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Man Utd news LIVE: United ‘in contact with Zidane after Ronaldo recommends him’, Atalanta latest – transfer updates

MANCHESTER UNITED have been in touch with Zinedine Zidane regarding the manager's job, according to reports in Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who almost stormed down the tunnel at Leicester on Saturday, was said the man who mentioned the former Real Madrid boss' name to the board, one journalist claimed.

United's clash with Atalanta is underway Champions League Group F game at Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo starts up front with Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho dropped to the bench.

And with results taking a turn for the worse, there are some reports that Pogba, who is out of contract in summer, has no inclination to sign a new deal.

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Follow ALL the latest news, updates and transfer gossip from Old Trafford...

  • OLE EXPLAINS AXING POGBA AND SANCHO

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has justified axing Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho for tonight's home clash with Atalanta as the Manchester United boss hailed recalled Marcus Rashford.

    Solskjaer believes Scott McTominay and Fred prove essential solidity in midfield - with Rashford ``deserving" to come in on the left.

    He said: “We call it a 4-2-4 system more or less with the front men. The balance they give us has been helpful in many games.”

    Solskjaer added of Rashford: “He’s been working so hard, he’s played through a period with a bit of pain and discomfort now he feels 100 per cent.

    “You can see a smile, he’s enjoying football. And when Marcus is enjoying his football it’s wonderful to see.”

    Follow our live blog HERE for the build-up, match action and reaction to the Champions League group game.

  • ALAH CLOSING ON MESSI IN BALLON BETTING

    Liverpool striker Mo Salah has surged up to joint third favourite behind Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski in betting for the Ballon d’Or award.

    But Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo is a distant sixth at 25/1.

    William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: “After finding the back of the net in each of his last nine games, some of which were right out of the top draw, Mohamed Salah has put himself forward as a leading contender to pick up the Ballon d’Or this season.

    “The Egyptian attacker has been backed in from 33/1 last week to just 9/1 to land the prize, and if his goal scoring exploits continue that price could look big come December.”

  • WENGER’S WORLD CUP PLAN OVER

    Fifa plans for a World Cup every two years have disappeared into thin air – after President Gianni Infantino bowed to a worldwide backlash.

    The Fifa chief had been pushing the concept, using ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as his missionary.

    But after being ambushed by the heads of European, South American AND Asian football at a virtual meeting of Fifa’s ruling Council, Infantino backed away from his previous call for a vote by the 211 member associations before Christmas.

    Instead, Fifa will host a “global summit” on December 20 after Infantino conceded he had been hit by “many critical and negative reactions” to his World Cup masterplan.

    Infantino said: “Our main objective is to reach a consensus.  It is really important to listen to all the legitimate questions. 

    “Up to now we have not asked anyone to agree to the suggestions, just presented them to start a conversation. The question of a World Cup every two years will not go away just like that. 

    “I believe we can come up with something that makes sense. I understand the critical voices. Trying to find a bridge between these competing interests is our challenge.

    “We are going to change things only if we are completely convinced it will be beneficial for everybody. We must prove they are.

  • UTD TEAM VS ATALANTA

    Marcus Rashford will partner Cristiano Ronaldo's in Manchester United's attack at home to Atalanta tonight.

    Follow our live blog HERE for the build-up, match action and reaction to the Champions League group game.

  • SALAH NOT RON CRIS 'N MESSI'S LEVEL

    Kleberson reckons Mo Salah is yet to equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Lionel Messi’s efforts on the pitch.

    While the ex-Man United ace sees the Liverpool hero as a ‘consistently brilliant’ performer, he believes the Argentina and Portugal stars remain streets ahead.

    Salah, 29, has wowed fans with his trickery and goals in his second Premier League spell after sealing a £36.9million Anfield move from Roma in 2017.

    The player, who was with Chelsea for a season and a half, has netted 137 in 214 Reds appearances helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to a Champions League crown and their first-ever Prem title.

    However, Kleberson told Paddy Power: "Mohamed Salah isn’t the best player in the world, but he’s been consistently brilliant.

    “For a long time now, he’s played excellent football. He certainly isn’t a one-season wonder and I can understand why Jürgen Klopp called him the best in Europe.  

    "Beside Salah, Liverpool have a good team that provides great support, and he looks happy there. 

    "Things are going well for Salah, but he’s not the best player in the world right now. 

    "For me, it’s tough to say who is the world’s best player because I measure it by those who play well for club and country. 

