Tottenham have urged "everyone" to focus on finishing the 2020-21 season as well as possible amid reports Harry Kane has informed the club he wishes to leave.

Kane is a product of Spurs' academy and has developed into one of the world's best strikers, but over the past two years the club have seemingly struggled to match his ambitions.

The England captain has regularly been linked with moves away from Tottenham over the years, though those reports have rarely appeared to carry much substance – until now.

Sky Sports News claimed on Monday that Kane has told the club he wants to leave at the end of the season, with trophies on his agenda.

Spurs have not won silverware since the 2007-08 EFL Cup, with Kane a part of the sides that lost the finals of the 2018-19 Champions League and this season's EFL Cup.

He reiterated his need to challenge for major trophies after that EFL Cup defeat to Manchester City last month when he was named Premier League Player of the Year at the London Football Awards.

He said: "Individual awards are great, they are fantastic achievements. Probably when I look back at the end of my career, I will go over and take in a little bit more.

"The goal right now as a player is to win team trophies. As much as this is great, I want to be winning the biggest prizes that there is to offer as a team, and we are not quite doing that.

"It is bittersweet. I would rather be winning team trophies than this one. It is what it is. I am proud to win it. It means it has been a good season on the pitch, so I have just got to try to continue what I am doing."

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all thought to be keen on Kane given their respective desires for reinforcements at the top end of the pitch.

Spurs responded to the rumours with a statement that will likely do little to ease the worries of supporters dreading Kane's exit.

The widely reported statement read: "Our focus is on finishing the season as strongly as possible. That's what everyone should be focused on."

Kane has been in excellent form again this season, his 35 goal involvements (22 goals, 13 assists) in the Premier League being the third-most among Europe's top five leagues – only Robert Lewandowski (47 – 40 goals, seven assists) and Lionel Messi (39 – 30 goals, nine assists) boast a better record in 2020-21.

His overall Premier League tally stands at 165, meaning he has a very real chance of breaking Alan Shearer's all-time record of 260, an achievement that would clearly be aided by him staying in England should he leave Spurs.

Kane's 22 goals this season have him level with Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot, though he has played two matches fewer than the Egypt forward, who has also netted six penalties to his rival's four.

Should he beat Salah and the rest, Kane would become only the third player after Shearer and Thierry Henry to win the Golden Boot three times, having also claimed it in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Despite Kane's brilliance, Spurs look unlikely to secure a return to the Champions League for 2021-22, as they head into their final two matches of the season five points adrift of Chelsea in fourth.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unsure whether Juan Mata will remain at Old Trafford beyond this season.

The Spanish midfielder has spent the last seven-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, racking up 271 appearances during that time.

However, he has struggled for minutes this season – featuring just 16 times in all competitions – and is due to become a free agent next month.

United have the option to trigger a 12-month extension in Mata's contract, but Solskjaer insists the player himself will have the final say over his future.

"I've kept the dialogue with Juan and we're due to speak again very soon," he said at a news conference on Monday previewing his side's home match with Fulham. 

"Of course, he's not played as much as he'd like and that's a decision that we'll make with him. He's in charge of his own future and he's been such a good servant for the club. 

"But of course, it's hard, as I've said so many times, to leave good players out, good people out of the team. 

"It's about what does he want as his next step in his career? Is it still play out his career here, or is it going somewhere else? We haven't made a final decision yet."

Mata's appearance in a much-changed United's 2-1 loss to Leicester City last week was just his fifth start of the season in the Premier League, not helped by injuries and family matters.

Prior to that rare outing against the Foxes, Mata had played just two minutes of top-flight football for United in 2021, coming on as a late substitute in February's 3-1 win against Newcastle United.

He has failed to score in the league since April 2019 but does have two assists in 2020-21, which equates to 0.42 per 90 minutes and is the best record of any United player to have played more than once this term.

Bruno Fernandes is next on the list with 0.33 assists per 90 minutes, albeit over a far greater period of 36 games compared to Mata's eight.

