Man Utd news LIVE: Neves ‘REJECTED’ United, Van de Beek’s former agent SLAMS Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo urged… – The US Sun

  • September 30, 2022

WOLVES talisman Ruben Neves rejected an approach from Manchester United in the summer according to reports.
Catalan outlet Sport claim that Neves preferred a move to Barcelona instead but their financial struggles saw the deal collapse.
Meanwhile, Donny van de Beek's former agent Guido Albers has hit out at Paul Pogba for denying his ex-client chances at Old Trafford.
Albers mentioned that all Pogba had to say was 'sorry' for turning up to training late and he 'was allowed to play again'.
And Cristiano Ronaldo has been urged to retire by former Real Madrid striker Antonio Cassano.
United face rivals Manchester City in a cross-town derby on Sunday.
Get all the latest news, updates and transfer gossip here…
Stones out of derby
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed John Stones will miss Sunday's Etihad derby.
The City defender hobbled off during England's thrilling 3-3 draw with Germany holding his hamstring.
Stones, 28, looked gutted as he trudged off, sparking fears the injury could prevent him from playing at the World Cup.
But Guardiola has eased those concerns today, with Stones not expected to be ruled out of the tournament.
Although in a blow to City, the defender will definitely miss this weekend's game against Manchester United.
Guardiola said today: "I think he will not be injured for five to six weeks but it will be less. Normally hamstring can be four to six weeks.
"I don't know when he will be back but maybe 10 days to two weeks hopefully."
Aymeric Laporte and Kalvin Phillips also remain sidelined for the champions.
Rashford and Martial back in training
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are back in training for Manchester United ahead of Sunday's derby trip to City.
Old Trafford boss Erik ten Hag confirmed the two frontmen are fighting fit.
Ten Hag said Martial has been taking part all week but it's unclear when Rashford returned.
Frenkie move could be revived
Manchester United are refusing to admit defeat in their drawn-out pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
The Red Devils pursued the Dutchman throughout the summer months without success, eventually discovering he preferred to stay with Barca.
However, sources close to the club have told ESPN that Erik ten Hag has not been off by that saga, and are likely to make another approach in the future – perhaps even as soon as next summer.
There is the understanding that De Jong will eventually leave the Nou Camp, and a reunion with Ten Hag – his former boss at Ajax – remains on the cards, particularly if United seal a return to the Champions League.
Uefa INCREASE Champions League congestion
Jurgen Klopp, look away now, because Uefa's proposed new Champions League schedule includes group stage games until the end of JANUARY, writes GIACOMA PISA.
Europe's governing body want to expand the Champions League and Europa League in 2024, but keep the Europa Conference League the same.
Fuming Liverpool boss Klopp said last month that the action-packed schedule was "not right".
And if things weren't already hectic enough, Uefa's wacky new plans would see Champions League and Europa League teams play an extra two games, according to ESPN.
The two competitions are also set to expand from 32 teams to 36.
So instead of European football entering its knockout phase after Christmas, two more rounds of Champions League and Europa League games will be played right up until the very end of January.
But eight rounds of games spread out over 10 weeks are set to cause chaos to the domestic schedule. The first round of proposed Europa League games clash with the third round of the Carabao Cup.
Further European matchdays in December and January then clash with the Carabao Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
It gets worse, as the final round of European games are proposed for the same time as a full Premier League midweek schedule at the end of January 2025.
Pep: United's quality is clear
Pep Guardiola reckons his first managerial meeting with Erik ten Hag will be a major test of Manchester City's hopes this season.
United's four wins in a row has lifted them to fifth, five points behind champs City but with a game in hand.
And Guardiola said: "Always I expect the best. The quality they have has been clear, they got very good results against top sides – Southampton, Arsenal at home, Liverpool at home. The momentum is there.
"I don't have to say anything before big games, there are plans to attack and defend and that’s all, always I believe it’s a big opportunity to express our skills, in front of thousands, millions of people.
"The best way is to be yourself and try to show as much as possible.
"Don’t be scared, be up front and try to play good, if you do the consequences will be victory. I prefer to be active rather than reactive. My teams have always been like this."
Guardiola backs Martinez… against Haaland!
