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Man United urged to sign their own N’Golo Kante to have ‘killer’ starting XI in title race

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Manchester United have been urged to sign a midfielder who can be their very own N’Golo Kante to allow their attacking talents to flourish and provide extra protection to a leaky defence.

The France international has been one of the Premier League’s most influential players since arriving in England in 2015 when he joined Leicester.

The 30-year-old World Cup winner has won everything bar the Champions League since then but can add the European Cup to his resume with the Blues later this month.

Chelsea’s form has been much improved this season with it no surprise their upturn goes hand in hand with the busy box-to-box midfielder being more readily available than he was under Frank Lampard last term when he was hit by injuries.

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And Owen Hargreaves wants his former club United to sign a player similar to the Frenchman, who will be key for Thomas Tuchel if Chelsea are to challenge for the league title again next season.

Hargreaves reckons a Kante-like player in the United midfield could give the platform for the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani all to further thrive in the final third while making a defence that has conceded 43 goals in the league this year harder to break down.

United also want a new attacker this summer with Borussia Dortmund’s £80million-rated winger Jadon Sancho among their targets, in addition to Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Hargreaves said United should sign Sancho over Spurs’ Kane to prioritise funds for several acquisitions including a new centre-back and a Kante-type midfielder.

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He believes that would give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a “killer” starting line-up as United look to rival Manchester City and possibly Chelsea and also Liverpool for the league title next term.

The former England international said: “Ole loves to use two midfielders in a double pivot because it gives the team balance.

“Maybe next season, he can find a way to get both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba into the team with one defensive midfielder who can do that pivot job on his own.

“Someone like Kante, to then free the likes of Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood, Cavani and Sancho.

“That is killer. United can go toe-to-toe with anyone with that.”

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United boss Solskjaer admits the Red Devils need two or three top additions this summer to bridge the gap to English top-flight champions and Champions League finalists Manchester City.

“As I’ve said a couple of times, I hope we can strengthen with a few,” the Norwegian said.

“We definitely need two or three players to challenge higher up in the table. We’re still too far behind to think that it’ll come by itself.

“Of course, we’re planning as we normally do. It’s not like [only] at the end of the season we see what we’ll do.

“It’s an ongoing process, looking at the squad, at the players who are going to stay and the players who might be leaving.”

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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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