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Antonio Conte delivers Man United ‘promise’ and plans January raid for Inter duo

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Antonio Conte remains the hot favourite to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Manchester United hotseat – and now an eyecatching report has raised the stakes about the Italian stepping in at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils fell to a woeful loss at the King Power Stadium in a game they ‘deserved to lose’, according to Paul Pogba. United have now won just two of their last seven games to bundle the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Solskjaer.

And with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City to come in their next three Premier League outings, the heat may be about to further rise on the under-fire United boss.

As such, Wednesday’s Paper Talk presented a theory within United’s squad that Solskjaer could be gone before the month is out.

And it’s little surprise to see the big names queuing up with Zinedine Zidane and Conte strongly linked.

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As per The Sun, it is Conte who tops the Glazers shortlist should the axe fall on Solskjaer.

Conte remains out of work having left Inter Milan over the summer in the wake of their financial issues.

And while he held talks with Tottenham over the summer, he did not feel that vacancy was right for him.

Nonetheless, the Italian certainly appears open to returning to the Premier League when questioned on his future recently.

Now, according to The Sun, Conte is ‘holding out’ for the United vacancy to come up. Furthermore, he has reportedly vowed to ignore all other opportunities in a bid to become the next manager at Old Trafford.

Furthermore, they claim Conte plans to bring with him two former Inter Milan players should he take the job.

They state the Italian wants two of his trusted generals at Inter to sign for United in January, with Lautaro Martinez and Milan Skriniar the players in question.

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They believe Conte would play Skriniar alongside Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire in a 3-5-2 formation.

Argentina star Martinez would start in attack alongside Cristiano Ronaldo or Mason Greenwood, with Bruno Fernandes in behind.

Conte discusses next job

While there are a lot of ‘ifs and buts’, they state his preferred formation would spell bad news for Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.

Speaking to il Gazzetta dello Sport, he insists any vacancy has to be the right one.

“I look for the projects instead and I am ready to stay at home if something is not convincing me,” the 51-year-old said.

“It has to do with vision, honesty and principles. Generally, I like challenges and I’ve accepted many of them during my career.

See also  Man United to BREAK the British transfer record to sign as 21-years old as 'negotiation continued'

“Even the top clubs I coached were never the favourites when I arrived.

“However, if there’s something that doesn’t convince me I prefer not to accept, regardless of the money.”

On the prospect of potentially coaching abroad again, Conte certainly appears willing.

Conte added: “I would like to have more experiences abroad. I think that I am not someone who is happy with just a comfortable situation. I always chose the most difficult situation instead.

“As a player, I won everything it was possible to win, but I also lost a great deal.

“When you lose, it leaves within you the desire not to experience that again, so you do everything to transmit that to your players when you are a head coach. It all comes from your scars and wanting to avoid getting more.”

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Barcelona youngster in line to bench Jordi Alba for Real Sociedad clash – report

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As Barcelona drew 0-0 against Rayo Vallecano for the season opener, Jordi Alba was among the five to be substituted off to make way for offensive depth. The Spaniard is usually among the brightest offensive outlets in the team, but failed to make an impact last week.

Alba also looked out of his depth during pre-season, and it was reported that people within Barcelona were surprised that he started over Alejandro Balde.

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The 18-year-old was impressive during the run-up to the league opener, and was expected to take Alba’s place in the lineup.

While that did not happen vs Rayo, Javi Miguel reports that he is in line to start against Real Sociedad as the left-back. Xavi has informed Balde about his decision, and has told him to train with high intensity leading up to the game.

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Balde has been linked with an exit from Barcelona, especially given Marcos Alonso’s imminent arrival. However, an impressive performance at Anoeta could open the doors for his continuity.

The Chelsea defender has reportedly completed his move to Barcelona, subject to registrations and signatures. The club plan to announce it in the coming days if they are able to register Jules Kounde in time for the game.

Balde played in every single one of Barça’s pre-season fixtures, even registering an assist — to Raphinha —, against Inter Miami.

See also  Man United to BREAK the British transfer record to sign as 21-years old as 'negotiation continued'

Barcelona fans will hope the gamble pays dues, especially because it will likely not go down well with Alba, who is one of the team captains

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Barcelona yet to receive any offers for exit-bound right back, price tag sits at €20m

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Barcelona are said to be pushing Sergino Dest towards an exit, but a recent report from journalist Adria Albets has confirmed that the player does not have any offer at the moment.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, neither have Manchester United tabled any formal offer for the right-back, nor have they made contacts with the 21-year-old’s representative.

For the moment, Barcelona are clear pretty clear about offloading Dest but in order to fulfil the operation, they are demanding in excess of €20 million.

See also  Man United to BREAK the British transfer record to sign as 21-years old as 'negotiation continued'

For that particular reason, his agents are finding it hard to find a suitor as no club is willing to match the valuation for a player who is already fallen down the pecking order.

Xavi has so far preferred to use make-shift centre-back, Ronald Araujo, as a full-back. And while the Uruguayan has done well at times, it’s pretty clear that the team is looking to bring in a full-time right-back this summer.

For that, several players such as Hector Bellerin, Juan Foyth, Diogo Dalot, Thomas Meunier and Jeremie Frimpong have been considered, but there remain several complications in carrying out the operation

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To begin with, Villarreal’s valuation of €42 million for Juan Foyth is proving to be a hindrance.

Barcelona are finding themselves in this situation mostly because their attempt to sign a certain Cesar Azpilicueta failed.

Meanwhile, as far as Dest is concerned, he knows in order to get regular minutes, he needs to move away from Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s asking price of €20 million is putting a stop to his desire.

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Manchester United were thought to be weighing up a fresh move worth €20 million for the defender, but the Premier League side is yet to make any formal move. Hence, the Dutch-born American defender continues to train within the Barcelona ranks for the time being.

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Chelsea would reportedly prefer to sell Christian Pulisic rather than loan him out this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing the 23-year-old Blues attacker on loan

is understood that Chelsea would rather offload the American on a permanent basis, though.

The report says they’ll listen to offers for Pulisic during the next couple of weeks, but want to recuperate the full £58million they paid for him a few years ago.

See also  Erik ten Hag's response to Man United job as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fights to avoid sack

With Chelsea demanding nearly £60million for the forward, will any club step forward with a bid?

Chelsea prefer to sell Pulisic

It makes little sense doing Man United a favour by sending them Pulisic on loan, so you can fully understand why a permanent transfer would make much more sense.

Described as a “huge talent” earlier this year by Gary Neville, Pulisic is a player that frustrates supporters at Stamford Bridge.

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The winger can produce moments of brilliance in the final third, but there’s no major consistency in his game.

He finished last season with eight goals and five assists in 38 matches across all competitions, which wasn’t a bad return considering he missed a couple of months with an ankle problem

However, the United States international can’t seem to become a real favourite under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

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His 2019/20 campaign is proof of what a talented player he can be.

The forward had 21 direct goal contributions in 34 Blues appearances, but it was a familiar case of injuries interrupting him whenever he builds up some momentum.

It would be quite a surprise if a clubs willing to fork out a near-£60million sum for him.

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