    "Football has changed a lot. For many years, we had Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and sometimes Neymar, but there's no one who has shown more than they have."

  • MAN UTD U-19S 4 ATALANTA 2

    Manchester United's Under-19s thumped Atalanta 4-2 in the Uefa Youth League on Wednesday - with highly-rated Joe Hugill one of FOUR different scorers, writes DAVE FRASER.

    The Red Devils' kids fought from 1-0 down to secure their second group-stage win of this season's tournament.

    After beating Young Boys 1-0 in their opening game, the United Under-19s were mauled 4-1 in their previous game against Villarreal.

    But Man Utd - captained by future star Teden Mengi - got back to winning ways at Leigh Sports Village to take a huge step towards qualifying for the knockout stages.

    Atalanta stunned the young Red Devils by taking an early lead thanks to captain Simone Panada's strike.

    But Zidane Iqbal equalised just ONE MINUTE later to restore parity with a low, driven shot from the edge of the box.

    And just four minutes after that, Hugill gave his side the lead following a strong run - and superb cross - from Alejandro Garnacho.

    United went 3-1 up just moments later, after Garnacho got on the scoresheet himself with a dazzling run and curling effort.

    Omari Forson made it 4-1 with his first touch of the match as he poked home a great cut-back from Alvaro Fernandez.

    Tommaso de Nipoti scored a screamer for Atalanta in the dying embers of the game - but it was little more than consolation.

  • SUPER LEAGUE PLANS REVISED

    THE European Super League is BACK ON - with a host of new rules following an incredible backlash to the original plan earlier this year.

    In April, 15 clubs - including Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - signed up to the controversial breakaway competition.

    But after a ferocious fan backlash, a dozen clubs - including all of the Prem teams - withdrew, leaving just Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

    And the rebels have drafted a fresh plan packed with new rules in a desperate bid to appeal to the masses.

    Most-importantly, the new plan states the European Super League will NOT be a ‘breakaway’ competition.

    Instead, there will be two leagues of 20 clubs - ensuring 40 clubs will be involved every season.

    Promotion into the competition and relegation out of it will also come into force under the new proposal.

    Any club from every league in Europe can qualify, depending on their performances, ensuring it does not become a closed shop.

  • DAKA'S HISTORIC FOURSOME

    This is the moment Patson Daka became the first Leicester player for 63 YEARS to score four goals in one game - in this afternoon's 4-3 comeback win over Spartak Moscow.

  • HERO DAKA: I’E GOT MUCH TO IMPROVE ON

    Four-goal Leicester hero Patson Daka claims he has plenty to IMPROVE on.

    Having bagged his first Foxes goal against Manchester United last Saturday, the summer signing led this afternoon’s 4-3 Europa League comeback win at Spartak Moscow.

    And the Zambia striker told BT Sport: “It’s been an amazing few days for me and the team.

    "It was a very good effort from the team. I’m just happy I was able to help the team.

    “There is nothing to hate about Leicester, the people are great. I’m loving it and I’m enjoying my time. I have a lot of things i want to improve on.”

  • RODGERS FAVOURITE TO SUCCEED OLE

    Brendan Rodgers is the frontrunner to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager.

    That's according to bookmakers Sky Bet, who've installed Rodgers as the 7/2 favourite to be appointed at Old Trafford.

    He leads a star-studded list of candidates that also include Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino.

    Talk of Solskjaer's successor has ramped up in recent weeks with the Norwegian under increasing pressure.

    The Red Devils are winless in their last three Premier League fixtures, taking a single point from games against Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester.

    United now enter a difficult run of fixtures in sixth position - five points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

    And SunSport understand that some of United's players believe Solskjaer's future hinges on the next two games against Atalanta and Liverpool.

    A source told SunSport: "Some of the players think Solskjaer has two games and that if United don’t win these two games, he could leave.

    "They’re such important matches for the club in the Champions League and Premier League.

    "It is a bad situation at the moment. It’s hard to see a big future for Solskjaer if United don’t win these games."

  • UTD, ARSENAL AND TOON LINKED TO CALVERT-LEWIN

    Arsenal are reportedly battling Newcastle in the race to prise Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin away from Goodison Park, writes JAKE LAMBOURNE.

    SunSport exclusively revealed earlier this month how the Gunners had made signing either the 24-year-old or Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins their priority next year.

    And Football.London have declared that the North London outfit have made the Toffees star their No1 target for 2022.

    Meanwhile Manchester United were linked with a move for the ex-Sheffield United ace in July as a long-term replacement for Edinson Cavani, prior to Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival.

