Manchester United could be without Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot for Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg with LASK.

The trio sat out training on Wednesday prior to the Red Devils' flight to Austria for a match that will be held behind closed doors due to coronavirus fears.

However, United said none of the players were definitely ruled out of the travelling squad.

Defender Phil Jones could feature at Linzer Stadion, having resumed training following recent fitness problems.

Kieran O'Hara, who is on loan at Burton Albion from United, trained with his fellow goalkeepers as he serves a six-match ban for allegedly biting Peterborough United's Sammie Szmodics in a League One match.

Long-term absentees Lee Grant, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford remain out of action.

Paul Pogba is reportedly ready to stunningly re-sign with Manchester United.

The midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Premier League club throughout the season, one during which he has made just eight appearances in all competitions.

However, a fresh report suggests Pogba may yet stay at United.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA OPEN TO EXTENDING MAN UTD STAY

Pogba is ready to recommit to Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

The France international, who is contracted until 2021 but linked to Real Madrid and Juventus, sees his long-term future at the club and could even extend his deal, the report says.

Bruno Fernandes has helped lead a turnaround in form for United, who are unbeaten in 10 games.

ROUND-UP

- With Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid increasingly uncertain, Marca reports former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would be the main candidate to replace the Frenchman.

- Amid the troubles at AC Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return at San Siro may not last that long. CalcioMercato reports the striker's future with the club is in danger with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

- Marc-Andre ter Stegen has a deal at Barcelona until 2022, but it remains to be seen how long he stays at Camp Nou. Goal reports the LaLiga club are unable to meet the demands of the star goalkeeper.

- Linked repeatedly with a move for Moussa Dembele throughout last close season, United are lining up a fresh £60million (€68.4m) move for the Lyon forward, according to The Sun. Dembele has scored 22 goals in 42 games this season.

- With Hirving Lozano seemingly unwanted at Napoli, several European clubs are said to be interested in the attacker. CalcioMercato reports Atletico Madrid, Everton and West Ham are keen to sign Lozano.

LASK have confirmed the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Manchester United will be held behind closed doors.

The decision comes after the Austrian government announced measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, minister of social affairs, health care and consumer protection Rudolf Anschober and interior minister Karl Nehammer addressed reporters on Tuesday.

They confirmed all outdoor events with over 500 participants are banned until early April, with the same measures taken for any indoor events with over 100 set to be present.

United are away to LASK in the last 16 on Thursday, with the second leg to be played at Old Trafford the following week.

As of Monday, there were 131 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Austria but no fatalities, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Europa League, Champions League and domestic matches across Europe are to be played without fans in attendance over the coming weeks as nations take measures to deal with COVID-19.

Timo Werner is considering the prospect of joining Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United - but could yet stay at RB Leipzig.

The striker has been most frequently linked with Liverpool and has previously expressed his admiration for Jurgen Klopp.

The 24-year-old believes joining the Premier League leaders or City would represent a good opportunity to play for a strong side under a "great" coach, although he appears tempted by the idea of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's project to turn United back into England's dominant force.

However, Werner has not ruled out staying at Leipzig, where he thinks he could "make something great".

Speaking ahead of his side's Champions League last-16 second leg against Tottenham, he told Sky Sports: "At this time in professional soccer, there are two different variations.

"The first is to be part of a team like Liverpool or Manchester City. They have a good working team. The teams have also great coaches.

"But this is the question: do you want to go to that kind of team, because the situation is already that hard for each member and you want to be a part of it? That's one point you have to look at.

"The other side are teams which need some big changes, because they just won a few big titles, but they are not able to compete on the highest level anymore. For me, Manchester United is one of these teams.

"So at this point of my career I'm asking myself: do I want to be part of a new team, to build up something new, or do I want to stay at my team and make something great?"

Werner has scored 27 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season.

He is second only to Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga goalscoring charts this season and converted the second-half penalty at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to secure Leipzig's first-leg lead over Spurs.

Daniel Levy is known as a difficult negotiator.

The Tottenham chairman squeezed every penny out of United when the Red Devils turned to Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

United also reportedly pulled out of the running for Luka Modric, who joined Real Madrid in 2012, as they did not want to haggle with Levy.

However, United could be ready to lock horns with Levy over Harry Kane's signature.

 

TOP STORY – WOODWARD READY TO BATTLE LEVY FOR KANE

Manchester United and Ed Woodward are ready to battle for the signing of Tottenham star Harry Kane, according to the Evening Standard.

