Football

Ronaldo to be released by Man United?

Ronaldo to be released by Man United?
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The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Cristiano Ronaldo to be released by Man United?

Manchester United are actively looking to part ways with Cristiano Ronaldo in the January transfer market, according to iNews.

The 37-year-old forward was suspended from first-team activities on Thursday, with sources confirming to ESPN that he refused a request to come on as a substitute in the 87th minute during Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. Sources added that the club have backed the action taken by manager Erik ten Hag but insist Ronaldo remains « an important part of the squad. »

However, the iNews report now suggests that his time at Old Trafford could be set to end in January. If Ronaldo’s representatives are unable to find a potential suitor for him by the time that the transfer window opens, the club could consider releasing him as a free agent.

Ronaldo was the club’s leading scorer in the 2021-22 campaign but only has two goals in 12 appearances since Ten Hag took over at United. The Portugal international pushed for a transfer during the summer but did not garner any suitable offers.

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11.05 BST: Manchester United are looking to hire a recruitment analyst to help the club sign the world’s best goalkeepers.

The role is part of a planned expansion of the technical chief scout team at Old Trafford and will focus on finding goalkeepers to be part of the first-team squad.

David de Gea is United’s No. 1, although manager Ten Hag said the club will wait before deciding whether to extend the 31-year-old’s contract. The Spain international has a deal until the end of the season, although United also have an option to extend it until the summer of 2024.

10.26 BST: Mauricio Pochettino favors a return to Premier League management and is prepared to wait for the right opportunity, sources have told ESPN, after emerging as Aston Villa’s favored candidate to replace Steven Gerard.

Gerrard left Villa on Thursday following a 3-0 loss at Fulham, a 12th defeat in their last 22 Premier League games, leaving the club above the relegation zone only on goals scored.

Sources said Villa’s owners are prepared to spend in January to bolster a squad that has won just two games this season. Former PSG and Tottenham boss Pochettino is highly regarded at Villa Park, but the 50-year-old could yet attract offers from elsewhere.

09.57 BST: Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves says he is flattered by rumored interest from Barcelona.

Barca considered signing Neves in the summer as a potential replacement for veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets.

Neves, 25, has made 11 appearances for Wolves this season and is under contract with the Premier League outfit until June 2024.

He told Record: « Who wouldn’t want to play at Barcelona? I think it’s a question that is common to all players. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. Of course, it’s always a privilege for me to be associated with clubs of that level. I’m going to do my job. here [at Wolves]. I’m going to focus as much as possible here because we have a huge competition coming up. I have to focus as much as possible on Wolves. Having a good season here, things will come very naturally. »

Neves, who joined Wolves from FC Porto in the summer of 2017, is expected to be included in Portugal’s World Cup squad.

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08.56 BST: Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are ready to lead the race for Frenkie de Jong should the midfielder choose to quit Barcelona in January, sources have told ESPN.

Chelsea are thought to have received encouragement that De Jong may be willing to reconsider his future after deciding not to leave Camp Nou in the summer, despite Barca’s willingness to let the player leave.

United made the running for months and eventually agreed a deal worth an initial €65 million, rising to around €85m including add-ons, before Chelsea made contact late in the window as De Jong stalled over a move to Old Trafford. However, the Netherlands international opted to stay in Spain despite huge pressure from Barcelona to force him out, as they sought to balance the books and comply with LaLiga’s salary cap.

De Jong has started just five matches in all competitions this season and Barcelona are facing the prospect of failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, both factors which have given his Premier League suitors hope that a January deal could be struck.

08.30 BST: Juventus winger Angel Di Maria says the thought of retiring from football hasn’t crossed his mind yet.

Di Maria, 34, signed a one-year contract with Juve this summer after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired.

Asked about his future, Di Maria said: « I haven’t thought about retirement because from the day I started to play in the top division, I always live in the present. I focus on the now and not what could happen later on. I want to enjoy what is happening. »

The Argentina international has never hidden his wish to return to former club Rosario Central in Argentina.

« My idea is to be able to return to play in Argentina, » he said. « Since the day I left [Rosario Central], that has been my idea. But this is football, and you have to live in the moment. You have to take it one game at a time, year after year. Right now I feel good and I have a lot to give. »

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Cristina Alexander explains the latest controversy surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

PAPER GOSSIP

– Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is looking to add competition in defense for Gabriel Magalhaes and is keen on a move for Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Evan N’Dicka, reports the Evening Standard. Interest in the Bundesliga star is beginning to grow as he nears the final 18 months of his deal, and that has seen him also linked with the Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. N’Dicka, 23, was a key cog in his side’s Europa League success last season.

Adrien Rabiot could be in line for a new contract extension with Juventus, reveals Tuttosport. The 27-year-old midfielder was linked with an exit throughout the summer, but has been one of the standout players in Massimiliano Allegri’s side. The France international has made six Serie A starts in the current campaign.

– AC Milan are looking to acquire hakim ziyech on a six-month loan deal starting in January, writes Calciomercato. The Serie A champions are looking for a short-term replacement for the injured Charles De Ketelaereand will return to the negotiating table for the 29-year-old Chelsea attacking midfielder.

– Arsenal sent scouts to watch highly-rated Palmeiras prospect Endrickaccording to Ekrem Konur. The 16-year-old Brazil youngster has caught the attention of clubs across Europe with his performances, though the Brasileiro Serie A side could hold out for his release clause of €60m. He is contracted at the club until the summer of 2025 and can’t leave Brazil until he turns 18.

Alfonso Pedraza has been identified as the latest candidate as a potential successor for Alex Sandro, understands Mundo Deportivo. Juventus are currently searching for a long-term left-back option, and the report indicates that the 26-year-old Villarreal star is one of the leading priorities for the Serie A club. He has made 10 La Liga appearances for Unai Emery’s side this season.

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