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Glen Johnson hints United will be having one major regret at the moment

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Glen Johnson has claimed that Manchester United will be regretting their decision not to go for Thomas Tuchel after the manager was sacked at Chelsea.

New Chelsea owner has decided to relieve Tuchel of his duties last week and replaced him with ex-Brighton boss Graham Potter.

Before his sack Tuchel won the Champions League in 2021, the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile the Red Devils were linked with the signature of the former PSG boss but decided to go for Erik ten Hag.

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Former Chelsea full-back Johnson therefore says the Red Devils could be regretting their decision for not signing Tuchel when they had the opportunity to.

‘His stock wouldn’t have dropped at all. He would be on anybody’s shortlist,’ Johnson told Bettingodds.com of Tuchel.

‘I’m not necessarily saying he would be everybody’s number one target, but he’d definitely be in the conversation. It was only 18 months ago when they won the Champions League.

‘If they knew he could be departing so suddenly then maybe they would have waited, but you can’t just sit there and wait.

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‘You need to do the deal that’s best for you at that time rather than waiting for somebody you want to become available.

‘Manchester United are seemingly doing better under Erik ten Hag so perhaps they’re just as happy anyway.’

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Harry Maguire makes big claim in his United future after being dropped by Ten Hag

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Harry Maguire says he will stay and fight for his place at Manchester United after being dropped by Erik ten Hag.

New signing Lisandro Martinez took the place of the England international after the defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Despite his lack of playing time for his club, an exit is not part of the plan for Maguire who was handed an opportunity by Gareth Southgate for the national assignment.

And speaking after the game, the United captain is adamant that his lack of playing time at Old Trafford will not have an impact on his performances for England at the World Cup later this year.

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‘I am all good, ready to play, I feel fit and fresh,’ Maguire told talkSPORT.

‘On my form, I don’t know what has been said, I don’t really read about it.

‘I came off the back of three positive games with England in the summer, and a good pre-season, I felt really good.

‘Obviously, the manager [Erik ten Hag] decided to leave me out for a game, and the team have been winning since.

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‘I am working hard on the training pitch to make sure I am ready for when my opportunity comes. That is all what I can do to try and help the team.

‘I am not concentrating on anybody else and what people are saying, I think if people can make a story about me, I am Manchester United captain, it is going to make big news.

‘So, that is the reason they do it, they like the clicks, and things like that, but I went into the Euros after an eight-week injury, and did not play one game, and got into the team of the tournament.

‘In terms of rustiness, and things like that, I am sure that won’t happen.’

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Van Dijk confesses player Ten Hag wants better than him at 21

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Liverpool defender Vigil van Dijk has confessed that Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is better than he was at the same age.

Timber quickly established himself as a regular under Erik ten Hag at Ajax and the Manchester United manager was keen to bring the 21-year-old with him to Old Trafford in the summer but there was no breakthrough.

Timber is now competing for a place in Louis van Gaal’s squad for Netherlands’ World Cup campaign in Qatar later this year.

And Van Dijk, who has established himself as one of the world’s best defenders since joining Liverpool, believes Timber has all the qualities to become one of the elite.

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‘I wasn’t nearly as far along as he is now [at the same age],’ Van Dijk said of Timber.

‘I have nothing but praise for him. He is a great player and a true professional.

‘He has so much potential. Hopefully he can develop further. Then it will be all right, I think. ‘

‘I think everyone knows their role at the moment,’ said the Liverpool centre-back.

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‘The national coach is very clear about this. Everyone feels the responsibility, whether you play or not.

‘Of course, it is not easy to deal with that, because you always want to I think they are doing an excellent job and will always be there when we need them. Also in terms of input, towards the team. That is also necessary to be successful.’

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Martinez reveals why criticisms of “too small” didn’t affect him when he was to join United

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Lisandro Martinez was highly talked about as being too small as a central defender while he was on the verge of joining Arsenal but he claims that it couldn’t affect him because he didn’t pay attention to them.

Martinez joined United in a £56million deal from Ajax in the summer and has pushed aside Harry Maguire as a key first-team player alongside Raphael Varane at the heart of defence.

Pundits had noted his 5ft 9in height as a major problem with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher among those to question whether he possess the physical attributes to succeed in English football.

‘Now, we should never judge managers or players too early, but I’m convinced this can’t work because the size of him playing in a back four,’ Carragher said following United’s 4-0 defeat to Brentford in the second week of the season, a game in which Martinez was replaced at half-time.

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‘Maybe he could go left-back, maybe he could play in a back three, but in a back four, he cannot play there in the Premier League.’

After Martinez went onto impress in each of United’s next four league games, victories.

‘His passing is very good, he looks aggressive,’ Carragher then said on The Overlap on 6 September. ‘He looks like a leader.

‘He’s not a bad player, but to play at that level of football at 5ft 9in – I wouldn’t want to play alongside someone who was 5ft 9in as a centre back.’

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Speaking to TyC Sports following Argentina’s win over Honduras, Martinez said: ‘To be honest, it’s a dream come true to be playing at such a big club as Manchester United, especially playing in the Premier League, which I think is one of the best leagues in the world,” said Lisandro.

‘It’s nice to catch the rhythm of the Premier League, so I’m very happy.

‘I don’t pay attention [to criticism]. I believe in myself, I trust myself. I always work hard every day. That’s what’s going to give you results at the end.’

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United told easiest way to sign brightest 19yo with £132m price tag

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Noel Whelan has told Man United that they only stand a chance in their pursuit of Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund if the secure Champions League qualification.

This is as the Red Devils face major competition for the youngster as top European clubs, including Real Madrid, Man City and Liverpool are interested.

The former Leeds striker was speaking exclusively to Football Insider amid reports of Dortmund demanding a British-record fee of £132 million for the 19-year-old.

