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Updated: 3 hours 8 min ago

Leeds set to sign Daniel James for £24m from Manchester United

Mon, 08/30/2021 - 21:50
  • Personal terms already agreed with Wales forward
  • Leeds nearly signed James on loan two years ago

Leeds are set to sign Daniel James from Manchester United for £24m, more than two years after they almost signed him on loan.

Despite starting the victory against Wolves on Sunday, the Wales forward has been used sparingly at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the impending arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus means the 23-year-old will be even further down the pecking order after United also signed Jadon Sancho for £73m from Borussia Dortmund.

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Leeds in talks over permanent deal for Manchester United’s Daniel James

Mon, 08/30/2021 - 15:16
  • Elland Road side nearly signed Wales forward on loan in 2019
  • Manchester United likely to demand fee of around £20m

Leeds are in advanced talks over a move for Daniel James from Manchester United on a permanent deal more than two years after they almost signed him on loan.

Despite starting the victory over Wolves on Sunday, the Wales forward has been used sparingly at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the impending arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus means the 23-year-old will be even further down the pecking order after United also signed Jadon Sancho for £73m from Borussia Dortmund.

Related: Men’s transfer window summer 2021 – all deals from Europe’s top five leagues

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Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United puts pressure on Solskjær, says Rooney

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 22:30
  • Former United striker believes manager must deliver trophies
  • ‘He still wants to be the best, he will want to have a big influence’

Wayne Rooney has said Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United will increase the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjær to lead the club to major titles and warned his former teammates that they will have to work harder to accommodate the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Rooney played with Ronaldo across five trophy-laden years at Old Trafford, during which they won the Premier League and Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson, and said such a high-profile signing will heighten expectations. United have agreed to pay an initial €15m to Juventus for the 36-year-old, plus a further €8m in potential add-ons, taking the club’s summer spending north of £130m following the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Raphaël Varane.

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Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United puts pressure on Solskjær, says Rooney

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 22:30
  • Former United striker believes manager must deliver trophies
  • ‘He still wants to be the best, he will want to have a big influence’

Wayne Rooney has said Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United will increase the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjær to lead the club to major titles and warned his former teammates that they will have to work harder to accommodate the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Rooney played with Ronaldo across five trophy-laden years at Old Trafford, during which they won the Premier League and Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson, and said such a high-profile signing will heighten expectations. United have agreed to pay an initial €15m to Juventus for the 36-year-old, plus a further €8m in potential add-ons, taking the club’s summer spending north of £130m following the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Raphaël Varane.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær has a title-winning squad – the time for excuses is over | Jonathan Wilson

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‘A great player, a great human being’: Solskjær excited about Ronaldo

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 20:53
  • ‘He will make us better, bring something completely different’
  • Ronaldo poised to make his second United debut in two weeks

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Cristiano Ronaldo will relish the challenge of proving age is just a number on his return to the Premier League and says Manchester United were always going to pounce when such a “special player” became available.

United beat Manchester City to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner from Juventus, with the 36-year-old striker set to make his second debut for the club against Newcastle United after the international break. Solskjær said United have not signed Ronaldo to warm the bench and was adamant the Portugal forward will improve his team after watching them extend their unbeaten away run to a record 28 league matches following Mason Greenwood’s late winner at Wolves.

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‘A great player, a great human being’: Solskjær excited about Ronaldo

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 20:53
  • ‘He will make us better, bring something completely different’
  • Ronaldo poised to make his second United debut in two weeks

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Cristiano Ronaldo will relish the challenge of proving age is just a number on his return to the Premier League and says Manchester United were always going to pounce when such a “special player” became available.

United beat Manchester City to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner from Juventus, with the 36-year-old striker set to make his second debut for the club against Newcastle United after the international break. Solskjær said United have not signed Ronaldo to warm the bench and was adamant the Portugal forward will improve his team after watching them extend their unbeaten away run to a record 28 league matches following Mason Greenwood’s late winner at Wolves.

Related: Mason Greenwood strikes late to give Manchester United win over Wolves

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Wolves 0-1 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened!

