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Thiago Silva hits back at Paul Scholes over Cristiano Ronaldo statement

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Veteran Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has hit back at Paul Scholes after the former Manchester United star claimed Cristiano Ronaldo would find it easy to play against him.

The Blues were hosting United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday evening, with Thomas Tuchel’s side heading into the clash as the leaders of the top-flight.

But though they would have expected to secure a win against the underperforming Red Devils and extend their advantage at the top of the league, that was not to be for Tuchel’s men.

The gameplan set in place by caretaker boss Michael Carrick saw United sit deep for much of the first-half before hitting Chelsea on the counter-attack to go ahead through Jadon Sancho.

Chelsea were able to get back into the game when Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought down Silva in the area with a clumsy challenge.

Jorginho stepped up to score the spot-kick, atoning for his error which led directly to Sancho opening the scoring.

Despite putting United under intense pressure, Chelsea were unable to find a winner, leaving them with a slender one-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

A key part of their success this season has been the presence of Silva in the back three, with the Brazilian making 10 league appearances so far this term.

He has helped Chelsea to keep five clean sheets and concede just five goals in those games, with the Blues currently holding the title of having the best defensive record in the league.

Silva was once again selected to start against United on Sunday, with Ronaldo surprisingly left on the bench by Carrick.

Many questioned that decision ahead of the game, including Scholes who told Premier League productions that it would have been easy for Ronaldo to play against the Chelsea star.

But Scholes was left with egg on his face as Silva put in another composed defensive performance at Stamford Bridge.

He blocked one shot, won five of his defensive duels, made three clearances and made eight recoveries as he played all 90 minutes of the draw.

Ronaldo meanwhile was brought on after 64 minutes, with Chelsea scoring their equaliser soon after he replaced Marcus Rashford.

It was an evening the superstar will want to forget quickly, having failed to have a shot of any description and losing all six of his duels.

And Silva has now fired back at Scholes, having been made aware of his pre-match comments by a Chelsea fan page on Instagram.

“According to Paul Scholes, facing Thiago Silva would have been easy for Cristiano Ronaldo,” the fan page wrote as a caption showing Ronaldo getting booked following an interaction with Silva.

Silva replied to that post by mocking the fact that Scholes is now retired from professional football.

“It is always easy , especially for those who have stopped playing!!,” Silva wrote along with three laughing emojis.

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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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