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Man Utd signing Jadon Sancho means three stars must impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer



Three Manchester United players will have their work cut out to earn a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team after the Premier League giants finally announced the capture of Jadon Sancho.

Sancho has officially become a Red Devils player after completing his £73million switch from Borussia Dortmund.

Sancho has been lauded as the solution to United’s right-wing problem, with Solskjaer having tried various players in the position.

They include Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Dan James and Amad, who have all had varying degrees of success on the right of the Red Devils’ attack.

Rashford will most likely revert to his favoured role on the opposite flank next season – especially if Paul Pogba’s much touted move to Paris Saint-Germain comes to fruition.

But the other three will each have to step up and impress Solskjaer after being presented with their own challenges by the arrival of Sancho.

For Greenwood, the task of carving out a future at United is arguably more straightforward.

The 19-year-old was often played on the right last season, although it is well known that he sees his future as the Red Devils’ centre-forward rather than on the flanks.

Greenwood will look to show next term that he can lead the line at Old Trafford for years to come – although he faces tough competition in the short term from the hugely experienced Edinson Cavani.

The deadly finisher will be looking to learn all he can from the former PSG star, and if he can carve out a role as United’s main striker he will undoubtedly benefit from the kind of service Sancho can provide.

For Amad, the signing of Sancho will pose a different problem.

When the Ivorian joined United from Atalanta in the January transfer window, it seemed as though he could be the long-term fix for the right-wing spot, given United had refused to meet Dortmund’s £108m valuation of Sancho last summer.

Then 18, Amad made a hugely promising start to life at United, being fast-tracked into first-team training and scoring an exquisite headed goal to help see off AC Milan in the last-16 of the Europa League.

It remains to be seen whether Sancho’s move will consign Amad to more time on the bench, or perhaps a loan move to gain more first-team experience.

But the talented teenager is able to play in a variety of roles, including as a No10 or on the left wing, and will be looking to show Solskjaer he can do a job in any of those positions – although having only just turned 19 he has plenty of time on his side.

The player who perhaps the most to lose from Sancho’s arrival is James, who has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot since his £16m signing from Swansea two years ago.

Now 23, his opportunities are likely to be even more limited with Sancho among the competition.

However, his best route into the team could be on the left flank, where he most commonly plays for Wales and is able to cut inside on his favoured right foot.

He is of course likely to find his way blocked by Rashford – but increased competition for the England forward can only be a good thing for Solskjaer and United.


Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag




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




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




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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