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Jadon Sancho gives Solskjaer two things he wants in Man United philosophy

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given a simple brief when he returned to the club as caretaker manager back in December 2018, that task being to ‘put smiles back on people’s faces’ after a sour public divorce from previous manager Jose Mourinho.

Manchester United had started to become a toxic environment by the time the Norwegian arrived, though it wouldn’t take long for him to turn things around with a fresh positivity both on and off the pitch.

A key to that was Solskjaer’s own philosophy for the side with the Norwegian keen to see United utilise the same speed and trickery upfront that he witnessed during his Old Trafford playing career.

“Pace and power, Man United, that’s what we are,” he said four games into his caretaker spell.

“When you have players, like we have, with pace – Paul [Pogba], Anthony [Martial], Alexis [Sanchez], Romelu [Lukaku], [Marcus] Rashford – that’s how we played with Andy [Cole] and Yorkie [Dwight Yorke] with Giggsy [Ryan Giggs] and Becks [David Beckham]down the sides. We attacked quickly and that’s my philosophy as well.”

Okay, so two of the players he name-checked are no longer at the club, but in their place he has added more pace in Mason Greenwood,

Amad and Daniel James while Edinson Cavani provides the brute force which was missing from a sometimes limp forward line.

 He added: “That’s always been the way I like to play football. Get the ball up in the opposition’s half as soon as you can, as quickly as you can. If you score, fantastic. If not then you’ve got to have patient build-up play. But attack quickly.”

It’s that desired philosophy which has led him towards Jadon Sancho this summer as Solskjaer looks to add world-class talent to a forward line which is already brimming with high quality individuals.

Sancho has agreed terms in principle to join in the coming weeks while The Manchester Evening News understand the player’s camp expect the winger to join United, despite having their opening offer rejected by Dortmund last week.

United’s bid of £67million was around £10m shy of Dortmund’s demand for an up-front fee for Sancho but the expectation from both sides is the transfer will go through.

The club will hope to reach another breakthrough in the days ahead but Sancho will be well worth the wait given he ticks every box of the recruitment strategy as a young world-class and homegrown talent playing in a position which needs bolstering.

Given his personal strengths as both a dribbler and a crosser Sancho will fit perfectly into Solskjaer’s philosophy for next season and could even open up the opportunity of playing a more traditional 4-4-2 formation if the opposition dictates such an approach.

As things stand Old Trafford is on course to welcome thousands of supporters back when the new season kick-offs and the sight of Sancho darting down the wing before whipping a cross into the box would be the perfect welcoming gift after such a long time away.

Solskjaer’s love of nostalgia is often mocked, but by adding the pace and power of Sancho this summer he might very well be bringing back memories of a time when the right wing role at United was the most glamorous in English football.

His signature could well represent the final piece of the jigsaw required to mount a serious Premier League title charge, at the very least it would be further reinforcement of the philosophy Solskjaer is still looking to implement.

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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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