The 33-year-old also ranks highly for chances created, the Spaniard's 1.69 per 90 minutes behind only Luke Shaw (2.53) and Fernandes (2.81).

Serie A side Lazio are reportedly the favourites to sign the former Valencia and Chelsea man should he depart Old Trafford in the coming weeks. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United's recent loss of form could be partly due to off-field issues but is hoping supporters can give his side a lift against Fulham on Tuesday.

The Red Devils lost back-to-back Premier League home games against Leicester City and Liverpool last week in a little over 48 hours amid a backdrop of fan protests against the club's ownership.

Supporters forced the initial clash with Liverpool two weeks ago to be postponed late on after demonstrating inside and outside Old Trafford.

United had to alter their pre-match plans for both the rearranged clash with Liverpool and the loss to Leicester to ensure their players were in the stadium well ahead of kick-off.

Solskjaer admits the disruption affected his squad and, ahead of United welcoming fans to Old Trafford for the first time in 14 months, the Norwegian has called for unity.

"I didn't want to use it as an excuse because we lost two games but surely it's a reason behind the performances," Solskjaer said at a news conference on Monday.

"I'm not saying it didn't affect them, but I was impressed with how professional they were and how they went about it.

"I think the mood in any club and the relationship between the team and the fans is vital to what happens on the pitch.

"The players are all human beings, we're all human beings, and we will react to getting our supporters back in a positive way.

"They have always given us extra energy and hopefully the players will give the fans a reason to cheer and that's what we have to focus on. It's a big game for us in that respect."

Tuesday's visit of Fulham will see up to 10,000 in attendance for United's final home game of the season as coronavirus restrictions continue to be eased in the United Kingdom.

Victory for United would guarantee a second-place finish in the Premier League for just the second time since Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Jose Mourinho was in charge for that previous occasion and described it as one of his best achievements in management, but ​Solskjaer will not celebrate finishing so far behind Manchester City.

"The competition is a lot harder now than when I was a player," he said. "Of course, you have three, four, maybe five teams that challenge for the top two positions.

"The top two positions have been taken by two teams in the past few years and for us to move into them and divide them is a good performance, but it's not an achievement.

"You can't say it's an achievement. We've taken steps as a team, we're not where we want to be. We know we have some deficiencies as a group.

"There are parts of the game we need to improve on but I've felt we’ve made strides in most places.

"I've been very pleased with the players this season, I've got to say. I've been impressed by them, but we want to take the next step as well."

United have won 18 of their past 22 Premier League meetings with Fulham and are unbeaten in their last 12 against them in the competition, winning 10 of those.

Solskjaer's side follow up Tuesday's fixture with a trip to Wolves on the final day, before turning their focus to the Europa League final with Villarreal on May 26.

That game in Gdansk offers Solskjaer a chance to win his first piece of silverware as United boss, but he is not thinking about that game with two Premier League matches still to go.

"You know whatever team I pick against Fulham, it has to be a team that gives everything," he said.

"If you go into a game tentative, if you have something else in your mind, you don't fly into the tackles as you should, you don't sprint as normal, you don't maybe focus as much.

"There's more of a danger of getting hurt in that kind of position. We want to build momentum, we want to build confidence because of course we've lost the last two at Old Trafford.

"We don't want to go into an important game with bad momentum or a bad feeling, so we use these two games to get results but also to get confidence."

United have lost their final home league game of the season in just one of the previous 13 campaigns, doing so against Cardiff City in 2018-19.

The Red Devils have Daniel James and Anthony Martial back, but Harry Maguire and fellow centre-back Phil Jones are both out.

Harry Maguire is feeling optimistic about his chances of being fit for the Europa League final, according to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Maguire suffered ankle ligament damage in an awkward collision with Anwar El Ghazi during the 3-1 win over Aston Villa on May 9 and subsequently had to be withdrawn.

It was an unusual situation for United and Maguire to find themselves in, as the centre-back had played in every minute of 71 consecutive league games for the Red Devils – and in his final five for Leicester City before moving two years ago – until that injury.

