Man Utd and City rivals for Haaland, Raiola SLAMS Ferguson over Pogba, Lindelof leaves Sweden squad – transfer LATEST

MANCHESTER UNITED will face hot competition for Erling Haaland's signature as Manchester City want him to replace Sergio Aguero.

Meanwhile, Victor Lindelof has reportedly left the Sweden squad and returned to Manchester for personal reasons.

Stay up to date with our blog, below, for all the latest from Old Trafford…

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  • Ian Tuckey

    NEV’S MIAMI ROCKED BY COVID-19

    Phil Neville’s hopes of hitting the ground running in Miami have been hampered by COVID-19.

    The Manchester United legend and former England Lionesses boss is in Sarasota gearing up for his MLS kick-off on April 18 but three pre-season training matches against Charleston, New York Red Bulls and Nashville were all canned tonight after a number of positive tests.

    SunSport understands a mix of players from the teams involved have been infected but Neville is confident the setback won’t derail the hopes of getting his side ready for the season opener against LA Galaxy. 

    Inter Miami, who have suffered from COVID problems in the past after star striker Gonzalo Higuain missed last term’s play-off match with Nashville, have also cancelled a press conference with Neville which was scheduled for Wednesday.

    Inter’s first training-ground ‘scrimmage’ of the pre-season against Paul Dalglish’s Miami FC was postponed last Saturday also because of health concerns.

    Neville will at least be boosted by having the whole squad at his disposal next week at their South Florida base. 

  • Ian Tuckey

    SHARPSHOOTER SHAW

    Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed Luke Shaw is the second best finisher at the club behind Mason Greenwood.

    The Norwegian overlooked the likes of Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial in favour of his resurgent left-back.

    Even the talismanic Bruno Fernandes is behind Shaw in the finishing ranks.

    Shaw said in February that the boss rates his finishing: “You should ask the manager he normally says me.

    “I understand people will say I don’t score many goals but he’s actually said to me I was one of them [best finishers]. I don’t know if he was being nice or not.”

    And Solskjaer backed up his player and said: “I’ve said that to Luke, yeah.

    “He is behind Mason Greenwood, Luke has a very good finishing technique when he gets in that position so I encourage him to get up there.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    BEEK BOOST

    Donny van de Beek banished his Manchester United blues on Tuesday night as he netted in Holland’s 7-0 win against Gibraltar.

    The midfielder, 23, has struggled to impress at Old Trafford following a £40million move from Ajax last summer.

    Van de Beek has featured just 13 times in the Premier League for United, making just two starts.

    But he took full advantage after coming off the Holland bench in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar.

    Van de Beek scored the second-last goal in a 7-0 thrashing for Frank de Boer’s men.

    And Holland have now won two on the bounce having suffered a dismal 4-2 defeat to Turkey in the first match of their qualifying campaign last week.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GREALISH AGENT PREDICTS 'BIG DEALS'

    Jack Grealish’s agent Jonathan Barnett sent speculation over the Manchester United target spiralling by predicting "very big deals" of his own.

    England and Aston Villa playmaker Grealish, 25, has performed far better than the player United signed last summer instead, Donny van de Beek.

    Villa skipper Jack Grealish was linked to Man Utd last summer and speculation is mounting they could be back in for him in the next transfer windowCredit: Getty

    Barnett told The Athletic: “I am expecting three or four very big deals of my own that will break a lot of records.

    “Hopefully, they will come about. For the smaller clubs, I think there won’t be as many transfers. We have some very good players.

    “We have probably the best young player in the world in Camavinga. We have got Grealish. We have got Konate at Leipzig. But then I have got over 100 players.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    WOLE TRAFFORD

    Manchester United are reportedly set to raid noisy neighbours City for top youth scout Stephen Ajewole.

    And that has sparked fears at the Etihad of their transfer secrets being leaked to their rivals.

    According to the Daily Mail, United want to bring Ajewole in as the new lead scout for the Under 15-18s.

    The swoop is being headed up by United’s head of youth recruitment David Harrison.

