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Marcus Rashford is making Ralf Rangnick’s next Man United decision easy

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Marcus Rashford’s highlight heel against Norwich might go viral on social media for all the wrong reasons.

Ralf Rangnick named an unchanged Manchester United side on Saturday evening from the team that beat Crystal Palace in his first game in charge last weekend and that meant Rashford was tasked with leading the Reds’ press alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mason Greenwood had impressed in midweek, although Rashford was perhaps fortunate to keep his place in the starting line-up.

Rashford was arguably one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ‘favourites’ yet that standing at the club was immediately made redundant when Solskjaer was sacked and replaced with interim boss Rangnick.

Managerial change brings uncertainty for some players while it brings opportunity for others. That environment is conducive to raising performance levels, with each player fighting for their future.

Rashford has been keen to impress — his exaggerated sprinting against Arsenal straight from kick-off was no coincidence — but you wouldn’t need long in one of the German’s video footage analysis sessions to pick out Rashord’s best moments from Arsenal and Norwich.

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The forward has been poor in recent weeks and nothing seems to be going right for him on the pitch.

Yet you can’t fault Rashford for his effort and determination. He was everywhere on the pitch against Arsenal and Crystal Palace and energetic again at Carrow Road this weekend; however, he crucially lacked quality in the final third and his decision making was beyond disappointing.

It was hoped Rashford would return from his layoff on the sidelines as a new player. There have been glimpses of his best form since his return (his finishes against Leciester and Tottenham were superb) but he’s failed to rediscover his swagger, which has been absent for a while in truth.

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And while it’s worth noting that he is playing in a side that’s low on confidence, that doesn’t excuse his lamentable performance against Norwich.

It was his worst since his nightmare in Gdansk. Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes also had games to forget, but fortunately for those two players, their places in Rangnick’s starting line-up don’t appear vulnerable.

For Rashford, the concern is that Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood are patiently waiting and the 24-year-old must now know the inevitable is coming.

Rangnick substituted off Jadon Sancho for Greenwood against Norwich and Rashford might have been surprised to see that it wasn’t his number raised on the fourth official’s board.

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That substitution felt like Rangnick was sending a message to Rashford.

The 63-year-old was giving him the chance to continue on the pitch when he probably didn’t deserve it, but Rashford failed to repay that faith and it now seems certain that Greenwood or Cavani will start next to Ronaldo on Tuesday night against Brentford.

The latter has developed a formidable partnership with Ronaldo in a short space of time and United look dynamic in attack with both starting. They looked far from dynamic with Rashford and Ronaldo at Norwich. They looked pedestrian and disjointed.

Rashford has started in Rangnick’s first two Premier League games but you’d get long odds on him starting the next two.

There is a phenomenal player in there but United aren’t currently seeing it and hopefully Rangnick can solve the puzzle.

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Barcelona youngster in line to bench Jordi Alba for Real Sociedad clash – report

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As Barcelona drew 0-0 against Rayo Vallecano for the season opener, Jordi Alba was among the five to be substituted off to make way for offensive depth. The Spaniard is usually among the brightest offensive outlets in the team, but failed to make an impact last week.

Alba also looked out of his depth during pre-season, and it was reported that people within Barcelona were surprised that he started over Alejandro Balde.

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The 18-year-old was impressive during the run-up to the league opener, and was expected to take Alba’s place in the lineup.

While that did not happen vs Rayo, Javi Miguel reports that he is in line to start against Real Sociedad as the left-back. Xavi has informed Balde about his decision, and has told him to train with high intensity leading up to the game.

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Balde has been linked with an exit from Barcelona, especially given Marcos Alonso’s imminent arrival. However, an impressive performance at Anoeta could open the doors for his continuity.

The Chelsea defender has reportedly completed his move to Barcelona, subject to registrations and signatures. The club plan to announce it in the coming days if they are able to register Jules Kounde in time for the game.

Balde played in every single one of Barça’s pre-season fixtures, even registering an assist — to Raphinha —, against Inter Miami.

See also  Cristiano Ronaldo Persuaded Two Players To Join Manchester United With A Simple Phone Call

Barcelona fans will hope the gamble pays dues, especially because it will likely not go down well with Alba, who is one of the team captains

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Barcelona yet to receive any offers for exit-bound right back, price tag sits at €20m

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Barcelona are said to be pushing Sergino Dest towards an exit, but a recent report from journalist Adria Albets has confirmed that the player does not have any offer at the moment.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, neither have Manchester United tabled any formal offer for the right-back, nor have they made contacts with the 21-year-old’s representative.

For the moment, Barcelona are clear pretty clear about offloading Dest but in order to fulfil the operation, they are demanding in excess of €20 million.

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For that particular reason, his agents are finding it hard to find a suitor as no club is willing to match the valuation for a player who is already fallen down the pecking order.

Xavi has so far preferred to use make-shift centre-back, Ronald Araujo, as a full-back. And while the Uruguayan has done well at times, it’s pretty clear that the team is looking to bring in a full-time right-back this summer.

For that, several players such as Hector Bellerin, Juan Foyth, Diogo Dalot, Thomas Meunier and Jeremie Frimpong have been considered, but there remain several complications in carrying out the operation

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To begin with, Villarreal’s valuation of €42 million for Juan Foyth is proving to be a hindrance.

Barcelona are finding themselves in this situation mostly because their attempt to sign a certain Cesar Azpilicueta failed.

Meanwhile, as far as Dest is concerned, he knows in order to get regular minutes, he needs to move away from Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s asking price of €20 million is putting a stop to his desire.

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Manchester United were thought to be weighing up a fresh move worth €20 million for the defender, but the Premier League side is yet to make any formal move. Hence, the Dutch-born American defender continues to train within the Barcelona ranks for the time being.

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Chelsea would reportedly prefer to sell Christian Pulisic rather than loan him out this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing the 23-year-old Blues attacker on loan

is understood that Chelsea would rather offload the American on a permanent basis, though.

The report says they’ll listen to offers for Pulisic during the next couple of weeks, but want to recuperate the full £58million they paid for him a few years ago.

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With Chelsea demanding nearly £60million for the forward, will any club step forward with a bid?

Chelsea prefer to sell Pulisic

It makes little sense doing Man United a favour by sending them Pulisic on loan, so you can fully understand why a permanent transfer would make much more sense.

Described as a “huge talent” earlier this year by Gary Neville, Pulisic is a player that frustrates supporters at Stamford Bridge.

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The winger can produce moments of brilliance in the final third, but there’s no major consistency in his game.

He finished last season with eight goals and five assists in 38 matches across all competitions, which wasn’t a bad return considering he missed a couple of months with an ankle problem

However, the United States international can’t seem to become a real favourite under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

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His 2019/20 campaign is proof of what a talented player he can be.

The forward had 21 direct goal contributions in 34 Blues appearances, but it was a familiar case of injuries interrupting him whenever he builds up some momentum.

It would be quite a surprise if a clubs willing to fork out a near-£60million sum for him.

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