In fact, Maguire has played for 9,615 minutes in all competitions since the start of 2019-20. Prior to the defeat to Liverpool on Thursday, that was almost 1,000 more than any other player across the top five leagues.

That loss to the Reds came just two days after losing to Leicester, meaning United have been beaten in both games without their captain and Solskjaer was quick to accept that he will surely not play again in the Premier League this term.

Given United are already guaranteed to finish in the top four, their focus is now on facing Villarreal in the Europa League final on May 26, with Solskjaer hoping to end his wait for silverware at the club.

The manager offered an update on Sunday, insisting United will take no chances with Maguire's fitness.

"He's making progress," Solskjaer told reporters. "When I spoke to him this morning he was quite positive but, naturally, the day after it happened we were all down.

"We saw early on, or we decided that we have to focus, we have to be positive, and think that you're going make it until you have to say 'no'. I've always been an optimist, so we're positive.

"But we've consciously taken the route of not testing him out too early, too quickly, because we don't want to aggravate something. He wants this so much, so he doesn't want to take any risks, either.

"Hopefully we can have good news early, but I'll give Harry as long as it takes, because of course he has shown his importance.

"Hopefully he'll speed up the recovery and be ready for the final, but I'll give him as long as he needs, until he says 'yes' or 'no'."

Although Solskjaer needs no convincing of Maguire's influence, fans and pundits have not always been so kind about him considering United made him the world's most expensive defender when they bought him in 2019.

Maguire has missed 12 games for United in all competitions, most of them in the domestic cups, so comparing them directly with and without their captain is a pretty redundant exercise.

Examining his individual numbers offers a broader picture of his influence, though. He has helped United to 42 clean sheets in all competitions since joining, the most of any defender across Europe's top five leagues prior to the Liverpool loss. He was also directly responsible for by far the most clearances (391), headed clearances (244), duels won (645) and aerials won (432) over that same period.

Unquestionably a good stopper, he has also proved suitably adept with the ball. Maguire has made 6,152 successful passes in his United career, again the most of any defender in those top European leagues over the aforementioned period. Of those passes, 2,142 have been completed in the opponent's half, which is the best figure for any nominal centre-back.

Maguire can also claim to have had as much of an influence on United's patterns of play as any Solskjaer signing – barring Bruno Fernandes, of course.

In the Premier League this season, Maguire has started 24 open-play sequences that have ended in a shot, which again was the highest number among the division's centre-backs until his injury.

Maguire has not only made United's defence more resolute; he has directly impacted their use of the ball. His absence has already been keenly felt, but at least the United captain might start to be acknowledged as one of the most influential players in England – not that it was ever in doubt for Solskjaer.

"We've known it [his importance] all along, of course. But maybe some people open their eyes when he's not playing! I certainly felt I became a very, very good player when I was injured. People suddenly realised what I could do as a sub, or as a player," Solskjaer continued.

"Harry's been our leader, he's a captain. Ever since he's come in, he's been more or less ever-present, so of course he's a big miss at the moment."

Lionel Messi has spent his entire career with Barcelona. 

That bond will not sway Barca's off-season plans, though.

The Spanish giants have reportedly turned their eyes to a younger option. 

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PREFER HAALAND TO MESSI STAY

Barcelona are so desperate to lure Erling Haaland to Camp Nou that they would be willing to let superstar captain Lionel Messi walk away if they can sign the Borussia Dortmund star, according to The Sun.

Barca's financial situation would make it difficult to pay both players, and the report claims Messi might see his wages cut in half if he stays with the LaLiga powerhouse amid links to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City

Numerous clubs are circling for Haaland, including City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Raul is favourite to take over as Madrid head coach next season if Zinedine Zidane leaves. Madrid great Raul is chasing promotion with the club's Castilla side.

Barca are set to complete the double free transfers of City star Sergio Aguero and Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to Sport.

Arsenal and Martin Odegaard have a mutual interest in extending the Norway international's loan stay at the Premier League, according to Football London. He has two goals in 18 appearances in all competitions since arriving on loan from Madrid.