    Harrison left his role as head of European youth scouting at City to join United in 2017.

    Ajewole has been described as an ’emerging recruitment specialist’.

    He joined City as a UK southern football scout in August 2014 and has predominantly been based in London.

  • Ian Tuckey

    JAMES DENIES SUPPORTING LIVERPOOL

    Daniel James has come clean to deny he was a Liverpool fan as a child… but admits he supported Chelsea.

    The Manchester United winger idolised Blues' legends Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba, plus Juan Mata, who has since swapped Chelsea for the Red Devils.

    James, 23, told United's website: "When I signed for United, I can't remember who it was, one of the Sky Sports (pundits) said: 'he supports Liverpool'.

    "I was thinking I don't support Liverpool, but I never wanted to come out and say I supported Chelsea as a youngster.

    "When I started playing for Swansea it [Chelsea] was the team I followed, but you don't end up supporting them really.

    I used to look at their players when I was younger – Hazard, Mata and Drogba – and they were players that I loved. You kind of grow out of that."

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD'S LEEDS CLASH SWITCHED

    Leeds have new dates for their home Premier League clashes with Liverpool and Manchester United.

    Fading champs Liverpool will now play at Elland Road at 8pm on Monday, April 19, two days later than originally scheduled.

    And United's match has been put back a day to 2pm, Sunday, April 25.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'FIVE OFFERS' FOR AGUERO

    Outgoing Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero already has around five contract offers for next season, including neighbours United, but Barcelona remain favourites to sign him.

    United are keen to add a specialist No9 next season, with Uruguay's Edinson Cavani tipped to return to South America next summer.  

  • Ian Tuckey

    SABITZER OPEN TO A MOVE

    Manchester United and Tottenham target Marcel Sabitzer insists he is in no rush to sort out his RB Leipzig future but is open to a move at some stage.

    The Austria midfielder has been linked with several European giants as second-placed Leipzig aim to dethrone Bundesliga champs Bayern Munich.

    Sabitzer told Bild: "I have a contract until 2022 – and not just until the summer.

    "It has become popular to ask players about his future as soon as he enters the final 18 months of his contract, but that doesn't mean that everything has to be decided at that moment.

    "Those in my inner circle know what I'm thinking, but I'm not stressed about it. I feel good in Leipzig and at the club, plus we're successful.

    "We have a realistic chance of winning titles here – and there are people at the club who really want to win something.

    "That's why I see Leipzig as a great club, but RB don't have to be the only great club on my CV. After all, I'm only 27."

  • Ian Tuckey

    DEMBELE LINKED TO UTD

    Manchester United are ‘in contact’ with Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele and ‘preparing a summer transfer bid’, according to reports.

    The Frenchman is currently under contract at the Catalan club until 2022 and Barca boss Ronald Koeman is keen to keep the attacker.

    But Sport have reported that Man Utd are ready to swoop in and claim Dembele by turning his head at the end of the season.

    Barca are currently trying to lower their wage bill due to financial problems at the club.

    Mundo Deportivo believe the club and player are in negotiations over a fresh deal to keep him at the Nou Camp.

  • Ian Tuckey

    CHAMPIONS LEAGUE REVAMP ROW

    A decision on a new format for the Champions League has been delayed by a disagreement over the competition’s commercial rights.

    An expanded 36-team competition to begin in 2024 had been set for approval by UEFA’s executive committee on Wednesday, but will now not be rubber-stamped until at least the next ExCo meeting on April 19.

    It is understood the board of the European Club Association (ECA), which represents the views of the continent’s most powerful clubs, was split and could not give its formal support to the UEFA proposal when it met on Monday.

    This was because some clubs remain convinced they should control the commercial aspects of the competition, such as television and sponsorship rights.

    ECA members dominate the UEFA club competitions committee which then met on Tuesday morning, and it is understood that because the reform package did not have their approval it could not go forward to the executive committee.

