Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong has joined Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on loan for the 2020-21 season.

The 20-year-old winger, who joined United's academy from Feyenoord in 2016, has been highly rated by the club ever since but has failed to establish himself in the first team.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hired – initially on an interim basis – in December 2018, Chong was seen as one of the young players most likely to make the step up to the senior side as a regular.

However, he has made only 16 appearances in all competitions and has yet to feature from the start in the Premier League.

Chong signed a new contract in March to keep him at the club until 2022, with the option to extend his stay for a further year.

His loan to Werder should finally give Chong the opportunity to play regular first-team football and at top-flight level.

Werder preserved their status as a Bundesliga club in the relegation/promotion play-off against Heidenheim last month.

Tahith Chong's agent says his client wants to move to the Bundesliga amid reports Werder Bremen are closing in on a loan deal for the Manchester United player.

Chong, 20, signed a contract extension until 2022 at Old Trafford in March, despite speculation Inter were keen on the midfielder.

But first-team opportunities have been hard to come by, with a substitute outing in Wednesday's 2-1 Europa League win over LASK his first appearance since lockdown.

"Tahith would like to join the Bundesliga," his representative Erkan Alkan told Bild.

"We'll talk to Man United about it on Thursday."

That would seem to give something of a green light to Werder, with Bild reporting Alkan held discussions with sporting director Frank Baumann and head of scouting Clemens Fritz.

"I know the player. We'll get an attacking winger. I do not want to say more," said Baumann, according to the newspaper.

If Chong joins Werder, he could serve as a replacement for Milot Rashica, the Kosovo international who is reportedly in the sights of a host of clubs including Liverpool, Wolves, Aston Villa and RB Leipzig.

Philippe Coutinho's move to Arsenal is seemingly getting close.

The Brazil international has been on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona in 2019-20, but is expected to leave Camp Nou permanently.

A return to the Premier League has been mooted.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL DEAL FOR COUTINHO IS 'ADVANCED'

A deal sending Coutinho to Arsenal from Barcelona is "more advanced", according to Sport.

The former Liverpool star would head back to England less than three years after leaving Anfield.

Coutinho has scored nine goals in 34 games for Bayern in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- There could be good news coming for Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo reports Marc-Andre ter Stegen has agreed to extend his deal at the club for five years, but there is still no financial agreement between the parties.

- Jerome Boateng's Bayern Munich future seems uncertain. Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sell the defender, who would like to extend his contract beyond 2021.

- Takefusa Kubo looks set for another loan spell away from Real Madrid. AS reports Kubo will join Villarreal on loan for 2020-21, having spent this season at Mallorca.

- Are Liverpool looking for a back-up for Andy Robertson? The Athletic reports the Premier League champions value left-back Jamal Lewis at £10million, but Norwich City will not even enter talks for less than £20m.

- Contracted at Manchester United until 2022, Tahith Chong could be heading elsewhere to gain experience. Sport Bild says Werder Bremen are in talks with United over a loan deal for the attacker.

- After losing the Championship play-off final, Brentford may also see a star depart. The Guardian reports Crystal Palace are battling with Aston Villa to sign Ollie Watkins, who scored 26 goals in 49 Championship games in 2019-20.

Tahith Chong hailed Manchester United as "one big family" and said the club's togetherness is inspiring him as he aims to emulate former Red Devils winger Ryan Giggs.

Chong made his first-team debut in January 2019 and has since been pushing for a role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans while making some impressive cameos from the bench.

The 20-year-old told the club's official website that Giggs, who retired from football in 2014, was among the players who blazed a trail for him to follow.

"I think there are a few names in there. I'd probably have either Ronaldinho or Ryan Giggs," Chong replied, when asked which players inspired him when he was growing up.

"I don't think there's any player I tried to model myself on. I think you look at players and you see them do stuff and you try to copy that in a way.

"But I'd probably say Ryan Giggs is one of them. Or Arjen Robben is one of them as well."

Chong, who joined United from Feyenoord's academy in 2016, signed a new contract at Old Trafford in March.

After the club reportedly resisted interest from Barcelona and Juventus to secure Chong's future until 2022, Solskjaer reflected on his "great potential".

Chong said the atmosphere around the club since his arrival has fuelled his progress, saying:  "For me, coming to the club at 16, it was just how everyone was.

"It's the togetherness of United. When I first came, just seeing that United is one big family. And it genuinely is. For me to see that was just amazing at 16.

"Every single day is just a new day to work hard and to keep improving yourself as a young player.

"I think that's the most important thing when you're young – just try to develop and improve every single day, and you do that by working hard."

Anthony Martial will miss Manchester United's Europa League clash with LASK on Thursday, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes he will be fit to face Tottenham.