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 18:49

Mason Greenwood scored for the third consecutive game but the goal was a controversial one, Mike Dean and VAR allowing Paul Pogba’s iffy challenge on Rúben Neves in the buildup

I’m really excited to see how Traoré does this season. There’s no other player in world football who can do what he can do at his best, and a team with an attacking intention should help him reach that level more often. I’ve not seen much of Trincao, who plays on the opposite flank, but Neto should be back before winter, and those two along with Jimenez makes for an extremely tasty threesome.

Here are my thoughts on Ronaldo to United, should anyone want them. As far as the football bit goes, I have reservations – can he press, is Solskjær strong enough to leave him out? – but there are also aspects that should improve things – inspiring the squad, reliable goalscoring, big-game temperament. Of course, there’s more than football to consider in all this, and that’s a very different matter.

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Mason Greenwood strikes late to give Manchester United win over Wolves

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 18:32

Even after Mason Greenwood snatched victory 10 minutes from time, there was only one name on the lips of the baying Manchester United supporters: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side were dreadful in the first half and remained disjointed in the second but after withstanding swells of Wolves pressure, Greenwood rattled in his third goal of the season to extend United’s unbeaten start. Somehow, Wolves are pointless and goalless after three matches and this slender defeat was a particular travesty.

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Mason Greenwood strikes late to give Manchester United win over Wolves

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 18:32

Even after Mason Greenwood snatched victory 10 minutes from time, there was only one name on the lips of the baying Manchester United supporters: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side were dreadful in the first half and remained disjointed in the second but after withstanding swells of Wolves pressure, Greenwood rattled in his third goal of the season to extend United’s unbeaten start. Somehow, Wolves are pointless and goalless after three matches and this slender defeat was a particular travesty.

Related: ‘A great player, a great human being’: Solskjær excited about Ronaldo

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Wolves v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 15:58

3.58pm BST

Here are my thoughts on Ronaldo to United, should anyone want them. As far as the football bit goes, I have reservations – can he press, is Solskjær strong enough to leave him out? – but there are also aspects that should improve things – inspiring the squad, reliable goalscoring, big-game temperament. Of course, there’s more than football to consider in all this, and that’s a very different matter.

3.55pm BST

“Has Ronaldo arrived in Manchester yet?” asks Richard Harris. “Is he in the stands? Where is he? We need to be told this as soon as possible as it affects the game massively. Sancho will be feeling like he has to score to have any hope of staying in the team, and Greenwood will know that CR7 has form as a goal hanger. What will Ronaldo’s shirt number be? 77?”

I’m afraid I’m not certain of the answers to any of these questions, but my guess is that Ronaldo will use the international break to move – I doubt he’s at Molineux. I think Sancho will be fine, and that we’ll see plenty of rotation, but over the last few months Greenwood has made himself undroppable, so he’ll be fighting with Rashford for a spot in the side.

3.52pm BST

In pre-season, Solskjaer indicated that he planned to move from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3, which reflects his increased confidence in the parsimony of his defence and menace of his attack. And as far as that goes, Wolves are decent opponents to test things against, because United’s fear – that a midfield three featuring both Pogba and Fernandes might leave them light in that area – should not be threatened too badly by Wolves pair of Neves and Moutinho. Both are fine players, but neither is the kind of physical beast able to get about the pitch for 90 minutes, and there are only two of them.

3.47pm BST

Leeds have equalised at Burnley, Patrick Bamford with the goal.

Related: Burnley v Leeds United: Premier League – live!

3.46pm BST

As for United, they make changes: as we discussed earlier, Varane is in – I wonder if Lindelof is almost relieved, because he’ll have known as dropping was in the post for most of the summer – while Matic is also omitted. His spot goes to James, who will, I imagine, start on the left which allows Pogba to move back into midfield. Sancho comes in on the right, in place of Martial, whose position through the middle goes to Greenwood, relocated from the flank.

3.44pm BST

The team news for Wolves is simple: Lage was so satisfied with what he saw against Spurs that he keeps the same side.

3.41pm BST

We’ll look at those teams properly in a second, but before that, Burnley lead Leeds 1-0 – John Brewin has the latst 10 of that – while Nuno’s Spurs lead Watford 1-0 thanks to another Son goal. If they can hang on, they’ll retain the division’s only 100% record.

Related: Burnley v Leeds United: Premier League – live!