Whelan backed Erik ten Hag’s side to fight Man City and Liverpool for Bellingham if they can return to “the best competition in the world”

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He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “If Man United get into the Champions League, then it changes everything.

“They’ll then be choosing from the Pot A of players, rather than the Pot B and C.

“The best players in the world will want to play in the best competition in the world. It’s the biggest trophy of all.

“That’ll be their aim this year. Getting into that top four would allow them to build a team with the best players in Europe.

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“If they can get that qualification, then they’ll be able to compete with the likes of Man City and Liverpool – who I’m sure will be looking at Bellingham next summer as well.

“It makes a huge difference.”

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Man United’s transfer sanity in doubt after £208m transfer deals analyzed

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Finance guru Kieran Maguire, who spoke exclusively to Football Insider about recent figures revealed by the CIES Football Observatory has questioned Man United’s spendings in recent transfer windows.

According to him, the Red Devils have too often put “vanity over sanity” in their transfer dealings with no results on the pitch to show

The industry experts, who recently published their findings claim that United have overspent on new signings to the tune of £208million compared to market value over the last decade.

Data also revealed that the Red Devils spent £1.4billion on transfers during the same period, including approximately £216m in the summer ahead of 2022-23.

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“Man United have at times put vanity ahead of sanity when it comes to player recruitment,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.

“When they have been in competition with other clubs, they have been prepared to outbid them.

“We have seen this with Alexis Sanchez, Harry Maguire and, although it was a relatively low fee, Cristiano Ronaldo. On all three occasions, United outbid Man City, although it was partly to do with fee and partly to do with wages as well.

“There is no doubt that United have invested substantial sums on a quantitative basis. On a qualitative, basis, the jury is still very much out.

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“Perhaps with the exception of Bruno Fernandes, who was the last player they recruited you could really say that they had signed a bargain?“

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Van Gaal finally opened up on how Klopp hijack Sadio Mane’s expected move to United

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Louis van Gaal has opened up on how he almost signed Sadio Mane for Manchester United when he was in charge of the club but the deal was hijacked by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Mane eventually joined Liverpool from Southampton and made a lot of difference for the club, especially winning the Champions League and the EPL title

The player himself made it clear that it was just a phone call with Klopp that convinced him against a move elsewhere.

Speaking on the missed opportunity to sign the forward, Netherlands boss Van Gaal told Dutch publication NOS: “Sadio Mane is a true team player and this is the reason why I really wanted to sign him (at Manchester United).

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“These are difficult players to play against.”

Mane recalled the story in an interview with the Daily Telegraph back in May: “I have to say, I was really close to going to Manchester United. I had the contract there. I had it all agreed.

“It was all ready, but instead, I thought, ‘No, I want to go to Liverpool.

“I was convinced to go with (Jurgen) Klopp’s project. I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp.

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He said, ‘We have a big project at Liverpool and I want you to be part of it.’

“Then he asked what position I wanted because he could see at Southampton I played on the right side and I used to play on the left. I said I prefer left, and then he said, ‘But (Philippe) Coutinho is on the left!’

“So I said, never mind, I will play on the right. I could see myself in all the positions.”

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United, Chelsea sounded major warning over this signing they are keen on making

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Steve McManaman has sounded a strong warning to Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United over their bid to sign Borussia Dortmund youngster Jude Bellingham.

The 19-year-old, who already has 15 caps for England, is considered one of the best midfielders in Europe and a host of European clubs are lined up for his signature.

Jamie Carragher has already warned there will be an ‘auction’ for Bellingham next summer because of the number and caliber of clubs interested in his service.

However, McManaman has warned that Bellingham would have a ‘ridiculous’ price tag.

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‘A lot of it will be down to personal preference,’ McManaman told horseracing.com.

‘If he continues his trajectory then he will be good enough for whichever club that gets him.

‘Secondly, It’s dependent on whether he wants to come back to England.

‘He’s a Birmingham boy, so I don’t know whether he’s got a particular fondness for certain clubs or players. He’d fit in any team.

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‘If it comes down to a bidding war then I think that’s a reason why Liverpool may miss out.

‘We just have to wait and see what his value is next summer. £130 million is ridiculous money for a young player.

‘He’s certainly the type of player that Liverpool would be interested in and most teams for that matter.

‘No doubt there’s been lots of teams who’ve been in conversation with his agent. They’ll already be whittling down the ideal club for Jude.

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‘The most important thing for Jude is that he has a good season. Prospective buyers will be looking closely at how he plays this year, so he will have to impress.

‘Hopefully he can have an impressive World Cup with England [in November] as that will greatly benefit his future.’

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United ahead of schedule as club’s Director makes big transfer claim

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Manchester United football direction John Murtough has claimed that the club is ‘ahead of schedule’ in regards to recruitment.

This is as more funds have been handed to Erik ten Hag from the initial £130 million that was budgeted.

United ended up spending £220m in total last summer on Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Martin Dubravka and Antony.

However, Murtough, United’s Football Director, says the club does not anticipate spending such amounts in coming windows.

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‘During the summer we made significant investment in the first team squad with the permanent addition of five regular starters, including a balance of experienced international players and younger, emerging talent,” Murtough said.

‘We also saw a higher-than-usual number of departures, and this was an equally important part of refreshing the squad after the disappointing 2021-22 season.

‘We will continue to support Erik in ensuring he has players with the right quality and characters to achieve success, while ensuring that investment remains consistent with our commitment to financial sustainability.

‘Overall, we are ahead of schedule in our recruitment plans as envisaged at the start of the summer, and we do not anticipate the same level of activity in future windows. As always, our planning focuses on the summer window.’

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‘The most important development during the 2021-22 season was the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager,” Murtough added.

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