OLD TRAFFORD chiefs are preparing for the return of the Premier League.
After the success of the Bundesliga this weekend, United are primed to restart when safe to do so – and we've the very latest on Paul Pogba and Thiago Almada.
Follow live Man Utd updates and transfer gossip below…
MORNING MAN UTD FANS
Paul Pogba is close to completing a switch back to Juventus – after the Italians offered Manchester United Adrien Rabiot to sweeten the deal.
French newspaper L'Equipe claim Juventus are close to getting the deal for Pogba, 27, over the line.
Rabiot's agent – and mother – Veronique is pushing on with the exchange as she wants her son to play in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has claimed Park Ji-sung was just as crucial to Manchester United's success as Cristiano Ronaldo.
He wrote in his Sunday Times column: “It’s crazy but if you mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo to a 12-year-old, they would immediately say, 'Yeah, he was a brilliant player for Manchester United,' but if you said 'Park Ji-sung' they may not know who he was.
“Yet all of us who played with Park know he was almost as important to our success. That’s because of what Park gave to the collective and I want to talk about teams. They – not stars – are the most important thing in sport.
In other news, the Red Devils have reportedly been joined by Arsenal in the pursuit of Argentina’s rising star Thiago Almada.
Mundo Deportivo claim that as well as the Gunners, United, Inter Milan and Man City are all tracking the Velez Sarsfeld magician, 19.
And finally,Paul Gascoigne has brutally torn into Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he could have changed his wild ways had he joined United.
Speaking during an event earlier this year, which was covered by The Athletic, Gazza said: “Alex Ferguson says it would have been different if I had signed for Man United.
“Well, Rio Ferdinand did a runner from a f***ing drugs test. Eric Cantona two-footed some c*** in the neck in the stand.
“Wayne Rooney s****ed a f***ing granny. And Ryan Giggs s****ed his brother's f***ing wife. F***ing hell, man.”
WALK IN THE PARK
Wayne Rooney has claimed that Park Ji-Sung was “just as important at Manchester United as Cristiano Ronaldo” and recalls his “unbelievable” stifling of Andrea Pirlo.
Park arrived at Old Trafford for a bargain £4million from PSV Eindhoven in 2005 and many wouldn't consider him as important as Ronaldo, who scored 42 goals alone in the 2007-08 double season
Writing in The Sunday Times, Rooney said: “It's crazy but if you mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo to a 12-year-old, they would immediately say, 'Yeah, he was a brilliant player for Manchester United', but if you said 'Park Ji-Sung' they may not know who he was.
“Yet all of us who played with Park know he was almost as important to our success.
“That's because of what Park gave to the collective and I want to talk about teams. They – not stars – are the most important thing in sport.”
The Premier League will discover how many players have contracted coronavirus when they meet to vote on Project Restart on Monday.
All 20 top-flight teams have been tested for Covid-19 over the weekend — many for the first time — and should receive the results today.
In the absence of an overwhelming number of positive diagnoses, the clubs will give their official backing to taking the first tentative steps out of lockdown today.
If all goes according to plan, every team in the top flight will return to training in small groups of five or less this week.
Yet while the majority of players and managers are ready to give a cautious green light to phase one of the plan, many are unconvinced about the next stage.
That will involve full contact training with an eye to resuming the Premier League fixtures on June 12 or June 19.
WAY TO GO
Wayne Rooney believes Paul Pogba can replicate the success of former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard in the middle of the park IF Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changes his position.
Derby County forward Rooney – writing in his Sunday Times column – said: “You ask any striker or central midfielder and they will tell you one of the hardest things to deal with is a centre-back who comes out with the ball.
“Another nightmare is the Frank Lampard type, the midfielder who runs past you: with Frank, when the ball went wide you knew he would be off, sprinting into the box and he was one of those about who Fergie would say: 'This player is not a one-man job — you have to pass them on.'
“He would say that about some you wouldn’t imagine: Stephen Ireland was one, Jermaine Jenas another, purely because they were willing to run beyond your midfield and with those players there’s going to be a crossover movement from when your central midfielder is dealing with it to when your centre back is.
“One lapse of team concentration in that moment and the best — like Lampard — punish you.
“That’s why I would love to see Paul Pogba playing deeper and attacking the box the moment the ball went wide. He would score more goals and with his good feet, his athleticism, he would be an absolute nightmare.
“I would use him in that role — it’s one where, if he developed in it, he could be incredible.”
MARC'S, SET, GO!
Marcus Rashford looked raring to go ahead of a return to Manchester United training by squeezing in a quick workout at local club Altrincham.
On Sunday, the striker was seen being put through his paces at Moss Lane, near his pad to the south of the city in the footballers' enclave of Hale.
Working alongside a United fitness coach, Rashford worked with the ball in a series of dribbling skills.
Fans will be hoping the 22-year-old has shaken off a back injury that kept him out of the weeks leading up to football's shutdown.
Fears of a six-month layoff initially put him on course for a June return, putting his participation in Euro 2020 in doubt before that tournament was postponed.
Therefore a Premier League restart in the middle of next month may coincide with Rashford regaining his fitness.
After his workout at Altrincham, the England star was spotted driving into Carrington.
MAN UTD LATEST
It's set to be a busy summer at Old Trafford, with plenty of comings and goings.
As Premier League players prepare to return to training, there is speculation that Paul Pogba could be on his way back to Juventus.
French newspaper L'Equipe claim the Old Lady are close to getting the deal for Pogba, 27, over the line.
But speaking to Brazilian TV, fellow Utd star Fred has begged the Frenchman to stay put.
He said: “Pogba is a great player. The people who are here on a daily basis with him know that.
““He knows how to play the Premier League. So I’m sure I want him to stay because I’m sure he will help us a lot.
“We’re in the same position, but the more quality players on the team, the better. You will not build a team with 11 players. You need a strong squad.
“So I really hope that he stays, and if he stays, I’m sure he will be a very strong reinforcement for us next season.”
While Man City are aiming to win the race with their great rivals for Argentina’s rising star Thiago Almada.
Boss Pep Guardiola has been chasing the Velez Sarsfeld magician for a year as he sees him becoming David Silva’s long-term successor.
City failed to agree a price a year ago but now the auction has begun, ironically sparked by reports of United coming in for him.
The cost may be around £15million, plus extras.
And finally, all Premier League players must have given a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours of resuming training and be tested twice per week.
They must also self-isolate for seven days if showing symptoms or if any members of their family do, while club staff must confirm in writing they understand the new regulations.
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