- Diario AS reports PSG are set to swoop in for Sergio Ramos by offering the Madrid captain and soon-to-be free agent a two-year contract. Ramos has also been linked to United.

- Though Juventus may be facing an exodus if they miss out on Champions League football next season, the Bianconeri are interested in Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, says Calciomercato. 

United may shore up their midfield with a bid for Getafe's Mauro Arambarri, Diario AS reports. The 25-year-old is under contract through 2023. The Mirror, meanwhile, says United remain keen on Atletico Madrid star Marcos Llorente.

Atletico are interested in Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, claims the Daily Star. Keita has struggled for form and fitness since moving to Anfield from RB Leipzig in 2018.

Manchester United midfielder Fred has been called up to the Brazil squad for the first time since 2018 for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Ecuador and Paraguay.

The most recent of Fred's 11 senior international caps came in a 2-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia two and a half years ago.

He has featured regularly for club side United once again this season, however, and has been included in Brazil's 24-man squad for their next set of Qatar 2022 qualifying fixtures.

Fred wrote on Twitter: "A great joy to represent my country again. Always proud to be called up. Let's go again!"

The 28-year-old was criticised by a number of pundits for his performance in Thursday's 4-2 Premier League defeat to Liverpool, but United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has regularly stood by the midfielder.

Fred has attempted 3.08 tackles per 90 minutes in the Premier League this term, the sixth highest average among all players to have played at least 20 times.

His 59.04 successful passes per 90 minutes, meanwhile, is behind only Nemanja Matic (76.56) in terms of United players to have played eight or more league games in 2020-21.

The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk player's passing has also improved during his time at Old Trafford, with Paul Pogba (9.47) the only United regular averaging more passes into the final third than Fred's 9.41 per game.

Asked at a news conference on Friday about his decision to recall Fred, Brazil head coach Tite said: "He has been included because of his high-level performances at United, the team that is second in the Premier League."

Fred is joined in the squad by veteran full-back Dani Alves, who last featured for Brazil in October 2019, while Lucas Paqueta, Gabriel Barbosa and Everton Ribeiro are also included.

The Selecao were last in action six months ago when seeing off Uruguay 2-0 to make it four wins from four in their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group.

The fifth and sixth rounds of fixtures were scheduled to take place in March, but all the games were called off due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Brazil are gearing up for a busy period as the Copa America - originally due to be held last year - takes place between June 13 and July 10.

Tite will name his squad for the tournament on June 9 and is hoping to continue building momentum over the next couple of games.

"We have a very high expectation," Tite said. "It is a difficult moment for everyone. These games give us a chance to be in contact with the players.

"We will look at continuing with our performances and results. Right now it is only possible to think about these two games and nothing else."


Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Verissimo (Benfica), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea); Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (Lyon); Everton (Benfica), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

Jesse Lingard has been named the Premier League Player of the Month for April, winning the award after also being nominated in February and March.

The attacking midfielder has thrived since joining West Ham on loan from Manchester United.

Lingard scored four goals and added an assist in four appearances over the course of the month as West Ham continued their push for a European place.

He has nine goals and three assists in 13 Premier League outings for West Ham so far since joining, having been out of the picture under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the first half of the season at Old Trafford.

The fine form he has shown earned Lingard an England recall in March.

Mason Greenwood was one of the other members of an eight-man shortlist which also contained Trent Alexander-Arnold, Stuart Dallas, Kelechi Iheanacho, Matheus Pereira, Allan Saint-Maximin and Chris Wood.

"I've been nominated for the past two months and even getting nominated is a great feeling for me," said Lingard, who recently received praise from Bruno Fernandes when the United playmaker labelled him the top-flight's best player over the past 10 games.

"I want to be up there as the best I can be and the best in the world.

"David Moyes has shown faith and given me the freedom in each game to go and perform."

Meanwhile, Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is April's manager of the month.

He beat Sam Allardyce, Marcelo Bielsa and Solskjaer to the award after a month which saw Newcastle draw with Liverpool and Tottenham while recording wins over Burnley and West Ham.

