Rumour Has It: Real Madrid consider Haaland-Jovic swap, Mbappe move on hold

By Sports Desk April 07, 2020

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  • Solskjaer amazed by Cavani and backs 'more mature' Greenwood for big run Solskjaer amazed by Cavani and backs 'more mature' Greenwood for big run

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes a "more mature" Mason Greenwood is set for a big second half of the season as he hailed the influence of Edinson Cavani.

    The United boss has been amazed by the impact made by Cavani since he signed on a free transfer after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

    That has included the lessons he has taught Greenwood, who has not kicked on as expected after his stunning first-team breakthrough last season.

    Greenwood ended a 10-match run without a goal with a composed finish in the 3-2 FA Cup win over Liverpool on Sunday.

    Solskjaer thinks that is a sign of things to come for the teenager.

    "We think Mason is going be very important in the second half of the season, but it is not just going happen by itself," Solskjaer said ahead of Wednesday's home Premier League game with Sheffield United.

    "He scored against West Ham a while back as well and was expected to kick on.

    "He's taken steps, he's grown, he's more mature and he's been training with Edinson for half a season, he is learning good habits. 

    "And whoever doesn't learn from players like him [Cavani], or Bruno [Fernandes] or the players we've brought in, that's a pity.

    "I'm very confident that Mason will chip in good performances and with goals and assists."

    Solskjaer was asked to elaborate on Cavani, who turns 34 next month having delighted the United boss on and off the pitch.

    He added: "How long have we got? 

    "What he brings is when a striker of that age runs almost 12 kilometres, every time he chases down the centre-back when he has got the ball, every time the goalkeeper has the ball.

    "He tackles centre midfielders!

    "He made a mistake for Liverpool's [second] goal but he is the one who is closest to winning it back inside our own 18-yard box. 

    "His reaction, his work-rate, his habits, and his threat in the box and the humility of coming in every single day to do your best.

    "We could go on and on and on but his experience and attitude, of course, that’s given us a lesson, every single one of us."

    Marcus Rashford, who impressed against Liverpool, should be fit to face the Blades after a minor knee issue.

    "We are looking strong, which is a good place to be in," Solskjaer added. "Marcus is available for selection, he tweaked his knee a little bit but trained fully this morning."

    United are two points clear at the top of the Premier League as they prepare to face the team sitting bottom.

    They have won their last seven home top-flight encounters with Sheffield United, a run that stretches back to August 1975.

    Opta data shows the Blades collected just one point in eight top-flight meetings with the Red Devils and the fitness of Rashford will come as a blow.

    That is because the England forward has been directly involved in six goals in his three Premier League outings against Chris Wilder's men (three goals, three assists), averaging a goal or assist every 43 minutes.

  • No deals yet for Lingard or Williams as Solskjaer confirms Man Utd plan for Diallo No deals yet for Lingard or Williams as Solskjaer confirms Man Utd plan for Diallo

    Manchester United are yet to agree loan exits for Jesse Lingard or Brandon Williams, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intends to keep Amad Diallo at the club.

    Teams including West Brom, West Ham and Sheffield United have been linked with England international Lingard, who has started just twice and not made a single Premier League appearance this season.

    Solskjaer has agreed to allow the 28-year-old, who last scored in the 2-1 Europa League win over LASK in August, to seek a loan move in order to find regular playing time and perhaps earn an international recall.

    Full-back Williams, who has played only six minutes in the league this season, and young winger Facundo Pellistri are also set to be loaned out, with the latter tipped to join either Club Brugge or Deportivo Alaves.

    However, United manager Solskjaer has different plans for Diallo, with the 18-year-old close to being declared ready for first-team duties despite arriving in England from Atalanta only on January 7.

    "They're still part of our club, part of the squad, training well," Solskjaer said when asked about Lingard and Williams. "No deal has been struck for any players yet going out, there is still a little period left, of course. There have been many clubs interested in our players, so let's see what happens.

    "For me, it's also important to take our wishes and our plans into consideration, but the players, of course, are Manchester United people and players through and through.

    "There have been talks [about Pellistri] and there have been quite a few clubs interested in Facundo to go out on loan, and that is maybe something we will let him do now. He's had a few games in the reserves, we want him to have regular football at a high level.

    "With Amad, it's a different scenario, he's going through a good training regime and training programme. He's doing well and it won't be too long before I can bring him into the squad."

    The Red Devils face Sheffield United on Wednesday, looking to extend a seven-game league winning streak at home against the Blades that stretches back to August 1975.

    Solskjaer's men sat top of the table after 19 games but knew Manchester City could move a point above them by beating West Brom on Tuesday.

    Struggling Sheffield United will go into Wednesday's contest 35 points behind the Old Trafford outfit, which, paradoxically, could give them some hope: Manchester United have only won one of their past six league matches against teams over whom they have held such a points advantage in the table, losing two of the previous three at home.

  • Chelsea job not too soon for Lampard, who will bounce back - Ancelotti Chelsea job not too soon for Lampard, who will bounce back - Ancelotti

    Frank Lampard did not take the Chelsea job too soon and will make a swift return to management, according to Carlo Ancelotti.

    Chelsea sacked their all-time leading goalscorer Lampard on Monday just 18 months after he arrived from Derby County, where he began his career as a coach one year prior.

    He steered the Blues to a top-four finish in the Premier League and to the FA Cup final, but a run of two wins in eight top-flight games left them 11 points off leaders Manchester United in ninth.

    Ancelotti, who coached Lampard for two years at Stamford Bridge, does not think Lampard was too inexperienced for the role.

    "No, I don't think so," the Everton boss replied when asked if Lampard had taken the Chelsea job too soon. "I think where you start a career as a manager or a player, every career you don't have experience.

    "It's important to have knowledge. I think what Lampard did as a player and what he did as a manager before going to Chelsea, has knowledge of football. When you have knowledge of football you can grow your experience, but everyone that starts a career has no experience.

    "I want to compare to [Juventus coach Andrea] Pirlo. Of course they don't have experience, but experience is not the most important part of your job. The most important part is the knowledge and the management. And after that with the knowledge you can grow, you can improve your experience."

    Ancelotti considers being sacked to be part and parcel of football management and does not think it will take long for Lampard to find another position.

    "It's not unusual that a manager is sacked. Frank Lampard knows this. My personal opinion is that getting sacked is part of our job. We have to understand this," said Ancelotti.

    "I was sacked everywhere, so I have to consider the fact it's part of our job. Frank will soon find another opportunity because he's a good manager. He did well at Chelsea but for the club it was not enough. It's simple.

    "In the end it's not sad news. One door closes and for him that is Chelsea – I understand that Chelsea was his club, he played for them, but for sure he is going to have another opportunity soon."

    Jose Mourinho is the only manager to have led Chelsea for more than two consecutive seasons – he did it in both his stints at the helm – since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

    However, Ancelotti does not consider the Blues to be a tougher place to work.

    "Chelsea is not more difficult than other clubs, it's the same," he said.

    "Every club has expectations and when things aren't going how they like, what are they going to do? They are going to change 20 players? The easiest way is to change the manager.

    "This is what happens in football. All managers know this. We have to consider this part of our job and nothing more."

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