Sport

7.45am Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Ramsey or Costa for Pogba 'SNUBBED', Williams to Newcastle, Cavani OUT against City

MANCHESTER UNITED face rivals City tonight with an EFL Cup final berth against Tottenham the prize.

The Red Devils have reportedly turned down a potential swap deal with Juventus for Paul Pogba, whilst we've the latest on Brandon Williams' switch to Newcastle.

  • FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE

Follow all the latest with our blog below…

  • Gary Stonehouse

    MORNING, UNITED FANS

    United bid to shrug off last season's TRIPLE semi-final loss tonight – just as speculation over Paul Pogba's future revs up again. 

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims his side have "improved immensely following their three last-four exits ago ahead of their home Carabao Cup clash against neighbours City.

    And he said: “We've earned the right to go all the way with our performances. We are confident with our form, so no excuses.

    “For this team it would be a very, very big step, getting our hands on a trophy."

    But back-in-favour midfielder Pogba is again being linked with Juventus – this time with part-exchange offers.

    United, though, are said to have rebuffed attempts by the Italian champions to tempt them with a cash-plus player deal involving Aaron Ramsey or Douglas Costa

    Meanwhile, left-back Brandon Williams is edging closer to a loan move to Newcastle after United reportedly agreed the framework for his exit.

    And Old Trafford legend Paul Ince claims midfielder Bruno Fernandes is as important to United as all-time great Eric Cantona was.

  • Ian Tuckey

    OLE'S FUN FACT

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Jurgen Klopp is having a Rafa Benitez-style meltdown — ‘fact’.

    Liverpool chief Klopp whined about the number of penalties Manchester United get compared to his side after defeat at Southampton on Monday.

    United boss Solskjaer hit back: “And that’s a fact, probably. That is going to be my answer. It’s a fact that we have got more than him.”

    It was a cheeky reference to Benitez’s 2009 press conference rant at Sir Alex Ferguson — when he kept saying ‘fact’ to back up his statements.

    Solskjaer, who is level on points with Klopp at the top of the Premier League, wonders why he and other managers have an obsession with United’s penalty awards.

    He said: “I don’t count how many penalties they have. So if they want to spend time worrying about when we get fouled in the box, I don’t spend time on that.”

    Since Klopp took over in October 2015, Liverpool have won 46 spot-kicks. In Solskjaer’s two years at the helm United have had 42, Liverpool winning 19 in that time.

    Since the start of last season, United have been awarded 20 in the Premier League to Liverpool’s ten.

  • Ian Tuckey

    PREM CLUBS WARNED

    The Government has warned football clubs to get a grip on stars breaking Covid-19 rules or risk losing their backing to continue the season.

    A string of Premier League stars flouted strict rules not to mix households to party over the festive period – making a mockery of the sacrifices the public are making.

    And though they have given the green light for games to be played despite the new national lockdown, the government have made it clear patience is running thin because of the behaviour of the Covidiot players.

    Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, made contact with football bosses in England on Monday to assure them they were not being shut down in the lockdown announced that evening.

    SunSport understands he made it clear the government supports the professional game carrying on, knowing it plays a big role in keeping fans across the country entertained during the pandemic.

    But Dowden also made a point of making it clear that football needs to do everything to ensure that public backing does not come back to haunt them.

  • Ian Tuckey

    POGBA WILL COST YA

    Manchester United have reportedly snubbed Juventus offers to part-exchange Aaron Ramsey or Douglas Costa for Paul Pogba.

    Juve remain the frontrunners to re-sign Pogba but Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seemingly content to keep the France midfielder until at least the summer.

    Tat means Juve or Real Madrid would have to come up with something special in the January transfer window to land the 27-year-old this month.

    Ex-Arsenal star Ramsey has never truly settled in Serie A, while fellow 30-year-old, Brazil winger Costa, is on loan at Bayern Munich.

  • Ian Tuckey

    HAVE YOUR CAIC

    Chelsea are said to be in touch with Independiente del Valle over  midfielder Moises Caicedo – after the Ecuadorian club denied they were in talks with Manchester United over the 19-year-old.

    The Express claim the Blues are the latest club to pursue the full Ecuador international.

    But reports also suggest any interest from United has cooled.

  • Ian Tuckey

    HERR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW?

    PSG have put five players up for sale including Ander Herrera, according to reports.

    The ex-Manchester United midfielder, 31, joined the club in 2019 and has two goals in 42 appearances.

    Ander Herrera is one of five PSG players reportedly put up for sale

    But he could be sold in order to help raise cash to fund Mauricio Pochettino's transfer splurge.

    Marca report Thilo Kehrer, Julian Draxler, Idrissa Gueye and Leandro Paredes are also on the chopping block.