Kane is reportedly considering his future at Tottenham and the England international striker is believed to be open to a switch to United at the end of the season.

United are yet to permanently replace Romelu Lukaku and Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward reportedly wants to lock horns with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could United beat Borussia Dortmund to Jude Bellingham? Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation Bellingham visited United's training ground on Monday and reportedly spoke to former manager Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils ramp up their interest. Bellingham is valued at around £30million.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami want to sign Manchester City star David Silva, reports The Mirror. Silva, out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked to fellow MLS franchise New York City – who are the sister club of Manchester City and part of the City Football Group.

- Tuttosport claims Juventus are targeting Valencia attacker Ferran Torres. The 20-year-old has also been linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona, Real Madrid and Premier League leaders Liverpool.

United are prepared to pay £70m for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, says The Mirror. Grealish has emerged as one of United's prime transfer targets and the Red Devils are ready to test Villa's resolve as the Premier League strugglers face relegation.

Paris Saint-Germain continue to target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. PSG have identified Koulibaly as Thiago Silva's replacement but Calciomercato says it will be difficult for the Ligue 1 holders to lower Napoli's demands. Koulibaly – also linked to the likes of United, Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester City – reportedly has a €150m termination clause.

- Kicker says Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are considering signing on-loan Inter winger Ivan Perisic at season's end.

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw warned there is so much more to come from star Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford.

Fernandes has been a revelation since arriving from Sporting CP in January, with two goals and three assists in five Premier League matches.

The Portugal international brilliantly teed up Anthony Martial in Sunday's 2-0 derby victory over Manchester City – his quick free-kick helping to break the deadlock before Scott McTominay's stoppage-time strike.

Fernandes has been hailed for his performances and team-mate Shaw joined the list following the Manchester showdown at the Theatre of Dreams.

"At times we know he's going to lose possession, but we need them sort of risk passes that are going to unlock defences," Shaw said.

"He's been a brilliant signing so far and he's already come in with a few assists and a few important goals.

"We will keep pushing the standards and we'll keep pushing him because there's so much more from him to come."

United appear to have turned a corner under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – unbeaten in 10 games across all competitions.

The Red Devils, who have not lost in the Premier League since January, are fifth in the table and three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot.

"I think back then emotions got over us too much and I think we didn't maintain that, and I think this time we're in different sort of position," Shaw said as he looked back on United's 11-match unbeaten streak during Solskjaer's initial interim tenure last season.

"We're probably more experienced to it now because it was very disappointing the way we dropped off and that's not Man United. We need to keep the standards high.

"I'm sure the boss and the coaches around us will keep pushing, but also us as players we need to push each other every day to get to where we want to be. I have no doubt that we can finish off the season really strong."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Tahith Chong can have a "bright future" at Manchester United after the winger signed a new two-year contract.

Chong's previous deal was set to expire at the end of the season, with Barcelona and Juventus reportedly interested in securing his signature.

But after his agent announced an impending agreement with United, the club confirmed Chong had committed until 2022 with the option of a further year.

Solskjaer, who gave the player his debut last January, was delighted to secure the 20-year-old's talents.

"Tahith works extremely hard every day and he is constantly improving," the manager told United's official website.

"His performances this season, whether for the first team or Under-23s, are testament to his hard work, dedication and to his character.

"We are pleased with the progress he has made since he stepped up from the academy and are looking forward to continuing to develop his talent.

"Tahith has great potential. Given his age, ability and work ethic, we can see that he has a bright future at Manchester United."

Chong - a 2016 arrival from Feyenoord's academy - is likewise looking forward to continuing his work with Solskjaer, for whom he has featured 10 times this season.

"When I joined Manchester United as a youngster, it was a dream come true," he said. "It is an honour every time I pull on the shirt and represent this club.

"I am working hard every day to improve and I know this is the perfect environment to develop my game.

"The opportunity to learn from the manager, his coaching staff and the world-class players here is fantastic.

"I am delighted to sign this new contract and really grateful for the chance to prove myself here for many years to come."

Manchester United winger Tahith Chong has agreed to sign a new contract at Old Trafford, according to his agent.

The 20-year-old's existing United deal is up at the end of the season, and he has been linked to a host of Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus and Inter.

But Chong has decided to remain in Manchester, where he has made 10 appearances for the Red Devils this season.

Agent Erkan Alkan said, in quotes reported by Algemeen Dagblad: "There was a lot of interest, we talked to big clubs.

"But Manchester United came up with a good plan for Tahith. He likes to stay with the club that brought him from the Netherlands."

