Will Manchester City finally land Kalidou Koulibaly?

Pep Guardiola's City want defensive reinforcements and Napoli centre-back Koulibaly is reportedly at the top of the list.

If they are unsuccessful, Sevilla's Jules Kounde is next on the list.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOT GIVING UP KOULIBALY

Manchester City are still in talks with Napoli to sign star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

City have been tipped to sign Koulibaly, who has also been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

However, City are yet to reach an agreement with Napoli and Sevilla's Jules Kounde is the "backup option" but a bid has already been turned down.

 

ROUND-UP

- Romano says Wolves will complete the signing of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo on Monday. It comes as Barca eye Ajax defender Sergino Dest or Real Betis' Emerson to replace Semedo. Norwich City's Max Aarons has also been linked.

Milan have made Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic their number one defensive target ahead of Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, reports the Daily Record.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are eyeing Real Madrid full-back Marcelo. The Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion in Turin.

- The Telegraph says PSG are interested in Tottenham's Dele Alli. Out of favour under Jose Mourinho, Spurs are reportedly targeting Manchester United's Jesse Lingard as a replacement.

Roma remain interested in Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik but Madrid outcast Luka Jovic has emerged as 'Plan B', according to Calciomercato.

Leeds United are out of the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, reports Romano. Wanted by Marcelo Bielsa, the Croatian teenager is now set for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

Manchester United eased into the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 7-1 aggregate defeat of LASK following Wednesday's 2-1 win in the last-16 second leg. 

Jesse Lingard cancelled out a spectacular opening goal from Philipp Wiesinger at Old Trafford before substitute Anthony Martial sealed the win with two minutes of normal time left. 

The first-leg thrashing in Austria, United's last game before the coronavirus pandemic halted the season, set the Red Devils up for a relatively comfortable return game against a side whose domestic season finished a month ago. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made nine changes from the team that ended the Premier League season with a 2-0 win at Leicester City, leading to a disjointed first-half display in which they failed to muster a shot on target. 

Andres Andrade nodded the ball off the crossbar and Marko Raguz was denied by a good Sergio Romero save, as LASK showed greater early initiative.

United's first meaningful effort on goal was a low strike from Odion Ighalo, who turned well from Juan Mata's pass but shot too close to Alexander Schlager. 

At the other end, Romero could do nothing to stop Wiesinger putting LASK ahead, the defender sending a stunning first-time strike into the top-right corner from 25 yards out. 

The lead lasted just two minutes, though, Mata sending a pass into the path of Lingard, who had plenty of time to side-foot past Schlager from inside the penalty area. 

Romero just about kept out a Dominik Reiter effort at his near post before Solskjaer handed 18-year-old Teden Mengi his senior debut at right-back. 

It was another second-half substitute, Martial, who got the winner, combining superbly with Mata before side-footing through the legs of Schlager, who was just unable to keep the shot out. 

What does it mean? United must now wake up and smell Cologne 

It would have been a truly sensational result if LASK had come back to win this tie, and Solskjaer's changed line-up was no surprise given the fatigue some of his players had shown at the end of the league season. 

This was a chance for some back-up players to stake a claim for a starting spot in the quarter-final in Cologne next Monday, when United will take on Copenhagen, who were 3-1 aggregate winners over Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir. 

For the established stars given a chance to rest, the preparation starts now. 

Lingard finding form at last 

"I lost who I was as a player and person, but I never wanted to give up," Lingard wrote on social media after scoring his first league goal of the season with practically the last kick of the final game at Leicester. 

The England international admitted to some tough self-reflection after a very difficult season, but a second goal in as many games is a sign he is beginning to find his way again. 

Left-back limitations 

Brandon Williams earned a new contract thanks to a breakthrough season for United, but his recent outings in place of the injured Luke Shaw have not been of the highest standard. 

He was defensively capable on Wednesday but, as a right-footed left-back, he simply does not offer enough of an attacking threat on the overlap down the wing. Shaw's absence for the rest of the tournament could be keenly felt. 

What's next? 

United will now prepare for the meeting with Copenhagen in Germany on August 10. As for LASK, they have three friendlies scheduled before their 2020-21 season starts in the domestic cup against Siegendorf on August 27. 

Jurgen Klopp and Andy Robertson have discussed their experiences of mental health challenges - revealing anguish over loved relatives not living to witness their greatest achievements.

