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Man Utd stars privately questioning Harry Maguire’s ability after angry clash in training

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Harry Maguire is continuing to come under fire from the Manchester United dressing room.

The Old Trafford skipper’s struggles this season have been well-documented and his dip in form has been repeatedly scrutinised by his fellow teammates.

Mirror Sport revealed last month how Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo are currently embroiled in a power struggle over the club captaincy with the centre-half in jeopardy of losing the armband.

And now several members of the Red Devils squad are privately questioning his continued place in Ralf Rangnick’s side, according to The Times, as they feel his performances are not meeting the club’s high standards.

The United camp’s grievances with Maguire have been bubbling under the surface since October after a hostile team meeting at Carrington after a 4-2 defeat by Leicester City.

The Times claims players ripped into each other and one of them questioned the club’s decision to make Maguire skipper just six months after arriving from Leicester.

Maguire’s representatives denied the incident occurred and those close to him say he takes the role as United captain seriously.

The centre-half recently agreed to come in on a day off to talk to staff in a Q&A session.

There is a growing belief within the Old Trafford dressing-room that Ronaldo will replace Maguire as skipper, however, with the Portugal star taking on a more authoritative role.

Rangnick has asked Ronaldo to mentor the younger players within the squad, which has the England defender feeling undermined by the 37-year-old’s influence at the club.

Maguire thinks some of the players are losing respect for him as his control within the changing room has diminished.

Ronaldo has positioned himself as the one setting the example for Jadon Sancho, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford, but this has been seen as a threat to Maguire’s captaincy.

Rangnick has continually defended United’s skipper dismissing claims there will be a change of captaincy mid-season.

He said last month: “Harry was injured. He came back and had a good game against West Ham and I am pretty sure he can play at the same kind of level.

“The way we are playing now is new to him, also because in the English national team he is used to playing in a back three and here at Manchester United in a back four, but still not being as proactive with that kind of defence when we try and be on the front foot trying to defend.

“This is something new to him and it will take some time for him to get used to that and adjust to that. He is our captain and I don’t see any reason to change that. He is also a player who has to develop and get better like all the other players.”

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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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