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Sir Alex Ferguson’s hints at Cristiano Ronaldo decision that can help Man United achieve dream

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Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson’s past comments ring true as the competitions start building up for current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils have Carabao Cup, Premier League and Champions League fixtures coming up within the next week.

Now in his third full season, Solskjaer will be desperate to lift his first piece of silverware as Man United manager.

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is bound to help achieve that goal, but the 36-year-old physically won’t be available in every match.

Solskjaer has a wealth of quality in depth throughout his squad and will have to use it in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash at home to West Ham United.

Ronaldo has started all three games since returning to Old Trafford in the summer, scoring four goals.

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But Solskjaer may have to take a leaf out of his former boss’ book and exclude the Portuguese ace against the Hammers, with upcoming tests in mind.

Back in the 2008/09 season, as Man United vyed for more silverware under Ferguson, the Scotsman explained the need to utilise his entire squad to challenge on all fronts.

In January 2009, Ferguson had to navigate an FA Cup third-round clash against Southampton, a two-legged League Cup affair with Derby County and a Premier League encounter with title rivals Chelsea.

On the eve of the trip to St. Mary’s in the FA Cup, Ferguson responded to reporters questioning whether he’d rest Ronaldo amid the fixture pile-up.

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He shared his mindset, which makes fascinating reading given his success in an array of competitions throughout his 27-year stint at the helm.

He said: “We’ve got a big month ahead, and the key is going to be how I navigate it with the 23 players I have.

“All of those players are going to have to play their part, particularly against ­Southampton and in the two legs against Derby.

“Obviously, there is a big game against Chelsea coming up next Sunday, which I’ve got one eye on.

“So it’s a busy spell we’ve got coming up, and we have to give careful consideration to the teams we pick. We’re competing for all four [major trophies].”

Ronaldo was rested against Southampton, but Man United beat the Saints 3-0 before thumping Chelsea by the same scoreline and Derby 4-3 on aggregate to reach the League Cup final.

See also  Cristiano Ronaldo sets target for Man United and sounds warning over his future

Although the Red Devils tasted defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals and the Champions League final that season, Ferguson secured another Premier League title and lifted the League Cup after beating Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

Solskjaer must share the iconic manager’s mindset if he’s to achieve similar success and turn his late runs in competitions into trophies.

Expect Ronaldo to make the bench at most against West Ham, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Victor Lindelof all receiving chances to impress.

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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.

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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.

See also  Man United complete late winger transfer with finer details hinting at regret

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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