Liverpool manager Klopp and his star left-back have taken part in the #SoundOfSupport series for the Heads Up campaign, which Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is spearheading.

Scotland international Robertson, now a Champions League and Premier League winner with the Reds, recalled the difficulties he encountered as a teenager being released by Celtic and the struggle of losing his aunt, a prominent supporter of his when growing up.

Speaking of his Celtic exit, Robertson said: "I was a normal 15-year-old lad so there were probably a few tears but my mum and dad got me my favourite curry that night.

"My auntie came up to the house and she told Mum: 'I'm telling you, he'll make it as a footballer.' And that's something that's always stayed with me.

"When I was at Dundee United, on Christmas Day, sadly she passed away. She was one that always believed I was something special even when probably nobody believed it when I was younger.

"But that is something that does bug me a little bit, that she's not seen me lifting the Champions League, lifting the Premier League and things like that."

That prompted Klopp to recall a similar experience when he lost his father shortly before becoming a manager.

"My dad never saw me as a manager. He died four months before I became a manager," the former Borussia Dortmund boss said.

"He pushed me through my [playing] career pretty much, with really harsh criticism and stuff like this, but now my real career, he never saw. That's hard from time to time."

The series is attempting to use the reach of football to get people to open up about their mental health, an issue particularly prominent over the past few months with the coronavirus pandemic consigning people to spend large periods of time at their homes.

"Uncertain I think, for all of us," Robertson said when asked about how he coped with lockdown.

"We have parents that are older, we have family that are in the so-called bracket of high risk. 

"I think football kind of took a step to one side, but we were all wanting the season to end."

Klopp replied: "There were moments in the lockdown when we thought it is a proper setback from all of our dreams.

"So it was a setback but it was a setback for all of us together, and we could calm each other down.

"[It] helps if you don't feel all the burden on your own shoulders. If you have a group of friends or a group of colleagues and you can create an atmosphere like this, that helps.

"I think there is no problem big enough or small enough that you cannot talk about it."

Robertson spoke about how his own experiences were exacerbated once he made it in the game.

"When I started making it professional that's when I struggled the most," he said.

"I was down in Hull on my own and people thought 'okay, he's a Premier League footballer, he's playing for Hull, he's getting a good wage' so then people would stop asking 'how are you?'. I used to be one who blocked everything up and thought 'my problems are my problems'.

"Now I feel so much better. I remember speaking to [my partner] Rach a year ago about something daft, something that was playing on my mind and after a 10-minute conversation with her I felt everything was off [my shoulders] and thought, 'yeah, I should do this a bit more often'."

Manchester City duo Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden, and Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, appeared in separate videos for the campaign.

Germany international Gundogan spoke about the feeling of isolation during lockdown away from his family.

"For me growing up, the most important thing was always family. They were kind of like the psychologists for myself. [Now] I am in a different country, I don't know many people apart from the people from the club," he said.

"I have one friend over here who I saw during lockdown. The fact that I have spent a lot of time on my own and without family and friends during lockdown just showed me how important it is to have your loved ones close to you."

Lingard, who appeared alongside TV and radio presenter Maya Jama, revealed family issues had affected his performances on the pitch.

"Last season, I was going through some things off the field with my family so it was difficult for me to perform on the field," Lingard said.

"I'm very family orientated and my mum was going through some things last year with depression. So, in the meantime, I had to look after my little brother and sister who are 12 and 15. I was still performing at the same time.

"You just get to that point where you're like, I've got to actually say something. I spoke to my family and stuff like that. It felt so much better."

Luis Suarez is eager to stay at Barcelona amid MLS interest, while Chelsea may have a choice to make.

Suarez, 33, is out of contract at the LaLiga giants next year and has been linked with a move away.

The forward seemingly has options.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ WANTS BARCELONA STAY AMID INTER MIAMI INTEREST

Suarez has no intention of leaving Barcelona, according to Sport.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo reported Suarez has an offer from MLS club Inter Miami, but wants to extend his stay at Barca beyond 2021.

Suarez has scored 19 goals in 34 games in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are linked with further moves this close season. But Sport Bild reports Atletico Madrid are relaxed over the Premier League club's interest in Jan Oblak, with the LaLiga side doubting Chelsea can afford both the goalkeeper and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

- Philippe Coutinho is expected to make a permanent move from Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are best-placed to land the playmaker and Barca want only money for the Brazil international.

