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Zinedine Zidane’s Sir Alex Ferguson comments as Frenchman tipped to be next Man United boss

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Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is being heavily linked with the Manchester United job and is said to be a contender to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But the Frenchman has given an indication of what fans could expect from him if he ended up taking over with his past comments on Sir Alex Ferguson.

The pressure is mounting on current United manager Solskjaer after a humiliating defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool which has raised serious questions about their prospects going forward.

For the second game running, Solskjaer retreated to the dressing room amid a chorus of boos as the Old Trafford crowd vented their anger at a woeful first-half display.

With Liverpool racing into a 4-0 lead, the biggest game in English football quickly became a nightmare for United, but things still got worse for them.

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The sensational Mohamed Salah completed his hat-trick after the break to add even more gloss to the scoreline before Paul Pogba saw red for a high tackle on Naby Keita to compound United’s woes.

The score-line could have been even more humiliating if the Reds had not taken their foot off the gas after the fifth goal, but Jurgen Klopp cited the importance of avoiding injuries.

Despite a turbulent run of form, Solskjaer still seems to have the backing of those behind the scenes at United, but calls for Zidane to take the reins are growing louder.

The former Madrid boss famously won three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018, but has already warned United fans that he couldn’t be their next Alex Ferguson with his previous comments.

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Speaking back in December 2020 when he was still in charge of Madrid, Zidane said: “I don’t know how long I am going to stay here [at Real Madrid].

“I am very lucky to be at this club and I like being happy even in the most difficult times. I have lived in Spain, in Madrid for a long time and I want to carry on a while longer.

“I’ll never be Madrid’s [Sir Alex] Ferguson, that’s for sure!”

Ferguson’s United reign was notable for its extreme longevity, with the Scotsman taking charge of the club between 1986 and 2013.

Solskjaer may aspire to be the same way given his history as a player at Old Trafford, although he might not be given that chance based on recent performances.

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Although Ferguson’s stance on Zidane taking charge is unknown, he was certainly a fan of the Frenchman as a player.

The Scotsman famously once claimed: “Give me Zidane and ten pieces of wood and I’ll win you the Champions League.”

Watching on from the stands on Sunday, ‘Fergie’ – who has been a supporter and mentor to Solskjaer – could not hide his horror as old foes Liverpool ran riot at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has been warned he will face unprecedented pressure in the coming days and weeks, with crunch clashes against Tottenham, Atalanta and Manchester City coming up next.

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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.

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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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