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Man United team news: Expected XI vs Atletico Madrid as Ralf Rangnick eyes four changes

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick could make four changes or more when selecting the side to face Atletico Madrid in Wednesday evening’s Champions League last 16 first leg.

The German has already confirmed one definite absentee, and several stars could come back into the fold after starting the weekend’s grudge match with Leeds United on the bench. According to Express Sport below is how the Red Devils are likely to line up: 

Goalkeeper – De Gea

The Spaniard has made the most saves in the Premier League this season, which tells its own story about Man Utd’s ability to keep opposition at bay. 

For one, defence has not necessarily been their strong point this campaign, but secondly, David De Gea has been back to his best. 

Defensive struggles have crossed over to the European competition too, having only kept one clean sheet during their six group stage outings. 

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Dean Henderson will continue to hold out hope for first-team action in cup competitions, but as we reach the business end of the Champions League campaign, there is little doubt that De Gea will retain his spot between the sticks. 

Defence – Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw

If Rangnick is brave enough, United are likely to switch the defensive-minded Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Diogo Dalot, who offers more going forward. 

His restoration to the side is likely to be accompanied by Raphael Varane, who started on the bench at Elland Road. 

Harry Maguire will be in high spirits after ending United’s corner drought at the weekend, and should be in line to start alongside the four-time Champions League winner. 

Luke Shaw could complete Rangnick’s favoured defensive quartet, with two changes from the backline that started in Yorkshire. 

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Midfield – McTominay, Fred, Fernandes

Tough tackling midfielder Scott McTominay revealed his battle scars from Sunday’s showdown on social media, but the cuts and bruises are not believed to have put his spot against Atletico in jeopardy. 

Alongside him in the defensive role, Paul Pogba is certainly in with a shout of retaining his starting berth, but Fred nabbed an impressive goal after coming off the bench against Leeds. 

Rangnick may also favour the Brazilian’s industry in midfield, if the aim is to keep things tight until the return leg at Old Trafford. 

Bruno Fernandes is virtually certain to feature in a more attacking role than the aforementioned duo, where he will be tasked with unleashing the talented trio ahead of him. 

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Attack – Elanga, Ronaldo, Sancho

Up top, the United boss has two nailed-on starters and one spot that remains up for grabs. 

Despite a goal-shy few weeks, Cristiano Ronaldo is sure to start through the middle after Rangnick confirmed Edinson Cavani’s continued injury absence during Tuesday’s press conference. 

Jadon Sancho is also sure to retain his spot having come on leaps and bounds since his spluttering start at Old Trafford, and he notched two crafty assists against Leeds which should only add to his upward momentum. 

On the right flank, Jesse Lingard proved largely ineffective on Sunday while Marcus Rashford sat out. Meanwhile, Anthony Elanga took his chance after emerging from the bench, casting aside a hostile atmosphere to net United’s fourth goal before shushing the crowd. 

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Report: Arsenal now really Keen to sign ‘Astonishing’ attacker who scored more goals than Gabriel Jesus last season

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According to But Football Club, Arsenal want to sign Bayer Leverkusen and France winger Moussa Diaby before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners are looking for a new wide player. Raphinha was high on their wish list and Mikel Arteta tried really hard to bring him in. The Brazilian, however, joined Barcelona for £55 million (Sky Sports) instead, and Arsenal have now apparently turned their attention to Diaby.

Arsenal really keen to sign Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen

Diaby is one of the finest players in the Bundesliga.

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The 23-year-old France international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions, which is a truly sensational return for a wide player.

His performances have caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Arteta’s Arsenal. The report claims that Diaby ‘strongly appeals’ to the Gunners boss, who is really keen to bring in a new winger before the window shuts.

The ‘astonishing‘ winger has come out and claimed that he wants to stay at Leverkusen this season, while the German outfit are keen to retain his services too.

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However, the report claims that if an offer in the region of £59.2 million arrives, they will let him go.

Arsenal don’t intend to pay that figure, but the report claims they will try to negotiate a deal for a lower fee.

Diaby still has three years left on his contract at Leverkusen.

Diaby really is a sensational player.

31 goal involvements in a single campaign for a 23-year-old wide player is a truly sensational return.

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Even Gabriel Jesus, who is viewed as the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring woes, didn’t score as many goals as Frenchman last season.

Arsenal’s backup winger at the moment is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, on his day, is unplayable, but sadly for Arsenal supporters, those days have rarely ever occurred over the last three years.

Diaby would be a massive upgrade over Pepe, but whether Arsenal can lure him in remains to be seen.

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract

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The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

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Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

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Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

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Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one

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Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

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However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

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Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

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Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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