It was a run of form that secured Newcastle's Premier League safety.

Bruce won the award for the first time after 19 years and 465 matches in the competition.

The long-term futures of Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho are set to become clearer soon.

Lingard has impressed on loan from Manchester United at West Ham, reviving his career as David Moyes' side push to secure European football for next season.

England international Sancho, meanwhile, has dazzled since moving to Germany - but is he now ready to return home?

 

TOP STORY - LINGARD AND SANCHO TO SWAP PLACES

The Sun reports that Manchester United will offer Jesse Lingard to Borussia Dortmund as part of a swap deal for Jadon Sancho.

United chased Sancho last year but were unable to land the winger due to Dortmund's asking price.

It is understood the value held by the Bundesliga club is around £100million (€116m), so Lingard's inclusion may help drive that down and seal a deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Times claims that Manchester City have formalised the top four players on their off-season shopping list in forwards Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Lautaro Martinez and Andre Silva.

- Manchester United are preparing a bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente worth £68m (€79m), reports the Mirror.

- Off-contract Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand is attracting interest from Leicester City, claims the Leicester Mercury.

- Per Marca, Barcelona have an agreement in place to sign Memphis Depay, who is soon to be out of contract at Lyon. The Dutch forward is set to be reunited with Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he is concerned about Manchester United's defending, especially from set-pieces, after they were beaten at home by Liverpool.

The Red Devils took the lead through a deflected Bruno Fernandes strike but went on to lose 4-2 at Old Trafford on Thursday as Jurgen Klopp's side boosted their Champions League hopes.

Liverpool's equaliser came following a corner, Diogo Jota turning in a Nat Phillips effort, and they took the lead in first-half injury time when Roberto Firmino headed in Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick.

Firmino got his second just after half-time from a rebound from a Dean Henderson save and, although United got a goal back through Marcus Rashford, Mohamed Salah struck a fourth with a late breakaway goal.

United's defence rarely looked comfortable without captain Harry Maguire as they suffered a third defeat in eight days in all competitions, while they have now conceded 27 home goals in the league this season, the most in a single season since 1969-70.

More worrying is their persistent fallibility from dead-ball situations. United have conceded 33 per cent of their league goals against in 2020-21 from set-pieces (14 out of 42, not including penalties), which is the highest ratio in the division.

They also conceded from a last-minute corner against Milan in the Europa League last-16 first leg, while Manchester City's goals in their 2-0 EFL Cup semi-final win at Old Trafford came from a free-kick and a poorly cleared corner.

Manager Solskjaer would not criticise his players for the way they lost possession in the build-up to Liverpool's third, but those set-piece concerns are ones he wants to address.

"The goals we conceded, set-plays, [it is] disappointing," said Solskjaer. "That is something we have to work on because we have conceded too many goals from it.

"The third one, we want to play out, we have been good at playing out, we put pressure on them to play out and sometimes we've scored goals from it.

"Today, unfortunately, the two or three mistakes that happened cost us a goal. But they tried to correct it by winning it back and then we lost it after winning it back.

"Football would be really boring if no-one made a mistake. That is the whole idea of football. Of course, you try to eradicate them and work on them, but we have conceded too many goals and we could have avoided some of these and especially the timings of them.

"We're going to use the next couple of days well, to recover physically and mentally, and then we have to prepare for Fulham and then Wolves and then the final. We should have more energy.

"We should use this period well. More energy means a better press; a better press means less chances against.

"We will work on it and brush up on a few details, pay attention to some details on the set plays and put the players in the frame of mind that these set-plays are vital in football. But we can do so much better and when we do that, we will improve."

With Maguire set to miss their final league games against Fulham and Wolves, and with the captain a major doubt for the Europa League final on May 26, Solskjaer is looking for others to take on leadership roles.

He said: "Harry has been amazing since he came to the club, he's been more or less ever-present, so of course, when a player is a leader, a captain, the status of him, his presence is missed.

"But then we've got players who can come in and it's a chance for everyone to take on that little bit of leadership. We need to do that when he's gone.

