UNITED NEWS 17:08, 16 Sep 2021Updated: 17:08, 16 Sep 2021MANCHESTER UNITED are licking their wounds after being dealt a hammer blow by Young Boys in the Champions League.
And SunSport can exclusively reveal that star man Cristiano Ronaldo has moved house after being kept awake by bleating SHEEP.
The footballing icon has already switched properties after concerns over security.
Meanwhile the Red Devils have reportedly been plotting moves for Ansu Fati, Kalidou Koulibaly and Youri Tielemans.
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‘PREM COULD HAVE WORLD’S TOP 4 TEAMS’
Gary Neville claims the Premier League’s top four are stronger than ever and could be the “four best teams in the world”.
The Manchester United legend believes Liverpool’s first XI might be the finest – ahead of Manchester City, Chelsea and United.
Nev thinks big summer buys Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane have put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men into a new elite.
The ex-England right-back told Sky Sports: “I don’t think I’ve seen, in Premier League history, four teams as good as the top four we’ve got at the moment.
And I don’t think I’ve seen the Premier League this good in terms of quality.
“We could have the four best teams in the whole world at this moment in time.
“Liverpool’s first XI, if they can keep that fit, is possibly the best XI in the Premier league.
“City’s team is exceptional, Chelsea are strong like you wouldn’t believe, and Man Utd, with the addition of Ronaldo, Sancho and Varane, are going to be right in there amongst it.”
BRUNO PAY RISE TO PUT HIM SIXTH ON UTD LIST
Bruno Fernandes is closing in on a new £250,000-a-week Manchester United contract.
But despite the bumper pay rise, Fernandes would only be United’s SIXTH top earner.
SunSport exclusively revealed Fernandes, 27, is set to pen a five-year Red Devils contract following months of talks.
And the Portugal ace will see his United wages rise from £190k-a-week to £250k-a-week.
That means Fernandes will pocket an astonishing £13million each year instead of his current £9.4m.
But the Old Trafford icon will still be way off the earnings of five teammates.
Firstly, Fernandes’ pay rise will put him on level terms with strikers Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial.
But midfield partner Paul Pogba currently pockets £40k-a-week more, giving him an annual salary of over £15m.
PREM SET FOR US TV CASH BONANZA
Premier League clubs are in line for a massive cash boost with predictions the US TV deal is set to DOUBLE in value.
NBC paid £640million for its current six-year contract, which runs out at the end of this season.
The major US broadcaster also put 130 games on its subscription Peacock service from last term.
But with ESPN – owned by the Disney corporation – Warner Media, ViacomCBS and potentially Amazon all expected to bid, it is set to drive up the winning auction price.
NBC have suggested to US media that they expect they will have to pay around £1.3billion to retain the rights for a further six years, offering a huge cash boost to the Prem clubs.
Overseas rights are split differently to domestic ones and a significant increase in the League’s largest market would see extra money to all 20 clubs.
Those at the top end would benefit more from the revised cash split introduced as Richard Scudamore’s parting shot as Prem chief executive in 2019.
OLE STILL WANTS TO KEEP JESSE
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Jesse Lingard’s midweek blunder has not affected plans to keep him at Old Trafford, writes MARTIN BLACKBURN.
The England ace gifted Young Boys a 2-1 win with a shocking injury-time back pass in the Champions League opener in Switzerland on Tuesday.
Lingard is currently into the final year of his contract at Manchester United and as yet there has been no agreement over an extension.
But Solskjaer says the 28-year-old, who starred in a loan spell at West Ham last season, has his full support – and talks over his future will continue with the hope of keeping him.
The United boss said: “Jesse has got this season left, we are talking to him and his dad. We see him as a United player in future.
“He’s come back into us after a great spell at West Ham. He showed his quality there.
“He’s back in England squad, he scores goals for England and we really want to see the best of him.
“We support him and hope to keep him here. He’s a red through and through. “
LUKAKU IS ‘WORLD’S BEST STRIKER’
Romelu Lukaku is the best striker in the world, according to Brazil legend Kaka.
