What the papers say

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 04/08/2022 - 00:01

A stress test for John Stones, a big opportunity for Burnley and a chance for Arsenal to bounce back

The slightest flaw could help the other win the supposed title-decider at the Etihad and the absence of Rúben Dias will be a worry for Manchester City. John Stones will almost certainly replace him for Liverpool’s visit. He spent most of Tuesday night in Atlético Madrid’s half as City were not forced to defend against a side who failed to have a single shot at goal. Liverpool will be the polar opposite on Sunday and Stones, alongside Aymeric Laporte, will need to maintain concentration against the most prolific attack in the Premier League, who have seven more goals than City this season. Adapting to different styles is the beauty of flitting between domestic and European football but such a drastic change could be hard to adapt to, especially for someone like Stones whose concentration can lapse. Liverpool may target Stones as the pressure will be on him to replace City’s most consistent defender. There is no doubting he has the ability to keep Liverpool quiet but he will need to be at his focused best or Jürgen Klopp could be spending Monday buying silver polish. WU

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The Fiver | Manchester United, Erik ten Hag and a summer of red-hot xG wibble

Thu, 04/07/2022 - 16:42

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Being bystanders to this week’s Big Cup, Euro Vase and even the Tin Pot Brendan’s brave Leicester boys are trying to win, these are dark days for Manchester United. The Ole dream died last winter and Ralf Rangick is a lame-duck caretaker manager/consultant/assistant to the regional manager. The top four, the last possible positive to glean from yet another wasted year, looks a straight shootout between Arsenal and Tottenham, the latter managed by Antonio Conte, someone reportedly scratched from the United candidates’ list for being the type of troublemaker who made José Mourinho look like a form prefect of the Phil Neville variety.

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Manchester United’s fans’ share scheme in deadlock a year after being proposed

Thu, 04/07/2022 - 10:49
  • Club announced plan in wake of Super League protests
  • Negotiations with supporters trust hits sensitive stage

Manchester United’s proposed fan share scheme is at a critical juncture with no guarantee it will go ahead. The United co-chairman Joel Glazer announced the move last May after supporter protests – a group of about 100 broke into Old Trafford causing the Premier Leaguer fixture with Liverpool to be postponed – about the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. The protests were ignited by United’s decision to join the short-lived European Super League in April.

Glazer hoped the prospect of fans owning shares in the club would be in place for the start of this season but as the first anniversary of the Super League’s collapse approaches, it remains, at best, a work in progress.

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Erik ten Hag confident of Manchester United appointment after more talks

Wed, 04/06/2022 - 19:51

• Ajax coach has emerged as main contender for Old Trafford job

• Ten Hag wants Steve McClaren to be assistant if appointed

Erik ten Hag is confident of being offered the position of Manchester United’s next permanent manager following the agreement between the Dutchman’s camp and the club that Steve McClaren should be appointed as his No 2 if the 51-year-old takes over.

The Ajax coach has held more talks with United about succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjær and is understood to view the club’s willingness to consider McClaren, who Ten Hag worked under at FC Twente for the 2008-09 season,as a positive sign he could be heading to Old Trafford. Although a deal is yet to be sealed, Ten Hag and his advisers will now be surprised if he misses out.

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Steve McClaren could be No 2 if Erik ten Hag is appointed at Manchester United

Tue, 04/05/2022 - 13:37
  • Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant in line for surprise return
  • Ten Hag worked under McClaren for a season at Twente

Steve McClaren is under consideration for a return to Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag’s No 2 should the Dutchman be appointed as Manchester United’s next permanent manager.

Ten Hag held talks with United last month. As the Ajax manager has never worked in the Premier League, the ideal candidate to be his assistant would have experience in the competition. McClaren worked in the role between 1999 and 2001 under Sir Alex Ferguson, with the club claiming the treble at the end of his first season there.

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Phil Jones: ‘I’ll never give up. I feel like I’m still good enough’ | Donald McRae

Mon, 04/04/2022 - 13:00

The Manchester United defender talks about staying inspired despite injury, and using humour to cope with trolls

“I feel lucky,” Phil Jones says after he has considered the bruising abuse he endured on social media and in person, his long catalogue of injuries and the fact that he now hardly plays for Manchester United despite being his team’s best player in a solitary Premier League appearance this season.

“I’m 100% lucky to have played in two World Cups, been through the Euros and had some fantastic moments at Old Trafford with some amazing players. Of course people say: ‘You should have done this, you could have done that, blah blah blah.’ But I feel so lucky.”