"You can hear him in the stands when he's not playing. He is important for us and someone else has to just take that responsibility now.

"I'm sure that, in the next two games, we will be without him. Hopefully, we can get him in for the final but who knows? I don't know yet."

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's reaction to the concession of an early goal after they came from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 at Old Trafford.

The Reds looked set for another disappointing visit to the home of their bitter rivals when Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring after just 10 minutes on Thursday evening.

But goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah either side of a Roberto Firmino brace rendered a further Marcus Rashford effort irrelevant and handed Liverpool their first Old Trafford win since 2014.

And it was the mental strength shown in the aftermath of the early setback that most pleased Klopp.

He told Sky Sports: "We reacted really well on their goal, it was unlucky in that moment but it was a bit like we started the game to be honest. 

"The defending in that moment, letting Bruno, half right side, coming inside - there was nobody. 

"He could have used his left, could've used the outside of his right foot and it was unlucky in the centre but the defending in that moment wasn't good. 

"They overloaded the wings obviously and we didn't adapt well to that in the first 15 minutes or so. 

"Then we got control and from that moment on we could play what we want to play. That was absolutely okay and second half even better.

"Great fight, good game, intense, how a derby should be, and since I'm at Liverpool the first win at Old Trafford. 

"Good timing, I would say! We needed it, we fought hard for it, we deserved it and so all good."

Chelsea's defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday opened the door for Liverpool to claim a place in the Champions League spots with four wins from their last four games of this season.

But, while it is one down as far as that aim is concerned, Klopp is expecting the remaining three Premier League fixtures to throw up plenty of challenges.

"It was necessary. Without this result we don't have to talk too much about it," he added.

"We are still in the race, that's all that we could have done tonight, we did that and now we have a very intense period playing the next three games in a week.

"In three days West Brom, Burnley with supporters, and then Crystal Palace at home, which we are looking forward to for different reasons because our supporters are there then hopefully.

"We have to recover quickly and to go again."

If there was one small blot on a good evening for Liverpool, it was an apparent spat between Klopp and substitute Sadio Mane at full-time.

Asked about the Senegalese's refusal to acknowledge his manager when leaving the pitch, he said: "There's no problem. 

"Yesterday I made a late decision in training to decide Diogo. I explain things usually but there was no time for that.

"That's all. It's all fine."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United lost to the better team against Liverpool, but did claim fan protests outside Old Trafford disrupted his team.

United went down 4-2 to their rivals on Thursday – Jurgen Klopp's men clinching a vital three points in their bid for Champions League qualification.

It was a match rearranged following fan protests against United's ownership on May 2, when supporters prevented the teams from leaving their hotels and also got onto the Old Trafford pitch.

There were no such security breaches this time around, though United's squad arrived at the ground around six hours before kick-off.

However, a large fan presence once again gathered outside the ground ahead of the game, and Solskjaer does believe it had a negative impact on United's preparations and performance.

"Of course it disrupted us a little bit so it's not been ideal but we had to deal with it," he told Sky Sports.

"Hopefully when we let the fans in on Tuesday it's a good atmosphere. We have waited a long time to let them in so we're looking forward to enjoying the game together.

"They deserved the win. We conceded goals in key moments of the game. We didn't build on the momentum or break up their momentum. We gave them at least two goals really. Then we scored again, had a massive chance. Key moments went against us.

"Their shape and their pressing is very aggressive. We created our own downfall. The second goal you probably expect no foul there then it's a bad moment to concede just before half-time. The third goal we gave them and that's really poor."

United were without captain Harry Maguire for a second straight game, with the England defender having sustained an injury against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Solskjaer's side have lost both games Maguire has missed, but he insisted United must recover from the loss of the centre-back, who may well miss the rest of the campaign, including the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk.

"Harry [Maguire] has been really important for us so of course we're going to miss him but he's out so we have to deal with that," Solskjaer continued.

"It's about regrouping and building our own confidence again as we have two games and a final.

"Tuesday. We need to find ourselves straight away. We need to build that momentum and confidence. We should go into that final ready."