And the former Real Madrid playmaker reckons the ex-Manchester United ace, who joined Chelsea from Inter Milan for £97.5illion over the summer, is similar to Brazil legend Adriano.
Kaka told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Romelu is number one, he reminds me of Adriano at his best – physical strength, intelligence, speed.”
And he believes Lukaku’s exit could help AC replace Inter as Serie A kings this season.
He added: “They have continuity, while the others have each lost something – Juventus no longer have Ronaldo, Inter will have to spread goals out in the team without Lukaku.
“Pioli gave up on Ibra [Ibrahimovic] for a long time [last season]. Conte always had Lukaku available to him.
“Today Ibra is still there and Giroud has joined, I think and I hope that we can go all the way.”
UTD ‘TARGET OLMO’
Manchester United are keeping tabs on RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo.
That is according to Marca, who claim United are still on the lookout for a midfielder ahead of the January transfer window.
The Red Devils are facing the possibility of losing Paul Pogba at the end of the season as his contract runs out in June.
And Olmo plays as an attack-minded midfielder for Leipzig and Spain
GORETZKA HOPE ENDED
Manchester United’s hopes of signing Bayern Munich ace Leon Goretzka have been ended as the midfielder has penned a new five-year deal with the German giants.
The Germany international said: “With FC Bayern we have won everything there is to be won over the past three years.
“But it is even nicer than winning a title to confirm and repeat these successes. We want to build on this in the next few years.
“This mixture is one of the guarantors of success of this club. I am very happy that I was able to extend my contract early until 2026.”
Credit: Rex ‘MID-TABLE MANAGER’
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been branded a ‘mid-table manager’ by former England cricketer Darren Gough in the wake of the Red Devils’ shock defeat to Young Boys.
During an appearance on talkSPORT, Gough said: “Solskjaer’s improving on the job, he’s been a manager all the time but he’s managed small clubs.
“He got the job because of his past for Manchester United.
“It’s quite obvious, without being horrible, is that he’s a mid-table manager – at best – managing a group of elite players.
“Now and again elite players will get you out of trouble… they will get you and win you games on their own.
“But when it comes down to it in big games and Champions League is an area where he’s getting caught out a lot tactically.
“He hasn’t got the tactical brain of other managers who’ve been there and done it. This is where he’s falling short time and time again.”
Credit: Rex RONALDO WARNING
Former Manchester United hitman Dimitar Berbatov reckons Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo will have upset Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial
The Bulgarian told Betfair: “Two games, three goals for Cristiano Ronaldo back in a red shirt.
“I’m not surprised by the immediate impact he has made at United and he will only get better as the season goes on.
“You cannot argue with his goalscoring and the aura that he brings to the team.
“The fans gave him a great welcome back last Saturday and he repaid them with two well-taken goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo was immediately thrown into United’s starting XI after his returnCredit: AFP
Aand Dimitar Berbatov reckons Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani will be upset by Ronaldo’s returnCredit: Getty “It will be interesting to see how Ole keeps the other players happy. He will have to decide how he uses the likes of Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial.
“This is when managing a talented squad becomes difficult because players will feel hard done by.
“Cavani is probably unhappy. He had a great first season at United and how he’s dropped down the pecking order and lost his number seven shirt.
“I hope Ole has had an honest conversation with Cavani about his plans for the team.
“As a player in this situation, you understand that the manager’s job is to pick the best team, but you always want to play and become unhappy when you’re left out.”
‘A RED THROUGH AND THROUGH’
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping Jesse Lingard – who is out of contract at the end of the season – will snub a potential move away from Old Trafford and pen a new contract with the club.
Tne Norwegian said of Lingard: He’s got this season left of his contract, and the club is talking to him and his dad.
“And we see him as a Man United player in the future as well. Jesse has come back to us after a great spell at West Ham.
“He showed his qualities, he’s got back into the England squad and he’s scoring goals for England.
