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Man United chiefs John Murtough and Darren Fletcher agree on next transfer target

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Manchester United believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad can be completed by the signing of Declan Rice from West Ham, according to reports.

The Red Devils enjoyed a big-spending summer but received criticism for not signing a new defensive midfielder. 

Rice was strongly linked with the likes of United and Chelsea in the summer transfer window but a move did not materialise.  

West Ham reportedly value the 22-year-old at an eye-watering £100million. That price tag was somewhat justified by Rice’s excellent performances for England at Euro 2020.  

But it also meant that clubs were priced out of a deal for the Three Lions star.  

Chelsea eventually signed Saul Niguez while United spent the remainder of their summer budget on the sensational return of Cristiano Ronaldo. 

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Ronaldo was part of a huge £130m outlay but United’s plans for future transfer windows are reportedly already in motion.  

The Sun claim that the club’s technical department, which consists of John Murtough and former midfielder Darren Fletcher, believe that Rice is the player who can take United to the next level.  

Solskjaer responded to finishing as runners-up last season was to add Tom Heaton, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Ronaldo to his squad.  

Some may argue that those signings should already be enough to topple rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. 

Ronaldo has already scored twice on his return to Old Trafford. The legendary forward struck a brace on his second United debut against Newcastle on Saturday.  

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Solskjaer handed the Portugal icon a start and he scored in first half added-time. Mason Greenwood’s shot was spilled by Freddie Woodman and Ronaldo converted the rebound. 

He then collected Paul Pogba’s pass and drove a powerful shot under Woodman.  

Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard added further goals in a thumping 4-1 win, which maintains United’s unbeaten start to the season. 

Ronaldo revealed that he was nervous ahead of his debut, despite his vast experience.  

“I didn’t expect to score two goals. I expect one but not two. I have to appreciate the fans and what they did to me today. I feel so proud for that,” Ronaldo told BBC Sport. 

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“Of course, I am happy to score goals, I am not going to deny that but the most important thing is the team and the team played good. 

“It is unbelievable. When I started the game I was so nervous, I swear. It is normally because I did not expect that they (fans) would sing my name all game. 

“I was very nervous but maybe I didn’t show but I was. The reception is incredible but I am here to win games and help the team.

“It was unbelievable moment. I was super nervous and was thinking last night that I wanted to play good and show I was still capable of helping the team.”

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Three Man United youngsters impressing Erik ten hang in training, with new boss shocked by one

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Erik ten Hag has only been coaching at Manchester United for a couple of days – but there are already three youngsters reportedly impressing their new boss.

The Dutchman has a good record of promoting youth players into the first team, which is something he did so well at Ajax.

And there is a trio of teenagers at Old Trafford who want to follow in the footsteps of Sergino Dest, Jurrien Timber, Ryan Gravenberch and Noa Lang, who were all given opportunities by Ten Hag in the first team of his former club.

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The Sun report that Zidane Iqbal is one of those, having signed a new contract at the Premier League side earlier this summer.

The 19-year-old, who made his first-team debut against Young Boys in the Champions League last December, has ‘shocked’ his new boss, who could be set for more minutes under the Dutch boss.

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Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho is another who has caught Ten Hag’s eye in training, after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup final against Nottingham Forest last season.

Garnacho, 18, trained with the Argentina senior squad earlier this year, having made two sub appearances for United.

He was also given Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick ball after his treble against Norwich.

Hannibal Mejbri, 19, made a number of appearances towards the end of last season – including a fiery performance in the club’s heavy defeat to Liverpool.

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And he is another academy graduate who Ten Hag could throw into the first-team fold, especially with Ronaldo reportedly wanting to leave the club.

To expect any of that trio to immediately replace the wantaway superstar would be unrealistic.

But, give it a few years, and United could have the next Ronaldo on their hands.

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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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