Liverpool provided a huge boost to their hopes of Champions League football next season as they claimed a thrilling 4-2 win over rivals Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead early through Bruno Fernandes, but were pegged back before half-time as Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino got on the scoresheet.

It looked like the visitors had things wrapped up early in the second period as Firmino headed in his second only for Marcus Rashford to set up a nervy finish as he pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining.

But the visitors rounded things off late on through Mohamed Salah to put pressure firmly back on Chelsea and Leicester City in the chase for top four.

Liverpool saw penalty claims for handball against Eric Bailly waved away, while Edinson Cavani shot wide from a wayward Alisson pass in a busy opening.

It was United who struck first, Fernandes afforded plenty of space to curl the ball in off Nathaniel Phillips.

Bailly had another escape when VAR showed he made a clean tackle on Phillips after referee Anthony Taylor had initially pointed for a Liverpool penalty.

The visitors were level, though, when Phillips collected the ball from a corner and made space for a shot that Jota expertly diverted home.

Liverpool then deservedly went in front on the stroke of half-time when Firmino headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick at the back post.

And they doubled their lead less than a minute after the restart as Dean Henderson spilled an Alexander-Arnold shot to hand Firmino a simple close-range finish. 

The visitors could have wrapped it up by the hour mark, with Jota cracking the post and Alexander-Arnold shooting at Henderson from similar positions inside the box in quick succession.

It looked like they would rue that miss when Rashford slightly scuffed a finish home after a brilliantly slick interchange between United's forwards.

But United could not turn their dominance of the final 20 minutes into a goal that would have denied their rivals a first Old Trafford win since 2014, which was wrapped up in the final minute of normal time by a cool Salah finish.

Liverpool provided a huge boost to their hopes of Champions League football next season as they claimed a thrilling 4-2 win over rivals Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead early through Bruno Fernandes, but were pegged back before half-time as Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino got on the scoresheet.

It looked like the visitors had things wrapped up early in the second period as Firmino headed in his second only for Marcus Rashford to set up a nervy finish as he pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining.

But the visitors rounded things off late on through Mohamed Salah to put pressure firmly back on Chelsea and Leicester City in the chase for top four.

Liverpool saw penalty claims for handball against Eric Bailly waved away, while Edinson Cavani shot wide from a wayward Alisson pass in a busy opening.

It was United who struck first, Fernandes afforded plenty of space to curl the ball in off Nathaniel Phillips.

Bailly had another escape when VAR showed he made a clean tackle on Phillips after referee Anthony Taylor had initially pointed for a Liverpool penalty.

The visitors were level, though, when Phillips collected the ball from a corner and made space for a shot that Jota expertly diverted home.

Liverpool then deservedly went in front on the stroke of half-time when Firmino headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick at the back post.

And they doubled their lead less than a minute after the restart as Dean Henderson spilled an Alexander-Arnold shot to hand Firmino a simple close-range finish. 

The visitors could have wrapped it up by the hour mark, with Jota cracking the post and Alexander-Arnold shooting at Henderson from similar positions inside the box in quick succession.

It looked like they would rue that miss when Rashford slightly scuffed a finish home after a brilliantly slick interchange between United's forwards.

But United could not turn their dominance of the final 20 minutes into a goal that would have denied their rivals a first Old Trafford win since 2014, which was wrapped up in the final minute of normal time by a cool Salah finish.

Manchester United's rescheduled Premier League clash with Liverpool is set to go ahead on time after renewed fan protests were effectively controlled.

The sides' original meeting on Sunday, May 2 was called off after supporters broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch as part of protests against United's ownership.

Several police officers were injured during the ensuing clashes, which forced the postponement of the game on safety grounds.

However, the rearranged fixture looks likely to go ahead after United, along with local police, took steps to prepare for fresh protests taking place on Thursday evening.

Barriers were erected around Old Trafford to prevent fans from entering, while the United players arrived individually by car earlier in the day before taking a pre-match nap at the stadium.