Pep Guardiola has scoffed at critics writing off Manchester United's "fantastic" new centre-back Lisandro Martinez for only being 5ft 9ins tall – and tipped him to give Erling Haaland a hard time in Sunday's derby.
Martinez has won round SOME pundits and is a cult figure with many fans after United's run of four straight wins.
And Guardiola said: "I like when people underestimate players for size.
"He can tell them, ‘I’m here and a good player’. He’s a fantastic player, aggressive, good build-up. United paid this money, Erik [ten Hag] knows him.
"It’s not the first time he’s played against taller strikers, he handles it. Important is to be intelligent, brave. The crosses, Erling [Haaland] is taller, we see what happens."
Cody Red alet
Manchester United will renew their interest in PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo when the transfer window reopens in January.
The Red Devils had several discussions with both the Dutch player and club during the summer, but failed to ever make an official bid.
Instead, United opted for Antony in the closing days of the window but Erik ten Hag still hopes that Gakpo will arrive to help the Brazilian form his new-look attack.
However, the Old Trafford outfit are said to have competition from other Premier League clubs.
Everton and Southampton were both keen on the 23-year-old last month.
Ron told to consider quitting
Football legend Cristiano Ronaldo has been told to retire by a former maverick of the game.
Antonio Cassano was a headline-maker on and off the pitch during his career, and the Italian star still knows how to make news.
In a recent interview with Cabine Desportiva, Cassano urged the Manchester United ace to quit before he sours his legacy.
Despite turning 37 in February, Ronaldo struck 18 times for the Red Devils last season.
However, this campaign has been difficult for the Portuguese striker, who tried to force a move away and has had to settle for bit-part performances since.
Cassano said: “At this point, Cristiano should do himself a favour and understand that if you don’t reach a certain level, you should close the shop.
“He won everything, he was a phenomenon, but stop.
“You have to stop or you’ll only run into the bench.”
Hectic October about to begin
After just one game in the last three weeks, Manchester United are about to embark on an extraordinary schedule ahead of the World Cup.
The Red Devils are due to play 13 games before their international stars link up with their country on November 14.
And nine of those fixtures will take place in a 28-day period during October.
Here are the first five of those:
United handed double derby boost
Harry Maguire may be out, but Erik ten Hag has revealed that both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are in contention for Sunday's clash at Manchester City.
The forwards were not expected to be involved this weekend when neither featured in the club's official photographs of training.
However, the United boss has confirmed that the pair have returned to the group after their respective injuries, and are fit to take part.
"Anthony Martial has been training with the group all week so I am really happy with that situation," Ten Hag told reporters.
"He has been performing really well in training and has made a good impression.
"And Marcus Rashford has returned to training so we are happy with that."
Maguire ruled out of derby
Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Harry Maguire will play no part in this Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
The centre-back returned from international duty with a muscle injury, and has not recovered in time to feature.
However, the United boss backed the defender to bounce back, not just from injury but also the widespread criticism he has received this year.
"I have to coach him and I have to back him," Ten Hag said.
"I back him because I believe in him. I can see his qualities. Quality is there. Almost 50 caps for England, he has high potential. Then it is about him. We all believe in him."
Rashford finally spotted at Carrington
Eagle-eyed Manchester United fans have been on the lookout for Marcus Rashford all week – and now they have finally found their man.
The Premier League's Player of the Month for September was photographed driving into United's training complex this morning.
Supporters had feared the worst this week when it became clear that Rashford and fellow forward Anthony Martial hadn't taken part in practice.
It immediately led them to assume that the pair would be ruled out of Sunday's Manchester derby.
However, the emergence of Rashford this morning has offered Red Devils new hope.
United boss Erik ten Hag is due to speak to the media shortly, and is sure to shed more light on the situation.
De Jong deal not dead
Manchester United are refusing to admit defeat in their drawn-out pursuit of Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong.
The Red Devils pursued the Dutchman throughout the summer months without success, eventually discovering he preferred to stay with Barca.
However, sources close to the club have told ESPN that Erik ten Hag has not been off by that saga, and are likely to make another approach in the future – perhaps even as soon as next summer.
There is the understanding that De Jong will eventually leave the Nou Camp, and a reunion with Ten Hag – his former boss at Ajax – remains on the cards, particularly if United seal a return to the Champions League.
