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Team News: Man United boss confirms major triple boost

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Manchester United will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

Ahead of the game, Ralf Rangnick has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon. The interim United boss provided a team news and injury update which included the latest on the fitness of a number of players.

Cristiano Ronaldo was absent for Manchester United during the defeat to Man City last weekend. The Portuguese superstar has been suffering from a hip issue but returned to full training with the rest of the squad on Thursday. Rangnick says he expects Ronaldo to be available to face Spurs, which will be a major boost for United.

Edinson Cavani hasn’t featured for Man Utd in over a month due to a niggling groin injury. The South American hitman has been building up his fitness in training and Rangnick says he expects Cavani to also be available to face Tottenham this weekend.

Raphael Varane was forced to miss last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City after testing positive for covid. However, the French international returned to training on Wednesday and is now back in contention to face Spurs tomorrow.

Shaw also sat out the Manchester Derby after testing positive for covid but Rangnick says the full-back is still not clear to return this weekend. Alex Telles is therefore set to continue at left-back.

In a double blow for United, Scott McTominay is struggling with a calf complaint. Rangnick says the midfielder will be assessed but it likely to be ruled out against Tottenham as he doesn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.

McTominay set to miss out

Rangnick told ManUtd.com:

“With regard to players, we will still miss out Luke Shaw. He’s, until yesterday, being tested positive with Covid, and Scotty is a question mark, he had some problems with his calf so we have to wait and see until after training today.

“But, right now, it is more likely that he will not be available because if we risk him tomorrow, he will more likely be out for the game on Tuesday. That’s why I tend, with muscular issues – even more so if it’s the calf muscle – I tend to be careful.

“Cristiano resumed training yesterday. He trained for the whole session and I expect him to be training today as well. He trained well, like the rest of the group, so I would have thought that he’s available for tomorrow. What’s important is that he and Edi are both back in training and are both available for the game.”

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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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