    However he could make a shock switch to Newcastle, who have cash to splash following their Saudi-backed £300million takeover.

    According to The Telegraph, the Magpies have put Calvert-Lewin on their list of targets for next summer.

    They state that the England international is highly regarded by Newcastle's recruitment team.

    Despite Steve Bruce's sacking at St James' Park, it is believed that he will remain a player of interest for his replacement.

  • MESSI RON THE SPOT

    Lionel Messi has incredibly scored MORE non-penalty goals than rival Cristiano Ronaldo in 144 FEWER games.

    The Argentine scored two last night in Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-2 Champions League win over RB Leipzig.

    And according to messivsronaldo.app, Messi’s equaliser handed him a one-goal lead ahead of his rival in the non-penalty department.

    Messi has scored 654 non-penalty goals in 144 fewer games than the Portugal captain.

    Ronaldo has, however, scored more goals from open play or free-kicks in the Champions League, 118 to Messi’s 106.

    Messi has the edge when it comes to the goals-per-minute ratio in the competition, though.

  • HU BEAUTY

    Manchester United's Under-19s thumped Atalanta 4-2 in the Uefa Youth League on Wednesday - with highly-rated Joe Hugill one of FOUR different scorers.

    The Red Devils' kids fought from 1-0 down to secure their second group-stage win of this season's tournament.

    After beating Young Boys 1-0 in their opening game, the United Under-19s were mauled 4-1 in their previous game against Villarreal.

    But Man Utd - captained by future star Teden Mengi - got back to winning ways at Leigh Sports Village to take a huge step towards qualifying for the knockout stages.

  • BELL RING

    Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have reportedly been told they’ll have to stump up around £109million for Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham.

    The Prem trio have been linked with a move for Bellingham this summer, but his contract isn’t up until 2025 and Dortmund won’t take any less than £109m for the 18-year-old, according to Fichajes.

    The 18-year-old could turn out to be worth his weight in gold as he’s already closing in on 50 appearances in the Bundesliga while winning eight caps for the English national team.

    He is also one of the top candidates to win the Golden Boy Award this year, alongside other talented youngsters like Pedri, Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz.

  • WANT MORE

    Ex-Manchester United star Tomasz Kuszczak wants Bruno Fernandes to bring more to the club.

    The former United keeper reckons Fernandes was one of the bright lights for the Red Devils last season.

    But he thinks the Portuguese midfielder has been a bit dull this season and wants him to rediscover his brilliance this term.

    Kuszczak said: "Bruno Fernandes was fantastic last season. He was a leader, he scored the most goals and he created so many opportunities for his teammates.

    "He was the main man last season for Manchester United, but this year it’s not been as bright for him. I want to see more from him."

  • RAM RACE

    Manchester United and Arsenal will reportedly have to fend off competition from Aston Villa to sign Aberdeen full-back Calvin Ramsay.

    The 18-year-old has impressed the Prem sides after breaking into the Scottish side's first team this year.

    And now, the Gunners along with Villa and United are eager to bring him to England, according to football journalist Ekrem Konur.

    "Calvin Ramsay is the new favorite of the Premier League teams.

    "Manchester United, Arsenal and Aston Villa are all after the young talent."

  • MAN ON A MISSION

    Manchester United stars have been spotted at The Hyatt Hotel as they prepare for tonight's Champions League clash with Atalanta.

    United host the Serie A side at Old Trafford and are looking to restore some confidence after a turbulent start that has seen them lose to Young Boys away and snatch a last-gasp victory over Villarreal at home.

    The likes of Harry Maguire, Cristiano Ronaldo and Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were pictured making their way to the hotel ahead of a rough schedule.

    After tonight's Champions League encounter the Manchester giants host rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

    United will then visit Tottenham a week later before their return fixture with Atalanta.

  • FIRE WORKS

    Manchester United's Champions League opponents Atalanta's fire alarm at their hotel was sounding all night long.

    The Italian side travelled to England yesterday but their much-needed sleep was deprived by the noisy fire alarm.

    And the wife of Atalanta star Ruslan Malinovsky reckons United had something to do with it and suggested the Red Devils will get the same treatment when they travel to Italy.

    She raved: "I don’t think it was an accident.

    "Throughout the night in the hotel the siren was turned on at full power five times. It happened just when the team arrived, and only at night!

    "Do you think this is an accident? Er, no. Such a ‘warm’ welcome from the local population feels terrible in the heart.