Alkan had previously suggested in January it was time for Chong to "look further" with a different club.

Chong was handed his senior United debut early in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign against Reading in the FA Cup in January 2019.

He subsequently featured in the team's stunning 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, before making his first start at home to Astana in this season's Europa League.

Ilkay Gundogan insists it was wrong to award the free-kick that led to Manchester United's opening goal in the derby and has accused Bruno Fernandes of play-acting.

City midfielder Gundogan was penalised when he prodded the ball away from Fernandes while making minimal contact with the United star 29 minutes into the match at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead from the resulting set-piece, Fernandes chipping a clever pass that Anthony Martial volleyed past Ederson.

United withstood City pressure in the second half before Scott McTominay pounced on another Ederson error to secure a 2-0 victory in second-half injury time.

"There was frustration about the free-kick before the goal," Gundogan admitted. "It was not a foul at all. I just touched the ball and he goes on the floor shouting.

"I don't even know if the referee saw it or just had a feeling that it was a foul. That was very disappointing for me, to be honest, because I was involved in the action and conceding the goal straight afterwards hurt very much. We tried hard after conceding the first one but it just wasn't enough."

Gundogan refused to pin blame for the defeat onto Ederson, who also nearly allowed Martial to score a second with uncharacteristically careless control.

"Eddy has been crucial in so many games for us, and he is allowed to make mistakes. Unfortunately, this time they were punished, very crucially for us," he said.

"We win together and lose together. That's why we play football; that's why we're a team. He will deal with that situation very well. He's angry, disappointed and frustrated, but it's always about how you get out of it. He has all of our support and I'm sure he will do much better in the next games."

City could not match United's intensity in the first half and were short on creativity in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, managing only four shots on target throughout.

"It hurts a lot," said Gundogan. "Not really the result but that we didn't play our best game, especially creating in the last third. This game is always big, one of the biggest derbies in the world. That's why we wanted to perform and play well.

"United were much more aggressive, especially after scoring the first goal. They tried to press very high for 10 minutes afterwards. Missing Kevin is crucial in these kind of games.

"But we still have some very important games, big games. We play Arsenal now and Burnley. Then obviously a vital game against [Real] Madrid at home [in the Champions League] and another crucial game in the FA Cup.

"So we still have the possibility to win silverware. We will try to achieve that and do better than we did on Sunday."

Liverpool are reportedly considering their plans for Timo Werner should they land the RB Leipzig forward this close season.

Werner, 24, has been linked with a move to the Premier League leaders after a prolific campaign with the Bundesliga side.

But if the Germany international does sign for Liverpool ahead of 2020-21, he may not be in their initial plans.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL COULD LOAN WERNER BACK TO RB LEIPZIG IF FORWARD JOINS

Liverpool could loan Werner back to RB Leipzig for next season if they get a deal done ahead of 2020-21, according to Bild.

Werner has scored 27 goals in 35 games this season, leading to interest from across Europe.

The Germany international, capped 29 times by his country, said last month he was proud to be linked to Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Paulo Dybala is close to signing a five-year contract with Juventus, according to CalcioMercato, which reports only a late phone call from the attacker to his agent scuppered a move to Manchester United last year.

- Alexis Sanchez's future is unclear, but it appears it will not be at Inter. The Daily Mail reports the Serie A side have no interest in keeping the Chile international, who is on a season-long loan from Manchester United and has made just seven starts this campaign.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Willian appears set for a Chelsea exit. Le 10 Sport reports Paris Saint-Germain are interested in the attacker, while Arsenal and Manchester United are their main rivals for the Brazil international's signature.

- Arsenal are lining up a move for Manchester City defender John Stones in the close season, according to TEAMtalk.

- Tahith Chong is yet to re-sign with Manchester United despite being out of contract at the end of the season. The Sun reports the Premier League club are confident they can convince the attacker to re-sign amid interest from the likes of Inter.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded Bruno Fernandes' impact at Manchester United after a 2-0 derby win over Manchester City on Sunday.

Fernandes' impressive start to his career at Old Trafford continued with a brilliant quick free-kick to set up Anthony Martial's opener, while Scott McTominay sealed United's win late on.

The Portugal international arrived at United in January and already has two goals and three assists in five Premier League games.

Solskjaer praised the 25-year-old for his performances at United so far, as his side moved within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

"He works hard, he's humble enough, he's got the desire, commitment, but he's also got the X-factor," the United manager told a news conference.

