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Man United’s best XI to take on Man City after 28-yeare old injury blow

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Manchester United could be without Raphael Varane for Saturday’s blockbuster showdown with Manchester City at Old Trafford.

The France international was forced out of their recent draw with Atalanta, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer coy in the aftermath. And that will give the Norwegian a selection headache ahead of the weekend’s contest.

Manchester United drew 2-2 with Atalanta on Tuesday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice to secure a point.

But it was another turbulent evening for the Red Devils, with Varane’s injury compounding things.

The France international was forced off in the first half and, speaking afterwards, Solskjaer was coy on his chances of being fit for the weekend.

“He felt his hamstring. So of course you can’t take any risks, unfortunately,” he said.

“Rafa has been such a calming influence when he’s on the pitch. We lost him but that’s football.”

United are now facing up to the prospect of being without the former Real Madrid star when they go up against City on Sunday.

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So it’s time to look at how they could line up without the 2018 World Cup winner in their team.

Despite failing to keep out Atalanta’s first goal, which squirmed under his body, the Spain international has been back to his best this season.

And, as a Manchester derby veteran, De Gea can expect to start between the sticks as his side look to claim all three points.

United started the match on Tuesday with a back three consisting of Varane, Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly.

Yet if Varane misses out, Victor Lindelof could take his place.

The Sweden international was left at home for the match with Atalanta with a minor knock but is expected to be fit again in time for the weekend.

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Therefore, Lindelof should line up alongside Bailly and Maguire.

And, in the wing-back positions, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are expected to be picked despite their exploits in midweek.

With Paul Pogba suspended following his red card against Liverpool, it’s feasible Scott McTominay and Fred will partner up in midfield.

That would then allow Bruno Fernandes to play further ahead.

And, up top, it’s feasible Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani will be used as a dynamic duo.

Both players sparkled in their side’s 3-0 win over Tottenham last weekend, with the pair both on target.

And with United looking to nullify City’s attacking threat, it’s likely they’ll be deployed alongside each other again.

There are, however, several players who are worth Solskjaer thinking about.

Donny van de Beek impressed off the bench against Atalanta, despite not playing for over a month.

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Marcus Rashford was unable to score but, with three goals to his name since returning from injury, is back to his best.

And Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho both impressed upon coming on, with the pair helping United avoid another European defeat.

Meanwhile, Paul Scholes has admitted he’s worried about United ahead of their showdown with City on Saturday.

“I don’t want to say it again but with the performance like that second half, especially with no [Raphael] Varane, Saturday has to be a slight worry,” Scholes told BT Sport.

And he added: “You’d think you have a good chance of winning. City are a brilliant football team, brilliant players.

“At any point, whether United have Varane or not it was always going to be a difficult game.

“But with no Varane now I think it makes it more difficult for United.”

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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.

See also  Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United need to give club’s next manager time

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.

See also  Man United closing on a deal for 25-years old star as The Reds £113m triple swoop

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.

See also  Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia warned she's about to lose Blues' own Virgil van Dijk

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.

See also  Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia warned she's about to lose Blues' own Virgil van Dijk

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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