Liverpool, meanwhile, sent a decoy coach that was momentarily blocked by a group of fans, but ultimately arrived at a side of the ground clear of supporters and without issue.

As such, it is currently expected that the game will kick off on time (8.15pm GMT).

United's American owners have been the target of renewed ire from fans in the aftermath of failed plans to join a breakaway Super League alongside the Premier League's 'big six'.

Consequently, United legend Roy Keane does not expect supporter anger at the Glazers to subside any time soon.

He told Sky Sports: "Manchester United fans are not done with this, we saw some protests a few weeks ago, but I think there is still a lot to come. 

"The concern is that when the fans can come back to the stadium, you could have 70,000 fans showing up at Old Trafford, frustrated with what happened. Things can get much worse."

Keane's former United team-mate, Gary Neville, believes the ongoing protests are serving to damage the club's brand, which in turn should hurt the Glazers.

He said: "Let's be clear, what we’ve seen on that forecourt before which is effectively Man United turned into a prison, it’s a devastating image for the Manchester United Football Club brand around the world, let's just note that. 

"You have to put prison walls up around your ground and have hundreds and hundreds of police officers on a game where fans aren't attending, there is something that has gone badly wrong."

Dayot Upamecano has claimed he turned down an opportunity to join Manchester United as a teenager because Ralf Rangnick presented such a persuasive alternative.

The defender, who will leave RB Leipzig to join Bayern Munich at the end of this season, was targeted by United as a teenage prospect when he was with French club Valenciennes.

He elected to turn down United and move to Austrian club Salzburg, Upamecano says, after being wowed by Rangnick's precise vision for his career.

At the time, Rangnick was sporting director for Salzburg and Leipzig, with both clubs part of the Red Bull empire, and talking Upamecano into a move proved one of many successes he achieved in that role.

United had tempted the youngster, however, and Upamecano told The Athletic: "I was a young boy. I wanted to sign for them straight away. Manchester United! But then my parents took me aside and said: 'Let's think carefully about this'.

"We thought about it for a long time and then decided that going 'etape par etape' [step by step] was the best option for me. Everything Ralf said came true."

Upamecano was loaned out to Liefering before returning to make an impact with Salzburg while still in his teens, and at the age of 18, in January 2017, he was moved through the ranks to join Leipzig.

Rangnick, who had already enjoyed one spell as head coach of Leipzig, returned for another in 2018, and Upamecano said: "Ralf was the most important coach for me. He's a professor, a scientist of football, and he also cares about everything. He's always there for you with advice on matters football and non-football, every single day."

Before joining Bayern, Upamecano has the chance on Thursday to land a DFB-Pokal title with Leipzig as they head into the final in Berlin against Borussia Dortmund.

Julian Nagelsmann, who succeeded Rangnick in 2019, has been another major influence on the career of Upamecano, who describes the 33-year-old as "an unbelievable manager".

Like Upamecano, Nagelsmann will also move to Bayern at the season's end.

"He really takes you to another level," Upamecano said. "For example, because of Julian, I have improved a lot in terms of opening the game from the defence with precise passes into the midfield, and he told me to use my dribbling abilities in order to create spaces going forward."

That is borne out by data that shows Upamecano has progressed significantly while at Leipzig.

Following his mid-season arrival in 2017, Upamecano had an overall passing accuracy of 78.6 per cent in the Bundesliga, while his accuracy with passes ending in the final third of the field was just 46.2 per cent.

These numbers belong firmly in Upamecano's past, because his precision now shows a marked improvement.

In 2017-18, he stepped up those percentages to 83.7 and 55 in the Bundesliga, while attempting 130 passes into the final third of the pitch.

But in 2019-20, his overall accuracy stood at 89.1 per cent and his accuracy into the final third was a healthy 74 per cent, with Upamecano attempting 232 balls into that attacking area in league games. Each figure put him in the top 10 for Bundesliga defenders who played at least 20 games.

This season has seen a minor step back, but an 88.5 per cent total accuracy and 70 per cent accuracy into the final third continues to reflect well on the French defender, a player United must sorely regret failing to recruit.

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