    Herrera, Kehrer and Paredes all started in the Champions League final last summer while Draxler replaced the former but Gueye was an unused sub.

    Draxler has already been linked with a shock move to Leeds on a free transfer in the summer.

    It is thought PSG are hoping to raise in excess of £50million for the quintet.

  • Ian Tuckey

    STRIFE BEGINS AT 40

    Premier League bosses have revealed a record 40 positive Covid tests last week.

    Outbreaks of the virus at Manchester City, Fulham and Sheffield United contributed to the number of positives more than DOUBLING from the previous seven days.

    But another factor was the return of twice a week testing, meaning that more than 50 per cent extra samples were taken at the 20 Prem clubs.

    The latest figures, announced by the Premier League, confirmed that 28 new positive results were returned from 1,311 players and club staff tested between December 28 and New Year’s Eve.

    But the second round of weekly tests, comprising a further 984 samples, saw another 12 positive results returned.

    Last week saw three Prem games postponed because of virus outbreaks.

    It has now emerged that Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned Prem, EFL and FA bosses that further episodes of “Covidiocy” like the Christmas gather which included Spurs trip Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon plus West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini could make it difficult for the Government to continue to support games being staged.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BRUNO READY FOR CANTO SEASON

    Ex-United midfielder Paul Ince told Monday Night Football: “When I look at Cantona, we had already won the Cup Winners' Cup against Barcelona and the FA Cup so we weren't that far away, it was just the league that was eluding us at that time.

    “I had seen Eric play in the Charity Shield at Wembley when he scored a hat-trick [for Leeds against Liverpool] and thought that he looked a decent player, let's see what he looks like when he comes to Old Trafford. 

    “He walks in, 6ft 3in, a statue of a man, with a massive presence about him. He just sat there and belonged at Old Trafford.

    “He came in and knitted us all together. He was that missing piece in the jigsaw. The goals he created, he made everyone raise their game. I think that is what Fernandes has done.

    “Eric could do absolutely everything. It was just those moments where you had to win the game. Much-needed goals. You know, those moments when you start to worry, start to panic, and the game is not going your way and you don't know where the goal is coming from.

    “That is when he would pop up and score a vital goal. I think that is probably the same with Fernandes. He scores vital goals. He is the talisman. 

    “Sometimes you might not see him for 25 minutes but he has always got that technical ability to do something magic at the right time. Whether it is a penalty, a wonderful ball, a free-kick, he has always got that in his locker so you can never rule him out of any game.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ERIC AND FERNIE

    Paul Ince rates "true winner Bruno Fernandes as big a lynchpin for United as all-time great Eric Cantona.

    Fernandes has been sensational during his first 12 months at Old Trafford, becoming the first name on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s teamsheet while contributing to 31 goals.

    United can go clear at the top of the Premier League table if they win their next game against Burnley.

    And should the Red Devils go on to usurp Liverpool as champions, many will point to Fernandes’ impact at the Theatre of Dreams.

    Indeed, former Red Devil Ince reckons the Portuguese superstar is single-handedly dragging United to English football’s biggest prize this season.

    Ince says Fernandes’ winning mentality has also upped the games of players who had been nowhere their current levels before he joined from Sporting Lisbon in 2020.

    And Ince also feels Fernandes is good enough to be compared to French icon Cantona, who helped United win their first title in 26 years during his first season at the club in 1992/93.

  • Ian Tuckey

    KING OF THE WEST?

    West Brom are reportedly chasing a cut-price move for Bournemouth forward Josh King, who was previously linked to United.

    The Norwegian was in high-demand last summer, when West Ham and Torino both tested the Cherries' resolve.

    Bids of £13million and £7m respectively were knocked back, however, with Bournemouth not concerned over losing King on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the season, having only paid £1m for him back in 2015.

    But with the striker having failed to hit the ground running back in the Championship this term, the Cherries may be willing to let the 28-year-old go on the cheap this month.

    According to the Mail, West Brom are interested in signing King to bolster their survival bid.

    New boss Sam Allardyce is eager to add firepower to his front line, especially having lost Karlan Grant to injury.

    King has been goal-shy this season, failing to score in eight Championship outings.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BRAND NEW TOON

    Brandon Williams is edging closer to a loan move to Newcastle after Manchester United agreed the framework for his exit, reports say

    The Red Devils are thought to have told the left-back, 20, he can leave temporarily this month.

    Now the Magpies seem to be heading Southampton in the race for the England Under-20 star.

    And with unpopular owner Mike Ashley looking to sell Newcastle, loan moves are preferred in January, according to the Shields Gazette.

    The gate money and match-day revenue lost due to coronavirus restrictions has also been factored into the club's thinking.