“We really want to see the best of Jesse this season and we hope to see him, we support him, and we hope to keep him here with us. He’s a Red through and through.”
Credit: Getty “NOT A NATURAL DEFENDER”
Manchester United midfielder Fred has been criticised by Kenny Cunningham for his display in the Red Devils’ shock defeat to Young Boys earlier this week.
The former Republic of Ireland international said: “I was a bit worried when I saw Pogba and Bruno alongside Fred.
“He’s (Fred) who you have to lean on. I still look at Fred and think he’s not a natural defender.”
Credit: Getty SOLSKJAER ON DALOT
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested that Diogo Dalot may get opportunities, this comes after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card against Young Boys.
Solskjaer said: “Yeah Diogo has had a very good summer with being called up to Euros, he did well for Portugal Under-21s and had a season on loan that learnt a lot from in Milan.
“He kept fit, which was a big thing. And he’s got qualities that we look at trying to exploit more and more, of course he’s got more experience.
“We’re not here just to loan out players for years and years. Last year’s loan was to give him experience and game time and I think he did well when he came on the other night”
SOLSKJAER ON RONALDO
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opened up about the atmosphere at the club following Cristiano Ronaldo’s return.
Solskjaer said: “Life is normal, we’ve signed a good player, there’s always lots of attention around Cristiano.
“He copes with it and the players get on with their job.
“It was a big occasion against Newcastle with the excitement of the crowd and I thought we did really well and handed the crowd and, of course, Cristiano delivered.”
Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opened up about his coaching philosophy ahead of Sunday’s clash at West Ham.
Solskjaer said in the pre-match press conference: “I’m not here to explain every single detail of how I want my team to play.
“We want central midfielder who can play. Today’s football is about he’s a good 6, 8, 10 back in the day you had proper midfielders, Roy Kean, Paul Scholes, Brian Robson.
“You see players out there who can attack and defend and that’s what we look for, midfielders who are complete and we try to develop that in our midfield.
“It’s a balance between how many you commit forward and how you defend because one little mistake and there’s a counter attack towards you.
“Overarching philosophy… I don’t sit here and claim and talk… football is a simple game and it’s about making good decisions and being in a team.
“Sometimes we look too much into the all intricacies and it’s passion, it’s desire – who wants to win the ball? Which one of the striker has the desire to get on the end of crosses?
“You can talk about all sorts, it looks nice on paper. But when you go out on that pitch, it’s who wants to win, that’s one of the big things. You want winners and I think I’m getting there with my team, team players”
SOLSKJAER ON LOSS
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stated that his players are “a little bit disappointed but not too downbeat” after the loss to Young Boys.
Solskjaer said: “Of course you wait to see when you see them this morning when you come back in. The attitude is like you expect it to.
“They’re focussed of course, a little bit disappointed but not too downbeat we know it’s a setback and we have to do better and we’ve got five games to get 10 to 12 points we need.
“Not the start we wanted but we’re a good team that can bounce back again and the group is very good”
SOLSKJAER ON LINGARD
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested he wants to keep Jesse Lingard.
Solskjaer said: “He’s got one year left on his contract and the club is talking to him and his dad.
“We see him as a Man United player in the future.
“We really want to see the best of him this season”
GETTY IMAGES SOLSKJAER ON CAVANI
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that Edinson Cavani won’t be available for Sunday’s match against West Ham at the London Stadium.
Solskjaer said during the pre-match press conference: “He had a fantastic season last season.
“The impact he made when he got his fitness, he struggles with niggly injuries early on.
“We feel that to get the best out of him this season we need to get him 100 per cent fit and not rush him”
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand defended manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactical decisions against Young Boys despite heavy criticism.
Ferdinand told BT Sport: “In the 72nd minute, they’re talking about needing a goal. Ole’s not thinking like that.
“As a manager I understand what he is probably thinking at that time, 1-1, away in Europe, always difficult no matter where you go, in Europe it’s always difficult to go away, on an artificial pitch, we’re down to 10 men, we’ll take a point.
