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Erik ten Hag’s stance on Harry Maguire after Man United players made feelings clear

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Erik ten Hag is in the process of analysing his Manchester United squad and skipper Harry Maguire faces a battle to retain his starting role with the Dutchman having doubts about his qualities.

Harry Maguire is not a guaranteed a starting role under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, according to reports.

The Dutchman has arrived in the north west and addressed the press for the first time this week. He has a host of issues facing him at Old Trafford, both on and off the pitch, as he aims to turnaround the fortunes of the Premier League outfit.

Keeping goals out was a problem for United last term and Maguire has been central to their backline for the past three seasons having been signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for big money.

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Now though, with Ten Hag drawing his own conclusions on his players, the England defender is under threat.

The new boss in Manchester has doubts over Maguire’s ability to operate in a high defensive line given his lack of pace, which could cast doubt over his long-term involvement, reports ESPN. That will be magnified by United’s want to add another centre-half this summer..

Pau Torres at Villarreal was linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer but remained in Spain. He could now move on having again highlighted his quality as Villarreal made the last four of the Champions League. The LaLiga outfit would be open to selling were the right offer to come in.

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Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof are also options for Ten Hag whilst he has several young players to cast his eye over and decide on. The Dutchman refused to state whether Maguire would remain as captain, but did praise the 29-year-old.

He said: “I have to repeat that next season is a different season but I think he did a great job,” said the manager. “He’s a great player, he’s achieved already a lot really also [with his] contribution to Manchester United. So I’m looking forward to working with him.”

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Maguire’s poor season dated back to the early weeks of the campaign. He’d played a starring role for England at Euro 2020, in which the Three Lions reached the final. However his early season form rang alarm bells among those at Old Trafford.

So much so that at least one senior player spoke to then boss Solskjaer about Maguire’s inclusion in the starting XI. Eric Bailly, who is expected to leave this summer with his minutes proving an issue, expressed his frustration that Maguire was selected for a defeat at Leicester City back in October with the defender being rushed back from injury.

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Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line

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Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority

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Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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Barcelona looking to renew La Masia midfielder before loaning him out

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A report from SPORT has offered a fresh update on the future of Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig. The 22-year-old finds himself out of favour at Camp Nou and is widely expected to depart this summer.

Puig has been courting serious interest from clubs in Spain and the rest of Europe. In particular,

Benfica and Fiorentina have been showing the strongest in signing the La Masia midfielder despite his struggles to establish a foothold in the Barça first-team setup.

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Benfica have been long-term admirers of the Spaniard and continue to retain an interest. As for Fiorentina, they are already believed to be in advanced negotiations with Puig over a possible move this summer.

While it was largely expected that Barcelona would sell Puig permanently, the report from SPORT claims otherwise. Indeed, as per the latest update, the Catalan giants do not plan on selling the 22-year-old outright.

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Instead, Barça plan to extend his contract and send him out on loan so that he can play regularly and kickstart his development which has stalled in recent seasons due to a lack of game-time.

Puig’s current contract with the Blaugrana expires in 2023 and the Catalans want to ensure that they extend the deal before he is sent out on loan.

The 22-year-old, for his part, has always desired to succeed at Camp Nou. However, he has accepted that a move away to a team where he can get regular minutes under his belt would be in his best interests.

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A loan move would likely appeal more to Puig than a permanent transfer as it would allow him a chance to return to Barcelona and prove himself next year.

With no shortage of takers for the 22-year-old La Masia graduate, it remains to be seen where he ends up.

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