Erik makes it double celebration
After Marcus Rashford's award earlier today, Erik ten Hag has given Manchester United fans another reason to celebrate by winning September's Manager of the Month award.
The United boss led his side to victories in the two games that took place during the month, 1-0 at bottom-of-the-table Leicester before the impressive 3-1 home success over the previously unbeaten Arsenal.
In the grander scheme of things, the Red Devils have won four in a row in the Premier League – having lost their opening two matches to the season.
It is only the second time since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club that a Manchester United manager has won the award.
And the Dutchman will be desperate to keep the winning run going on Sunday with his side set to take on rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Rashford wins Player of the Month
Marcus Rashford has been named the Premier League's Player of the Month for September.
During a schedule shortened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the 24-year-old registered two goals, two assists and two wins in his two games.
The forward scored twice in the 3-1 win against league leaders Arsenal also set up Antony's opener.
"It’s a good feeling,” Rashford told his club's official website.
"My favourite moment of September was an assist actually! Antony's first goal on his debut.
"It was a massive moment and it gives us strength and courage, and seeing him come into the team and score right away is massively important."
Quarter given in Hammers clash
Manchester United's home match with West Ham next month will now kick-off 15 minutes earlier than originally planned.
The game at Old Trafford will begin at 4.15pm on Sunday, October 29, and will be screened live by Sky Sports.
The change takes place following the rescheduling of Liverpool's fixture with Leeds that was originally selected for television coverage on that Sunday.
The Hammers clash will bring United's action-packed month to an end; Erik ten Hag's men are due to play nine times in 28 days.
Bellingham 'central' to United plans
Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham is 'central to Manchester United's transfer plans', according to ESPN.
Old Trafford correspondent Rob Dawson writes that the Red Devils are readying themselves for a transfer battle to land the England wonderkid.
United accept that there will be extreme competition from Europe's biggest clubs for the talented teenager.
However, they have indicated that they will refrain from doing much business in January in order to strengthen their position for Bellingham come the summer.
Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool are also in the hunt for the 19-year-old midfielder.
Cristiano Ronaldo urged to retire
Football legend Cristiano Ronaldo has been told to retire by a former maverick of the game.
Antonio Cassano was a headline-maker on and off the pitch during his career, and the Italian star still knows how to make news.
In a recent interview with Cabine Desportiva, Cassano urged the Manchester United ace to quit before he sours his legacy.
Despite turning 37 in February, Ronaldo struck 18 times for the Red Devils last season.
However, this campaign has been difficult for the Portuguese striker, who tried to force a move away and has had to settle for bit-part performances since.
Cassano said: "At this point, Cristiano should do himself a favour and understand that if you don't reach a certain level, you should close the shop.
"He won everything, he was a phenomenon, but stop.
"You have to stop or you'll only run into the bench."
United to revive Gakpo interest
Manchester United will renew their interest in PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo when the transfer window reopens in January.
The Red Devils had several discussions with both the Dutch player and club during the summer, but failed to ever make an official bid.
Instead, United opted for Antony in the closing days of the window but Erik ten Hag still hopes that Gakpo will arrive to help the Brazilian form his new-look attack.
However, the Old Trafford outfit are said to have competition from other Premier League clubs.
Everton and Southampton were both keen on the 23-year-old last month.
Morning, United fans
Centre-backs Paul Torres and Jurrien Timber top the transfer talk.
United and Inter Milan are tipped to duel for  Villarreal's Spain star Torres next summer.
And Roma as well as Bayern Munich are regarded as major rivals in the hunt for Ajax's Holland ace Timber.
It all sounds worrying for out-of-favour Harry Maguire, who wants more game-time for the Red Devils to boost his World Cup hopes with England.
Old Trafford chief Erik ten Hag is also thought to still want a central midfielder.
But Barcelona are being strongly linked with United and Arsenal target Ruben Neves.
Wolves seem increasingly unlikely to keep their Portugal star beyond the end of the season.
Meanwhile, it's been revealed ahead of Sunday's Etihad derby that United did not even make Erling Haaland's seven-team list of possible new clubs before he chose City.
Finally, Old Trafford legend Paul Scholes fears keeper David de Gea and centre-back Raphael Varane aren't equipped to play Ten Hag's possession football.
