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Man United board’s ‘urgent talks’ as Ole Gunner Solksjaer’s three games to save job elapsed after Man City defeat

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under renewed pressure after Manchester City comfortably ran out 2-0 winners at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Norwegian’s future will once again remain a topic of hot debate over the coming days, and reported talks held behind the scenes will only add fuel to the fire. 

It was a familiar sight as United fans stayed behind at Old Trafford to vent their feelings at another poor display. 

Two weeks ago, they were thrashed 5-0 at home to bitter rivals Liverpool, and although City’s scoreline was not as emphatic, their performance was leagues apart from the Red Devils. 

An Eric Bailly own goal got the ball rolling, and Bernardo Silva’s poke at the far post rounded off the scoring as Pep Guardiola’s side coasted through the second half. 

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With the international break looming, Solskjaer has once again been left vulnerable as they now lie nine points off the Premier League pace. 

Based on what has allegedly happened behind the scenes over the past two weeks, Solskjaer may count himself lucky to still be in the United dugout. 

According to The Guardian, United co-owner Joel Glazer was part of ‘urgent talks’ on the 48-year-old’s future after Liverpool’s Old Trafford victory.

There had been fierce speculation that Antonio Conte was open to discussing the role if the hierarchy believed it was time for a change of direction. 

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However, they seemingly opted to stick, and Conte was sensationally snapped up by Tottenham this week. 

It was broadly assumed that Solskjaer had the following three games to prove his worth to the board, and Saturday’s game against City was the third in that instalment. 

A win over Tottenham and a last-gasp draw against Atalanta were the other two, leaving it up in the air as to whether the manager has done enough to secure his future. 

While the scoreline was perhaps not dramatic enough to inspire immediate action from the club, the gulf in class may well prompt more discussions behind the scenes during the upcoming two-week hiatus.

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“They looked frightened to death in and out of possession as if they were crumpled into a little ball waiting to get beat,” vented United legend Gary Neville to Sky Sports after the game. 

“You can get beat no doubt, but they are flaky when it comes to big games.

“They were stiff, rash, lacking composure and you’re playing against an ice cold, unemotional and brutal football team in Manchester City.

“They got destroyed today, make no mistake about it, that was mauling.

“I dont think there’s any chance they’ll make a decision during this season unless it gets so bad, but it’s getting to that stage where it is so bad.”

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Man United enter ‘final negotiation’ to sign £64,000-week-star

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Manchester United are in final negotiations with Barcelona to sign USA defender Sergino Dest, according to Spanish publication Sport.

The Red Devils are keen on bolstering multiple positions before the transfer deadline, and a new right-back is said to be among priorities.

Earlier this month, it was claimed that United are prepared to accelerate Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s exit in order to secure the services of Dest.

It is now reported that United are in the final phase of negotiations with the Blaugrana for Dest, who started his playing career at Ajax.

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There has been talk over a loan deal with an obligation to buy, but the Catalan giants are quite clear that they want €20 million (£17m) to offload him.

Dest was initially reluctant to leave Barcelona, but has now changed his stance. The 21-year-old is said to welcome a reunion with Erik ten Hag.

Dest would be an ideal right-back for Erik ten Hag

United lacked creativity from the right-back position last term. Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka failed to register a goal or an assist in any competition.

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The trend has remained the same this season. Dalot is now the first-choice, but the Portuguese has started the new campaign in a relatively poor fashion.

Hence, there are no surprises that United are looking to land Dest. The United States star has not lived up to his expectations at Barcelona, but was impressive at Ajax.

Under Ten Hag, he made his debut for the Amsterdam giants in 2019/2020. He had a solid maiden campaign with eight goal contributions from 38 appearances.

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A reunion with Ten Hag at United could bring the best out of him. Graduating through the Ajax system, he should be familiar with the playing style under the Dutchman.

At £17m, it seems a no-brainer signing for United. He has not even entered the prime of his career, and won’t command big wages. He is currently on £64,000-a-week.

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Oleksandr Zinchenko left Arsenal teammates to shame in dust with unreal skills in training

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Oleksandr Zinchenko has had a superb start to life at Arsenal.

The versatile Ukrainian signed for the Gunners in a £32 million move from Manchester City this summer.

He has hit the ground running, starting at left-back in each of Arsenal’s opening two Premier League games of the campaign.

Arsenal have won both of those games with Zinchenko even recording an assist in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

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Zinchenko’s impressive technical ability has been on full show so far this season.

And he has shown just how good his ball control is in a recent video posted by Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta gave his players a keepie uppie challenge in training.

Players were tasked with keeping the ball in the air from one side of the pitch to the other.

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If a player let the ground hit the floor they had to go back to the start line and start all over again.

The person that was last to complete the drill was given the forfeit of having to buy the rest of the squad breakfast the following morning.

The drill starts and Arsenal players are nearly all of the players start steadily with the focus on not letting the ball touching the ground.

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Zinchenko didn’t have that mentality, though. The 25-year-old went all out from the start and raced well clear of his teammates.

You can watch it in the embedded video below:

 

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Barcelona were offered the chance to sign Manchester City fullback – report

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A recent report from Diario SPORT explores Barcelona’s pursuit of a new right-back in these remaining weeks of the summer transfer window.

Unhappy with the performances and overall growth of Sergino Dest, Xavi is actively looking for various options in the market. The likes of Juan Foyth and Thomas Meunier have emerged as the prime targets for the club.

But as per the report, Barcelona were offered the opportunity to sign another option in the form of Issa Kabore. The Manchester City youngster was handed to the Catalans, who had not ruled out the option in light of the desperation in the right-back unit.

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Formerly of Mechelen, Kabore is one of the brightest defensive talents coming out of Belgium in recent years. He notably enjoyed a breakthrough season on loan at Troyes last season, racking up 31 league appearances and even registering two assists.

Manchester City offered Barcelona the opportunity to snap him up for a fee of just €10 million. However, the club failed to secure the services of Kabore, who has recently joined Olympique Marseille.

Following his breakthrough in Ligue 1, the French giants were determined to sign the youngster in the summer. They were able to secure his signature as well, reaching a loan agreement with Manchester City that will keep him at OM until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

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There are reports that the Premier League giants have reserved the right to re-sign the player in the future, should he join Marseille permanently in the summer of 2023.

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Barcelona, for their part, might not be fazed by Kabore’s move to Olympique Marseille. However, the Catalans are desperately looking for a new right-back and must quickly make a move in the market, if they are to find a reliable replacement for Sergino Dest this summer.

Thomas Meunier and Juan Foyth are the two players targeted by the Blaugrana, although it remains to be seen whether any of them are up for sale, especially in these late stages of the summer transfer window.

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