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Cristiano Ronaldo already involved in Man United fight ahead of West Ham clash

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Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Manchester United to be the main man.

And three goals in two games have shown the Portugal international is eager to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s leader as they look to win the Premier League title.

However, after two games, it’s clear he’s already in a direct scrap with Bruno Fernandes when it comes to being the talisman of this side.

Ronaldo had looked set to join Manchester City towards the end of the summer transfer window.

With Pep Guardiola missing out on Harry Kane, they then turned their attentions towards landing the 36-year-old.

Except, then, United got involved. And the moment that happened, there was only ever going to be one outcome.

The Red Devils confirmed on deadline day that Ronaldo would be back and, days later, that he’d be wearing the No 7 jersey again as well.

And, so far, United’s decision to re-sign the Portugal international has been proven right.

Ronaldo hit the ground running last weekend, bagging a brilliant brace in a stirring 4-1 victory over Newcastle.

And he then followed that up with a goal on his second Champions League debut for the club, notching in a 2-1 defeat to Young Boys.

But when it comes to being the talisman, the main man of this side, Ronaldo won’t have everything his own way.

And that’s because of Fernandes.

The Portugal international has done precious little wrong since joining from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, almost single-handedly driving the club up the table.

With 30 goals from 55 Premier League matches since joining, he’s delivering with unnerving consistency.

And, since Ronaldo’s return, he’s shown he’s not willing to be overshadowed at the club.

The way he netted against Newcastle last weekend spoke volumes.

Fernandes smashed the ball home from the edge of the box, wowing an Old Trafford crowd that had previously been signing Ronaldo’s name all game long.

It sent a message that, while Ronaldo was back, he wanted the headlines and the spotlight as well.

And Fernandes’ delicious assist for Ronaldo against Young Boys also gave off the air of a player eager to please supporters, too.

It was a sumptuous pass, delivered with the outside of his boot where his compatriot was on hand to tap home from close range.

Then, it’s also worth considering the way the pair behaved on the touchline once Solskjaer took them off.

Neither wanted to just sit down. Instead, both Ronaldo and Fernandes barked orders alongside Solskjaer as they looked to secure a draw.

It’ll be fascinating to see how this power battle pans out as the months go on.

Neither will be content with taking a backseat role, instead both being eager to be the leaders of this team with their virtuoso performances.

And when they face off against West Ham on Sunday, the pair will be hoping to find the net.

Fernandes and Ronaldo both sent out similar messages after the defeat to Young Boys on Tuesday night.

The former said: “Wasn’t the result we wanted.

“But now it’s time to recover well and focus on the next game!”

And Ronaldo said: “Gutted not to win the first Champions League game of the season.

“Time to react and bounce back on Sunday.”

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Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

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Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club

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Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer

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Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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