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Rangnick explains how he will solve Manchester United problem

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with a mismatched group of players, capable of squandering a colossal budget and letting points slip through their grasp. An interim manager halfway through a temporary reign that has taken on an underwhelming feel denying he will remove the captaincy from Harry Maguire and reject reports of dressing room divides.

But Ralf Rangnick delivered a staunch defence of his tenure, arguing performances are on an upward graph and that if United continue at their current rate of progress they are likely to qualify for the Champions League, and pointing to the difficulties with his inheritance. Rangnick argued he is more solution than problem; that, incrementally, his methods are working.

They have drawn three of their past four matches, but he has taken encouragement.

We have won six [league] games, drawn four and had one defeat against Wolves; that was one of the worst games we played,” he said.

“Since then it’s obvious that the team has developed, that we control, not for 90 minutes, but for larger parts of the game. We are dominating and controlling games.”

If Brighton were dominant and in control for the opening 45 minutes on Tuesday, United nevertheless won 2-0 and although a 90-minute performance remains their holy grail, Rangnick detects a rise in belief.

“To me, it’s obvious speaking regularly to the players that they feel confident and strong on the pitch as a team. We have shown some improvement in the weeks and months, but there is still space for more in the future.

”If he made his name with a high-pressing blueprint, he believes he has built from the back.

United conceded 21 goals in 12 league games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær – when only Norwich and Newcastle had worse records – and eight in Rangnick’s 11. “

We had to reduce the number of goals conceded, which we did,” he said.

That is in part because David de Gea has made the most saves in the division.

“I would love to be with a team that has allowed the fewest amount of shots on our goal but that is not the case,” Rangnick said.

If De Gea’s season has amounted to a damage-limitation exercise, perhaps Rangnick’s salvage job has certain similarities.

In each case, it may be rendered tougher by the personnel around them. “

The challenge for me was in coming mid-season at a time when the team was lacking confidence and not doing well,” he said. “

And to work with a group that was not put together by me; that’s not alibis or excuses, just a mere fact.”

United’s false start to the season has left them playing catch-up.

Rangnick was a voice of caution. “Everybody wants to play in the Champions League every season, but we have to be realistic,” he said. “

I think when I came we were eighth in the table, trailing by quite a few points.”

They were 10th before the caretaker Michael Carrick’s parting gift, victory over Arsenal, lifted them to seventh.

Rangnick has taken them higher again, procuring 22 points from 11 matches.

“If you win two points [per game] on average in the whole season you are probably finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League,” he said. “

Right now, we have played 11 games, we have another 13 left and if you ask me now if I would be happy with another two points on average in those 13 games, I would probably say yes.”

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Report: Arsenal now really Keen to sign ‘Astonishing’ attacker who scored more goals than Gabriel Jesus last season

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According to But Football Club, Arsenal want to sign Bayer Leverkusen and France winger Moussa Diaby before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners are looking for a new wide player. Raphinha was high on their wish list and Mikel Arteta tried really hard to bring him in. The Brazilian, however, joined Barcelona for £55 million (Sky Sports) instead, and Arsenal have now apparently turned their attention to Diaby.

Arsenal really keen to sign Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen

Diaby is one of the finest players in the Bundesliga.

The 23-year-old France international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions, which is a truly sensational return for a wide player.

His performances have caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Arteta’s Arsenal. The report claims that Diaby ‘strongly appeals’ to the Gunners boss, who is really keen to bring in a new winger before the window shuts.

The ‘astonishing‘ winger has come out and claimed that he wants to stay at Leverkusen this season, while the German outfit are keen to retain his services too.

However, the report claims that if an offer in the region of £59.2 million arrives, they will let him go.

Arsenal don’t intend to pay that figure, but the report claims they will try to negotiate a deal for a lower fee.

Diaby still has three years left on his contract at Leverkusen.

Diaby really is a sensational player.

31 goal involvements in a single campaign for a 23-year-old wide player is a truly sensational return.

Even Gabriel Jesus, who is viewed as the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring woes, didn’t score as many goals as Frenchman last season.

Arsenal’s backup winger at the moment is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, on his day, is unplayable, but sadly for Arsenal supporters, those days have rarely ever occurred over the last three years.

Diaby would be a massive upgrade over Pepe, but whether Arsenal can lure him in remains to be seen.

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract

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The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one

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Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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