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When Manchester United could sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Young Boys defeat

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Manchester United went into Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with FC Young Boys on a high after beating Newcastle.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side instead slipped to a nightmare defeat in Switzerland. And, since then, calls for him to be sacked have arisen amongst fans and pundits alike.

Some Manchester United fans on social media called for Solskjaer’s head, with the Red Devils second-best throughout the match in Bern.

And talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy also chimed in, saying: “That there, shows he’s utterly clueless.

“Young Boys are normally whipping boys of European football and United get rolled over 2-1… it was a disasterclass, it was an absolute disaster.

“It exposed Ole, it did badly. I’d sack him. We know what’s coming, don’t we? You’ve got Antonio Conte out there…

“Who’s the better manager? There will be a stage in the season where they’ll be like ‘I wish we did it earlier.’”

But while some supporters want Solskjaer gone, that isn’t going to happen just yet.

Of course it isn’t. One defeat isn’t everything, after all.

Have United made progress under Solskjaer? Yes. Are they better than when he took over? Yes. Is the squad improved? Yes.

Then there’s the biggest statement of all, United’s decision to give the Norwegian a contract extension back in the summer.

That was a sign the Glazers are happy with the 48-year-old, even though he’s yet to steer them to the trophies they crave.

So, for now, Solskjaer isn’t going anywhere.

However, it’ll be curious to see how things play out. Because history suggests the Glazers, if the Norwegian fails to get this team fully firing, won’t hesitate to intervene.

At the moment, let’s face it, that’s likely to be at the end of the campaign.

And Champions League football, rather than trophies, will be the biggest factor of all.

The Glazers only sacked Jose Mourinho in December 2018 because of the doom and gloom mood around the place.

They’d previously been willing to give the current Roma boss until the end of the season to show he had what it takes to turn their dire situation around.

But with Paul Pogba and other players all struggling, and unhappy, they decided to bring the decision forward instead.

However, in previous years, it’s only when Champions League football is beyond them when they’ve chosen to intervene.

They axed David Moyes with four games left to play after it was mathematically impossible to qualify for that competition.

And they relieved Louis van Gaal of his duties two years later after United had finished fifth in the Premier League table.

So that means Solskjaer can, at least, expect to be given until the end of the campaign.

As stated above, they certainly won’t be sacking him anytime soon. And it’s only history that, at present, really suggests he’s got a timeline on his head.

Unless he angers the dressing room – something that seems unfeasible given his popularity – fans can expect him to still be leading the team in May.

If they’re on course for trophies, supporters will be delighted.

Top four, not so much. But that’s what the Glazers deem a success these days and, as long as the money keeps coming in, things won’t change.

Now, the onus is on Solskjaer to guide his side to where they used to be. He’s capable of it, his team have shown that at times, but consistency is now the key. 

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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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