Manchester United will continue their preparations today for their next Premier League outing against Norwich City on Saturday.
Ralf Rangnick suffered an embarrassing defeat to one relegation candidate in Everton last weekend and a loss to the rock-bottom Canaries would be yet another nadir for the interim boss. United were once again given a reprieve after Arsenal failed to take advantage and lost to Brighton, but that has given Tottenham the ascendency in the top-four race.
Spurs are three points clear of their North London rivals, though the Gunners have a game in hand, and hold a six-point advantage over United.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Barcelona are interested in signing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.
Neves, 25, has been recurringly linked with United in the last four years but the club is yet to register their interest with the Portugal international’s representatives.
Neves is contracted to Wolves until 2024 and coach Bruno Lage suggested he was worth £100million but Wolves could cash in on Neves if he is unwilling to sign a new contract.
Manchester United and Erik ten Hag could face complications over any move to bring Robin van Persie back to Old Trafford as assistant manager – according to reports.
Ajax expect Ten Hag to become the next United manager even though key figures at the club insist no deal has been formalised. The Manchester Evening News revealed last month Ten Hag was a preferred candidate for the position.
With one eager eye on the summer transfer window, meanwhile, suggestions as to who might join the Dutchman in the dugout are equally as prevalent and former United striker Van Persie has been mooted in that regard.
Former West Ham United attacking-midfielder Dimitri Payet has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to join Manchester United in favour of returning to Marseille back in January 2017.
The Frenchman, who scored a stunning Goal of the Season contender in Marseille’s 2-1 win over PAOK Salonika in the Europa Conference League last Thursday, left West Ham in controversial circumstances. He refused to play for the club at the beginning of January, despite not being injured, and was determined to force an exit from the club.
The Hammers made it clear that they had no intentions of selling the playmaker and wanted Payet to apologise to the supporters to put the matter to bed. However, the now-35-year-old had no desire to stay at the club, resulting in a £25million bid from Marseille being accepted just two days before the transfer window closed.
They are images that bookend Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return, from the euphoric high of his Old Trafford reawakening on September 11 to the embarrassing scenes at Goodison on Saturday, when he appeared to smack a phone out of the hand of a 14-year-old boy.
Ronaldo has apologised for his outburst since but there’s no excusing it, no matter how much he was hurting. The 37-year-old was evidently limping towards the away tunnel after another rotten day in United’s season, but his life has been spent not only living in the spotlight but often courting it — he should be used to camera phones by now.
The forward faces a police investigation over the incident and the petulance may well become the defining image of United’s season, although there is plenty of competition for that unwanted award.
Eric Bailly was visible in Manchester United training last week and then invisible at Goodison Park. Ralf Rangnick did not list Eric Bailly in his injury bulletin on Friday yet there were two goalkeepers on the United bench against Everton.
Bailly signed a new contract last April and has not played since the win against Burnley in December, his seventh club appearance of the campaign. He has appeared more times for Côte d’Ivoire.
Whether or not Bailly returned from international duty with an injury or illness (that would be the seventh time in under six years at United), he cannot be at the club next season. It was bad enough United rewarded Bailly with a renewal, an unconvincing three-year deal for a 27-year-old who has played fewer games than Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes joined United three years and seven months later than Bailly did.
Former Barcelona and Netherlands winger Ibrahim Afellay believes there is “no better time” for Erik ten Hag to take charge at Manchester United than this forthcoming summer.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News last week, Ten Hag is expected to leave Ajax this summer and take charge at Old Trafford. The Dutchman has been sounded out as United’s preferred candidate and was interviewed for the position last month.
However, there are still several hurdles for United to jump to ensure that they get their man. That is because Ten Hag is believed to want assurances over recruitment and the way that the club is run on a day-to-day basis, amongst other things.
Manchester United have held ‘internal’ talks about the possibility of signing Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig this summer.
The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks following an outstanding campaign in the Bundesliga. He has scored 28 goals and claimed 18 assists in all competitions, meaning it is easy to understand why United would be keen.
According to Sky Sport in Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, as cited by the Express, United have held discussions about the prospect of signing the versatile attacker.
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has challenged James Garner to continue his progress ahead of what could be a big summer for him at Manchester United.
The on-loan midfielder has made a big impression during his second spell at the City Ground under Cooper. Since the turn of the year, the 21-year-old has emerged as one of Forest’s top performers and underlined his growing reputation with another assist in the 2-0 win over Birmingham on Saturday.
United have faced calls from supporters for Garner to be included in their plans for next season. With a new manager set to be appointed this summer, it remains to be seen what will be in store for him.
Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that the treatment he has undergone for an aggressive form of prostate cancer has been successful.
Last week, Van Gaal, who is currently in his third spell as the Netherlands manager, revealed on Dutch TV that he was battling the disease. He made the surprise announcement during an appearance on ‘Humberto’, on which he was appearing to talk about his new film – ‘LOUIS’ – in which his cancer is addressed.
He admitted that the form of cancer was an aggressive one, that he’d had it for a prolonged period and had already undergone treatment on 25 occasions. Now, though, he has admitted that the 25 bouts of treatment have been a success.
When the going has got tough for Manchester United this season, David de Gea has not been afraid to mince his words.
The Spaniard, who is likely to scoop the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for a fifth time since joining the club in 2011 at the end of the season, has often acted as chief-spokesman in the midst of United storms this season. He was the first to take to social media after the disappointing 1-0 defeat to Wolves in January and found himself in the same boat after the 4-1 drubbing to Manchester City last month.
On Saturday, after United’s 1-0 defeat to Everton, however, he did not require the power of social media to express his frustrations. Instead, he used his post-match interview with BT Sport to make his feelings known on another calamitous performance.
United continue to ‘push’ for Youri Tielemans, according to CBS.
The fresh news claims United and Arsenal are both trying to pursue Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, who is about to enter the final year of his contract and who could be available for £25m.
It’s also claimed there is no truth in repeated Liverpool links to the player.
Erik ten Hag interviewed for the Manchester United job last month and those talks were positive and productive.
Ajax now expect Ten Hag to become United’s next manager but the deal is far from complete. There are details that still need to be discussed and agreed upon between both parties. Ten Hag has made his demands to the club and discussions are ongoing.
The reports that emerged this week suggesting RB Leipzig are interested in Ten Hag weren’t surprising. They could be freely interpreted as intended pressure on United to meet certain demands and it remains to be seen whether that will work. Although Ten Hag would be an exciting appointment, it shows how far United’s standards have fallen that he holds the aces in talks.