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Antonio Conte would want two January signings and to change Man United set-up

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Antonio Conte would insist on making two signings in the January transfer window if Manchester United were to appoint him as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successor.

Solskjaer is under huge pressure heading into Saturday’s Premier League match against Tottenham in the Premier League.

United were humiliated 5-0 by Liverpool at Old Trafford last weekend, sparking widespread discussion of Solskjaer’s continuing suitability for the manager’s job.

The Norwegian has hung on for now and retains some boardroom support, despite winning just three of his past nine matches.

The trip to north London to face Spurs is therefore of vital importance to Solskjaer, who needs a response from his players after the shambles against Liverpool.

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With Solskjaer under the pump and staring at a difficult week of fixtures against Tottenham, Atalanta and Manchester City, rumours have circulated linking Conte to his job.

The former Chelsea boss is available after leaving Inter Milan in the summer and has an impressive CV, having won four Serie A titles and the Premier League.

However, The Star understands United are reluctant to go for the Italian tactician due in part to the sky-high costs involved.

Conte’s winning pedigree comes at a price, with the 52-year-old likely to demand a contract until 2025 worth £18million per season.

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His personal financial demands are not the only stipulations for Conte, who usually prefers to take charge of clubs in the off-season so he can work with the squad in pre-season.

Conte would also want to bring in his own team of backroom staff to replace Solskjaer’s, as well as being able to sign a new holding midfielder and full-back in the next transfer window.

The Italian is known to favour a 3-5-2 formation, which he used to good effect during his last spell in the Premier League with Chelsea between 2016 and 2018, and he wants players who could fit that system.

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His desire to sign a holding midfielder may well come as music to the ears of United supporters, many of whom have grown weary of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic.

United’s first-choice full-backs, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, have also struggled for form recently.

Solskjaer will be hoping to inspire a reaction from his players in tomorrow’s 5.30pm kick-off against Tottenham in the Premier League.

United are currently in seventh place, eight points adrift of leaders Chelsea, after picking up just one point from a possible 12 over the past month.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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