Martial crashed into the post while closing down Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson during United's 2-0 derby victory at Old Trafford last Sunday.

The striker, who scored the opening goal, uploaded a picture to social media showing a nasty wound on his leg.

Having sat out training on Wednesday, Martial will also be rested for the Europa League last-16 first leg at Linz Stadion, but he could return in time for the Premier League meeting at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"Anthony hurt himself when he slid into the post, so he is not ready for this game," Solskjaer told reporters. "Hopefully [he will be ready] for Sunday, but I'm not sure."

Solskjaer also hopes to see Paul Pogba back training with the first team next week as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

The France star has not played since December 26 and has only started six games in all competitions this season.

"Paul is getting closer, but not ready yet," said Solskjaer. "He hasn't trained with the team yet but, by next week, he will be ready."

With Martial and Marcus Rashford sidelined, Thursday's game could see Tahith Chong given the chance to impress in a week in which he signed a new contract until 2022, ending speculation over his future.

Solskjaer is delighted the winger signed a new deal and hopes to see Angel Gomes follow suit.

Gomes, 19, has only made six first-team appearances in 2019-20 and could leave for free at the end of the season. 

"We're very happy he can see his future here and we have a very good player here," Solskjaer said of Chong.

"It's the same with Angel: we hope we can convince him, both in the near future and the long future, that he's a Man United player."

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.

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 has backed Anthony Martial to reach 20 goals for Manchester United this season but wants the striker to toughen up.

Martial scored for the 14th time in all competitions on Thursday to earn a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Europa League last-32 tie with Club Brugge.

That goal came just three days after the forward's expert header put United ahead in their 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

No United player has reached 20 in a single campaign since Romelu Lukaku in 2017-18 and, although Marcus Rashford is on 19 for 2019-20, his back injury is likely to see him miss almost all of the rest of the season.

Solskjaer thinks Martial is showing signs of getting used to playing as a centre-forward after time spent as a winger, and he expects to see the 24-year-old keep up his form.

"I think Anthony can step up and get a few more and get to the 20-mark, definitely," Solskjaer said.

"He's got quality, of course. He's a very good finisher, he takes his chances really well, good technique in his finishing, and he's good receiving the ball at times, dropping off, he can play almost like a false nine at times.

"Sometimes, I'd like him to be stronger physically."

Describing Martial's header against Chelsea as "a 1980s centre-forward goal", Solskjaer added: "I'm encouraged by his attitude this season as well, wanting to do those things that are not natural to him. But you've got to make him a number nine again after playing wide for so many years. Marcus and Anthony have played wide until the last 12 months, really."

Solskjaer wants to see a more clinical United against Watford on Sunday, having been deeply disappointed with the performance of his players in a 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road in December.

The United boss hopes January arrivals Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo – who spent three years with Watford – will add a greater cutting edge to his side.

"That was a very disappointing game. We should have won that one. We gifted them the two goals and we had chances to pull away ourselves, but you can't win games if you don't take your chances," he said.

"I feel that with Bruno coming in, with Odion coming in, we'll get more goals. That's been lacking in the games we've lost: West Ham, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, we've had chances and not taken them. You can see that Bruno gives us another dimension."

United could be boosted by the return of Scott McTominay at Old Trafford, the midfielder having been sidelined since December 26 with a knee injury.

"I think he might be in the squad," Solskjaer said.

"I'm not surprised [by his quick return] because that's the type he is. He's a physical specimen, he's a leader, he never shirks a tackle and he brings everyone with him. And he can sit with Nemanja [Matic] or Fred or be one of the runners in midfield.

"We were talking here today how we don't have enough runs past the striker. He used to be a striker, so he's used to being in the box."

Thursday's draw in Brugge was another match where Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes were not involved, the youngsters instead having played in a youth game.

The future of the pair is unclear as they enter the final stages of their United contracts, but Solskjaer appears keen for them to stay.

"We're still in talks with them," he said. "Tahith scored today. He'd rather play a game than sit in the stands here, so it's making sure he's ready when he gets a chance. He played really well against Wolves in the FA Cup.

"The boys have got great attitude, they're absolutely top-class boys and we're doing what we can to keep them. In a few years, you can see them being very, very good players."

Tahith Chong looks set to leave Manchester United at the end of the season after his agent acknowledged the winger thinks he can go no further at Old Trafford.

Chong joined United from Feyenoord in 2016 and quickly established himself in the club's academy before a serious knee injury forced him into a lengthy absence.

He continued to develop well after his return and made the step up to United's Under-23s, putting him in a strong position when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho and promised to give the club's most talented youngsters plenty of opportunities.

But Chong has largely failed to impress when given chances in the United first-team and he has not agreed to a new contract at the club, with his deal expiring in less than six months.

