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Man United’s view on sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if they lose to Liverpool and Man City



Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position as Manchester United boss looks as precarious as ever given the poor set of results his side have produced.

But according to the Daily Star, United chiefs have given their full backing to the under-fire boss.

Solskjaer’s men have won just two of their last seven fixtures, including losses at home to Aston Villa and West Ham, alongside away defeats to Young Boys and Leicester City.

Even the two wins were far from convincing. Their enthralling win against West Ham in the league – just three days before the Hammers booted them out of the League Cup – was won by an 88th-minute Jesse Lingard strike and a 94th-minute David de Gea penalty save.

And with the 2-1 win over Villarreal coming in the 94th minute – alongside their draw against Everton needing VAR to bail them out in the dying embers – there is cause for concern among United fans.

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Even more so when you note that in United’s nine upcoming fixtures, they face Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea along with two European fixtures against Atalanta.

Time is running out for Solskjaer to make his mark at United, and the Red Devils should have picked up more points in what was considered their easiest spell of fixtures prior to Christmas.

But according to the Daily Star, senior figures on the United board have made it clear that the club ‘still has complete faith in him moving forward’.

In fact, the report goes on to say that even if United don’t pick up the required results in the coming weeks, Solskjaer will not be axed.

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United are now sixth in the table after their run of poor form.

But after backing Solskjaer in the summer with a three-year contract alongside the £140million investment on Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, there is no reason for United chiefs to fret just yet.

Paul Pogba hit out in the press following the 4-2 defeat to Leicester on Saturday.

The French midfielder is yet to win the league in his time at Old Trafford, and that will likely continue another year if things don’t change, according to the Frenchman.

“We have been having these kind of games for a long time and haven’t found the problem,” Pogba told Sky Sports.

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“We have conceded easy and stupid goals. If we want to win the title, these are the games we need to win, even if they are very hard.

“We know that the fans were going to push and put pressure on us and we need to be more mature, play with more experience and arrogance – in a good way – by taking the ball and playing our football.

“We need to find the key for this change because we deserved to lose. I don’t know if it is the mindset of the players.

“We need to change something. We need to find the mentality and tactics to win. We have to look as individuals and as a team to fix this.”


Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend



Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

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With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.


Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

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Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

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The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker



Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

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However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

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And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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