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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.

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.

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.

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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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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