9.15pm Man Utd news LIVE: Sancho transfer boost as Pogba to Real Madrid back on, Ighalo agreement ‘very close’ – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED are pressing on with training as the fans move a step closer to seeing an iconic midfield partnership of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

But the French World Cup winner may not be at Old Trafford much longer with Real Madrid back in the hunt for his signature.

Get all the Red Devils news, updates and gossip here…

  • CURL OF THE BURL

    Ex-Southampton manager George Burley has revealed they'd once knocked back a £3million Manchester United bid for Gareth Bale… as they'd just received £12m from Arsenal for Theo Walcott.

    Burley told The Athletic: “He was like a winger playing at full-back, Manchester United were interested in him. I remember going to a hotel and speaking to Sir Alex and his chief executive.

    “We'd already sold Theo Walcott for £12million [to Arsenal] and they offered three or four million so we said 'no way'.

    “I think they were a little bit worried about his defensive side of the game, which we were working at, but he could handle that.”

  • FERR ENOUGH

    The Standard claims Man Utd are preparing a move for Valencia star Ferran Torres.

    The ace can play on either wing and could be an alternative to Jadon Sancho.

    The Borussia Dortmund star could cost £100m and Torres would be a cheaper alternative.

  • SOL DESIGN

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he would love to extend Odion Ighalo's Man Utd loan.

    He told MUTV: “The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back.

    “We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.

    “It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us.

    “At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.”

  • MAKING HIS MARC

    Marcus Rashford has given Manchester United a huge boost by confirming his injured back feels “good” ahead of the season restarting.

    Rashford posted three photos of himself training in his back garden.

    He wrote alongside the pictures: “Feels great to have the ball at my feet again. Weather isn't too bad either. Hope you've all had a great day!”

    One fan responded to the message by asking: “How's the back Marcus?”

    And the Old Trafford hero replied: “I'm feeling good mate, thank you!”

  • RODDY HELL

    Former Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega claims he often saw Man Utd legend Wayne Rooney “drinking like a madman”.

    Speaking to friend and fellow Colombian footballer Johan Arango, Rodallega said: “If people knew how many times I bumped into Rooney in Manchester drinking like a madman or the number of times I saw Gerrard on a bar dancing shirtless…

    “They are human beings, there is nothing wrong with it.

    “I can count with one hand the number of footballers who don't drink. All of them, all of us, go out and drink.

    “I have always said it. I enjoy drinking and dancing. I love salsa dancing.

    “There is nothing wrong with it. I know we are footballers, but we are human beings too.”

  • FLOP SWAP

    Man Utd are considering offering Alexis Sanchez to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to sign Chelsea target Jadon Sancho, according to Mundo Deportivo.

    United will try and dump forgotten man Alexis Sanchez on Borussia Dortmund, to try and reduce their asking price for Sancho.

    Sanchez is currently on loan at Italian side Inter Milan but has failed to make an impact.

    United are desperate to land Sancho and are fully aware rivals Chelsea would also like to bring him to the Premier League.

  • BELE RUMBLE

    Barcelona have reportedly put Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea target Ousmane Dembele on the transfer list.

    Mundo Deportivo claims he is apparently available for just £44.5million – just three years after a £135m switch from Borussia Dortmund.

    Dembele has managed just 74 appearances in that time after suffering TEN injuries.

    The winger, 23, last played for Barcelona in late November before suffering a serious hamstring blow.

    And the LaLiga giants are now ready to cut their losses as they put their faith in Ansu Fati and Francisco Trincao instead.

  • NO HEN DEPARTY

    Man Utd are set to let Dean Henderson stay at Sheffield United for the rest of season – despite his loan deal expiring in June.

    The England hopeful, 23, is currently on loan at Bramall Lane with United chiefs facing a moral dilemma over whether to recall him.

    United and the Blades are both vying for the final Champions League qualification spot, worth £60million.

    But Old Trafford chiefs are set to be kind and allow him to finish off the 2019-20 season at Sheffield United.

    The current campaign has been on pause since March after the coronavirus pandemic forced all sport into lockdown.

    Premier League chiefs are now hoping to restart next month, with Friday June 12 the initial proposed date, although some reports claim it could be pushed back to June 26.

  • STRIKING GOLD

    Man Utd are considering moves for Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele, according to reports.

    The Red Devils took Odion Ighalo as a quick-fix loanee for the second half of the season when Marcus Rashford fractured his back.

    But the Nigerian's deal at Old Trafford expires on May 31 and with Shanghai Shenhua unwilling to permit an extension, he is set to return to the Chinese Super League team in time for their season starting.

    And while Ighalo certainly filled a hole during his brief stint at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in eight appearances, he was never deemed a long-term solution up front.

    That is why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking at buying a younger, explosive striker in the summer.

    According to Goal, two of those on his wish list are Werner and Dembele.