    UEFA said on Wednesday: “UEFA can confirm that a meeting of the executive committee will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, March 31, and that the future of club competitions post-2024 will be one of the topics discussed.

    “However, any official decision in this respect will only be made at the next UEFA executive committee meeting on April 19, in order to finalise ongoing discussions.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD LOSE £105m IN 5 SEASONS THROUGH INJURIES

    Manchester United have paid out an eyewatering £105million to injured, unavailable players over the last five seasons.

    While boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's predecessor Jose Mourinho liked to whinge about transfers, the Red Devils actually pay enormous sums to their star players.

    One problem, however, has been getting them all fit and healthy.

    A study conducted by Bonusfinder found that United players have spent a combined 6378 days injured, missing a total of 1105 games in the process since 2016.

    In this time, Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were costly absentees – while defenders Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly have also spent their fair share of time on the treatment table.

    Arsenal are second on the list, despite their players having missed more games than United's. Gunners'players have missed 1122 games during a total of 6577 days on the treatment table – costing nearly £80m.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BOX FRESH

    The final Premier League TV times for April have been confirmed.

    And there’s a treat for fans with Wolves vs Burnley being shown for free on BBC in a bumper footy schedule.

    Everton vs Spurs has been given a new Friday night slot on April 16.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ROYD RAGE

    Roy Keane's heated argument with Jamie Redknapp live on Sky Sports was caused by the former Manchester United captain arriving late to the studio, Micah Richards has revealed.

    The Red Devils legend got into a furious exchange with Redknapp as he tried to make the case that Spurs had very few top class players.

    And Richards has now confirmed Keane was somewhat flustered when he arrived at the studio due to being stuck in traffic.

    Speaking on the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast, the ex-Manchester City defender said: "He (Keane) was driving down to London, but he was late.

    "He normally gets there an hour or an hour and a half before, but he was stuck in traffic and he got there 20 minutes before going on air and you could see his hair was all ruffled, along with his suit.

    "Jamie just got his anger because he was an hour later than he was supposed to be and he got the wrath!"

  • Ian Tuckey

    ROONEY VS AGUERO

    Sergio Aguero's looming departure from Manchester City has sparked a debate over how he compares with United legend Wayne Rooney.

    Barcelona are favourites to sign 254-goal Etihad record scorer Aguero, 32,whilst former England striker Rooney netted 253 goals in 13 years at Old Trafford.

  • Ian Tuckey

    LINDELOF BACK WITH UTD

    Victor Lindelof has left Sweden's squad early and returned to Manchester for 'personal reasons'.

    The Man Utd defender, 26, left his national side on Monday night ahead of their friendly against Estonia on Wednesday.

    Lindelof played 90 minutes in Sweden's 3-0 win over Kosovo on Sunday.

    And he also started the 1-0 victory against Georgia last Thursday.

    But Sweden assistant manager Peter Wettergren confirmed the defender has left the team.

    He said on Monday: "Lindelof will leave us tonight for private, personal reasons."

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his return to international duty with an assist in the win over Georgia.

    And he was at it again on Sunday with an outrageous back heel to set up a goal.

     

  • Ian Tuckey

    RON ROW ARMBAND AUCTIONED

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s angrily-discarded captain’s armband is up for auction to raise money for a sick child in Serbia.

    Little Gavril Djurdjevic, who is just six months old and from the city of Kragujevac, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy.

    Ronaldo’s discarded armband is on sale to raise funds for a sick child in Serbia

    Humanitarian organisation Together for Life hopes to raise €2.5million (around £2.1m) needed for his treatment.

    And they are now selling Ronaldo’s Portugal armband to the highest bidder over the next three days in an online auction to help reach that target.

    Skipper Ronaldo protested after his late winner for Portugal against Serbia was ruled out

    It was taken from the pitch of Belgrade’s Rajko Mitic stadium by a worker, who donated it to Together for Life and baby Gavril, after Portugal’s 2-2 World Cup qualifier against Serbia on Saturday.

    The charity auction marks an incredible twist to the tale.

