Man Utd boss talks Maguire captaincy, Rangnick's role and Ronaldo's future

MANCHESTER UNITED defensive duo Harry Maguire and Phil Jones had a bust-up during the interval of their thrashing by Liverpool according to reports.

The Red Devils were comfortably dispatched 4-0 in front of Old Trafford back in April.

And Jones being humiliatingly hauled off at half-time further fuels the speculation.

Meanwhile it has been reported that Ronaldo personally vetoed a United move to hire Antonio Conte following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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Stay up to date with all the latest from Old Trafford…

  • Kostas Lianos

    More from Bellingham

    Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham is grateful of the Bundesliga club, which is why he is keen to stay despite Manchester United links.

    Bellingham added: “I have my destiny in my hands and I know that if I try hard and trust the people around me, I can move forward. I came from England as a young talent.

    “There was not much pressure. The first season went well. There were also matches where I sat on the bench and sometimes I did not play at all.

    “I think my development this year has meant that I have played a bigger role in every game except two. I am very grateful to Dortmund for the way they have nurtured my talent.

    “I think a lot of the credit goes to the coaching staff and the staff who keep the noise around me. In this way I can only focus on winning matches, because that’s what I’m here for”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Bellingham issues transfer blow

    Manchester United have been dealt a major transfer blow in their bid to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham after he stated he is staying in Germany.

    Bellingham has been linked with United as well as Chelsea ahead of the summer transfer window.

    Speaking to Ruhr Nachrichten BVB, Bellingham said: “The only future I think about is the next game for Dortmund.

    “I look forward to next season. I look forward to it finally starting. But yes, I will be here next season and I will be ready”

    Credit: GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    Ten Hag backs Maguire

    New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag backed Harry Maguire after a difficult season and claimed he has done a "great job" as captain.

    Ten Hag told the media on his first day in the job: "Next season is a different season.

    "He's done a great job, and he's a great player.

    "He's achieved a lot with his contribution to Manchester United so I'm looking forward to working with him"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Ronaldo vetoed Conte

    Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo blocked the appointment of Antonio Conte before he took over at Tottenham.

    Conte was linked with the United hotseat towards the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's turbulent tenure.

    And at one stage in late October, a month before Solskjaer had been sacked, the Red Devils are said to have asked Ronaldo for his thoughts on possibly appointing the Italian tactician.

    But astonishingly a source told Manchester Evening News the five-time Ballon d'Or winner effectively rejected the notion of appointing the former Chelsea boss.

    It's claimed the demanding workload Conte puts on players, combined with his high intensity put the 37-year-old off from working under him.

    United instead turned to Ralf Rangnick as interim manager when Solskjaer was eventually relieved of his duties

  • Gary Stonehouse

    Morning, United fans

    Erik ten Hag launched his Old Trafford reign by claiming the current United squad IS good enough

    But the Dutchman still insisted he needs time to assess his United players ahead of an expected summer spree.

    Reims striker Hugo Ekitike and Wolves attacker Ruben Neves are the latest stars rated as prime targets.

    Ten Hag, meanwhile, was coy about top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo's future but is relishing reuniting with his struggling ex-Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.

    He said: "Our plan is huge. I’m still in the process of analysing. 

    "I’m looking forward to working with these players. The season before, this squad was second in the Premier League and there’s huge potential.

    "We have a strategy and a concept. I have a good feeling from people around me now, and it’s about getting the plan done."

    But keeper David De Gea admits dramatic improvement is needed.

    The Spaniard even suggested: “The level we have shown in the last three or four months isn’t enough to win a Premier League match."

    On the transfer front, United face fierce competition from Newcaslte and PSG if they pursue French teenager Ekitike.

    And it's thought Aston Villa have beaten the Red Devils as well as Atletico Madrid to sign Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a five-year-deal.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ten Hag fires title warning to Pep

    Erik ten Hag fired a warning to Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp: I’m here to put Manchester United back on top.

    The managers of Manchester City and Liverpool have shared the last five titles and stand head and shoulders above everyone else in the Premier League.

    United limped in 35 points behind champions City this season.