    At 24 and 23 respectively, they have enough experience to come straight into the starting XI but should have their best years ahead of them.

  • THIERR UP

    United reportedly rejected the chance to sign Thierry Henry before he joined Arsenal as Sir Alex Ferguson claimed “he's always f***ing injured”.

    According to Old Trafford's former head of security Ned Kelly the Red Devils were the Frenchman's “first choice” ahead of the Gunners.

    Kelly told beIN Sports: “In the tunnel after the game my phone goes, Eric's [Cantona] older brother Jean-Marie says, 'Ned, tell Alex [Ferguson] that Thierry Henry wants to come to the club',

    “Now this was before he went to Arsenal, his first choice was Manchester United. So I go to the boss and say, 'boss, I've just had Jean-Marie Cantona on the phone, he had said Henry wants to come to the club'.

    “He [Ferguson] says, 'no way, he's always f****** injured'. He went to Arsenal, the rest is history.”

  • JUVE GOT TO STAY

    Juventus are reportedly not prepared to sell Aaron Ramsey this summer despite interest from Manchester United.

    The 29-year-old has impressed since joining the Italian giants on a free transfer from Arsenal in the summer of 2019.

    He has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford as part of a swap deal with Paul Pogba.

    But Tuttosport have revealed that Juventus are not planning to sell the Welsh midfielder anytime soon.

    He is described as “untouchable” as the Turin club plan to give him a leading role within the team.

    It is reported that Juventus are also set on keeping hold of Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi.

  • STRIP TEASE

    Man Utd fans breathed a sigh of relief as leaked images appeared to show their home kit for next season.

    Supporters were left fearing the worst after it was rumoured that the design of 2020/21 strip resembled a “bus seat”.

    But pictures posted by FootyHeadlines appear to show the club have opted for a much simpler design.

    The latest images show a predominately red jersey with three white Adidas stripes running along each shoulder.

  • WE HAVE CONTACT

    The Premier League has taken another step closer to a return to action with new Covid-19 test results expected today

    Top-flight stars will now be able to train in larger groups and even tackle each other ahead of next month's proposed return.

    But the Premier League insisted testing will continue and the health of players and staff is still of paramount importance – with the latest test results due today.

    A statement read: “Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training.

    “[This marks] another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.

    “Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.”

  • SPECIAL BRU

    Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes have FINALLY trained together.

    The two midfielders joined forces at Carrington this week as the club continued to train in small groups.

    Fernandes has been a huge hit for the Red Devils since he made the £48million move from Sporting Lisbon.

    The Portuguese playmaker racked up three goals and four assists before the Premier League was suspended.

    But fans have not had the chance to see him pair up with Pogba in the middle due to the Frenchman's injuries.

    However, the latest training snaps from Carrington have given the supporters something to get excited about.

  • PHIL IN

    Mikel Arteta has reportedly “already confirmed” a transfer plan to sign Philippe Coutinho and is confident he can get the best out of the Brazilian.

    Coutinho, 27, is currently on loan at Bayern Munich but is the subject of plenty of transfer interest from the Premier League.

    Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester have all been linked with moves for the playmaker, who left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2018.

    But according to ABC in Spain, Gunners boss Arteta has laid out a plan to make Coutinho an integral player in his side next season.

    Barcelona are looking to sell their flop and recoup some of the £145million they paid for him as they desperately raise funds for the likes of Lautaro Martinez.

    Only Lionel Messi, Frenkie de Jong and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stergen are off limits as Nou Camp bosses desperately try to patch up the leaks in their accounts.

  • STAY ON TRACK

    Man Utd and Arsenal are now able to track and trace players during training sessions to avoid coronavirus potentially sweeping through their squads.

    Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs are also among the 11 top-flight sides using the technology which shows how many players come into contact with a certain team-mate during a session – and for how long.

    The 20 clubs tested their players and staff for a third time yesterday with just eight positive results for the virus from the opening two rounds.

    While players will continually be tested during the weeks, a player could catch the virus and spread it around the team – once full contact training resumes – before the next test days later.

    Football performance analysis company STATSports also helped the Premier League in their blueprint for Project Restart and the phased training.

  • PAUL TO PAY FOR

    Man Utd will settle for recouping the £89million they spent on Paul Pogba if they agree to sell him, according to reports.

    But a dream return to Juventus could be off the cards due to the midfielder's £15m-a-year wage demands.

    Pogba, 27, has just one year left on his current deal at Old Trafford and continues to be linked with a transfer away.

    United demanded as much as £150m for him last year but after a turbulent season with ankle injuries – limiting the Frenchman to just eight appearances – as well as coronavirus, they are likely to drop their asking price.

    And Corriere dello Sport believe an offer of £89m would be enough for the club to sell.

    That is the exact figure Manchester United paid Juventus to re-sign Pogba back in 2016 after four successful years in Italy.