    Ronaldo marched over to the linesman to argue in vain that his shot had crossed the line, replays backing up his case.

    The referee booked a raging Ronaldo, who walked off the field waving his arms in disbelief before ripping off his captain’s armband and launching it to the floor.

  • Ian Tuckey

    RAI'S BLAZE AT MANC RIVALS

    Super-agent Mino Raiola has stirred it up with neighbours Manchester United and City.

    He told the Athletic: “I don’t give a f**k if I never do another player with Man Utd. I’m not in their hands. I’m independent.

    "Guardiola? I’ve closed the book a long time ago. Everybody knows what I think of him personally; he can say what he thinks for me personally.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    MANE UTD?

    Manchester United are ‘in contact’ with Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele and ‘preparing a summer transfer bid’, according to reports.

    The Frenchman is currently under contract at the Catalan club until 2022 and Barca boss Ronald Koeman is keen to keep the attacker.

    But Sport have reported that Man Utd are ready to swoop in and claim Dembele by turning his head at the end of the season.

    Barca are currently trying to lower their wage bill due to financial problems at the club.

    Mundo Deportivo believe the club and player are in negotiations over a fresh deal to keep him at the Nou Camp.

  • Ian Tuckey

    MANE MAN GETS TOP MARC

    Marcus Rashford picked Sadio Mane over Mo Salah as the best African talent in the Premier League.

    England ace Rashford was asked who is the greatest African player he has faced since debuting in 2015.

    And the 23-year-old plumped for Senegalese sensation Mane over Liverpool team-mate and ‘Egyptian King’ Salah.

    Rashford said: “I think there’s some great African talent in [the] league at [the] moment. Mane particularly.”

  • Josh Graham

    LUK AND LEARN

    Luke Shaw's agent has revealed how the star was helped through his feud with Jose Mourinho and not forced out of Manchester United 'just to make money'.

    Jonathan Barnett, who also looks after the likes of Gareth Bale and Jack Grealish, has revealed the work put in behind the scenes to rescue the defender's confidence.

    He explained to The Athletic: "My job in that situation is to make sure the player’s spirits are kept up.

    "We try behind the scenes to help them understand what’s gone wrong. A lot of it is personal.

    "We had to rebuild his confidence, which we did. We took certain steps. But Luke is a very strong man. He never got too down.

    "His family had to be there for him and we had to be there for him. We didn’t say, ‘You’ve got to leave Man United, we’ve got to go because we need to make money’.

    "We didn’t force Luke Shaw out of Man United. He wanted to stay there. And that’s what he’s done. And today, he’s a great, great player."

  • Josh Graham

    DAVE'S DISCO

    David De Gea has been blasting Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison on his Spotify.

    The Spanish keeper is facing a battle to reclaim his No1 spot at Old Trafford after Dean Henderson's excellent run while he was away for the birth of his first child.

  • Josh Graham

    FIXTURE FRENZY

    Check out Man Utd's next five games after the international break.

  • Josh Graham

    NO REST FOR THE WICKED

    Check out the Red Devils on international duty today.

  • Josh Graham

    FINDING JACK

    A documentary portraying Jack Charlton's remarkable life revealed the difficult relationship with his brother.

    Finding Jack Charlton, which was aired on Monday, relived the Leeds United legend's life both on and off the field. Jack died aged 85 in July after suffering from lymphoma and dementia.

    The Charlton brothers had a difficult relationshipCredit: Getty

    During his illustrious career he won two league titles with Leeds, the FA Cup and League Cup and, of course, the historic World Cup in 1966.

    Jack is also a hero in Ireland after helping them qualify for their first World Cup as a manager in 1990 in which 500,000 fans welcomed them back onto Irish soil in Dublin after their knockout.

    But his relationship with Manchester United legend Sir Bobby, who was two years his junior, suffered after they fell out in 1996.

    Jack accused Bobby of not visiting their mother Cissie before her death in the same year.

    Bobby, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1966, would reveal his wife Norma and Cissie had a falling out and he opted to take the side of his other half.

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