    But new Red Devils boss Ten Hag insists he is ready to end their rivals’ era of dominance.

    Ten Hag said: “In this moment, I admire them both, Manchester City and Liverpool.

    “They both play really fantastic football, both Liverpool and Man City. But you will always see an era can come to an end and I am looking forward to battling with them. I’m really looking forward to doing this job at this club with massive history.

    “And we want to restore it to where it belongs.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    'You'll need more than that'

    Sir Alex Ferguson delivered a classic, one-line put-down to Manchester United coach Chris Armas after the American sought advice from the legendary manger.

    Ralf Rangnick took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Red Devils boss in November and quickly hired Armas, 49, as his No2.

    Armas, who has been compared to fictional American coach Ted Lasso, was fired from his job as manager of MLS side Toronto FC just months earlier on the back of just one win in 11 games.

    Throughout the season, it's been widely reported that senior Man Utd players have been less than impressed with Rangnick and his staff.

    And, according to The Athletic, Fergie was another who was critical of Armas.

    The American was sent to seek advice from the 13-time Premier League-winning manager following a shock 1-1 draw with Young Boys in the Champions League.

    During the exchange, it's claimed Armas proudly reeled off his CV to the legendary Scot, including stints at Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls.

    In reply, the report states Ferguson grinned and simply said, "You'll need more than that here, son", in a withering put-down.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Villa land Man Utd and Atletico target Boubacar

    Aston Villa have pulled off one of the summer's best free-transfer coups after beating Atletico Madrid to Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a five-year-deal.

    The 22-year-old was outstanding for the Ligue 1 runners-up and made it to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.

    That form earned Kamara rave reviews and a call-up to Didier Deschamps' French national team, where he will team up with Villa's Lucas Digne, before completing his move to Villa Park when his current deal expires at the end of this month.

    It is a stunning piece of business from Villa, who fought off fierce competition from Manchester United, Newcastle United, Jose Mourinho's Roma and Spanish giants Atletico to land one of the hottest young prospects in Europe.

    Despite being available for free, Villa will have to invest a staggering £30million over the next five seasons as Kamara will rake in over £100,000-a-week after turning his back on Champions' League football with Marseille.

    He confessed the chance to work with midfield legend Gerrard was too good to turn down and said: "When I met with Steven, Christian [Purslow, chief executive] and Johan [Lange, sporting director] in my home I knew Aston Villa was for me. 

    "Their ambition and determination to succeed matches my own. I cannot wait for pre-season to get going."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Brazilian lawyer Pimenta takes Raiola role

    Before super agent Mino Raiola passed away last month, he had one request for his long time ally.

    The Italian, who boasted football stars including Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as clients, asked Brazilian lawyer Rafaela Pimenta to take over the reins of his business.

    It is she who is tasked with advising France World Cup winner Pogba of his next move – with a move away from Man Utd said to be imminent.

    Whether he stays at Old Trafford or re-signs for Juventus, who are believed to have offered the playmaker a three year deal worth £6.3million-per-year deal, Pimenta will be at the centre of all negotiations.

    In truth, she could become the most powerful woman in football.

    For 18 years, Pimenta was Raiola's right-hand woman – working by his side.

    She was entrusted as a vital cog in his affairs, as well as a brain to lean on for advice.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Erik ducks Ronaldo questions

    New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was coy when quizzedover Cristiano Ronaldo's future.

    Asked what the Portugal legend, 37, could bring to the Red Devils next season, the former Ajax chief said: "[Ronaldo can bring] goals! But first I will talk with Cristiano before I talk with you…"

  • Ian Tuckey

    Red Devils & Toon in for Ekitike

    Manchester United and Newcastle are currently in the middle of a six-way battle for the signature of Reims teenager Hugo Ekitike.

    However, it's being reported in France that PSG are lining up a £38m for the striker.

    According to Foot Mercato, Manchester United and Newcastle are the main interested parties from the Premier League.

    Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan are all also in the hunt.

    Back in January, it was reported that Newcastle had had a £33m bid accepted by the French club, only for Ekitike himself to turn down the offer.

