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Updated: 7 hours 37 min ago

Manchester United agree deal to sign Amad Traoré and remain in talks over Dembélé loan

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 13:51
  • Deal agreed with Serie A club for Ivorian to join in January
  • United hoping to sign Barcelona winger after Sarr loan rejected

Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign the 18-year-old Atalanta winger Amad Traoré for €30m (£27.2m) plus add-ons and remain in talks with Barcelona over loan deal for Ousmane Dembélé.

Traoré was on his way to Parma on loan – the club had announced the transfer on their social media channels – before United made their move early on deadline day.

Related: Men's transfer window summer 2020 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

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Manchester United lack leadership and transfer PR fixes won't change that

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 10:13

Tottenham’s 6-1 win caps a miserable decline and Solskjær’s pat on the head from Mourinho reflects manager’s lack of authority

By the time the final whistle blew at Villa Park on Sunday evening, the temptation was to laugh and shrug and write off the previous nine hours as just one of those days. Freakishness can breed freakishness, as though the forces of chaos, once out of the cage, can be very hard to recapture. Manchester United had been hammered at home! By Tottenham! Liverpool had been battered away! West Ham had won a second game in a row! The temptation perhaps was to repeat the lie that in the Premier League anybody can beat anybody on their day. Or, more realistically, consideration was perhaps given to the extent to which the breakdown of order this autumn has been caused by fatigue, a lack of preparation time and the absence of fans.

But United’s defeat was not like Liverpool’s. It’s true the riskiness of Liverpool’s approach has been highlighted recently and that, whether you regard that as sloppiness or a necessary gamble, a defensive collapse, even if not quite of that magnitude, didn’t come totally without warning. But still, the 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa was a genuine shock and there is the (tenuous) mitigation that they were without their captain, the forward who leads their press and their first-choice goalkeeper.

Related: Transfer deadline day 2020: Cavani, Partey, Sancho and more news - live!

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

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 08:00

Ancelotti has Everton aiming high, Manchester United need more than Cavani and flying full-backs impressed

Héctor Bellerín has had his doubters over the past year. There have been suggestions a touch of his old pace has gone after long-term injury, and when PSG bid for him last month there was an argument it could be a good time for Arsenal to cash in. But Bellerín set up both goals against Sheffield United, the first after a typically barnstorming burst to the line, and is looking a touch nearer to his old self. “After such a long time at the club he doubted what ambitions he had here, how he could evolve here,” Mikel Arteta said after Arsenal’s narrow win. “But he came to me and said: ‘I can see what we are trying to do here and convinced it is the right place for me’.” Arteta seems to have that effect on people; Arsenal and their right-back are still getting up to speed but both are in a far better place than they were a year ago.

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'My worst day': Solskjær and Mourinho on Tottenham's 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United – video

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 20:48

Tottenham Hotspur inflicted a miserable afternoon for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Manchester United with a 6-1 thrashing at Old Trafford. This was the first time since November 1957 they've conceded four in the first half, equalling their record heaviest defeat to Manchester City in 2011. Despite opening the score through a penalty from Bruno Fernandes it was six without reply from there on. Anthony Martial's red card was the catalyst on an afternoon that got worse and worse for United

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'It is my fault': Solskjær on Manchester United's humiliation at hands of Spurs

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 20:31
  • Manager admits to worst day of his coaching career
  • ‘After a defeat like this you have to look in the mirror’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted Manchester United’s 6-1 trouncing by Tottenham at Old Trafford – the club’s record-equalling Premier League defeat – was “embarrassing” but took the blame for his “worst day ever”.

It means United have lost their opening two home league games for the first time in 34 seasons and have only three points from their opening three matches.

Related: Harry Kane stars in Tottenham's 6-1 thrashing of hapless Manchester United

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Harry Kane stars in Tottenham's 6-1 thrashing of hapless Manchester United

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 18:35

Farcical, hapless and concerning: three words to describe an absolute horror show from Manchester United, who on this evidence would struggle to give a parks team a contest. This was the first time since November 1957 – also against Tottenham – that they conceded four in the first half and when Harry Kane scored a late penalty United had equalled their record Premier League defeat, having also gone down 6-1 here to Manchester City in 2011.

Every side can have an off-day and while Spurs deserve plaudits for ruthlessly punishing their hosts, the real question is where Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side go next. The manager has the international break to digest this but though Porto’s Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani are close to joining, a left-back and a 33-year-old striker hardly appear the answer.

Related: Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham: Premier League – as it happened

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Manchester United v Tottenham: Premier League – live!