- Bayern Munich have set their price for Thiago Alcantara, who is linked with a move to Liverpool. Sport Bild says the Bundesliga champions want £27.2m (€30m) for the midfielder.

- Could Manchester City have received a transfer boost? Sport Bild reports David Alaba's contract talks with Bayern Munich are at a stalemate. Alaba is out of contract at Bayern next year and has been linked to City.

- Jesse Lingard's time at Manchester United could be over. The Daily Mail says United are prepared to sell the midfielder, who has been linked to Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Jesse Lingard admitted he "lost who I was as a player" as he addressed his difficult 2019-20 campaign with Manchester United.

The England international made just nine Premier League starts - by far his fewest since his breakthrough 2015-16 season with United - and the most recent of those came in a New Year's Day loss to Arsenal.

Lingard, who was taken off in each of those nine games, was restricted to a handful of substitute's appearances as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side rediscovered their form either side of the coronavirus-enforced break to secure a top-four finish and qualify for next season's Champions League.

The campaign at least ended on a high for Lingard as he scored his first top-flight goal since December 2018 in the 2-0 win over Leicester City on Sunday, but the 27-year-old confessed to experiencing a difficult term with his boyhood club.

Lingard has previously spoken of being affected by off-field issues involving his family, but claimed his love for United has never diminished.

In an Instagram post, the 27-year-old wrote: "This season has been difficult for so many reasons.

"I lost who I was as a player and person, but I never wanted to give up, I knew who I really was on and off the pitch and knew that having been there before I could get there again.

"This meant working harder than I'd ever done before and trusting in those around me that they knew how to best help me achieve that.

"I know the fans have been frustrated but in all this time my love for this club and everyone connected to it has never left me.

"This team, this club is my family and I will continue to keep working harder than ever to help this team achieve its goals."

Lingard has just one year left remaining on his United deal and there have been suggestions he could be offloaded in this transfer window.

In January the midfielder appointed Paul Pogba's long-term agent Mino Raiola - who has had numerous issues with United in the past - to represent him.

Cristiano Ronaldo is football's equivalent to basketball legend Michael Jordan, according to Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.

NBA icon Jordan won six championships across two stints with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and was crowned MVP on five occasions.

By comparison, five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has clinched seven league titles in three different countries, most recently helping Juventus to back-to-back Scudettos.

And Lingard, who was part of United's academy during Ronaldo's time at Old Trafford, believes the Portugal international is football's answer to Jordan.

"I have to say Cristiano Ronaldo," he told Sky Sports when asked to pick a footballer who can be likened to Jordan.

"Everything he has achieved in his career. He has been at plenty of clubs and won many trophies. I believe he is a real icon of football, the Michael Jordan of football."

Lingard never played in the same side as Ronaldo in a competitive game but was on opposing sides to the forward in United's 2-1 Champions League win against Juve last season.

But the England international insists the former Real Madrid superstar has not posed him too many problems in the years since he left United.

"I have played against him a few times. Did he give me trouble? No, he wasn't too bad, to be fair," he said. 

"There was one game in pre-season where he came on and you could see the skills and the qualities that he brought.

"When he first came to Manchester United, I was 11 or 12. We did a skills DVD and it was him teaching us skills which was good. 

"That was the first time I had seen him. He was young and skinny when he came to the club."

A Bruno Fernandes penalty helped Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Leicester City to send Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side into the Champions League.

The Red Devils needed only a draw to guarantee they would finish above Leicester, who were left needing all three points due to Chelsea's 2-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

It was talisman Fernandes who kept his cool on a nervy final day of the Premier League season at the King Power Stadium after Anthony Martial had been fouled by Jonny Evans, who was later sent off, with 19 minutes to go.

Leicester had half-chances throughout but could not find a way past David de Gea and their day was summed up by the late dismissal of Evans and a mistake by Kasper Schmeichel that allowed Jesse Lingard to seal the victory.

Wilfred Ndidi blasted over from a promising position after Nemanja Matic gave away the ball on the edge of his own box, with Leicester pressing United high in the early exchanges.

Kelechi Iheanacho should have done better when leading a three-on-two break but he scuffed a poor shot at De Gea rather than play a pass, with Jamie Vardy offside as he tried to pounce on the rebound.