    Both Man United and Newcastle are looking bolster their striker options for the upcoming season.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Wolves prepare for exit of Utd & Arsenal target Neves

    Wolves have offeredMorgan Gibbs-White a new deal as Bruno Lage prepares for life without Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal target Ruben Neves, writes GRAEME BRYCE.

    Midfielder Neves seems certain to call time on his five-year Molineux career after an emotional bow following his final home game against Norwich last week.

    And the 25-year-old Portugal ace uese international followed it up by admitting he is ready to 'live his dreams,' following Wolves' final game of the season at Anfield on Sunday.

    Now Lage has made his first move to rebuild his squad by offering AC Milan target Gibbs-White a bumper new deal.

    The 22-year-old enjoyed a stellar season on loan at Sheffield United where he scored 12 goals in 37 appearances to convince Lage he can play a massive part in Wolves' future.

    Fresh terms have now been offered to the attack-minded midfielder who was voted the Blades Player of the Season.

  • Ian Tuckey

    New Neym for the Bridge?

    Chelsea are 7/1 favourites in a star-studded field to sign PSG striker Neymar.

    Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are thought to be in contention for the Brazil legend, as well as Newcastle and Manchester United.

    Talk of Neymar's future has hit the headlines this week.

    French newspaper Le Parisien claim the 30-year-old has been put up for sale after "direct orders" from executives Qatar.

    Neymar has scored 100 and provided 60 assists in 144 appearances for PSG since his £200million arrival from Barcelona in 2017.

    And signed a contract extension last year which keeps him in Paris until June 2025.


    • Chelsea – 7/1
    • Barcelona – 10/1
    • Newcastle – 14/1
    • Real Madrid – 14/1
    • Bayern Munich – 16/1
    • Manchester United – 16/1

    Erik aims to give Red Devils a sharp Beek

    Erik ten Hag is relishing reuniting with his former Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek at Manchester United.

    Holland star VDB won a league and cup double under Ten Hag in 2018-19 before joining United for £35million in August 2020.

    New Red Devils chief Ten Hag said: “Of course we had a fantastic squad in that time in Ajax. We had a fantastic relationship and I look forward to seeing him again.”

    Van de Beek, 25, he has been a big money flop at Old Trafford starting online four league games since his move.

    The midfielder spent the second-half of last season on loan at Everton where he also failed to shine.

    He did at least sign off with the Toffees with his first goal for the club in their final game of the season, although they went down 5-1 at Arsenal.

    Now he is looking forward to a second chance back at United under Ten Hag. Van de Beek became one of Europe’s top attacking midfielders working with the coach at Ajax. He netted 27 goals in his final two seasons at the Amsterdam club.

    Juve favourites to win Pogba hunt

    Juventus are favourites ahead of PSG to sign Paul Pogba – with Manchester City and Real Madrid next on the list.

    The French World Cup winner, 29, seems sure to exit Manchester United for a second time on a free transfer this summer.

    The midfielder's final United appearance lasted just eight minutes as he was injured early on in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on April 19.

    But old club Juve are still thought to be keen.

    Betfair odds on Pogba's next club:

    • Juventus – 6/4
    • PSG – 9/4
    • Manchester City – 6/1
    • Real Madrid – 9/1
    • Barcelona – 14/1
    • Newcastle – 33/1
    • Inter Milan – 33/1
    • Liverpool – 66/1
    • Ian Tuckey

      De Gea warns Utd flops

      David de Gea blasted Manchester United’s under-performing stars and told anyone not willing to fight for their place to leave.

      The Red Devils lost 1-0 at Crystal Palace on the final day of the season to round-off their miserable campaign.

      Incoming boss Erik ten Hag was in attendance at Selhurst Park as the club recorded their lowest-ever points tally in the Premier League era.

      Fortunately for United they were spared the embarrassment of playing in next season’s Conference League as West Ham’s defeat at Brighton ensured they would be in the Europa League.

      But keeper De Gea told MUTV: “It's the same feeling.

      “The level we have shown in the last three or four months isn't enough to win a Premier League match, we were sloppy, we lost some easy balls around our box, it's impossible to win the games.

      “I just want to be positive, to forget about this season.

