Raphael Varane pledged Manchester United will improve on their disappointing season in a new era under Erik ten Hag.

Varane scored his first Red Devils goal in a 3-0 Premier League win over Brentford on Monday, but has endured a largely frustrating first season in England following his move from Real Madrid.

The 29-year-old has made 28 appearances in all competitions this season, 25 of them starts, but has been involved in just six clean sheets with United looking certain to miss out on Champions League qualification ahead of the imminent arrival of new boss Ten Hag

United have gone five years without winning a major trophy, but Varane, who featured as Madrid were humbled 4-1 by Ten Hag's Ajax team in the Champions League at the Bernabeu in March 2019, is expecting a better showing next term.

"Personally, it's been an amazing experience, the feeling of being a player at Manchester United is something special," the France centre-back told MUTV of his first campaign with the club.

"I'm always positive, I think the next season will be better.

"This season was something irregular, we will work to be ready to win trophies and do our best over the next few months."

The signing of the 2018 World Cup winner was announced on the opening day of the Premier League season, and Varane predicted he would benefit from having a full pre-season under his belt in the 2022-23 campaign.

"I hope to do a full pre-season, to be fit to help the team as much as possible. I want to do my best for this club and the fans," he added.

Varane's team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo has scored nine of United's last 12 Premier League goals after netting the team's second against the Bees, and the defender was keen to hail the 37-year-old forward.

"It's fantastic, he's a great professional, and I think his talent is amazing, if he is on the pitch he will score goals, it's crazy," Varane added.

"Even with his age, he has the hunger and with his talent he can help the team."

Cristiano Ronaldo's presence has been "one of the most positive things" in Manchester United's disappointing season, according to Diogo Dalot, who is looking forward to working with the "outstanding" Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo has scored 23 goals and provided three assists in 36 appearances in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford at the start of the season, and has scored eight of the Red Devils past nine Premier League goals.

However, United sit sixth in the Premier League after enduring a frustrating season under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, and have gone five years without winning a trophy.

Despite the team's struggles, Dalot hailed the impact made by his club and Portugal team-mate.

"I'm sure I speak not just for me, but he's been one of the most positive things about this season," Dalot told Sky Sports. "To work with somebody who has his culture of working, his professionalism, his mentality and being close to him now... it's been very helpful for me and my career.

"The numbers are there, the stats are there, so we're obviously very happy to have him here. He's a very friendly person. When he feels he has the trust of other people, he gives 100 per cent of himself to you.

"Everybody gets along with him here, everyone likes to have him around. It's always a big plus to have a player and a person like this in the changing room."

The Red Devils face Brentford in their final home game of the Premier League season on Monday, with Ronaldo looking to add to a staggering 24 goal contributions (18 goals, six assists) in his past 18 games against newly-promoted sides in the competition. 

United are hoping the imminent arrival of Ajax boss Ten Hag will end a turbulent era for the club, and Dalot says the squad are excited by the prospect of adapting to the Dutchman's possession-based style.

"I don't think you need to see a lot to know that he is a great manager. What he's done with Ajax is something outstanding," Dalot added. "He plays very attractive football, I think every fan of United is excited to have a manager like this, and the players are as well.

"In our heads, it's going to be clear who the manager will be next season, and that's good because we go for our break knowing who to expect. Then we will have time in pre-season to work together, get our ideas right and start the new season."

Despite United's struggles, Dalot also says he has enjoyed this season on a personal level after making 27 appearances across all competitions, one more than fellow right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has struggled to adapt to Rangnick's high-pressing style.

Having received five caps for Portugal to date, Dalot also hoped his increased game time would boost his chances of featuring at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

"It's difficult to say it's been a good season when the results are not quite there as we expected, but individually it's been good in terms of playing much more," he added. "Playing regularly has been one of my biggest desires since I came here, and I've fought very hard to get it.

"It's been good, with more minutes than other seasons, so I'm very happy with that. But obviously I want to combine that with team performances, with trophies and that's the aim for the next seasons.

"I like to see it season by season. This season has been special because I've played more regularly here, getting into the first team with the national team and we qualified for the World Cup.

"I want to be there so these are the aims, but we still have three games to play, national team games at the end of the season, so there's no point looking too much ahead when we have some goals to achieve at the end of the season."