Youri Tielemans placed a shot just wide before Marcus Rashford wasted United's best chance of the first half, blazing high and wide after Paul Pogba's bouncing ball had reached him.

United finally found some attacking rhythm in first-half stoppage time and only a good Kasper Schmeichel parry kept out Rashford's powerful half-volley.

A looping header from Vardy hit the top of the United crossbar as Brendan Rodgers brought on Ayoze Perez, knowing a goal was critical.

But when Hamza Choudhury lost possession to Mason Greenwood, Fernandes sent Martial through on goal and he was brought down by a combination of Wes Morgan and Evans, with Martin Atkinson awarding United a record 14th spot-kick in a single Premier League season.

Fernandes sent Schmeichel the wrong way to put United back into the Champions League for the first time since 2018-19.

Leicester's frustration boiled over in stoppage time when former United defender Evans was shown a red card for a tired lunge at substitute Scott McTominay, and Lingard made certain of matters when he tackled Schmeichel and slotted home his first league goal of the season in the 98th minute.
 

What does it mean? United complete unlikely comeback in top-four chase

With a 2-0 loss to Arsenal on January 1, United found themselves fifth, 14 points and 20 goals worse off than Leicester in second.

The fact they have finished the season above the Foxes - as well as Chelsea - highlights their improvement in 2020 and the problems Leicester have had with injuries and sustaining their form.

United are heading back to the Champions League then, but a Europa League spot and finishing above teams including Tottenham and Arsenal is not to be sniffed at for Leicester.

Maguire passes huge test on Leicester return

Booked after only nine minutes, Maguire generally marshalled the United defence well and cut out many attempted balls over the top for Vardy. He will be as thrilled as any United player to have snatched top four away from his old club.

Rashford needs a rest

Rashford missed a couple of openings in the first half and generally seemed off the pace, much as he has in the past two weeks. He looks like a player who will welcome a short break between now and the Europa League's return next month.

What's next?

Leicester may be done for the season, but United's Europa League campaign resumes against LASK at Old Trafford on August 5.

Jesse Lingard is confident Manchester United team-mate Mason Greenwood will remain humble and build on his stunning scoring exploits this season. 

Greenwood has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the 2019-20 campaign, becoming a key component of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad despite still only being 18 years old. 

The forward has managed 17 goals in all competitions, matching Wayne Rooney, George Best and Brian Kidd to equal the club-record tally for a teenager, and has been a regular starter since the resumption in June. 

His early success has raised expectations, both for club and country, but Lingard believes his fellow academy graduate has the right attitude to keep on improving.

"Ever since he started training with the first team, he's done exceptionally well," Lingard - who has only started nine league games this term - told Sky Sports. 

"Even though he's so young he's taken the reins and brought the goals and the assists in. 

"He's been a really good addition to the team. Obviously he's been banging in goals ever since he was a kid and the manager has seen his talent and put him in the first team and he's been producing. 

"For him now it's about still working hard, keep practicing and staying humble. 

"I think he will do that anyway, he's always been a humble guy and he's got confidence as well."

Greenwood will hope to add to his total when United travel to Leicester City on Sunday, with the winner of the game certain to secure a top-four finish and Champions League football for next season.

If unable to clinch a place via the Premier League, the Red Devils could also qualify by winning the Europa League.

Paulo Dybala is set to become Juventus' second highest paid player, while Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly targeting Marcus Rashford.

Dybala was linked with a move away from the Serie A club last year, but ended up staying and is enjoying a fine season in Turin.

Now, the Argentina international is set to be rewarded.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA TO BECOME JUVE'S SECOND HIGHEST PAID PLAYER

Coming out of contract in 2022, Dybala is close to extending his contract at Juventus until 2025, according to Tuttosport.

The playmaker will become Juve's second highest paid player behind only star forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dybala has scored 17 goals and provided eight assists in 41 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing a Manchester United forward. The Independent reports PSG have made Rashford their top transfer target.

- Staying in Paris and talk about Neymar's future continues. Mundo Deportivo says Neymar still wants a return to Barcelona, who are reportedly set to raise funds by selling numerous players. Sport says they are prepared to sell Samuel Umtiti amid interest from Lazio, Napoli, Roma and Torino.

- Jan Vertonghen is coming out of contract at Tottenham and appears set to leave the club. The Telegraph reports the defender has emerged as a target for Manchester City.

- Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma's contract expires in 2021. CalcioMercato reports renewing the shot-stopper's deal is becoming a priority for Milan, who are set to extend his contract until 2023.

- Former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, 34, is a free agent after leaving Qatari club Al-Duhail. According to CalcioMercato, Inter are yet to make a strong move for the Croatian amid reported interest.

- As they look to raise funds, Manchester United are open to selling six players. The Telegraph reports Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot are considered dispensable.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Miralem Pjanic are seemingly getting closer to swapping clubs.

The LaLiga and Serie A giants have been linked with numerous moves this close season, but one may be getting close to completion.

Arthur and Pjanic are set to trade places and it could be close to reality.

 

TOP STORY – ARTHUR, PJANIC SET FOR MEDICALS IN TURIN

Barcelona midfielder Arthur and Juventus' Pjanic will undergo medicals on Sunday, according to Sport.

The Catalan sports paper says Arthur flew to Italy on Saturday accompanied by a Barcelona doctor ahead of checks in Turin.

Arthur will then return to Barcelona and finish the season with the LaLiga champions, who slipped up again in their title defence on Saturday as Celta Vigo twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United may still be trying to find a way to land Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho. The Mirror reports United need to sell at least four stars – including Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard – if they are to get a deal done for Sancho.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United could be getting closer to signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish. The Daily Express says Grealish has found a house to buy in the North West.

- Chelsea may yet strengthen further ahead of next season. According to The Sun, they are growing confident they will sign West Ham star Declan Rice in the close season.

- Arsenal's decision to re-sign David Luiz has been criticised. However, The Telegraph reports the Brazilian defender agreed to a significant pay cut.

- Tanguy Ndombele's future may be at Tottenham. Football.London reports Spurs have no plans to sell Ndombele at the end of the season, with Jose Mourinho having denied reports of a rift with the midfielder earlier this week.

Jesse Lingard, former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew and ex-England cricket captain Michael Vaughan were among the sports stars who revealed the team bases for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

The tournament will take place in England next year, with matches shared between 18 venues for the men's World Cup and the final to be held at Old Trafford.

On Wednesday, the team bases were confirmed, with Manchester United and England midfielder Lingard kicking things off with confirmation Manchester would be hosting England and Australia.

Bellew was then on hand to provide tips on Merseyside to Tonga star Konrad Hurrell and coach Kristian Woolf, with their side – along with Italy – to be based in Liverpool and St Helens.

There was also confirmation that New Zealand would be based in York, Samoa in Doncaster and Papua New Guinea in Warrington – with Warrington Wolves fan Stuart Pearce joining the announcement.

Fiji will be hosted in Hull, while Lebanon have been placed in Wigan and Leigh, and France will be based in Bolton.

Wales and Scotland will be located in Preston and Newcastle respectively, and boxer Josh Warrington was on hand to inform Ireland and Jamaica of their place in Leeds.

Sheffield was the final team base to be confirmed, with Johnny Nelson – the longest reigning cruiserweight of all time – and Vaughan announcing the city as Greece's home for the tournament.

Jesse Lingard is renowned for his dancing celebrations, but it was Alan Pardew's touchline jig at the 2016 FA Cup final that stuck in the Manchester United star's mind before driving in the winner.

Crystal Palace took the lead against United with just 12 minutes to go at Wembley when Jason Puncheon fired past David de Gea at the near post.

It was a goal which resulted in Eagles manager Pardew dancing on the touchline.

That did not escape the attention of substitute Lingard, who later came off the bench to volley an extra-time winner after Juan Mata cancelled out Puncheon's strike in the 81st minute.

The 'Pardew Shuffle' instantly became a social media meme, particularly given Palace were beaten by Louis van Gaal's side.

In an interview with Match of the Day, Lingard said of Pardew's dance: "Do you know what? I think I actually seen it when I was on the bench.

"I seen him dancing and I was like, 'Wow, this is mad!'. Obviously, at 1-0, obviously he's hype and happy and that, but it's sometimes early, isn't it?

"Sometimes people dance too early!"

Speaking after the match, Pardew said he got caught up in the moment.

"I enjoyed that moment. In a cup final and as a manager it's difficult to enjoy moments," Pardew said.

"If you forgive me for my dance, it's just because I enjoyed it."

Pardew was sacked in December of that year, with Palace having won just six of their 36 Premier League matches in the calendar year of 2016.

