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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must make difficult Jadon Sancho decision for long-term Man Utd gain



Last season, Jadon Sancho averaged just shy of a goal or an assist per appearance for Borussia Dortmund.

It was this eye-catching form which convinced Manchester United to rekindle their interest from the previous summer and sign him for £73million this July.

But Sancho has not picked up where he left off since leaving Westfalenstadion for Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old has featured in each of United’s five games this season but he is yet to register a goal involvement.

In contrast, Sancho’s attacking colleagues Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes have hogged the spotlight with their fantastic displays and Cristiano Ronaldo has, of course, dominated headlines since his return to the club.

Perhaps the England international is slightly relieved his underwhelming start to life in the Premier League is going under the radar.

The furore surrounding Ronaldo only grew as he plundered two goals against Newcastle United last weekend, while there has been an ongoing inquest into the defeat by Young Boys on Tuesday, with blame pinned on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decisions.

There have been some murmurings about Sancho’s poor form, but they have been overshadowed for the most part.

Solskjaer must act before the situation gets worse, however, when the criticism of the youngster will not be so muffled.

United’s lavish summer spending saw them add Ronaldo and Sancho to an already-formidable attack. This means there is no need to leave Sancho on the wing, shunting him from left to right, as he struggles to adapt to his new surroundings.

Although Edinson Cavani has been short of fitness and Marcus Rashford is rehabilitating from a shoulder injury, Solskjaer has Greenwood, Fernandes, Paul Pogba – who looks especially potent on the left flank – and Ronaldo at his disposal.

Further, the likes of Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial are waiting in the wings for minutes and veteran Juan Mata was handed a one-year extension in the summer.

Now is the time for Solskjaer to use the full array of talent in his squad, handing Sancho time out of the limelight to grow accustomed to his new teammates and the expectations on his shoulders.

Choosing to keep Sancho in the starting XI when he is short of confidence seems an unnecessary risk given the hundreds-of-millions-worth of talent on the bench for each game.

The England international is no stranger to dips in form having failed to score in the Bundesliga last season until January.

Sancho bounced back this calendar year to score eight goals in the German top flight despite missing one-and-a-half months through injury.

He will no doubt emerge from this slump to show why Solskjaer and Gareth Southgate rate him so highly, but in the meantime Solskjaer must not be afraid to bench the £73million man.


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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