"He's a risk taker, he's got courage, he's brave enough to make mistakes and if you make enough mistakes they'll be corrected into fantastic assists or goals."

United are on a 10-game unbeaten run and completed a league double over City for the first time since 2009-10.

Solskjaer is happy with his team's growth but believes they are still a few signings away from being Premier League contenders.

"We feel we're improving all the time and we know that we lack one or two, three players and some experience to be considered a title contender, we know that and we're not going to start talking about that now," he said.

"We're just going to start talking about getting up the table, getting more points, challenging for that top four because Chelsea and Leicester are too far ahead of us for my liking still."

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva believes the comfort zone of their Premier League position may have contributed to a derby defeat against Manchester United that was "not acceptable".

Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay saw City suffer a 2-0 loss to rivals United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

It ensured United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed home and away league victories over City counterpart Pep Guardiola – the first time the Red Devils have done the double over their Manchester rivals for 10 years.

Second-placed City are 25 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool but have a seven-point cushion over Leicester City in third.

"The reality is the pressure is not on in the Premier League," Silva told Sky Sports.

"We don't have much pressure because we know that our position is not changing a lot because we will not get to the title.

"I think we will be second to qualify for the Champions League. So maybe that is a thing."

After picking up 100 and 98 points in each of the last two seasons, City have suffered seven defeats this term and have just 57 points with 10 matches still to play.

"A team like ours cannot lose as many games in the Premier League as we have this season," Silva added. "So, we need to check what is not going right and try to not make the mistakes.

"We have to watch the game back and listen to what Pep has to say.

"It was a bad game for us and, in my opinion, not acceptable.

"It's a derby, it's an important game for our fans, and it is not acceptable to play the way we did and lose 2-0."

However, Silva felt the awarding of a free-kick that led to United's opening goal, after Ilkay Gundogan was deemed to have fouled Bruno Fernandes, was an incorrect decision made by referee Mike Dean.

He added: "From my point of view, and from where I was, it was clear it was not a foul. I don't know if on the television it is a foul or not.

"The referees like us, like all the players, can make mistakes. It's football."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described it as "a privilege" to be Manchester United manager after watching his side's 2-0 derby victory over Manchester City.

The Red Devils struck a potentially fatal blow to City's title defence at Old Trafford as goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay maintained their charge for the Champions League places.

United were deservedly ahead at half-time after Martial's volley went through the grasp of Ederson, and they defended stoutly against a blunt City until McTominay struck with seconds remaining after he pounced on a poor throw from the visiting goalkeeper.

The performance and result highlighted the progress of Solskjaer's rebuilding work at United, coming 11 months on from a 4-0 defeat at Everton that left the manager apologising to fans and making it clear some players would be moved on.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, Solskjaer could not fault the effort of his players, even though he can see the need for some improvements.

"The desire, attitude, commitment, the connection between fans and the team. What a day they've had today, both the players and the fans," he said.

"Of course, they make us defend - that's just the type of team they are - but our fans could see players with commitment and attitude and desire. We've done our job then.

"I think we at times pressed them and pushed them back. We tried to be aggressive with the wing-backs and three up front, so we ended up with three at the back. When we hit the press, we made them make mistakes and we're happy with the result.

"I can't put a finger on anything [that was a negative] but, at times, you'd like to defend with the ball in the team sometimes, but I'm not going to complain!

"It's a privilege to be a manager of a squad and players with this attitude. They give us absolutely everything they've got, every time they play, and you can't ask for more.

"We're gonna improve as a team; they're gonna improve as players. There were two or three times today: head up, and we score goals. Twice, Dan James could just square it, once for Bruno [Fernandes] and once for Anthony; Anthony should square it for Bruno.

"Those little things will come, but it's a privilege. They want to learn, and they listen to the advice we give them.

"It's a derby: the fans love it, the players love it. Sometimes, you can say it's only three points, but for our players to beat a team like Man City, with the problems that we've had as well, is fantastic. I'm just delighted for them.

"We played against an absolute top, top team and, of course, we had to defend, and they had possession, but we're delighted with the outcome."

Solskjaer also highlighted a growing understanding between January signing Fernandes and Martial, the Portugal midfielder having set up the opening goal with a clever chipped free-kick.

"They've hit it off, Anthony and Bruno," Solskjaer added. "Bruno is that type of player. I've seen them do it before."

Pep Guardiola backed Ederson as an exceptional goalkeeper after the Brazil international's errors led to Manchester City's 2-0 derby defeat at Manchester United.