But Scholes added: “Play to your strengths, which for United is the attacking players, and you have to admire the new manager for playing that way [more direct].”
Red Devils could Pick Jordan up
Everton wouldn’t stop Jordan Pickford joining Manchester United for the right fee.
That’s the claim of ex-Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell – as he believes Toffees’ boss Frank Lampard would be able to find a worthy replacement.
Sky Sports pundit Campbell told Goodison News: “I think Pickford’s had his detractors, and he’s had his moments at Everton, difficult times. 
“But one thing’s for sure. He is England’s number one. He’s the man with the shirt, he’s never let England down, and he’s been producing solid performances week in, week out for Everton.
“It seems as though, touch wood, a lot of the silly mistakes, he’s erasing those things out of his game. 
“He’s an experienced goalkeeper now, so cutting out the stupidity and stuff like that it’s made him a better all-round keeper, and you can see that he is.
“He’s got a little injury at the moment, so I’m hoping he’ll be back, but he’s been excellent.
“And it wouldn’t surprise me if Man United want him. It would not surprise me because he’s very good. He’s very good with his feet. Passing-wise his range is ridiculous, and he’s a damn-good goalkeeper, he’s England’s number one. 
“If the player wanted to go to Manchester United then I’m sure Frank Lampard [could find a replacement]. There’s loads of good goalkeepers out there. There are a lot. So I don’t think Everton would stand in his way, especially if the money’s right.”
Ruben hunt hots up
Barcelona want Manchester United and Arsenal target Ruben Neves as a replacement for Sergio Busquets, according to reports.
The 34-year-old Barca ace is set to leave Catalonia for Inter Miami next summer after 15 years in his boyhood club’s first-team.
And according to Catalan paper Sport, Wolves star Neves has emerged as a key target for Xavi and Co.
United and the Gunners were both strongly linked with the Portuguese international over the summer although neither got close to agreeing a deal – and now they are set to be gazumped by Barcelona.
Despite keeping Frenkie de Jong and recruiting Franck Kessie last summer, the LaLiga giants still feel the need for more options alongside the likes of Pedri in midfield.
With Neves’ contract at Molineux only running until 2024, Barca feel that a deal should be simple enough to do – especially given their positive relationship with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
Red Devils could face three-way fight for Jurrien
Manchester United have been tipped to fight Roma and Bayern Munich for Ajax centre-back duel Jurrien Timber.
Italian outlet Calciomercato claim the Dutch champs want 30million euros (around £27m) for the 21-year-old.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evian Ndicka is rated a back-up option for Roma, with Juventus also keen on the Frenchman.
Player of month Eriksen feels 'connected'
Summer recruit Christian Eriksen claims he already feels powerfully "connected" with Manchester United fans after being named player of the month.
The former Tottenham playmaker has settled in instantly as United turned round two defeats with four straight Prem wins.
And told the club media team: "I think September has been nice. It’s been a good ride compared to, of course, the end of August, which was a bit tough result-wise.
"But I think, personally and club-wise, the results in September were good so September was a good month.
“I’m grateful and thankful for the people voting. I mean I wasn’t sure when I arrived about there being a Player of the Month every month."
✔️ August: @LisandrMartinez 🎖
🆕 September: @ChrisEriksen8 🎖

Well in, Christian 👏#MUFC
Utd didn't make Haaland's seven-team shortlist
Erling Haaland snubbed any move to Manchester United because they never featured on his own table of clubs to join, writes CLIFF HAYES.
Haaland completed his £51.4million move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City in the summer after Pep Guardiola’s Prem champs topped the list.
United’s previous boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had chased the Norwegian striker.
But in a new Scandinavian documentary, Haaland’s father Alfie reveals how they devised a points system to rank potential clubs to sign for.
Seven clubs were in the running but United were not one of them – despite being champions of England a record 20 times.
In Haaland – The Big Decision, Alfie says: “On our list, City is the best team.
Bayern Munich is No.2. We have Real Madrid as No.3, Paris Saint-Germain No.4.
"We also have some English teams other than City who are quite good. Liverpool and Chelsea. Also, there is Barcelona. They are sort of in the same row.”
SunSport revealed last December how Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola had told United: You’re not big enough for my star. Raiola claimed there were only four “big clubs” his player could join – and United were NOT on that list.
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