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 15:33

3.33pm BST

Pre-match reading: Our resident tactics guru Jonathan Wilson runs a critical eye over Man Utd’s current state here:

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær's summer lit up by Fernandes becomes autumnal gloom | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Tottenham's Eric Dier admits to being terrified of new handball rule

3.20pm BST

Afternoon everyone. What to make of this one then? Two heavyweight-ish sides about which it’s hard to divine whether they’re very good this season. Manchester United’s unconvincing early performances and seemingly confused transfer window have done little to muffle the mumblings of those who wonder whether the club have got any sort of plan. The move to sign Edinson Cavani, formidable forward though he is and has been, has more than a whiff of the Zlatan or Larsson cameos at Old Trafford. And the Bruno Fernandes/Mason Greenwood love-in period of high summer suddenly seems very distant.

José Mourinho meanwhile returns to Old Trafford boasting Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon as recent arrivals. Bale is unlikely to figure today but Reguilon should, and has already shown his promise. Tottenham have had a curious season so far, schooled by Everton first off before outplaying Southampton and Newcastle only to be denied victory against the latter by that handball kerfuffle about which all opinions have now been officially exhausted and are thus prohibited. And they’ve reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup without winning a game over 90 minutes, as well as the Europa League group stage. Busy, busy, busy.

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Manchester United set to sign Edinson Cavani on short-term deal

Sat, 10/03/2020 - 21:50
  • Uruguay striker’s PSG contract ran out in summer
  • Moves to Benfica and Atlético collapsed due to €10m agent fees

Edinson Cavani is expected to travel to England on Sunday to complete a move to Manchester United. The 33-year-old’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain ran out in June and the Uruguay striker is a free agent, so no fee would be needed. It is understood that if a move to United goes through as widely expected, Cavani is likely to join on a one-year contract, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær's summer lit up by Fernandes becomes autumnal gloom | Jonathan Wilson

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær's summer lit up by Fernandes becomes autumnal gloom | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 10/03/2020 - 20:00

For all their expenditure, Manchester United are somehow still short of a wide forward, a left-back and a centre-back and are slipping back to where they were pre-lockdown

There was an anecdote the American philosopher William James liked to tell about a regular user of laughing gas. When he was under the influence, he believed, everything fell into place and he understood the secret of the universe, but as soon as he came round it was lost. So one night he left a notepad by his bed and, half‑waking from his dream, wrote down his vision before slipping out of consciousness again. When he fully came round, he reached eagerly for the pad. What had his great insight been? He looked at his words and read: “A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.”

There was a spell towards the end of last season when it briefly looked as though Ole Gunnar Solskjær had also cracked it, that the doors of his perception had been flung open and all the doubts had coalesced into a coherent tactical pattern. Here was the answer. But now, in the cold light of early autumn, as he prepares for Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham, he looks at the pad by the side of his bed and reads only the enigmatic words “Bruno Fernandes”.

Nobody is quite sure about David de Gea any more, especially when United attempt a high line. And then there’s Pogba

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Tottenham v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 10/03/2020 - 09:00

The last edition of this fixture in December ended in a 2-1 Manchester United win that had Mason Greenwood at centre-forward for the first time and José Mourinho handed a first defeat as Tottenham manager. Victory eased pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjær who had just overseen an insipid draw with Aston Villa. Now the manager is being asked to explain why only Donny van de Beek has been signed in the window. Another victory would go some way to fading out the noise – for the moment, at least. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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'I've got a strong squad': Solskjær makes transfer U-turn at Manchester United

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 11:46
  • Manager previously said club could ‘exploit’ transfer market
  • ‘It’s different now. There is more competition for places’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has performed a U-turn on his stance that Manchester United needed to add depth to compete by suggesting his squad would be strong enough should there not be any further strengthening.

The manager has so far added Donny van de Beek in a £35m transfer from Ajax. Negotiations are continuing for Porto’s Alex Telles, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho remains a target and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé is a potential option on loan.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Champions League 2020-21: group stage analysis and predictions

Thu, 10/01/2020 - 20:59

Manchester City and holders Bayern Munich should secure straightforward passage but Manchester United must find a way past two of last season’s semi-finalists

The intrigue of a group is usually dependent less on the best two teams than the third side, and that means in Group A that much depends on Salzburg. They scored 16 goals in the group stage last season, but Erling Braut Haaland has been sold since, and five straight wins in Austria this season says little about their capacity to compete at European level. The champions Bayern lost their 32-game unbeaten run on Saturday but despite worries about squad depth they should go through comfortably enough with the side that eliminated them in the 2016 semi-final, Atlético. The hopes of last season’s Russian runners-up Lokomotiv Moscow probably vanished when they sold the forward Aleksey Miranchuk to Atalanta.