3.39pm BST

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3, but less stultifyingly so): Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saïss; Semedo, Moutinho, Neves, Marçal; Trincao, Jimenez, Traoré. Subs: Ruddy, Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Dendoncker, Cundle, Gibbs-White, Silva, Podence, Boly

Manchester United (4-3-3, finally): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba, Fernandes; Sancho, Greenwood, James. Subs: Heaton, Mata, Lingard, Dalot, Van de Beek, Matic, Lindelof, Cavani, Martial

3.30pm BST

Afternoon all, and welcome to the Premier League’s most reliably turgid match. Since Wolves returned to the division in 2018 they’ve met United nine times, the 11 goals those games have yielded painting a far more thrilling picture of events than has actually been the case.

But today there’s a strong chance that things will be different. Under Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves were an unfathomably constipated endeavour, packed with zestful talents like Rúben Neves, Adam Traoré, Pedro Neto, Raúl Jim and Daniel Podence, but sent out to contain and counter when they were good enough to just let it flow.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær has a title-winning squad – the time for excuses is over | Jonathan Wilson

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 08:00

This season will be a test of whether he is up to the United job, but the draw at Southampton exposed the same old failings

All teams have off days. No side, no matter how great or how much money has been spent on it, plays to its maximum every week. A draw at Southampton is no disaster, but what must concern Manchester United was the manner of the points dropped last Sunday. It all felt very familiar.

They should beat Wolves on Sunday afternoon. United have better players and that is often enough. But already there is doubt and pressure: champions rarely drop more than 20 points over a season these days and already United have squandered one-tenth of that. Drop more at Molineux and the thought of a realistic title bid would seem fanciful.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær has a title-winning squad – the time for excuses is over | Jonathan Wilson

Sun, 08/29/2021 - 08:00

This season will be a test of whether he is up to the United job, but the draw at Southampton exposed the same old failings

All teams have off days. No side, no matter how great or how much money has been spent on it, plays to its maximum every week. A draw at Southampton is no disaster, but what must concern Manchester United was the manner of the points dropped last Sunday. It all felt very familiar.

They should beat Wolves on Sunday afternoon. United have better players and that is often enough. But already there is doubt and pressure: champions rarely drop more than 20 points over a season these days and already United have squandered one-tenth of that. Drop more at Molineux and the thought of a realistic title bid would seem fanciful.

Related: Cristiano Ronaldo held Juventus back: just what do Manchester United see in him? | Jonathan Wilson

Related: McTominay to miss Manchester United and Scotland games after groin surgery

Related: Ronaldo returns to Manchester United: how the deal was done

Related: Champions League 2021-22 draw: group stage analysis and predictions

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Mason Greenwood will 100% stick with England, says Gareth Southgate

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 22:30
  • Manchester United forward switching allegiance is ‘red herring’
  • Manager believes team must be better at retaining possession

There is no doubt Mason Greenwood meets the criteria for those who fuel Gareth Southgate’s optimism for the 2022 World Cup. “We’ve got some very exciting attacking players, many of whom aren’t yet the finished article,” said the England manager when announcing his squad for the latest round of qualifiers on Thursday and, with it, a contradiction at the heart of the Manchester United striker’s omission.

For England to take the next – and hardest – step from tournament runners-up to winners, Southgate explained, the young players at his disposal need to gain more experience before their arrival in Qatar. He was at pains to say qualification is not guaranteed, despite a 100% start to the qualifying campaign.

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Mason Greenwood will 100% stick with England, says Gareth Southgate

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 22:30
  • Manchester United forward switching allegiance is ‘red herring’
  • Manager believes team must be better at retaining possession

There is no doubt Mason Greenwood meets the criteria for those who fuel Gareth Southgate’s optimism for the 2022 World Cup. “We’ve got some very exciting attacking players, many of whom aren’t yet the finished article,” said the England manager when announcing his squad for the latest round of qualifiers on Thursday and, with it, a contradiction at the heart of the Manchester United striker’s omission.

Related: Patrick Bamford receives first England call-up but Greenwood misses out

Related: Gareth Southgate: I got more abuse for vaccine video than managing England

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Cristiano Ronaldo held Juventus back: just what do Manchester United see in him? | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 12:00

Returning superstar will certainly score goals, but his chief use at Old Trafford will be as a celebrity content provider

Welcome to Unitedland! With an array of nostalgic installations and familiar faces, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! Gawp at the scorer of the winning goal from the 1999 Champions League in his very own technical area! Gaze on the goalscorer from the 2008 Champions League final grazing just outside the penalty area! Even the roof has that retro feel! Season tickets start at just £532.