Following a period of early control from City, Anthony Martial's volley squirmed through Ederson's grasp to give United an advantage they did not relinquish in the face of second-half pressure.

Ederson also lackadaisically missed his touch to almost allow Martial a second, and his ill-advised throw as the visitors chased an equaliser allowed Scott McTominay to seal the points in stoppage time.

"He saved one or two, so… he is an exceptional goalkeeper," Guardiola told Sky Sports after suffering a third defeat to his local rivals this term.

"I'm not here to come to judge my players if they make mistakes. It's part of the game.

"He will recover and he is an exceptional goalkeeper."

City remain 25 points shy of champions-elect Liverpool and still comfortably ensconced in the top four - a fact in itself that remains somewhat academic as their two-season ban from UEFA competition awaits an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

This season's Champions League remains a live ambition, with a 2-1 advantage held over Real Madrid before a return last-16 encounter at the Etihad Stadium later this month, while City travel to Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-finals after already winning a third EFL Cup in succession.

Despite this cup-heavy feel to the season run-in, Guardiola baulked at the suggestion his team lacked motivation or underperformed in their Premier League assignment at Old Trafford.

"We played so good. Even when we win 5-0, we can play better," he added.

"The schedule we know. Liverpool are far away and we have to play the game for ourselves. Today we did it."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a habit – often a timely one when conjecture about his suitability for the role of Manchester United manager springs up – of claiming wins over the Premier League's big-hitters.

But Sunday's 2-0 Manchester derby triumph over City, their third in all competitions against these feted opponents this season, carried a weight of authority to suggest Ole at the wheel might yet steer the club to a prosperous destination. 

For all the thrills of their against-the-odds comeback over Paris Saint-Germain in last season's Champions League, to the 4-0 ransacking of Chelsea on the opening day of this term and a bravura counter-attacking display at the Etihad Stadium last December, there was far more substance to what unfolded at Old Trafford.

The opening 20 minutes indicated normal service on this ground, where City had won six times and lost once on their past eight Premier League visits, before considering January's EFL Cup semi-final masterclass.

Raheem Sterling forced a smart save from a plunging David de Gea, Sergio Aguero deliciously nutmegged a sprawling Harry Maguire to prompt another close shave and the visitors' possession figure tipped 71 per cent.

But United did not blink or shirk from a plan built on applying steady pressure in the City half, closing up the passing avenues that become gold-paved boulevards when Pep Guardiola's men are at their best.

Where there has been a kick, rush and hope approach in midfield in these fixtures previously from United, there was assurance.

It is hard to overstate the impact of Bruno Fernandes, whose clever chipped free-kick created Anthony Martial's breakthrough goal. United now have a game-breaker in central areas after seasons of chasing the shadows of Yaya Toure, David Silva and others in this local argument.

Kevin De Bruyne's injury absence for City was only made more yawningly obvious by Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva's wholly ineffective contributions, within a collective effort that smacked of attentions turned elsewhere to a potential clean sweep of knockout cups at home and abroad.

With the sky blue creators becalmed – and the part of a revitalised Nemanja Matic in this should not be under-stated – United could turn their attentions towards a back four never too far from ramshackle this season.

Fernandinho and Oleksandr Zinchenko were made to look like recent converts to their positions. Nicolas Otamendi, a career centre-back, rarely looks anything other than a recent convert to his position.

Fouls were coughed up, even if Gundogan's punishment for a challenge on Fred that led to the pivotal moment was highly debatable. Behind that porous backline, the usually reliable Ederson flapped over Martial's volley and saw it nestle in his net.

Either side of the goal, Fernandinho and Rodri received bookings for dissent. United were the side exhibiting smooth control, bending ratty and rattled opponents to their will.

The pay-off for Solskjaer's men controlling the middle part of the contest was they had the fresh legs and clear minds to repel what passed for a City onslaught when it arrived. Sterling added to his catalogue of horror misses against these opponents – it is now remarkably no goals in 20 outings against the Red Devils – but scares were kept to a minimum.

Old Trafford rose to acclaim its new hero when Fernandes made way to run the clock down, but this was every inch Solskjaer's triumph, one unforgettably burnished by Scott McTominay thanks to another Ederson moment to forget.

A second clean sheet in succession against the most potent attack in the land, a trio of wins over a generation-defining coach, a first league double over City for a decade and a step towards the Champions League next season – a stage on which a performance of such style and steel belongs.

Now unbeaten in 10 across all competitions, Solskjaer might just be convincing the doubters he belongs there too.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.