3pm Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Ben White scouted, Kieran Trippier LATEST, Pogba criticism, Hakan Calhanoglu update

MANCHESTER UNITED are back in action tonight as they face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Off the field, the Red Devils are reportedly interested in Ben White, Kieran Trippier and Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes.

Follow all the latest from Old Trafford with our blog below…

  • Marc Mayo

    RIGHT SAID FRED

    Fred wants Manchester United to maintain their ambition and close the gap on leaders Liverpool.

    A win tonight will put the Brazilian and his side five points off the top, with a game in hand.

    He told the club website: “The key to coming back and winning is our concentration in every game, going on to the pitch to do our best and be decisive and to believe.

    “Our team has done this in some games this season, we’ve had some great performances, so we must aim for this consistency, to continue having great games and to go very far with a run of great performances.

    “We’re very close to the top of the table and we’ve got some big games coming up in December.

    “If we can win all of them, we’ll be very close to the leaders at the top of the league or we could even take first place. So we’ll look to win every game and I’m certain our team will do everything to reach the top of the table and stay there.”

  • Marc Mayo

    DIMI LEW IN

    Dimitar Berbatov has stated Robert Lewandowski deserves to win the Best Fifa Men's Player award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    The trio are on the three-man shortlist for the trophy that will be presented to the winner on December 17.

    The Manchester United favourite told BetFair: “I’m surprised Ronaldo and Messi are among finalists for the Fifa Best award as I’m not sure they deserved to be there.

    "I think they should give it to Robert Lewandowski. I think he deserves it. I’m not that sure who else should be there. People will always argue and speculate about who should be there.

    "It is these three players and I think Lewandowski deserves to get the award. It would be unfair if he didn’t win it.”

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Marc Mayo

    LOU MUST BE JOKING

    Louis Saha has hit out at the criticism of Paul Pogba following Mino Raiola’s comments.

    After the player’s agent publicly pushed for his man’s exit from Old Trafford, ex-striker Saha was left baffled by the reaction.

    He told GentingBet: “I’m baffled with the situation with Paul Pogba. I really love Pogba, he’s someone I consider highly, but this communication is a joke.

    “I was shocked and I can’t believe something like this happened because this [RB Leipzig] game was so important for United.

    “I’m not speaking as a fan, I’m speaking about Manchester United in general, you think that it’s a big game, going into the last 16.

    “You need that focus, but the focus was on one player. This is unbelievable, the headlines were about Pogba because of the agent – it wasn’t even Pogba who said anything.”

  • Marc Mayo

    OL NO YOU DON'T

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit back at criticism of his tactical prowess.

    The Red Devils manager has seen his formations criticised with Old Trafford legends Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand particularly vocal.

    Responding to formation criticism, Solskjaer said: "What was the change in formation then, you tell me?

    "It was a 4-2-3-1 and coming into that pocket is probably Paul's favourite position. Paul did well and the team's shape was as it normally is.

    "Twice we played three at the back – we beat PSG and lost to Leipzig – we played a full game with a diamond and two half games with a diamond.
    "Four out of 22 games isn't bad for consistency of a normal shape.

    "That's what we work on more or less every day. Some details will change within the same system."

  • Marc Mayo

    SUBBED OFF

    Clubs have rejected allowing five substitutes for the THIRD time. But in a sop to the Big Six, teams will be allowed to have nine replacements to choose from.

    The latest five subs vote at the meeting of the 20 “shareholder” clubs was deadlocked at 10 votes to 10.

    That was well short of the 14-6 majority required under Prem regulations for a rule to be changed.

    The decision came despite lobbying from PFA boss Gordon Taylor and the urging from FA chief executive Mark Bullingham for a change of heart.

    And it also failed even though 15 of the 20 top flight bosses having signalled their support fo a change at a meeting last month.

    It leaves English football’s top flight as the only major league in Europe to stick with three substitutes.

