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Erik ten Hag ‘agreement’ emerges as Manchester United explore appointing Ajax boss



Manchester United are continuing to be linked with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as they explore their managerial options. 

Ralf Rangnick isn’t expected to be given the Old Trafford job at the current moment in time, with the Red Devils instead looking elsewhere.

And it’s the Ajax boss who seems to have leapfrogged Mauricio Pochettino when it comes to being the Red Devils’ No 1 choice to take over.

Manchester United were linked with both Ten Hag and Pochettino in the immediate aftermath of their decision to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the season.

However, with both men working at Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, they then opted to hire Rangnick on an interim basis instead.

The 63-year-old has done well enough at Old Trafford but, with the club still too inconsistent, their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League hang in the balance.

United have recently made contact with Ten Hag as they explore the possibility of the 52-year-old taking over, having been at Ajax since 2017.

However, Dutch journalist Mike Verweij thinks United may struggle to secure his signature.

Verweij claims Ten Hag had ‘more or less agreed’ with Marc Overmars that he could leave Ajax this summer – but the departure of the former has now complicated matters.

“He’s set his sights on leaving. Only: the resignation of Overmars does not help,” he said on De Telegraaf’s podcast, Kick-off.

“I think he had more or less agreed with Overmars that he could leave after this season for a good price.

“But I think the Ajax leadership now says: Overmars has already left, so we want to keep you at all costs.”

Verweij also insists Ten Hag has the backing of Rangnick, stating the United interim boss is ‘very charmed’ by the Dutchman.

“Mauricio Pochettino was actually number one,” he said.

“But Paris Saint-Germain have made it clear in the past 24 hours that he absolutely cannot leave.

“Ralf Rangnick is a fan of Erik ten Hag. Ten Hag is also a bit of a German type of trainer.

“Rangnick is very charmed by his style.”

United need to get their next appointment right.

They’ve struggled in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson walked away, with four managers hired and fired in the time since.

David Moyes was given the job immediately after Ferguson’s exit, with the Scot trusted to retain success.

However, the current West Ham boss lasted just 10 months before being relieved of his duties following a 2-0 defeat to Everton in April 2014.

After Moyes came Louis van Gaal.

Yet while the Dutchman won the FA Cup, he was relieved of his duties in 2016 after failing to qualify for the Champions League.

United expected big things from Jose Mourinho when he succeeded Van Gaal.

And the club were initially successful under the Portuguese, claiming EFL  Cup and Europa League glory in his first season in charge.

However, Mourinho was axed in December 2018 with the club struggling.

Solskjaer then lasted two-and-a-half years before being sacked in November after a 4-1 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road.

Ten Hag, meanwhile, was recently quizzed on his future.

And the Ajax boss insisted he was only focused on the present, saying: “At the moment I am only working with Ajax and have no further thoughts on the future.

“The focus is on this season. Right now, I shouldn’t be the theme.

“The theme is: how are we going to win games?”


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



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.

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.

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.

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



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.

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

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.

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



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.

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.

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.

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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