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Manchester United’s strongest possible line up if they return vs Newcastle

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As the Omicron variant wreaks havoc on the football calendar, everything remains in flux.

The weekend saw just four of the scheduled 10 fixtures take place due to squads being hit by several Covid-19 cases, with a Manchester United game falling victim for a second time — first it was a trip to Brentford and then Saturday’s visit of Brighton.

More fixtures could yet succumb and reports suggest that the Premier League may scrap the festive fixtures scheduled between December 28-30 to ease the stress on clubs.

So much is up in the air that it’s hard to look too far forward at all but, in the best-case scenario, United would be back in action on December 27 when they travel North to face Newcastle.

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Ralf Rangnick only had seven players available for Saturday’s postponed match but, with any luck, in a week’s time more of his squad will be able to play.

Covid cases aside, the German could actually have more players available to him for the match than he did against Norwich last time out, as a couple of long-term absentees are now fit again.

The first is centre-back Raphael Varane, who hasn’t played since he suffered a hamstring injury in the 2-2 draw with Atalanta in early November.

Providing there are no setbacks, the cancelled games mean Varane would have had over two weeks of training to get his fitness back up ahead of a return.

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The Frenchman will likely slot in alongside Harry Maguire in the back-line, replacing Victor Lindelof. Diogo Dalot, Alex Telles and David de Gea have done nothing to warrant losing their places and will likely make up the rest of the back five.

Likewise, Fred and Scott McTominay are unlikely to be dislodged from their position as Rangnick’s preferred midfield partnership, at least until any possible additions arrive in January.

The wide positions become a little more interesting, however, as Mason Greenwood has been pushing for a start and could come in on the right, while Bruno Fernandes could be dropped due to his underwhelming displays of late.

Marcus Rashford may be moved to the left to replace the Portuguese, which would leave a slot open alongside Cristiano Ronaldo upfront for United’s other returning player.

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Edinson Cavani also hasn’t played since the trip to Bergamo due to a tendon issue but could work excellently in Rangnick’s front two.

Though approaching 35, the veteran striker remains a relentless presser and will charge down defenders all day long, while his physicality and excellent link-up play would make him a great foil for Ronaldo.

It seems that Cavani would suit Rangnick’s system perfectly and it would certainly be interesting to him play there.

Potential United team vs Newcastle: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Rashford; Cavani, Ronaldo.

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Report: Chelsea agree personal terms with Inter Milan superstar

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Chelsea look to be closing in on the signing of 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei.

The Blues are reportedly agreeing personal terms with the Inter Milan youngster ahead of what is expected to be a €15m (plus add-ons) transfer. Inter had been looking for around €20m all told.

As per Fabrizio Romano, and others, the highly promising Italy youth international, though who has yet to make his senior professional debut, has agreed a six-year deal with the Blues, choosing Chelsea over the likes of OGC Nice in France and US Sassuolo in Italy.

Presumably, Casadei will not be joining the Chelsea first-team right away, though post-Brexit work permit rules are fairly esoteric and confusing.

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Perhaps he will end up joining one of the aforementioned teams on loan to build up the necessary professional experience? Just speculating…

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While the two teams have yet to agree a transfer, this looks to be drawing to a successful conclusion for us, adding yet another teenager talent to the team as we look to build for not only this season but for many seasons in the future.

See also  Man United 'close to reach agreement' with major transfer signing in the 'next few hours'
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Mikel Arteta drops Youri Tielemans hint as Arsenal can sign ‘more complete’ N’Golo Kante

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Today’s Arsenal transfer round-up on Tuesday, August 16.

Tielemans hint

Mikel Arteta’s increased use of Granit Xhaka could mean that Arsenal are close to giving up on transfer target Youri Tielemans.

The Gunners are still chasing a deal for the Leicester City midfielder but have seen their chances dwindle of doing a deal this summer and now, despite Xhaka previously saying he had come close to leaving, the club could have to do without a new addition.

Xhaka is now part of a new leadership group at the Emirates Stadium, a possible indication that he may remain at the club and throw a move for Tielemans into doubt.

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Kante replacement

With Tielemans becoming less and less attainable this season, Arsenal have reportedly turned their attention elsewhere.

According to the Express, Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs including the Gunners and Manchester United. Having been previously compared with Kante, Arsenal’s desire to sign Caicedo is understandable.

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South American football expert Tim Vickery said, “A year ago he was saying that Kante of Chelsea is his role model but he is already more than that. He already offers more in the final third.”

Yeremi Pino flight explained

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has cleared the air regarding Yeremi Pino and denies that a bid has been made for him.

Romano told CaughtOffside, “Many clubs have been following Yeremi Pino for months, he is a top player of the future that at least three Premier League clubs have been monitoring for some time.

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“No proposals have been made yet to Villarreal, who would like more than €50m for their young star; it will not be an easy negotiation.

“As for the rumours about Arsenal – Edu was not travelling to Spain to meet Villarreal, also because Pino’s agents are based in the UK (Stellar Group).”

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Erik Ten Hag believes £64,000 a week player will agree to join Man United – Report

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Despite signing two defenders this summer, Manchester United’s backline has been terrible this season and yet another defender is linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Yesterday, we covered a story (via Sport) claiming that the Red Devils have submitted an offer to sign Sergino Dest, who has received a clear message to leave Barcelona.

Today, the Spanish news source have covered another report and stated that the American international has not been able to impress in the last two years, moreover, he failed to convince Xavi in pre-season. Therefore, his exit is considered essential.

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Erik ten Hag wants to get rid of Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer so that he can complete the signing of Dest, who is valued at 20 million euros.

The Catalan media outlet claim the Dutch manager believes that the 21-year-old Barca defender will agree (say Yes) to join Man United.

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Ten Hag really needs to understand that players from the Netherlands or connections with Ajax are not guaranteed to solve the conundrum at Old Trafford.

Under Van Gaal, Depay and Blind failed to shine for Man United. For Ten Hag, thus far, the likes of Eriksen, Martinez and Malacia have not settled.

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Now, he is pushing to sign another ex Ajax player in the form of Dest. The American was a hit in the Eredivisie but has proved to be average in the La Liga.

The youngster’s current contract at the Nou Camp will expire in 2025 and he earns around £64,000 a week (The Sun).

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