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

Mon, 04/04/2022 - 08:45

Manchester City’s fitness is key to success, Christian Eriksen brings feelgood factor and Leeds are learning to keep their cool

Manchester City are often praised for their ability but Pep Guardiola instead marvelled at their durability. Raheem Sterling recorded two assists at Burnley but his manager talked less about his creativity than his reliability. “He is a guy who can play every three days,” Guardiola said. “He is never injured. We have not got a massively deep squad so it is important to have players like him, Phil [Foden], Riyad [Mahrez] and Bernardo [Silva], who are never injured.” Guardiola knocked on the wood of a Turf Moor desk as he was speaking but there is statistical proof of his flair players’ toughness. Sterling has played 281 times in under six seasons for him. Only João Cancelo has made more appearances for City than Silva this season. Sterling and Mahrez are tied for fourth, behind the Portuguese pair and the goalkeeper Ederson. Their relentlessness as individuals explains City’s as a team. Richard Jolly

Match report: Burnley 0-2 Manchester City

Match report: Manchester United 1-1 Leicester

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Manchester United 1-1 Leicester: Premier League – as it happened

Sat, 04/02/2022 - 20:25

Fred cancelled out Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener but United dropped two more points in their pursuit of a top-four finish

2 min: Dalot and McTominay perform a clumsy pincer movement on Barnes, and it’s a free kick for Leicester out on the left. Maddison swings it in. The ball twangs off Barnes’ back and over the bar. Not too far over, mind. So close to a dramatic start.

1 min: Leicester are kicking towards the Stretford End in this first half. Meanwhile for the record, the United fans stand four-square behind their beleaguered captain, serenading him with their La Bamba song.

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Manchester United escape with draw after VAR thwarts Leicester’s Maddison

Sat, 04/02/2022 - 19:40

Three points were required and only one was claimed by Manchester United, whose prospects of Champions League qualification are distant. Ralf Rangnick’s side are sixth, a win behind Arsenal, who have played two games fewer.

It could have been worse. With 10 minutes left Raphaël Varane got himself into a pickle, Kelechi Iheanacho burgled him and passed to James Maddison who made it 2-1. But Andre Marriner, on a VAR touchline review, deemed Iheanacho impeded Varane and it was chalked off. Yet though United rallied from here – Jadon Sancho missed a golden late chance – their campaign’s end is misfiring – just as their season before has.

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Manchester United’s Rangnick hits back at Van Gaal’s ‘commercial club’ jibe

Fri, 04/01/2022 - 22:30
  • Interim manager dismisses Van Gaal’s ‘commercial club’ jibe
  • ‘Football worldwide is a commercialised business, that’s for sure’

Ralf Rangnick has dismissed Louis van Gaal’s criticism that Manchester United are a “commercial club” by pointing out that despite holding this opinion the Dutchman signed a contract to be manager in 2014.

Van Gaal’s comments came when discussing the candidacy of Erik ten Hag, the Ajax manager, who is on the shortlist to be United’s No 1 when Rangnick’s interim management ends in May. Van Gaal, who led United for two years, warned his compatriot to go to a “football club” rather than to Old Trafford.

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Manchester United v Leicester: match preview

Fri, 04/01/2022 - 18:04

Ralf Rangnick’s team are four points behind Arsenal in the final Champions League berth having played a game more, so all they can do is keep winning while hoping the Gunners slip up. Leicester arrive occupying a mid-table safe position, 14 points from the danger zone and with almost zero hope of squeezing into the Europa League. Brendan Rodgers will still demand his side go out to win, as the Foxes have done in their last three meetings with United in all competitions. Jamie Jackson

Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Main Event/PL/Ultra HD

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 04/01/2022 - 00:01

Harry Maguire can build on England display, N’Golo Kanté plays against the league’s best ball-winner and Everton face a character test

With Trent Alexander-Arnold injured, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané still physically and emotionally recuperating from Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying playoff in Dakar – complete with extra time, penalties and laser beams – various South Americans making late returns from distant internationals and the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final to come on Tuesday, there could hardly be a better time for a plucky underdog to turn up at Anfield. But even allowing for the massive advantages the division’s leading clubs hold over the upstarts, Watford’s record at their grounds is abysmal: in all competitions since 1990 the Hornets have played away at Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United a combined 38 times, equivalent to one full top-flight season (albeit one with a particularly savage fixture list). In this notional season they have earned a total of six points, with 34 defeats and a single victory, at Anfield under Graham Taylor in 1999. SB

Liverpool v Watford, Saturday 12.30pm (all times BST)

Manchester United v Leicester, Saturday 5.30pm

Leeds v Southampton, Saturday 3pm

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Bruno Fernandes among Manchester United’s top three earners in new deal

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 14:34
  • Announcement due after contract extension agreed to 2027
  • United to play Liverpool in Bangkok during July tour

Bruno Fernandes has agreed a new contract with Manchester United that will make him one of the three highest-paid players at the club.

