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Wayne Rooney hits back at Christiano Ronaldo over Man United comment

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Wayne Rooney has corrected Cristiano Ronaldo’s claim that Manchester United have to be a top-three team – by insisting that they must only strive to be a top-one team.

Portuguese forward Ronaldo claimed in an interview that anything less than third place would be a failure at Old Trafford, as seventh-placed United continue to struggle this season.

But the Red Devils’ all-time record goalscorer Rooney, now a manager at Derby, believes the bar Ronaldo set in that interview is too low – and that United should be challenging for top-flight titles every season. 

‘Manchester United have to be a top-one team, not top-three,’ Rooney told a Derby press conference. ‘That’s the demands which the fans put on you, the demands that the club has. 

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‘Of course, they’re going through a difficult period but, make no mistake, that’s a club that has to be winning championships. It has to be winning trophies and that’s the pressure with coming and playing or working for Manchester United. 

‘That’s the level they need to be back to. I’m sure they’ll do the right things to get them back to that place.’

‘Manchester United should win the league or be second or third,’ he told Premier League Productions. ‘I don’t see other positions for Manchester United to be honest, I don’t see. 

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‘In my eyes, I don’t accept that our mentality be less than to be in the top three in the Premier League.’ 

Ronaldo would have been hoping to challenge for the title upon his return to Old Trafford last summer, but United already find themselves 22 points behind leaders Manchester City down in seventh at the halfway stage of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid the price for a dreadful run of five defeats in seven matches earlier in the campaign, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick replacing him at the helm last month. 

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United have since taken 13 points from a possible 18 under their new manager, and Ronaldo – who has scored 14 goals in 21 games this term – believes they now have to push on and finish near the top. 

‘I don’t want to be here in a club to fight to be in sixth or seventh or fifth place, I’m here to try to win, to compete. I think we compete but we are not yet at our best level’, he said. 

‘Long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things.’

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Man Utd ‘serious’ about €25m star under Rangnick orders

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Manchester United hold a ‘serious’ interest in Borussia Dortmund star Manuel Akanji.

The centre-back’s contract expires in 2023 and the Bundesliga are struggling to persuade him to sign an extension.Akanji currently earns around €5m a year and club chiefs are reportedly willing to up his pay to €8m.

That’s according to Bild (via Sport Witness), who claim the Switzerland international is holding out for at least €10m – a deal that would put him among the top earners at the club.

But Dortmund are said to be unwilling to stretch to the 26-year-old’s demands and ‘this problem could now solve itself’ with United ‘serious’ about signing the defender.

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It’s claimed United boss Ralf Rangnick is leading the charge for Akanji, with the Red Devils offering a four-year deal with a salary of €15m.

A transfer fee of around €25m is said to be ‘under discussion’, for a player whose ‘dream’ is to play in the Premier League, with United his ‘dream club’.

The report states that if United want Akanji a transfer is ‘very likely’ in the summer.Meanwhile, United legend Paul Scholes claims his former side have been “very lucky” under Rangnick.

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Anthony Elanga came off the bench to secure a draw in Madrid on Wednesday night, but United were second best for much of the game against Atletico.

Rangnick was frustrated with his side’s display but Scholes believes it was a “typical performance”.

“When you say strange performance, I don’t think it is a strange… it is a typical Man Utd performance these days, since November when this manager came in,” he said on BT Sport.

“It’s been very much the same, they have been very lucky to get through games and win games but you have to say his record is very good. I think his substitutes as well, on Sunday he made a big call bringing Fred on [and] Fred scores the winner.

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“Tonight he has made a big call, we were all looking thinking “these subs look a little bit strange” and then Elanga comes on and scores a goal. So it is not strange for me, it is just a typical Man Utd performance tonight.”

 


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You don’t deserve to play – Carragher tells Rangnick to sack Man United star after 1-1 draw with Atletico

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Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher has told Manchester United to get ‘someone better’ to replace Marcus Rashford at the club.

 He urged interim boss, Ralf Rangnick to take the England forward out of the team immediately.

The England International is going through a dismal season and produced one of his most disappointing performances in United’s Champions League round of 16 tie against Atletico.

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The youth team product did not make an impact for United before being replaced by Anthony Elanga in the second half.

Elenga came off the bench and cancelled out Joao Felix’s opener with ten minutes remaining.

And former Liverpool and England defender Carragher, told CBS, “Marcus Rashford has been in this team since he was a kid.

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He burst onto the scene and he’s always threatened to go to that next level, when the top players get to, and he’s not there yet.

“We’ve got to the stage now where I don’t think he should be in Manchester United’s XI.

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His performances this season don’t warrant being in the team.

“More often than not he is in the team. Even when people are fit they find a position for him.

At the age he’s at, United need something better than Marcus Rashford right now.”

 

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Manchester United’s interest in Aston Villa midfielder

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Man Utd sent fresh John McGinn transfer hint as Aston Villa target £50m midfield dealManchester United’s interest in Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has been given a boost after it emerged Steven Gerrard is targeting Leicester’s Wilfred NdidiManchester United are on red alert for John McGinn after Aston Villa cast their eyes towards Wilfred Ndidi.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard’s number one target is getting a high-quality defensive midfielder into the club and Leicester midfielder Ndidi is on his radar, as exclusively revealed by the Daily Star.

That could give United the encouragement they need to try to grab Scotland international midfielder McGinn.

United’s new CEO Richard Arnold has identified the need for the Red Devils to add a holding midfielder with Nemanja Matic facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford.

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Villa ruled out selling McGinn in January with the player recommended to the club by Sir Alex Ferguson as a potential signing.Gerrard, meanwhile, has £50m at his disposal to get the man he wants with Brighton ’s Yves Bissouma and Ndidi are top of his list and he’s desperate to land one of them.

Villa have already failed in one bid to get Mali international Bissouma from The Seagulls.They submitted a formal £30m offer for the 25-year-old last month but hit a brick wall.

Bissouma has 18 months left on his contract but with Arsenal, United and Newcastle also showing interest, Brighton could wait for a bidding war to start to get nearer their £45m valuation.Gerrard has already indicated that he’s prepared to re-visit that in the summer, saying: “We put in a bid for Bissouma which was turned away, and we respected it.”

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If a move is not right then we might have to be patient and that’s where we are right now.

”But he also has Ndidi right up at the top of his wish list as he prepares for his first summer transfer window at the club since making the move south from Rangers.

Nigerian international Ndidi, who has also been linked with United and Arsenal, signed a bumper six-year deal at Leicester in 2018 which ties him to the club until the summer of 2024.Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers would actively resist any moves for the player but knows The Foxes could be prone to a big enough offer.

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Villa’s ambitious board have already shown they are prepared to back Gerrard by sanctioning the £25m arrival of Lucas Digne and the sensational loan deal which brought Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona.

And he’ll have a sizeable summer war chest regardless of whether they decide to cash in on midfielders McGinn and Douglas Luiz.Arsenal had a January bid for Brazil international Luiz knocked back but may come calling again in the summer.

Scotland international McGinn has constantly been linked with a move to Old Trafford but whether that materialises is entirely dependent on who takes over from Ralf Ragnick.

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