There was a time when clubs found jobs for former players gladhanding in corporate hospitality. Manchester United have gone much further. With Ole Gunnar Solskjær installed as manager and Cristiano Ronaldo up front, you wonder which other former greats can be brought back to the Old Trafford theme park. Martin Edwards in the boardroom? Gary Bailey back in nets? The toothpick-chewing ghost of Billy Meredith on the wing? A labyrinthodon who once roamed Newton Heath let loose on the shabby concourse?

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Cristiano Ronaldo held Juventus back: just what do Manchester United see in him? | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 12:00

Returning superstar will certainly score goals, but his chief use at Old Trafford will be as a celebrity content provider

Welcome to Unitedland! With an array of nostalgic installations and familiar faces, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! Gawp at the scorer of the winning goal from the 1999 Champions League in his very own technical area! Gaze on the goalscorer from the 2008 Champions League final grazing just outside the penalty area! Even the roof has that retro feel! Season tickets start at just £532.

There was a time when clubs found jobs for former players gladhanding in corporate hospitality. Manchester United have gone much further. With Ole Gunnar Solskjær installed as manager and Cristiano Ronaldo up front, you wonder which other former greats can be brought back to the Old Trafford theme park. Martin Edwards in the boardroom? Gary Bailey back in nets? The toothpick-chewing ghost of Billy Meredith on the wing? A labyrinthodon who once roamed Newton Heath let loose on the shabby concourse?

Related: Ronaldo returns to Manchester United: how the deal was done

Related: ‘Welcome back’: Manchester United agree €20m deal for Cristiano Ronaldo

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Wolves v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 09:00

For his 100th league game as Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær could deploy a style that has served him well so far. Counter-attacking has been one of the keys to United’s impressive away form during his reign and Wolves, who have become ultra-offensive under Bruno Lage, may play into their hands, a little like Leeds did on the opening day. On the flip side, Wolves intensity and audacity could stress United’s midfield and defence. If Wolves’ finishing is better than it was in their first two games, then this could be a landmark day for Lage, too, and Wolves’ first win of the season. Paul Doyle

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Wolves v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 09:00

For his 100th league game as Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær could deploy a style that has served him well so far. Counter-attacking has been one of the keys to United’s impressive away form during his reign and Wolves, who have become ultra-offensive under Bruno Lage, may play into their hands, a little like Leeds did on the opening day. On the flip side, Wolves intensity and audacity could stress United’s midfield and defence. If Wolves’ finishing is better than it was in their first two games, then this could be a landmark day for Lage, too, and Wolves’ first win of the season. Paul Doyle

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Solskjær cannot resist the romance of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Old Trafford return

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 08:00

The Portuguese has been Manchester United’s catalyst once before and his manager is banking on him repeating the trick

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United can feel a one-man nostalgia project. Short of supplanting Solskjær himself to bring Sir Alex Ferguson back to the dugout, there are few better ways of taking United back to yesteryear than by re-signing the last of their great No 7s.

Without returning the Premier League or the Champions League trophies to Old Trafford, Solskjær could at least allow it to echo to the sound of “Viva Ronaldo”, a chorus that was a celebration of superiority, again. Whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo represents the recruit United need, he has an irresistible appeal to Solskjær, United’s happy romantic. “He is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time,” he said.

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Solskjær cannot resist the romance of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Old Trafford return

Sat, 08/28/2021 - 08:00

The Portuguese has been Manchester United’s catalyst once before and his manager is banking on him repeating the trick

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United can feel a one-man nostalgia project. Short of supplanting Solskjær himself to bring Sir Alex Ferguson back to the dugout, there are few better ways of taking United back to yesteryear than by re-signing the last of their great No 7s.

Without returning the Premier League or the Champions League trophies to Old Trafford, Solskjær could at least allow it to echo to the sound of “Viva Ronaldo”, a chorus that was a celebration of superiority, again. Whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo represents the recruit United need, he has an irresistible appeal to Solskjær, United’s happy romantic. “He is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time,” he said.

Related: ‘Welcome back’: Manchester United agree €20m deal for Cristiano Ronaldo

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