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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick may drop four players for Burnley clash



Manchester United will go up against Burnley on Tuesday hoping to bounce back.

The Red Devils were dumped out of the FA Cup by Middlesbrough on Friday night in a devastating blow to Ralf Rangnick, whose side were the better team at Old Trafford.

Idusport now takes a look at four changes the German may make as he looks to steer his team back to winning ways.

Fred for McTominay

Scott McTominay has been impressive for United, for the most part, since Rangnick was hired as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement.

Yet the Scotland international was poor against Boro, needlessly giving the ball away over the course of the contest.

Throw in the fact he played the full 120 minutes, as well as taking a penalty in the shootout, Rangnick may decide to give him a rest.

United have Fred waiting in the wings to step up, with the Brazil international previously undroppable during Solskjaer’s reign.

And the Red Devils may then deploy Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba as two attacking midfielders in a 4-3-3 system.

Elanga for Rashford

Marcus Rashford was guilty of some bad finishing as United failed to beat Boro on Friday.

It’s worth noting he wasn’t the only one, though, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes also squandering the chance to put them out of sight.

But with Anthony Elanga needing a confidence boost, it’s feasible Rangnick will tinker with his side.

The young Swede missed the decisive penalty in the shootout against Boro and his spirits now deserve a lift.

Playing Elanga from the start would be good-management and it would also serve as a reminder to Rashford that more consistency, especially when it comes to goals, is needed.

Cavani for Ronaldo

Rangnick confirmed before the Boro clash that Edinson Cavani had asked for some time off.

He also then proceeded to admit that the Uruguay international wouldn’t have been involved, anyway, because he’d only just returned from international duty.

With Ronaldo now on a four-game goal drought, he’s at risk of it being his longest for a decade.

And the Portugal international’s sloppy finishing may see Rangnick reinstate Cavani to the team instead.

That would upset Ronaldo but it may spark him into getting his finishing back to what it used to be, making it worth the gamble.

Telles for Shaw

Luke Shaw did well enough for United against Middlesbrough.

But Alex Telles could come back into the side, with the Brazil international in Rangnick’s good books at present.

While he can admittedly be rash, the former Porto star offers far more than Shaw when it comes to going forward.

Certainly, he’s done nothing that means his absence from the side should be any longer after he missed the match with Boro following his own international duty.

So we expect Telles to come back into the team for the match with Burnley.

United last played Burnley in December, winning 3-1 at Old Trafford.

McTominay got the ball rolling, with the Scot scoring in the eighth minute of the contest.

A Ben Mee own-goal then doubled United’s lead after some good work from Jadon Sancho on the left flank.

And Ronaldo got in on the act just before the interval prior to Aaron Lennon pulling one back.

Whether United can get a similar result against the Clarets, however, remains to be seen.


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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