    "I hope that our fans will support the team in the home game, and maybe the same thing will happen suddenly in an Italian hotel."

  • CONTE 'WANTS UTD JOB'

    Antonio Conte is holding out for the Manchester United job, according to reports.

    The Italian is claimed to have turned down Newcastle while he waits for the Red Devils gig.

    Current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under mounting pressure, with his side having lost four of their last seven games.

    SunSport exclusively revealed that Man United players believe the Norwegian has two matches to save his job.

    Should he be relieved of his duties, Conte would likely back himself to come in and make an instant impact.

    The former Inter Milan boss could look to bring a couple of his Serie A title winners with him to Old Trafford – including Milan Skriniar and Lautaro Martinez.

    Both players would slot in as he brings his 3-5-2 formation to Old Trafford.

  • GUEZ WHO?

    Georgina Rodriguez was spotted braving the rain in Manchester as partner Cristiano Ronaldo gears up for Champions League crunch tie.

    Rodriguez, 27, looked stunning with her hair up, wearing a white roll-neck jumper and leather jacket whilst out in the Manchester rain.

    Just last month, she posted pictures of her family sunbathing to her Instagram account with the caption: "Who says there's no sun in Manchester?"

    She also posted the caption: "How I've missed living in the UK," having lived in London while she studied English in her youth.

    Rodriguez later changed career to modelling and it is believed she first started dating Ronaldo in 2016, when he played for Real Madrid.

    She has since claimed that her first meeting with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was "love at first sight" and the couple have been described as "soul-mates".

  • MESSIAH

    Lionel Messi has incredibly scored MORE non-penalty goals than rival Cristiano Ronaldo in 144 FEWER games.

    The Argentine scored two last night in Paris Saint-Germain's 3-2 Champions League win over RB Leipzig.

    And according to messivsronaldo.app, Messi's equaliser handed him a one-goal lead ahead of his rival in the non-penalty department.

    Messi has scored 654 non-penalty goals in 144 fewer games than the Portugal captain.

    Ronaldo has, however, scored more goals from open play or free-kicks in the Champions League, 118 to Messi's 106.

    Messi has the edge when it comes to the goals-per-minute ratio in the competition, though.

  • MAGUIRE MADNESS

    Harry Maguire shouldn't be anywhere near the football pitch, according to an injury expert.

    Injury expert Ben Dinnery admitted he was shocked to see Maguire start in United's 4- loss to Leicester last weekend.

    The England international only returned from injury the day before and needed more time to recover, Dinnery believes.

    He told Football Insider: "It was a shock to see him anywhere near that first team.

    “Friday was his first training session with the group. If he came through that okay, you maybe expect him to be on the bench.

    “But that session was technical and tactical-based workout rather than a full going through the motions. So there’s no question that Maguire has been rushed back. Big questions must be asked as to why."

  • OVER THE ROON

    Atalanta star Marten de Roon can't wait to play Manchester United in the Champions League today at Old Trafford.

    De Roon was part of the Middlesbrough squad that played at Old Trafford in 2016 and the midfielder can't wait to experience it again.

    Speaking before the game the Dutch ace said: "I am fine and in shape, I really want to play. I’m pretty good.

    “I played four years ago here at Old Trafford, playing in front of 75,000 people is an indescribable emotion.”

  • SHUT YOUR GAB

    Gabby Agbonlahor has accused Manchester United boss Ole Gunner Solskjaer of backtracking over his remarks about Marcus Rashford.

    Solskjaer came under fire for suggesting Rashford should focus on football instead of his humanitarian efforts.

    He told talkSPORT: "Ole’s back-tracked there in his second interview because he knows the backlash that he’s received from the media, from ex-players, from pundits.

    "Because Marcus Rashford what he’s done for kids, he’s challenged the government, made them change their mind."

  • FRENCH LINK-UP

    Zinedine Zidane has been potentially touted as a replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.

    And if Zidane does replace Solskjaer, want-away Red Devils star Paul Pogba could remain at the club.

    The French pair previously expressed their admiration for each other when Zidane was Real Madrid boss.

    Speaking back in 2019, Pogba said when asked about Zidane: "Like I've always said, Real Madrid is a dream for anyone.

    ”There is also [Zinedine] Zidane as a coach and it's a dream for anybody who likes football.”

    To which Zidane responded: "I know him personally.

    "He brings so much and there are few players who bring as much as he does. He's a midfielder who knows how to defend and how to attack."