    Credit: Reuters
  • Marc Mayo

    SHARPENED BLADES

    Scott McTominay has spoken of Sheffield United’s big need for fans to return to their stadium.

    Manchester United travel to an empty Bramall Lane tonight looking to lengthen the Blades’ winless start to the season.

    “It’s a team where people say they need their fans. Every team needs their fans, but Sheffield United’s support is amazing.

    “One of my friends is a Sheffield United fan and he speaks to me regularly about the passion and the love for the football club.

    “Obviously for them, the fans are a big miss and everything that goes on with the fans on a match day is a big miss. 

    “But Sheffield United are a very, very good team and they’ve had some really difficult results.”

  • Marc Mayo

    GAME DAY

    Where are you tuning in from later?

    Shout out to all the Red Devils down in Jakarta!

  • Marc Mayo

    CHRIST ALIVE

    Manchester United women’s star Christen Press revealed she has ‘never been so sick’ after she was struck down with a mystery illness which left her sidelined for a month.

    The World Cup winner hasn’t played for United since November 19 in their League Cup win over rivals Manchester City.

    She told the club's website: "Thanks for all the well wishes and love these last few weeks. I’d never been so sick in my life – no I did not have Covid.

    "Happy to report I’m feeling much better.

    "I’m back training with the team and I’m getting stronger every day. I’m looking forward to the next time I play."

  • Marc Mayo

    BREAKING

    Health secretary Matt Hancock has just announced the latest changes to England's coronavirus tiers.

    Manchester will REMAIN in Tier 3, meaning no fans at Old Trafford until the New Year at least.

    Only Bristol and North Somerset are moving out of the highest level of restrictions, with several parts of the south and south-east entering Tier 3.

  • Marc Mayo

    SMUDGE ON HIS RECORD

    Former Manchester United ace Alan Smith has dismissed the speculation over Paul Pogba’s future.

    The Frenchman’s agent, Mino Raiola, has touted a move from Old Trafford but Smith believes it is of little importance until the player himself speaks out.

    He told AmericanGambler: “It's an agent’s job to create speculation if they can get someone a move, so we can probably take the stuff that comes out of there with a pinch of salt.

    “Ultimately, whatever the agent says, the player is the one who will decide where he wants to go. 

    “Until Paul says he wants to leave, and United say that his future doesn't lie at Old Trafford, take it with a pinch of salt. 

    “They were speaking about giving him a new contract not so long ago, so maybe his agent is playing devil's advocate on that one as well!”

    Credit: Guardian News & Media / Free to use by all titles in perpetuity under NMC agreement
  • Marc Mayo

    I GOT SAUL

    Manchester United have reportedly revived their interest in Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez.

    The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder has been a long-term target for the Red Devils.

    Now Todo Fichajes claims they have made him their top target to replace Paul Pogba.

    And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are ready to pay up to £63million to bring him to Old Trafford.

    However, Niguez’s release clause fee is worth £135m, and they may end up having to pay closer to that figure to get his signature.

  • Marc Mayo

    SIMPLY THE BEST

    George Best’s family have spoken of their pride at the Manchester United legend’s Ballon d’Or tribute.

    The Northern Irishman, who passed away in 2005, was named in the third XI of France Football’s best-ever team, chosen by journalists.

    And Best’s family told Belfast Telegraph of their happiness that he: “Still holds a place in world football.”

    Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • Marc Mayo

    O’HA HA

    Are Manchester United title challengers? Jamie O’Hara reckons so.

    Tottenham’s defeat to Liverpool last night means the Red Devils can push up the table if they win their games in hand – starting with Sheffield United tonight.

    He told talkSPORT: "I'm telling you, if they win their games in hand over Tottenham they're second in the league, they'd be on 26 points.

    "So you can't get away from the fact that they're there or thereabouts.

    "You look at their form, it's win, win, win, draw – they're not getting beat.

