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Man United confident of hiring 49-years old coach much sooner than hoped after breakthrough

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Manchester United are confident of landing Mauricio Pochettino sooner than they had intended, according to the MEN.

Pochettino has emerged as a top contender for the Red Devils job following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday.

A run of poor results culminated in United being hammered 4-1 by Watford and after an emergency meeting between Man United board members of Saturday night, Solskjaer was relieved of his duties.

A number of managers are in the frame to replace Solskjaer, with Michael Carrick in the hot seat for the time being.

United want to hire an interim manager for the remainder of the season before bringing in Pochettino, who is currently Paris Saint-German boss, on a permanent basis.

But the Manchester Evening News claims Man United are confident of landing Pochettino and could do so sooner than first planned.

The paper claims that PSG are demanding a £10million compensation fee from United to buy Pochettino out of his contract early.

And that if this fee is received that the Argentine will be allowed to leave mid-season.

Pochettino is said to be unhappy in the French capital and is currently living in a hotel room.

His family meanwhile are still in London, where they lived during the Argentine’s five years managing Tottenham.

The paper claims that PSG are demanding a £10million compensation fee from United to buy Pochettino out of his contract early.

And that if this fee is received that the Argentine will be allowed to leave mid-season.

Pochettino is said to be unhappy in the French capital and is currently living in a hotel room.

His family meanwhile are still in London, where they lived during the Argentine’s five years managing Tottenham.

Pochettino is also said to have grown tired of having to manage the many big egos in Paris, with his dressing room comprised of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Manchester United have already splashed some considerable cash when sacking Solskjaer on Sunday.

The Norwegian boss is due a £7.5million payout following his dismissal, meaning United may be forced to pay nearly £18million in compensation fees replacing Solskjaer for Pochettino.

Solskjaer said his goodbyes to the Manchester United supporters on Sunday afternoon.

In an interview on the club’s website, he said: “Some have come, some have gone, but all of them, they’ve been such an enjoyable bunch to work with.

“First of all, I want to thank the board and the owners for giving me the opportunity because it’s not for everyone and I’ve had the opportunity.

“I am so honoured and privileged to have been trusted to take the club forward and I really hope I leave it in a better state when I came. I made great friends, I have reconnected with some great friends and new staff coming in.

“The other stuff that was already here we’ve been good friends and we’ve connected. That’s what it’s about at a club like this with the fans.

“The fans have been amazing from day one at Cardiff until now so, top, and we’ll see each other again.”

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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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