    A list of potential targets, which includes Williams, is being compiled with his versatility and ability to play either side of the defence said to appeal.

    Newcastle have limited competition for Jamal Lewis at left-back while Javier Manquillo, DeAndre Yedlin and Emil Krafth have all been used on the opposite flank.

  • Ian Tuckey
  • Ian Tuckey

    MY 'BITTERSWEET' UTD EXIT

    Diogo Dalot has stated his loan switch to AC Milan was a 'bittersweet feeling' after his injury woes for Manchester United.

    The 21-year-old – who joined the Red Devils in 2018 for £19million from Porto – was limited to just 20 Premier League appearances for the club.

    Injuries to his meniscus, hip and groin saw him miss over 30 matches, and he then struggled for form on his return to the side.

    And he fell down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season following the arrival of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the emergence of academy graduate Brandon Williams.

    However the Portugal international has revealed he does not regret making the move to the Theatre of Dreams.

    Speaking to Record, he said: "Of course, the feeling is a little deeper, more because I didn't have the time I liked physically.

    "I spent great moments at United. I played very important games for me and the team.

    "I left with a bit of a bittersweet feeling for not being physically available for all those games I lost due to injury.

    "But it is what it is. I wouldn't change anything because what I learned was very important for my future and how I am now. 

    "I don't regret it or look back with disappointment."

  • Ian Tuckey

    FINALLY A FINAL HURRAH?

    Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United are ready to shake off their semi-final jinx.

    The Red Devils lost in three last season including a two-legged EFL Cup tie with Manchester City, a 3-1 FA Cup reverse to Chelsea and European heartbreak against Sevilla.

    They face their neighbours again at the same stage of the competition on Wednesday night but this time in a one-off game at Old Trafford.

    And Solskjaer said: “We’ve improved immensely in a year since that last semi and since we were in the Europa League semi in August.

    “We’ve earned the right to go all the way with our performances.

    “We are confident with our form, so no excuses.

    “We have prepared well, the squad is focused and ready to give it a go.”

  • Josh Graham

    NEW BRAND

    Newcastle have reportedly agreed a deal in principle for Manchester United defender Brandon Williams.

    The Red Devils are thought to have told the 20-year-old full-back he can leave on loan in January and the Magpies are keen to bring him in.

    However, Newcastle are not the only club interested in the England Under-21 international with Southampton also keeping tabs on the situation.

    The North East outfit have been heavily linked with Williams for months.

    And with unpopular owner Mike Ashley looking to sell the club, loan moves are preferred in January, according to the Shields Gazette.

  • Josh Graham

    COVID CHAOS

    Prem bosses have revealed a record 40 positive Covid tests last week.

    Outbreaks of the virus at Manchester City, Fulham and Sheffield United contributed to the number of positives more than DOUBLING from the previous seven days.

    But another factor was the return of twice a week testing, meaning that more than 50 per cent extra samples were taken at the 20 Prem clubs.

    The latest figures, announced by the Premier League, confirmed that 28 new positive results were returned from 1,311 players and club staff tested between December 28 and New Year’s Eve.

    But the second round of weekly tests, comprising a further 984 samples, saw another 12 positive results returned.

    Last week saw three Prem games postponed because of virus outbreaks.

  • Josh Graham

    DEVIL IN DISGUISE

    Rio Ferdinand is desperate for Manchester United to splash the cash on Jack Grealish.

    The Red Devils wanted the Aston Villa superstar last summer but the financial constraints over the coronavirus pandemic ended their hopes of a move.

    Grealish, 25, then ended speculation over his immediate future by penning a five-year contract with his boyhood club and the England ace has stepped up his game this season bagging five goals and seven assists in 15 league games.

    Speaking on the FIVE Youtube channel, the former Red Devil defender said: "I don’t care if Pogba goes or not, Grealish is my man.

    "I’ve known this guy since he was in his early teens. He came to my restaurant in Manchester actually to watch a game and I got him some tickets.

    "Great kid, great family. Loves his football. What you don’t see is the hard work behind closed doors, the attention to detail, the way he trains and changed his regime.

    "Can you imagine if you had McTominay holding and Pogba alongside Grealish and Fernandes. Imagine that man! I’m licking my lips right now."

  • Josh Graham

    TEAM NEWS

    Manchester United will still be without Edinson Cavani for the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Wednesday.

    The Uruguayan is serving the second of a three-game suspension for his 'negrito' social media post.

    Victor Lindelof is set to recover from a back problem.

    Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "We're disappointed not having Edinson involved.

    "But he's probably the only one not [available] and, of course, Phil Jones has been out for a long time. They're the only two not available for selection, which is a good position to be in.

