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Man United’s secret meetings with 49-years old Manager as Man City defeat ups pressure on Glazers

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be a dead man walking after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

The Red Devils were dire in the match at Old Trafford and are now already out of the title race after just 11 matches. And Mauricio Pochettino could be next in the door amid their worsening form.

This was meant to be the season United challenged the likes of City, Chelsea and Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Except now, just 11 matches into the new campaign, it’s clear that won’t be happening.

United are now regressing under Solskjaer at an alarming rate. Progress has been made at Old Trafford over the past two years, but it’s now coming undone.

City, like Liverpool two weeks ago, won this match comfortably. They barely got out of second gear, toying with the hosts in their own back yard.

Eric Bailly’s own goal gave the away side the lead in the seventh minute, with the Ivorian slicing past David De Gea and into his own net.

And Bernardo Silva doubled City’s advantage just before half time, poking home after poor defending from Luke Shaw.

Now, Solskjaer is facing a huge fight to cling onto his job.

And it’s feasible the Red Devils will sack the Norwegian and go after Pochettino, despite his current commitments at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Independent recently reported that, a year ago, United held talks with the Argentine at a time where Solskjaer was struggling.

It was claimed ‘confidential meetings’ materialised in London via intermediaries, with the board ‘questioning’ their own decision to make Solskjaer permanent manager.

But, in the end, United didn’t follow up on them.

Solskjaer was allowed to carry on and he steered the club to an impressive, if slightly misleading, second-placed Premier League finish.

Now, however, there’s every chance they’ll try again.

Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool were all fearful of United going for Pochettino last year because of his talents as a manager.

And though United passed on him before, they may now decide it’s the right time to bring him in.

PSG would likely be stubborn when it comes to losing the Argentine, especially after giving him a new contract back in the summer.

But if United decide to buy out Pochettino’s contract, the Ligue 1 giants may have no choice but to let him go.

One thing is certain: the Red Devils can’t carry on like this.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and countless others they have a squad capable of winning the biggest prizes on offer.

And Pochettino could be the right person to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford after all these years.

Solskjaer was downbeat after United’s defeat on Saturday, acknowledging their dire display.

“Of course it’s very disappointing,” he said.

“Of course it feels like after last week that we have made a step or two forward. Results-wise, it’s a big step backwards.

“Probably, for me, it’s a way of losing that we don’t like.

“When you lose a game against a good team you want to see a better Man United team than that.

“Of course when you concede the first goal as early as you do in an unfortunate way, it makes the game a lot more difficult.

“We needed to be more front foot, aggressive up there, but then of course we’re playing against a very good team that made it hard for us to do that.

“Then we had the ball, they pressed us really well, we couldn’t get the angles that we knew we had to get and the quality that we knew we had to get.

“So, we never got to the level we need to be at to win against good teams.”

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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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