  • GOING ON TORR

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly putting together a bid for Valencia forward Ferran Torres.

    The Standard report that Unitedwant to “make a firm offer right now” to lead the race for Torres should they miss out on Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

    Torres is under contract with the La Liga club until June 2021 and has a release clause of £92m written into his current package – but Los Che may be forced to accept a much lesser price this summer if they cash in this summer.

  • SAN-TASTIC FIGURES

    Jadon Sancho's amazing stats prove he is “ready to play for Liverpool and Manchester United”.

    That's the verdict of ex-Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham midfielder Steffen Freund as Premier League giants queue up for £100million-rated England attacker Sancho.

    With Chelsea too reportedly keen on Sancho, Freund told talkSPORT: “Jadon is ready to play for Liverpool or Man United, no question, because his stats are unbelievable.”

    “That shows he can take the next step.

    “In the Borussia Dortmund side with [Erling] Haaland, [Julian] Brandt improving, with Emre Can signing, with changing to a back-three that suits Sancho.”

  • FIGHTING FIT

    Man Utdplayers have returned to training fit and healthy, delighting medical staff.

    SunSport understands that not a single player has reported back overweight despite the coronavirus delay to the season.

    Two or three stars, including keeper David De Gea, have returned to social distancing sessions LIGHTER because of doing less weight training.

    Conditioning staff are said to be “chuffed to bits” that the players have been looking after themselves in lockdown.

    United are concentrating more on cardio exercises this week and “are hoping the restrictions will be lifted quicker” so they can introduce some of the gym equipment.

    This could mean machines and weight-trainers are moved outdoors to fit with any restrictions.

  • OD TO JOY

    Odion Ighalois “very close” to reaching an agreement to stay at Manchester United, his agent has confirmed.

    The former Watford striker is set to return to Shanghai Shenhua when his six-month loan deal expires on Sunday.

    However, United are hoping to prolong the 30-year-old's stay at Old Trafford with the Premier League season now due to finish in July.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that the Red Devils remain in talks but Ighalo’s agent has revealed that an agreement is close.

    Ladi Salami told FootMercato: “On the one hand, the Super Eagle [Nigerian] feels very good in Manchester with which it is very close to a salary agreement.

    “Negotiations with the Chinese are ongoing and are going well.

    “On the other hand, in view of the latest regulations in force in the Middle Empire, it is almost impossible to offer such amounts.”

  • TED TALKS

    Teddy Sheringham pulled no punches as he launched a scathing attack on Paul Pogba, slamming the midfielder for being “cocky and arrogant”.

    He said: When you look at Pogba, yes, he may be a talented boy, but does he have the same mentality?

    “Does he really dig deep and get Manchester United out of the mire when the going gets tough? For me the answer is no. He gives off the wrong vibe as a Manchester United player.

    “Yes, it's good to be cocky and arrogant at the right times, Dwight Yorke had that as well, a big smile on his face when he played.

    “But Yorke had a desire to do the right things at the right times. You've got to have that, and I don't think Paul Pogba gives you that.

    “He would be one that would need to go so that you can get someone else in with the right mentality and desire to drive Manchester United out of the position they are in and move the club forward.”

  • JADON SANCHO LATEST

    Borussia Dortmund may struggle to hold on to Jadon Sancho after their Bundesliga hopes were all but ended by Bayern Munich.

    Joshua Kimmich's first-half strike was enough to separate the two sides at an empty Westfalenstadion, which left Dortmund trailing Bayern by seven points with six games to go.

    Sancho started on the bench as he continues to make a recovery from a calf injury and struggled to have an impact when he came on.

    Manchester United and Chelsea are among the clubs interested in signing the 20-year-old.

    And according to the Evening Standard, Sancho – now in his third season at Dortmund – may be ready to return to the Premier League and seek a new challenge.

  • OD ONE OUT

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he wants to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan deal with the striker set to leave at the end of the week.

    Solskjaer told MUTV: “The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back.

    “We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.

    “It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us.

    “At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.”

  • GOOD MORNING, MAN UTD FANS

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford will both be available when the Premier League returns.

    Pogba has featured just EIGHT times this season after undergoing surgery on a foot injury – and been strongly linked with a move away.

    Rashford hasn’t featured since January after suffering a double fracture in his back.

    SunSport told you all United players are in the good books having returned to their Carrington training base without putting on weight during the lockdown.

    Meanwhile, Utd fans tuning in to check out Jadon Sancho in Dortmund's clash against Bayern Munich were left somewhat disappointed with his performance – and questioning whether he had piled on the pounds.

    Finally, Odion Ighalo's agent says his man is “very close” to reaching an agreement with Man Utd.

    The Nigerian's loan spell in the Premier League from parent club Shanghai Shenhua comes to an end this week, but Ladi Salami said: “We are very close to a salary agreement.”

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