    "So all this talk about Ole out, it needs to be put to bed because if they keep getting results, they're amongst it."

  • Marc Mayo

    MARCUS’ STORY

    Marcus Rashford’s mum, Melanie Maynard, has spoken of her sacrifices to ensure food was on the table for her kids.

    The Manchester United forward has spearheaded a stunningly successful campaign to feed kids during the pandemic.

    And Melanie spoke of the circumstances when he was younger, and told BBC: "I had three jobs and if I didn't do that we wouldn't have been able to cook a pot of food, it's just a bit difficult.

    "So Marcus is only telling the story from how he sees it and the words he has been saying come from the bottom of his heart.

    "Sometimes it was really bad, I'd rather give the food to the kids than give it to myself, sometimes I didn't get anything to eat.

    "Sometimes we didn't even have a loaf of bread in the house, it's embarrassing to say, but we didn't."

  • Marc Mayo

    UNITED RESPONSE

    Manchester United have released a statement in response to Edinson Cavani's 'misconduct' charge.

    It reads: “Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism and we will continue to work with the FA – along with other governing bodies and organisations, and through our own campaigns – in that regard.

    “We note the FA decision today to charge Edinson Cavani for his social media reply to a friend's message of congratulations, following the Southampton game.

    “Edinson and the club were clear that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind the message, which he deleted and apologised for, as soon as he was informed that it could have been misconstrued.

    “The player and the club will now consider the charge and respond to the FA accordingly.”

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Marc Mayo

    BREAKING

    Edinson Cavani has been charged with 'misconduct' for calling a friend 'negrito' in an Instagram post.

    An FA statement read: “Edinson Cavani has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on Thursday 29 November 2020.

    “It is alleged that, contrary to FA Rule E3.1, a comment posted on the Manchester United FC player’s Instagram page was insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.

    “It is further alleged that the comment constitutes an 'Aggravated Breach', which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.

    “The striker has until Monday 4 January 2021 to provide a response to the charge.”

  • Marc Mayo

    QUADRUPLE SWOOP

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly already identified FOUR positions he wants to strengthen to turn Manchester United into title contenders.

    MEN claim Solskjaer has informed chief Ed Woodward of four targets he wants before the end of next summer.

    The report says United are in the market for a winger, a centre-back, a right-back and a defensive midfielder.

    And that Solskjaer and Woodward will identify their exact targets for each position by the end of the year – and they could even be tempted to move for them should they become available next month.

  • Marc Mayo

    FERGIE TIME

    Kevin Phillips has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take Sir Alex Ferguson’s approach and kick Paul Pogba out of the club.

    The Scot famously dispensed with the Frenchman having done the same with Jaap Stam and David Beckham, when they were seen to be causing issues.

    And Phillips told Ladbrokes: “You look at the whole Paul Pogba situation. I think he needs to leave the football club. While Pogba is still there, Solskjaer is going to be asked the same old questions.

    "As players in that dressing room trying to train and kick on with all of the Pogba speculation going on around you, it's bound to have an effect.

    "It's Manchester United; you think back to how Sir Alex Ferguson dealt with players who thought they were too big for the club. Jaap Stam tried it, and it was a case of 'see ya, you're off'.

    "No messing about; the club is bigger than the player. David Beckham was sat in the stands with the supporters away at Leeds. If I'm a Man United player now, I wouldn't want Paul Pogba around.”

    Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • Marc Mayo

    DON'T DILLY DIALLO

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking forward to Amad Diallo arriving next month to cast his eye on the winger.

    The Atalanta teenager has not been a regular in Italy and may need time in the Under-23s to settle in England.

    Facundo Pellistri is now appearing for the reserve side after his October switch from Uruguay.

    Solskjaer said: "Hopefully we can get [Diallo] in and we’ll see how the squad looks and how he looks and how he settles as soon as possible.

    "They’re both talented players that we believe will have a long career here. It’s important we find the right time."