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Manchester United face PSG and Leipzig after tough Champions League draw

Thu, 10/01/2020 - 18:11
  • Liverpool in group with Ajax, Atalanta and Midtjylland
  • Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo set to face one another

Manchester United face a challenging Champions League group stage after being placed alongside Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, and Istanbul Basaksehir in Thursday’s draw.

United memorably overturned a 2-0 deficit to knock out PSG in the last 16 at Parc des Princes 3-3 on away goals two seasons ago. Yet last season Thomas Tuchel’s team reached the final, Leipzig were semi-finalists, and Basaksehir became Turkish champions for the first time.

Related: Champions League draw: Manchester United face tough group stage – live!

Group A: Bayern Munich, Atlético Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiakos, Marseille
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes
Group F: Zenit Saint Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros
Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

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Champions League: group stage draw – live updates!

Thu, 10/01/2020 - 16:21

4.21pm BST

One player who won’t be in the Champions League this season is Dele Alli; PSG’s loan bid (with £1.5m fee) has been turned down by Spurs, and the midfielder looks set to stick around in North London.

4.20pm BST

Drogba will be joined by his former Chelsea teammate, Florent Malouda, who will whip the balls in for him to finish off, I presume. We have our first awards, for the best men’s and women’s goalkeepers. Congrats to Manuel Neuer and Sarah Bouhaddi, probably not the last Bayern/Lyon winners.

4.14pm BST

Pre-draw reading:

Related: 'We're robbing everyone': La Liga left to lament lost dressing rooms | Sid Lowe

Related: San Diego Loyal manager 'proud' of walk-off over alleged homophobic abuse

4.13pm BST

Here’s Aleksander Ceferin now, to give his President’s Award to Didier Drogba. The former Chelsea striker wins the award for his extensive charity work, particularly in his home country, Ivory Coast. He’s the first African player to win the award. “We football players have a responsibility,” Drogba says. “Football reflects society. Our goal is to represent the community, and to give something back.”

4.08pm BST

Pedro Pinto and Reshmin Chowdhury are out on stage, and lead us into a video montage of the eight-team mini-tournament in Portugal that ended in Bayern triumph just 39 days ago. While we wait, here’s today’s Fiver - and why not sign up to get it directly to your inbox?

Related: The Fiver | Who would be a Newcastle United fan?

3.51pm BST

More on the aforementioned gongs: Uefa are handing them out like sweets during the draw, but the main ones to watch out for are the player of the year awards.

For the first time in the 10-year history of the men’s award, neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi are on the three-man shortlist. Also absent is last year’s winner, Virgil van Dijk. Instead, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne goes up against Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer.

1.07pm BST

Look, we all know how this works by now. 5pm CET, somewhere in Switzerland. Thirty-two teams in four pots, redirected into eight groups via the medium of plastic mini footballs in salad bowls. At least one extremely talented former footballer will have trouble opening said mini-balls.

Someone will be dumped into a hellishly difficult group, commonly known as “the Slavia Prague”. There will be a weird group with four middling teams of very similar ability. There will be shoehorned awards, arcane TV broadcast rules and of course, Pedro Pinto. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

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Pogba and Mata send lacklustre Manchester United past Brighton

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 21:57

Ed Woodward should not be fooled by the score. While it was comfortable in the end, the clamour for Manchester United to strengthen their attack is going to only intensify after this misshapen performance from their second string. The search must go on, even if Borussia Dortmund hold firm on Jadon Sancho.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær made his point when he turned to his bench moments after Dean Henderson had prevented Brighton’s Leandro Trossard from cancelling out Scott McTominay’s goal. After intending to give Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford the night off, the manager called them into action and United pulled clear to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Related: Manchester United open talks with Barcelona over Ousmane Dembélé loan

Related: Raheem Sterling steers Manchester City past Burnley into last eight

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Manchester United open talks with Barcelona over Ousmane Dembélé loan

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 21:51
  • United turn to France international after Sancho setback
  • Dembélé would prefer to stay at Barcelona

Manchester United have made contact with Barcelona to see if they can sign Ousmane Dembélé on loan for the 2020-21 season.