Juventus and Inter have been strongly linked with him in recent weeks, and while his agent Erkan Alkan did not namedrop any clubs, he did hint a move is likely.

"He [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] has different views on Tahith than the [club's] leadership," Alkan told Voetbal International.

"A coach thinks about himself, I think about my player. He has come to a point where he feels that he is not going any further. Then it's time to look further.

"Most importantly, the [next] club must have a good plan for him so that Tahith can develop further in a good environment."

Manchester United have lined up another exciting midfield transfer target amid their ongoing pursuit of Bruno Fernandes.

As the wrangling over figures with Sporting CP continues, the Red Devils have reportedly submitted a sizeable offer to Birmingham City for teenage talent Jude Bellingham.

But making the first move might only spark a European bidding war.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SUBMIT BELLINGHAM BID

Birmingham youngster Bellingham's clear potential has convinced United to launch an offer worth more than £30million, reports the Sun and Sky Sports.

The 16-year-old midfielder has burst onto the scene this season and the Old Trafford outfit are understood to be keen to test him in the Premier League.

However, they could face stiff competition from Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and other heavyweight clubs across the continent.

The Mirror, meanwhile, claims United have made a "breakthrough" in negotiations for Portugal international Fernandes, having reached a "compromise" transfer fee in the region of £55m.

 

ROUND-UP

- David Beckham's Inter Miami have contacted Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to assess his interest in a switch to MLS, adds the Sun.

- Tottenham have enquired about Real Madrid winger and former Spurs star Gareth Bale, according to Spanish television programme El Chiringuito.

- Barcelona, still searching for a new striker, have ruled out RB Leipzig's Timo Werner and Lille's Victor Osimhen, suggests Mundo Deportivo, with Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno a more likely target.

- Serie A side Roma are set to discuss personal terms with Matteo Politano after agreeing a €25million fee with Inter, according to Sky Sport Italia.

- Inter, meanwhile, are said to be in discussions with United youngster Tahith Chong, who is also on Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning's radar as his contract runs close to expiring, says Sky Sport Italia.

- Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali is interesting Premier League champions City and Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, reports SportMediaset.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer selected seven teenagers and three full debutants in his Manchester United starting XI for Thursday's 2-1 Europa League defeat to Astana in Nur-Sultan.

Jesse Lingard was named captain and gave United a 10th-minute lead, but that impressive opening to the contest crumbled after half-time.

Dmitry Shomko equalised in the 55th minute before the unfortunate Di'Shon Bernard put through his own goal.

Teenage prospects D'Mani Bughail-Mellor, Largie Ramazani and Ethan Galbraith also came off the bench for United, who have already qualified for the knockout stages. Here, we run the rule over the seven starters under 20.

Di'Shon Bernard

Formerly of Chelsea's youth set-up, Bernard's senior debut will unfortunately be remembered for the decisive moment where he diverted Antonio Rukavina's cross beyond veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant.

He had acquitted himself well enough until that point, appearing assured under Astana's set-piece assault early in the second half. No United player made more than Bernard's five clearances and two interceptions.

Ethan Laird

A mixed outing for the right-back, who added penetration to the United attack but struggled at times defensively – most notably when Shomko's equaliser came down his channel.

Tahith Chong

Chong's wretched miss with the goal at his mercy in the 54th minute was fairly inexplicable. That chip over from six yards after Angel Gomes and Luke Shaw opened up Astana was compounded because the hosts equalised within a minute.

However, it should not be forgotten that Chong's all-action opening to the contest, where he broke up play and drove United forward, was a key ingredient in them enjoying the better of the first half.

Angel Gomes

Bright, inventive and always United's most likely creative spark. Gomes jinked in from the left with intent, having an early shot blocked and showing an eye for effective link-up play with Mason Greenwood.

Rukavina streaking clear down the United left to craft the winning goal did not speak well of Gomes' defensive awareness, but his three key passes were more than any United attacker and he almost stole a point with a sumptuous 78th-minute free-kick.

James Garner

Showed a shrewd eye for a pass during the initial exchanges, breaking lines with a creativity Solskjaer's more experienced pros too frequently lack. Garner's influence waned during the second half but he completed 82 of 84 passes before making way for Ramazani in the 84th minute.

Dylan Levitt

The Wales Under-21 international arguable edged out Gomes as the most impressive United youngster on show. Silky and effortless in possession at times, Levitt oozed class and racked up 104 passes. He found a team-mate with 94.8 per cent of those.

Mason Greenwood

A comedown from the high of his maiden Premier League goal during the undulating 3-3 draw at Sheffield United last weekend. Greenwood, comfortable with either foot, presents an obvious threat to any defence, but his timing was slightly off here, as evidenced by him being flagged offside on three occasions.

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