  • Marc Mayo

    WHEN AL IS SAID AND DONE

    Manchester United are reportedly entering the race for David Alaba.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is out to spruce up his defence with the 28-year-old’s contract expiring in June.

    Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all been linked with the Austrian.

    And Sport Bild, via the Express, reckon United are keeping an eye on things too.

  • Marc Mayo

    GARD AGAINST

    Manchester United may reportedly be forced into changing their January transfer plans due to both Jesse Lingard and Odion Ighalo potentially leaving the club.

    The Daily Star claim Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hoping to continue his search for a new centre-back and right-sided attacker.

    Yet the report adds that Solskjaer could now target cover elsewhere with at least two stars set to leave next month.

    Lingard is once again being tipped for the Old Trafford exit door having been linked with a move to Spurs in the summer.

    And Ighalo's stint back in the Premier League is set to end on January 31 ahead of his return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua in China.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Gary Stonehouse

    MORNING, UNITED FANS.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes United's five festive Prem games will decide if they are title challengers.

    United could go fifth if they win well at bottom side Sheffield United tonight, although striker Edinson Cavani is a fitness doubt.

    Boss Solskjaer said: “This period is going to be vital.

    “I’d be disappointed if the players didn’t think we can put a challenge up. At the moment, anything goes in the league.

    “I feel we’re getting better but we have to improve quite a bit to take that next step as well.”

    United have four wins and a draw from their last five Prem matches – but speculation about Paul Pogba's future is revving up again.

    Juventus are reportedly in talks with their former midfielder's agent Mino Raiola, who recently suggested Pogba’s time at Old Trafford could be running out.

    Meanwhile, United are said to be in touch with Dayot Upamecano’s agent.

    But the France centre-back, also linked with Bayern Munich and Arsenal, is still tipped to stay with RB Leipzig until at least next summer.

    Solskjaer has confirmed he might loan out Brandon Williams next month but said of the full-back's recent form in training: "I think he's now coming back to more like himself."

    United target Hakan Calhanoglu is closing in on a new AC Milan contract. 

    The Turkey midfielder’s agent held a meeting with the Serie A leaders yesterday.

  • Ian Tuckey

    OLE: NEXT 5 PREM GAMES ARE KEY

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he will know if Manchester United are title contenders by New Year’s Day.

    The Red Devils start a hectic run of six matches in 15 days when they travel to face bottom club Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

    Five are in the league, with the last one against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on January 1.

    With their game in hand, United are closer to the leaders than many people think and Solskjaer reckons the Christmas fixtures could shape their season.

    The Norwegian said: “This is a big run of games for us. After the Villa game on New Year’s Day, we have a little bit of a break in the league.

    “So this period is going to be vital and it’ll be easier for me to answer around that time.

    “I’d be disappointed if the players didn’t think we can put a challenge up. At the moment, anything goes in the league.

    “I feel we’re getting better but we have to improve quite a bit to take that next step as well.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    BRAND NEW YEAR START

    United could allow young full-back Brandon Williams to go out on loan next month.

    The defender, 20, has seen his opportunities limited by the arrival of Alex Telles before the deadline in October.

    Williams signed a new deal at Old Trafford in the summer but has not been used as much as he hoped by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Southampton are among the clubs who have shown interest and Solskjaer said: “That's something we'll look at in January but we highly rate Brandon so whoever's interested, they're not wrong.

    “Brandon has done really well since he came into the team.

    He had a slow start to the season for different reasons. I think he's now coming back to more like himself.

    “I can see more Brandon being Brandon again.

    "I've enjoyed him more in training, he's played a couple of 23s games and he has been more involved.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    UNITED FOUR THE FUTURE

    The Manchester Evening News claim United bos Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the four positions he needs to strengthen.

    Ahead of tomorrow' night's clash at Sheffield United, MEN suggest Solskjaer's long-term planning is focused on a winger, centre-back, right-back and defensive midfielder.

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