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.

Odion Ighalo scored twice as Manchester United eased into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Derby County at Pride Park.

The Red Devils' January loan signing took his tally to three goals in two starts for the club after Luke Shaw had put the visitors in front on Thursday.

United's record goalscorer and former captain Wayne Rooney started against his old club but, aside from some impressing passing from deep, he could not help Derby spring a shock against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

There was some early threat to the United goal from Phillip Cocu's men, as Louie Sibley shot narrowly wide and Rooney saw a free-kick well saved by Sergio Romero.

United began to assume control, though, with Juan Mata and Ighalo denied by Kelle Roos, before Shaw broke the deadlock in fortuitous fashion 33 minutes in.

After Lingard and Bruno Fernandes saw shots blocked, Shaw fired a half-volley into the turf and, perhaps via a slight touch off Jesse Lingard, the ball looped over the stranded Roos and in.

Ighalo got the second four minutes before half-time, holding off the attention of Craig Forsyth and Max Lowe and poking the ball into the bottom-left corner.

Derby started the second half brightly and twice came close to a lifeline, with Romero saving Max Bird's deflected shot and Martyn Waghorn heading a fine Jayden Bogle cross inches wide.

Roos had to react well to deny Shaw and Mata, though, before Solskjaer took the chance to hand the excellent Fernandes a rest ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby.

The result was made safe with 20 minutes of normal time left, as Ighalo exchanged passes with Mata and, after seeing his first effort blocked by Bogle, rifled the rebound high into the net.

Rooney almost got on a scoresheet in front of the travelling fans, who chanted his name at several points in the match, but Romero made a flying save to tip his free-kick over the bar.

What does it mean? United building momentum for decisive few weeks

United are into the quarter-finals for the sixth season in a row, but that trip to Norwich City will be far from their minds as they look to continue their good recent form into a challenging run of games.

They face Manchester City on Sunday before a Europa League last-16 visit to LASK next Thursday, after which Tottenham and Jose Mourinho travel to Old Trafford before the second leg of their European tie.

With six wins and no defeats from their past nine matches in all competitions, Solskjaer will be hoping their momentum does not now fizzle out.

On Shaw footing

Shaw's form down the United left has been a real plus point of recent weeks, and it continued at Pride Park as he again showed his worth to Solskjaer. His miscued effort made his goal fortuitous, but his pass for Ighalo's second was excellent, and he nearly scored again after a promising run.

Sibley gets lucky

Sibley gave a good account of himself, but the 18-year-old may well have seen red for a kick at Scott McTominay's face had VAR been in use. The United midfielder was certainly unimpressed.

What's next?

United head to Norwich for the quarter-final on the weekend of March 21, but they have the more pressing concern of the Manchester derby on Sunday in the Premier League. Derby resume Championship duties against Blackburn Rovers on the same day.

The future of Lautaro Martinez could also have an impact on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Martinez is wanted by Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Aubameyang is reportedly eyeing an Arsenal exit.

Both players could be at different clubs in 2020-21.

 

TOP STORY – MARTINEZ OUT, AUBA IN?

Inter will look to replace Barcelona target Martinez with Arsenal star Aubameyang, according to Calciomercato.

Martinez has been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barca as well as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City following his exploits for Inter.

The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are considering selling forward Aubameyang, who is out of contract in 2021, and he could be targeted by Inter should Martinez leave San Siro.

ROUND-UP

- Kepa Arrizabalaga is Chelsea's record signing but his future at Stamford Bridge is in doubt. El Chiringuito TV reports Chelsea have offered out-of-favour goalkeeper Kepa plus €30million (£25m) to Atletico Madrid for Jan Oblak.

Madrid are ready to offer €70m to Napoli for star midfielder Fabian Ruiz, claims Calciomercato. City and Barca are also reportedly looking to sign the Spaniard.

- Manchester Evening News writes that United have stepped up their interest in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. It comes as the Daily Express claims United are likely to offload Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira.

- Calciomercato says Inter are ready to battle Europe's elite for the signing of Gent star Jonathan David. The Canada international is wanted by the likes of United, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Tottenham and Ajax.

Juventus hold an interest in Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, according to Calciomercato. Aouar is an option for Juve should the Serie A champions fail in their efforts to sign either United midfielder Paul Pogba or Brescia's Sandro Tonali.

Page 1 of 3
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.