    "We're confident. We're going into the game in good form so there's no excuses. The squad is focused and we're ready to give it a go. We've prepared well for this game."

  • Josh Graham

    SIGN EM UP

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has revealed he wanted the club to sign Arsenal star Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in 2018.

    Retired defender Ferdinand admitted he wanted the Red Devils to swoop for the Gabon striker before he joined the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund for £56million.

    He said on Rio Ferdinand presents FIVE: "I love Aubameyang, I think he is an unbelievable player who I would love in my team.

    “I would have loved Manchester United to buy him before he went to Arsenal, I think he’s a top, top player and a ridiculous finisher.

    "What he did last season was unrivalled, but this season Arsenal need him firing, ASAP."

  • Josh Graham

    THEATRE OF DREAMS

    Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are turning into a force to be reckoned with but played down their title hopes.

    He said in The Gary Neville podcast: "It was a big, big win for United.

    "I'm so looking forward to that [Liverpool game]. Not because I'm here thinking United can go to Anfield and win, but because United have become competitive out of nowhere.

    "I remember sitting at Old Trafford after that Manchester derby [goalless draw], sat with Roy Keane and Micah Richards, saying that Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham were far ahead of the two Manchester clubs at this moment in time.

    "If you'd have said at the start of the season, or even five weeks ago, that United would be level with Liverpool, I'd have said no chance, that can't happen.

    "The performances are getting better, it's a work in progress, it's not by any stretch the finished article. At times in games they mesmerise you for ten minutes, and then can turn into a nightmare for ten minutes.

    "But there's confidence building, something is growing, there's a spirit – at the end of the game with the players celebrating was nice to see."

  • Josh Graham

    RESTLESS SOL

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester City's demolition of Chelsea came thanks to the rest they got after Covid KO'd their game at Everton.

    Solskjaer said: "“With City against Chelsea, you could see the freshness and sharpness and intensity they had.

    "It was a quality, game physically, one of the most intense games in the league this season.

    “And it’s no surprise there because they had a few extra days to prepare.”

    The two meet in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday after previously playing out a boring 0-0 stalemate in December in the league.

    The Norwegian boss added: "They were not as possession based against Chelsea, more counter attacking, we've got to be aware of that."

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing for Manchester City in the Carabao CupCredit: EPA
  • Josh Graham

    OLE'S GOAL

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his desire to bag a trophy as Red Devils boss ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Wednesday.

    He said: “Of course, you play football to win trophies, to get your hands on a trophy.

    “For this team it would be a very, very big step, getting our hands on a trophy,

    “When you get to a semi you've done a lot of good work to get there and you play better and better opposition.

    “But it's about fine margins in those semi-finals as well.”

  • Josh Graham

    SEMI-NAL MOMENT

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his Manchester United team are ready to shake off their semi-final jinx.

    The Red Devils lost in three last season including a two-legged EFL Cup tie with Manchester City, a 3-1 FA Cup reverse to Chelsea and European heartbreak against Sevilla.

    They face their neighbours again at the same stage of the competition on Wednesday night but this time in a one-off game at Old Trafford.

    And Solskjaer said: “We've improved immensely in a year since that last semi and since we were in the Europa League semi in August.

    “We've earned the right to go all the way with our performances.

    “We are confident with our form, so no excuses.

    “We have prepared well, the squad is focused and ready to give it a go.”

  • Josh Graham

    RIO SEAL OF APPROVAL

    Rio Ferdinand said his old team-mate Darren Fletcher will bring one of the 'sharpest young brains' in football to Manchester United.

    Fletcher has returned to Old Trafford as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-team coaching staff.

    On Rio Ferdinand presents FIVE, the former defender said: "If he goes in directly with the first team, I think he's a straight talker.

    "He's somebody who will tell people how it is, and I think he's a man of details as well, he'll be going in there identifying certain individuals.

    "I speak to him a lot because we've got a group chat of about 20 of us.

    "We chat all the time – he's always insightful. He likes a bit of banter. He's not Mr Serious, he's a good personality.

    "He likes to have a laugh, laughs at himself – he has to the way he looks. But when it's time to get serious about football, there wouldn't be many sharper young brains in the game."

  • Josh Graham

    HIGH FIVE

    Carabao Cup semi-final teams will be allowed five substitutions – but not a sixth if the game goes to extra-time.

    EFL bosses confirmed the change in regulations when the last four begins as Tottenham take on Brentford on Tuesday night.

    Manchester United face neighbours City in the other semi on Wednesday.

    Teams will now be able to make five subs across a maximum of THREE opportunities.

    Ties will now go to extra-time – rather than straight to penalties as it had been during the earlier stages – where applicable.

    But teams will not be granted an additional, sixth sub for the extra half an hour.

Source: Read Full Article