owners will not allow a man they poached from Brighton to depart ­easily or cheaply.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

What the papers say - Mon, 02/19/2024 - 08:00

Erling Haaland had an off-day in front of goal while Liverpool and Arsenal’s attacking units kept firing

Erling Haaland had nine shots and failed to score a single goal against Chelsea. It will get many people supremely worked up, so they can knock down one of the best strikers in the world. Has Haaland lost his powers? No, he’s just had an underwhelming game. There were a couple of poor finishes, a fine save and a few last-ditch blocks to prevent Haaland adding to his 16 Premier League goals this term. How will Haaland recover from this heinous 90-minute slump? Probably by taking his frustration out against Brentford on Tuesday where he should get a similar number of chances. He is the top scorer in the league for a reason and has the best goal-to-game ratio around, so there’s little need to be too harsh. Annoyance might have taken hold on Saturday but Haaland knows how to harness that. Will Unwin

Match report: Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea

Match report: Luton 1-2 Manchester United

Match report: Burnley 0-5 Arsenal

Match report: Sheffield United 0-5 Brighton

Match report: Brentford 1-4 Liverpool

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Rasmus Højlund will ‘score even more’ for Manchester United, says Ten Hag

What the papers say - Sun, 02/18/2024 - 20:38
  • Striker’s early double earns three points at Luton
  • ‘He can improve but his scoring ability is clear’

Erik ten Hag said Rasmus Højlund’s hot streak is just the start after the striker continued his outstanding form with both goals in Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Luton.

United moved five points shy of fourth-placed Aston Villa and three behind Tottenham, in fifth, thanks to Højlund’s early strikes. Nobody has scored in six successive top‑flight games at a younger age and it is a far cry from a stuttering start by the £72m signing, who did not break his ­Premier League duck until ­Boxing Day. Ten Hag praised his ­resilience and predicted further heroics from the Dane.

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Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

What the papers say - Sun, 02/18/2024 - 20:04

Rasmus Højlund’s early double put United in charge, but they had to hold off a spirited comeback after Carlton Morris’s goal

1 min Luton kick off, and get into the box. But…

Elijah Adebayo picked up an injury in the warm-up, so he drops out of the starting XI. His place at centre-forward is taken by Cauley Woodrow, whose last Premier League start came (for Fulham) in 2014. He scored that day, albeit for a team that had already been relegated.

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Rasmus Højlund feels joy of six as United hot-shot repays Ten Hag’s faith

What the papers say - Sun, 02/18/2024 - 19:52

Manchester United striker’s early goals beat Luton and set a new Premier League record at a hostile Kenilworth Road

In years to come, Rasmus Højlund may reflect on a conversation he had with Erik ten Hag just before he broke his Premier League duck against Aston Villa at the 15th attempt on Boxing Day. “I pointed out you scored for Denmark a lot, you scored in the Champions League, so you demonstrated ability,” remembered the Manchester United manager. “You can do it, believe in it, it will come. I am sure now the first goal is in, more will come.”

How that faith has been repaid. It took just 36 seconds in front of an expectant Kenilworth Road crowd that was baying for United blood for Højlund to become the youngest player in Premier League history to score in six successive matches – at 21 years and 14 days, beating Erling Haaland, Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy in the process to take Joe Willock of Newcastle’s previous record of 21 years and 272 days old.

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Manchester United extend winning run after Højlund hits early double at Luton

What the papers say - Sun, 02/18/2024 - 18:44

The bottom line from a ­suitably intense, frayed and at times ­alarmingly open encounter is that the clouds around Manchester United are clearing. This was their fourth league win in a row and it offered the latest confirmation that, in Rasmus Højlund, they have a centre‑forward worthy of the handsome investment paid to Atalanta last summer.

When Højlund converted twice in the first seven minutes, becoming the youngest player to score in six successive Premier League games, United appeared to have laid the platform for a straightforward evening.

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Manchester United ‘back in the race’ but have work to do, claims Erik ten Hag

What the papers say - Sat, 02/17/2024 - 22:30
  • United seek sixth win in last seven matches against Luton
  • Ten Hag: ‘I think that now we are going in the right direction’

Erik ten Hag has warned that Manchester United’s turnaround is a long way from being complete despite being on a four-match unbeaten run that has put them back in the race for a Champions League spot.

The Dutchman takes his side to Luton on Sunday aiming to add a sixth win in seven matches in all competitions. United have been aided by the return to fitness of Casemiro, the emergence of Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Højlund finding form after a tough start to his career in England - the Dane has scored in each of his past five Premier League appearances after not finding the net in the first 14.