United are not entertaining the idea of signing the France international, who has only made 52 league starts for Barcelona since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, on a permanent deal. Barcelona would prefer to sell Dembélé to free up funds for the manager Ronald Koeman to initiate a squad rebuild but realise this may be difficult to achieve.

Related: Men's transfer window summer 2020 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

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Brighton v Manchester United: Carabao Cup fourth round – live!

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 19:07

7.07pm BST

Meanwhile in Wales: Newport County are entertaining Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup, with the Welsh League Two side leading their top flight visitors by the only goal of the game with 15 minutes to go. Newcastle have been dismal and thoroughly deserve to be behind to Tristan Abrahams’ opener in the fifth minute.

7.02pm BST

Brighton: Steele, White, Dunk, Burn, Veltman, Molumby, Mac Allister, Gross, Bernardo, Jahanbakhsh, Gyokeres

Subs: Sanchez, Maupay, Trossard, Sanders, Cochrane, Roberts, Jenks

7.01pm BST

Between them, both managers make 19 changes from the teams that contested Saturday’s Premier League ding-dong. Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof is punished for his sub-par performance with a recall, while Brighton defenders Lewis Dunk and Ben White will be wondering what they did to deserve successive games on a very wet and windy night on the south coast.

6.48pm BST

The boys are back in Brighton! Here's how we line up for tonight's #CarabaoCup clash #MUFC

6.45pm BST

Here’s how Albion will line-up to take on @ManUtd tonight in the #CarabaoCup.

https://t.co/S3j1TIvOB3#BHAFC ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/Zn7r2MNNnJ

6.32pm BST

Related: Dortmund tell Manchester United €90m is nowhere near enough for Jadon Sancho

6.32pm BST

Referee: Graham Scott
Assistants: Daniel Robathan and Derek Eaton
Fourth official: Simon Hooper

6.32pm BST

Both managers are expected to make plenty of changes from their contest at the weekend, but Graham Potter must plan without the trio of Yves Bissouma, who is suspended, and the long term lame and halt Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone.

3.33pm BST

Just four days after playing out an entertaining Premier League game fortuitously won by Manchester United with a penalty kick awarded after the final whistle had blown, Brighton have a chance for revenge of sorts as the sides meet again in the Carabao Cup.

The Amex Stadium is the venue once again, for a game that may struggle to match the levels of entertainment served up by both sides on Saturday, but Brighton will have every right to fancy their chances having already seen off Portsmouth and Preston to make it to this stage of the competition.

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Dortmund tell Manchester United €90m is nowhere near enough for Jadon Sancho

Tue, 09/29/2020 - 19:45
  • United were preparing €90m bid for England international
  • Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé an option but only on loan

Borussia Dortmund have told Manchester United there is no point in bidding less than €120m (£109.6m) for Jadon Sancho after discussions between the clubs on Tuesday. United were preparing a €90m offer for the England international but were told that would not be sufficient and that Dortmund do not want to sell.

United are desperate to strengthen Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s squad before Monday’s transfer deadline and Sancho has been the No 1 target throughout the summer. There were hopes that Dortmund’s stance would soften closer to the end of the window but that has not proved the case.

Related: Leicester agree £36.5m deal to sign Wesley Fofana from St-Étienne

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Lazio sign Andreas Pereira on loan and Leeds edge closer to Cuisance signing

Tue, 09/29/2020 - 10:43
  • Manchester United player to join Lazio with option to buy
  • Leeds have offered €20m for Bayern Munich midfielder

Lazio have agreed a deal with Manchester United to sign Andreas Pereira on loan for the 2020-21 season with an option to buy the midfielder for €27m (£24.5m) next summer.

The Serie A side has tried to reach an agreement for the 24-year-old Brazil international for some time and, with time running out before the window closes, the two clubs agreed a deal that will see Lazio pay more than half of the player’s salary for the upcoming campaign.

Related: Men's transfer window summer 2020 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

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Manchester United make offer for Alex Telles and consider Jadon Sancho bid

Mon, 09/28/2020 - 21:13
  • Brazil left-back valued at £18m by Porto
  • United considering formal bid for Jadon Sancho

Manchester United have made an initial bid for Porto’s Alex Telles, with the club valuing the left-back at around £12m as he can be signed without a fee on a pre-contract in January.

Telles’s current terms expire in summer so despite Porto wanting a fee in the region of £18m for the Brazilian, United believe a deal can be done close to their desired price and have lodged a first official offer before the transfer window closes on 5 October.

Related: José Mourinho says fixture pile-up will force Spurs to sacrifice Carabao Cup

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