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Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer decision puts Man Utd in a very promising position



Cristiano Ronaldo has been loosely linked with a return to Manchester United ever since he left for Real Madrid back in 2009.

But this summer the rumours have gone into overdrive amid claims the Juventus forward could leave the Serie A club.

Juventus failed to win Serie A for the first time in 10 years last season and given the finances involved to keep Ronaldo in Italy, the Turin-based club are allegedly open to the idea of selling.

Ronaldo has remained in contact with Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the years and is said to be genuinely considering a return to Old Trafford before he hangs up his boots.

And a recent transfer admission from none other than Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic may provide United with the boost they need.

According to the former Barcelona ace, who spoke to Croatian publication 24sata, Ronaldo wanted to have a say in Juventus’ transfer business when he first joined the club.

Rakitic claims that Ronaldo spoke to him on the phone and suggested he sign for Juventus.

It seems the Croatian was behind the idea, but Juventus pulled the plug on the deal because Barcelona were looking for around €50million to sell and the Italian’s deemed this to be too much.

Rakitic eventually moved to Sevilla and Ronaldo never got the chance to play alongside him.

It doesn’t appear that Ronaldo was put out by the failed transfer, but it suggests he hasn’t had preferential treatment at Juventus in quite the way he was expecting.

In fact, former Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri, who was manager at the time of Ronaldo’s request, openly admitted that dealing with the Portugal international can be difficult.

Sarri told Sportitalia: “The management of Ronaldo is not easy, also because there are interests behind him.

To tell the truth, I think I’m better at being a coach and not a manager. I find it boring and I enjoy it more on the pitch.”

Considering the above, both Juventus and Ronaldo would no doubt entertain his exit this month.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has repeatedly hinted at one day re-signing Ronaldo for Manchester United, although prioritised snapping up Jadon Sancho this summer and is now looking to land Raphael Varane.

Ronaldo is therefore down the pecking order of targets, especially as his wages would be astronomical.

That said, this summer certainly appears to be the best time in which to sign Ronaldo, as Juventus would no doubt like to receive a transfer fee for him. And Solskjaer will know this better than anyone.


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




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




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




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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