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Rashford, Højlund and Garnacho: power trio leading Manchester United revival | Jonathan Wilson

What the papers say - Sat, 02/17/2024 - 20:00

Erik ten Hag’s potent forward trident all have room to improve and are offering the club hope of a brighter future

These are strange times at Old Trafford. Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% investment in Manchester United has been ratified by the Premier League. They have won their last four games in all competitions and haven’t lost this year. They have a forward line that is young and dynamic and that, while you wouldn’t yet trust it not to spin out of control, nuts and bolts dropping off until it finally collapses into a heap of shattered potential, is beginning to look as though it could be extremely effective. Are things finally beginning to look up for United?

Everything, of course, is relative. It feels every detail comes with a caveat; everything remains subject to multiple interpretations. With the top five likely (but not guaranteed) to qualify for next season’s Champions League, United are still sixth in the Premier League but at least have a four-point cushion over Newcastle in seventh. They are eight points behind Aston Villa in fourth – but the gap would have been bigger had Scott McTominay not scored an 86th-minute winner at Villa Park last Sunday. They did concede three goals in the final 20 minutes at Wolves two weeks ago, but at least they won 4-3.

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Manchester United welcome plans to regenerate area around Old Trafford

What the papers say - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 20:37
  • Club backs Trafford Council’s renewal of Wharfside area
  • ‘This vision is exciting,’ says United COO Collette Roche

Manchester United have described plans to regenerate the Wharfside area around Old Trafford as “tremendously exciting”, with the club viewing this development as potentially having synergy with their own plans regarding the stadium.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the incoming 25% owner, is intent on either building a new ground for United on the same land or revamping the current site. The plans to regenerate the wider area, a Trafford Council initiative, were backed by Collette Roche, United’s chief operating officer. “This vision for Trafford Wharfside is tremendously exciting and we are proud to be supporting Trafford Council with their ambitious plans for an area with such huge potential,” she said.

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Ashworth and Wilcox the next pieces in jigsaw of new Manchester United

What the papers say - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 17:00

Jim Ratcliffe’s rebuild is slowly taking shape although he still has work to acquire Newcastle and Southampton targets

The new Manchester United are starting to take shape off the pitch under the guidance of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos. An obvious strategy has been lacking in recent years and implementing one will be key to success on the pitch. Omar Berrada will arrive as chief executive in the summer and talks are ongoing to add Dan Ashworth as sporting director and Jason Wilcox as technical director.

Ratcliffe was clear about what he wanted from a chief executive and made Berrada the top target. The Frenchman’s credentials are impeccable: 12 years working across town at City Football Group (CFG) after time at Barcelona. For years Berrada has been earmarked by professional sports organisations as a potential company leader. NFL franchises were among those interested.

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Eddie Howe fears Dan Ashworth could take Newcastle secrets to Old Trafford

What the papers say - Fri, 02/16/2024 - 15:20
  • Manchester United want to take sporting director Ashworth
  • He is ‘privy to a lot of intelligence and information’, Howe says

Eddie Howe is worried Dan Ashworth may furnish Manchester United with inside information about Newcastle United’s transfer plans, key personnel and tactical secrets.

The Old Trafford club are keen to poach Newcastle’s sporting director and it appears Ashworth wants to leave. But with compensation to be resolved and no deal in place, he continues to, among other things, attend recruitment meetings with scouts.

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Manchester United court Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox

What the papers say - Thu, 02/15/2024 - 17:31
  • Ineos aim for new management team to transform club
  • Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth is top of list for sporting director

Manchester United are making strides in reshaping their football department, with Southampton’s Jason Wilcox high on the list of ­people they want to bring in.

After the announcement last month that Manchester City’s chief football operations manager, Omar Berrada, will move to United this summer, the new minority owner, Ineos, has begun work on hiring a management team to try to ­transform the club after a period of decline. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Ineos chairman, is keen to support Berrada by allowing him to make a number of appointments to key positions in the football department.

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Manchester United face battle to lure Dan Ashworth from Newcastle

What the papers say - Wed, 02/14/2024 - 14:31
  • Club want Ashworth to be head of football at Old Trafford
  • Newcastle sporting director has been happy at St James’

Manchester United face a fight to prise Dan Ashworth away from ­Newcastle and make him their new head of football due to his ­loyalty to the Tyneside club, though the 52-year-old is attracted by the ­challenge of transforming United’s fortunes.

Ashworth joined Newcastle two years ago as sporting director and remains committed to the role, as well as feeling a particularly strong bond with the club. While he is understood not to be motivated by money, Ashworth, who has also worked as the Football Association’s director of elite development, fully appreciates United’s status and being part of the project to re-energise the club is of interest to him.

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