Paperwork to extend the midfielder’s deal to 2027 is ready and an announcement will follow. Talks started in July and a breakthrough was made two weeks ago.

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Manchester United pre-season trip to Australia confirmed for July

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 03:15
  • Premier League giants to play at 100,000-capacity MCG
  • United to play Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace

Manchester United will return to Australia for two matches to be played in front of expected bumper crowds at the MCG on the Premier League club’s first overseas pre-season tour since 2019.

The Victorian government on Thursday confirmed the matches in Melbourne against four-time A-League Men champions Melbourne Victory on 15 July and fellow Premier League club Crystal Palace four days later.

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'Manchester United is a commercial club’: Van Gaal warning for Ten Hag – video

Tue, 03/29/2022 - 10:35

The Dutch national team coach and former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said he doesn't think the English club will be a good fit for Erik ten Hag. 

The current Ajax boss has been linked with the job at Old Trafford. He should 'choose a football club, not a commercial club', said Van Gaal, a former Ajax coach himself.

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Van Gaal warns Ten Hag against joining ‘commercial club’ Manchester United

Mon, 03/28/2022 - 16:04
  • ‘He must choose a football club,’ says Netherlands manager
  • Van Gaal sacked by Manchester United after 2016 FA Cup win

Louis van Gaal has told Erik ten Hag he should consider turning down the manager’s job at Old Trafford because Manchester United are a “commercial club” and he would be “better going to a football club”.

Manchester United have held talks with Ten Hag as they continue their search for a manager. The Ajax head coach is one of several candidates on the shortlist to take over from the interim manager Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

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Bruno Fernandes close to signing new Manchester United contract

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 21:29
  • Midfielder in line for pay rise on deal likely to run until 2027
  • Fernandes happy at United, who regard him as key player

Bruno Fernandes is close to agreeing a new Manchester United contract after a breakthrough in talks last week. Subject to final details, the midfielder will sign a deal to 2026 or more likely 2027.

The midfielder joined United from Sporting in January 2020 on a five-and-a-half-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year, so the new proposal is less about extending his stay than increasing his pay after a largely impressive impact.

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Paul Pogba opens up on experiencing depression at Manchester United

Wed, 03/23/2022 - 11:05
  • Midfielder says he first felt low during José Mourinho’s tenure
  • Pogba: ‘We earn a lot of money – but we are only human beings’

Paul Pogba says he has experienced depression “several times” in his career and first had issues during José Mourinho’s time as Manchester United’s manager.

The France international endured a difficult relationship with Mourinho and was stripped of United’s vice-captaincy in September 2018 before the Portuguese was sacked three months later.

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Manchester United hold talks with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag in manager search

Wed, 03/23/2022 - 09:27
  • Ten Hag asks about club’s budget and future plans in interview
  • Other candidates including Pochettino will also be spoken to

Manchester United have held talks with Erik ten Hag as they continue their search for a manager. The Ajax head coach is one of several candidates on the shortlist to take over from Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

Ten Hag asked about United’s budget and plans for the future during an interview this week. The 52-year-old has improved his English since an interview with Tottenham last spring – to a level that would not be a barrier from United’s perspective – and feels ready to take on a Premier League challenge after more than four years at Ajax.

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Paul Pogba reveals World Cup medal among items stolen in home burglary

Wed, 03/23/2022 - 00:45
  • France midfielder’s house was broken into last week
  • ‘What scared me was that my two children were at home’

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed his World Cup winner’s medal was among the items stolen during a recent burglary at his home.

The France international spoke last week of his family’s “worst nightmare” after his house was broken into while his children were asleep in their bedroom. The incident occurred last Tuesday while Pogba was playing in United’s Champions League match against Atlético Madrid at Old Trafford and his children were in the care of their nanny.

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