“And that’s what he was thinking. He wasn’t thinking about bringing players on or keeping players on to score goals, it was about seeing the game out. And listen, if he sees that game out, no one is talking about substitutions”
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand insists that if he was the manager, he would have told Cristiano Ronaldo to “sit down” against Young Boys.
This comes after Ronaldo was seen shouting instructions to United team-mates whilst stood next to head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ferdinand told BT Sport: “If I’m the manager, I’ve got to be honest, I’m telling him to sit down.
“I get it. You know, with Cristiano people go, ‘Oh it’s bravado, it’s for the fans’. He’s just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he’s desperate to win, and he can’t hold it in.
“If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions etc etc, so be it. When it’s someone of his standing and stature in the game how can you argue with it?”
Manchester United were never planning on signing Bayern Munich star Leon Goretzka.
That is according to Fabrizio Romano, who claims that Goretzka had decided to sign a new deal with Bayern for a while now.
The midfielder opted to put pen to paper after holding talks with new manager Julian Nagelsmann.
The Germany international has extended his stay at the Allianz Arena until 2026
The steward, who was on the receiving end of a Cristiano Ronaldo shot during Manchester United’s pre-game warm-up against Young Boys, admitted she thought she was dead.
Ronaldo struck the ball wide during training in Berne before United’s first Champions League game of the season.
The ball crashed on the head of steward Marisa Nobile, who was knocked to the ground.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner jumped over the barrier to apologise and ensure she was well.
Nobile told Blick TV: “When the ball hit me on my head it was a full strike!
“I was gone in my head and went to the ground. Afterwards I saw Ronaldo above me! Me: ‘Oh my god no, did I die?’
“Ronaldo said: ‘No, no. Excuse me! What’s happening? Are you all right?’
“I was in great pain. My God. I was more or less ballaballa! But then I saw Ronaldo and the headache was gone”
Manchester United attempted to sign Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer transfer window.
That is according to Corriere dello Sport, who report that United tried to land Koulibaly in their bid for a new centre-back to partner up with Harry Maguire before reaching a deal with Raphael Varane.
However, the Red Devils were unwilling to meet the Partenopei’s release clause for the Senegal international.
The Serie A giants demanded £34.1million plus add-ons for the 30-year-old
CONT-ING ON IT
Antonio Conte is keen on managing Manchester United one day, if the opportunity arises.
That is according to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, who reports that Conte would love to join United because he knows he would win honours quickly.
That may be the reason why the Italian coach didn’t take over at Tottenham in the summer as he saw it more of a long-term project.
In fact, the former Chelsea boss wanted to replace Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford back in 2018
GETTY IMAGES ROO MAN
Rio Ferdinand has revealed Derby boss and former Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney is the “total opposite” as a manager compared to his personality as a player.
Ferdinand told FIVE: “I didn’t have an idea of what he would be like.
“As a player, he’s quiet sometimes, can be loud sometimes, can be brash, can be aggressive. He’s the total opposite as a manager, it’s mad. There’s a respect level with the players, immediately you get that with these players because he’s Wayne Rooney.
“But then you have to prove yourself. Every player I’ve talked to here, whether it be Curtis Davies, Ravel [Morrison] etc, they’ve all said ‘he’s good you know’ because they didn’t know what to expect – he’s brought them together and they’re a close-knit group now.
“We’ve got a WhatsApp group that we chat in with all the old Manchester United players and the first thing I’m going to say in there is ‘wow’ because the first thing that stands out is he absolutely loves it, tactically as well”
Former Manchester United star Louis Saha believes manager, and former team-mate, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be “questioned faster” because his team lacks weaknesses.
Saha told Sky Sports: “Let’s say yes, you can afford to lose, because there are still games to recover from that and it is a game to learn [from] and that they still have to improve. They need to raise their game and they improve their lack of concentration.
“It is all about getting things better. Ole is still a young manager, where you always look for a new mistake for him. It is unrealistic.
“I do think that he will be questioned faster because the team doesn’t have any weaknesses. For me, it is a very strong side”