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Man United ready to pay £50m center-back release clause as Bruno Fernandes closer to contract extension

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Manchester United are ready to trigger Pau Torres’ £50m release clause this summer.

That is according to reports in Spain and journalist Javi Mata who suggests the Reds are prepared to welcome Torres to Old Trafford, reporting that the 24-year-old would be keen on such a move – the MEN revealed United’s interest in Torres earlier this season.

According to the fresh reports from by MEN, Torres would be interested in moving to United, although we also understand the highly-rated Spanish defender is on Manchester City’s radar, but it now seems Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to win the race.

United are set to play Villarreal in the final of the Europa League next week and it’s expected Torres will start for Unai Emery’s side, and if the latest reports are true, it could be a final audition for the centre-back before completing a switch to England.

“I hope he does (stay). I really hope he does. He has changed the squad completely. From the first session he is always brave on the ball, he is always on the half turn, he is always facing forward. That’s the player we needed,” Rice said to Redknapp’s Big Night Out.

Bruno Fernandes closer to contract extension.

A little more than one year after moving to Old Trafford, Bruno Fernandes is reportedly close to signing a new contract with Manchester United worth £200,000 a week.

The Portugal international joined United from Sporting CP in January 2020 and has had a huge impact in improving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fortunes in Manchester.

Fernandes, 26, leads United’s scoring charts with 28 goals this season, having made 65 direct goal contributions (40 goals and 25 assists) in just 79 appearances for the club.

The Mirror reported that return has convinced the board to reward their talisman with a lucrative contract extension, with the club hoping to cement the deal before Euro 2020.

The midfielder’s agent, Miguel Pinto, flew into Manchester for talks with the Red Devils hierarchy on Tuesday.

Solskjaer has succeeded in securing back-to-back top-four finishes at United for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired from the helm in 2013.

Fernandes, who has been a prominent figure in realising that resurgence, said: “My priority today is to win trophies.

“Collective titles are more important than individual titles and we are working on that here.

“I think the club has improved a lot since I arrived here.

“It is in a growth phase and the players are getting more and more the mentality that you should have in a club like Manchester United, which wants to win titles and more titles.

“That’s what we’re here for. I feel like I’m part of that and I’m here to help the club evolve.”

Fernandes has proved his £47million transfer fee to be a bargain, and it speaks volumes of his value at Old Trafford that the club is taking the initiative in fending off outside interest.

His current deal isn’t due to run out until 2025, with the option of an additional year.

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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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