      “The new manager [Erik ten Hag] was in the stands, so that's a good signal. I hope things will get better for next season."

    • Ian Tuckey

      Six of the worst

      Awful season ends in defeat

      Manchester United clung on to sixth spot and qualified for the Europa League on the final day of the Premier League season, but that shouldn’t disguise what has been a terrible campaign for the Red Devils.

      Indeed, 2021-22 was summed up by the feeble way in which they went down to a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

      The loss in South London was their SIXTH AWAY LOSS IN A ROW, a Premier League first for the club and their worst run on the road since March 1981.

      • Crystal Palace 1-0 Man Utd
      • Brighton 4-0 Man Utd
      • Arsenal 3-1 Man Utd
      • Liverpool 4-0 Man Utd
      • Everton 1-0 Man Utd
      • Man City 4-1 Man Utd

      Erik thrilled by Donny reunion

      Erik ten Hag is excited at the prospect of linking up again with Donny van de Beek, who he coached to great effect at Ajax.

      And the new United boss gave the greatest indication yet that the midfielder has a future at Old Trafford after being largely overlooked since he joined the club.

      We had a fantastic squad in that time at Ajax. I really had a good relationship with him, and, of course, I am looking forward to meeting him again on the pitch.

      Ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo

      Manchester United's new manager has also batted away questions regarding Cristiano Ronaldo's Old Trafford future.

      When asked what the Portuguese legend could bring to the Red Devils next season, the Dutch coach kept his cards close to his chest – although said he would be expecting more of what the 37-year-old does best.

      [Ronaldo can bring] goals! But first I will talk with Cristiano before I talk with you…

      Ten Hag's assistants are winners

      Erik ten Hag has expressed his delight at sealing deals to bring Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag in as his assistant coaches.

      They both know how to get success. They have both won titles and trophies in their careers and that's why they're here. Recruitment is an important part and I like to work with them.

      Ten Hag on Maguire captaincy

      The new Manchester United boss has also been discussing Harry Maguire's position within the club, both as a first choice central defender and as first team captain.

      And while Ten Hag refused to be drawn on a definitive response to whether Maguire will keep the captaincy, he did state that he was excited by the prospect of working with him.

      Next season is a different season. He's done a great job, and he's a great player. He's achieved a lot with his contribution to Manchester United so I'm looking forward to working with him.

      • Sam Dymond

        Ten Hag on Rangnick's role

        New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has hinted that Ralf Rangnick's new consultancy role was a decision made by the Old Trafford hierarchy.

        However, the Dutchman suggested that he would welcome the opinion of others before ultimately making his own decisions.

        It's part of my analysis. I analyse by myself, I observe, I speak to a lot of people, but finally I'll draw my own line. [Rangnick's role] is on the club.

        Erik ten Hag

      • Sam Dymond

        Ten Hag: No risk involved

        Erik ten Hag says there is no worry that his reputation could be tainted by the Manchester United job.

        Instead, he hopes to build on the history of the club, and create more memories for the fans.

        I don't see it as a risk. This club has a great history, and now let's make a future. I'm really excited to do that.

        Erik ten Hag

      • Sam Dymond

        Ten Hag: Our plan is huge

        Erik ten Hag says he has arrived at Old Trafford with a plan, but it's not one that can be fully detailed in a short press conference.

        The Dutchman intends to create a new dynamic within the club, and take advantage of the potential within the squad.

        Our plan is huge. We have a strategy and a concept, and we will work on that. As manager I have to bring something to the club, a dynamic. If you want to be top you have to demand. That is what we will do. I have good feeling from people around me now, and it’s about getting the plan done.

        I'm still in the process of analysing. I'm looking forward to working with these players. The season before, this squad was second in the Premier League and there's huge potential.

        Erik ten Hag

      • Sam Dymond

        Ten Hag: This is my home

        Erik ten Hag's first press conference as Manchester United boss is underway, and the Dutchman has begun by greeting the media, and reminding them that he is here to stay – and here to win.

        I'm happy to meet you all, and I'm really excited to be here. It was a really warm welcome from the club. I'm looking forward to working with you all. This is my home now and I want to achieve success.

        Erik ten Hag

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