Ralf Rangnick is optimistic it will not take too long for Manchester United to become a force again in a new era under Erik ten Hag.

Ten Haag will leave his role as Ajax head coach to take over from interim United manager Rangnick at the end of the season.

The Dutchman faces a rebuilding job, with United only sixth in the Premier League and set to miss out on Champions League football after falling short of expectations again this season.

It is five years since the 20-time champions of England last won a trophy and Rangnick previously stated that the club need "open-heart surgery" in order to turn their fortunes around

Rangnick, who will take over as Austria coach but is due to remain at Old Trafford in a consultancy role, says he has not yet spoken to Ten Hag since the Ajax coach was appointed as his successor.

Ahead of Monday's Premier League encounter with Brentford, the 63-year-old told Sky Sports: "I'm pretty sure he's [Ten Hag] got my phone number!

"He's got another couple of games to play with Ajax, we have another three games to play here. Whenever he wants to speak with me and exchange our opinions, I'm more than happy to do that."

Rangnick believes the next man to take the United hotseat can be successful in the not-too-distant future if the club learn from their mistakes and recruit wisely.

He added: "Knowing Erik will be the manager, with a good recruitment process and bringing in the right players, I'm very positive the supporters and the media will be able to see a better team and, at the end, hopefully a better position in the league.

"There are quite a few good examples in the league with when Jurgen Klopp came to Liverpool, Pep Guardiola to Manchester City, Thomas Tuchel came to Chelsea – yes, he came in the middle of the season and inherited a top-quality squad, but you still need to win the Champions League.

"If you know what you're looking for, the profiles of the different positions you need, it shouldn't hopefully take too long."

Rangnick has no idea what part Cristiano Ronaldo will play under Ten Hag, though.

He added: "This is a question you need to ask Erik ten Hag.

"He's showed that he can still be a vital part of this team, but it's obvious the team needs some more strikers. There should be two or three new strikers next season, it's pretty obvious."

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has Benfica striker Darwin Nunez at the top of his shopping list in the upcoming transfer window.

The Uruguayan striker is in the midst of a breakout season in both Portugal and Europe, scoring 25 goals in 24 Primeira Liga fixtures, and a Benfica-record six Champions League goals in 10 appearances.

Darwin finished his Champions League campaign by scoring a goal in three consecutive games, including in back-to-back fixtures against Liverpool.

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS MAKE DARWIN NUMBER-ONE TARGET

Fichajes and Calcio In Pillole reporter Ekrem Konur claims United have made Darwin their priority target, stating he is "at the top of Erik ten Hag's short transfer list" and they are "considering paying" his release clause.

ESPN has also said United are "leading the chase" for the striker though they face competition from Arsenal, and reported along with The Sun that the 22-year-old's release clause is in the region of €150million.

As well as Darwin, Napoli's Victor Osimhen and Juventus' Paulo Dybala, who will be a free agent, are also serious targets management would like to bring to Old Trafford.

ROUND-UP

– Marca is reporting that Barcelona will turn to Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku as their "plan C" after failing to land Erling Haaland or Robert Lewandowski.

– According to The Express, Arsenal are willing to listen to offers of £25m for Nicolas Pepe after signing him for a club-record £72m in 2019. West Ham are said to be one of the Premier League teams interested.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that Manchester City are focused on extending Phil Foden's contract until 2027.

– Leeds United midfielder and England international Kalvin Phillips will change his agent as he looks to secure a move away from the club, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that United will be in the box seat.

– Todofichajes is claiming that Arsenal have agreed a £50m deal for City striker Gabriel Jesus.

Ralf Rangnick says his consultancy role at Manchester United will see him focus on recruitment and has highlighted the need for the Red Devils to target younger players in the upcoming transfer window.

Rangnick will step aside from his interim manager role at the end of this season, with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag taking over at the end of a difficult campaign in which United look certain to miss out on Champions League qualification.

It was confirmed on Friday that Rangnick is taking over as head coach of the Austrian national team, although he remains committed to his new role with the Red Devils.

Rangnick said his position will see him focus on recruiting young, talented players who can help Ten Hag's United develop into one of European football's leading sides.

The 63-year-old namechecked Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, whom he helped bring to Salzburg, as an example of the profile of player the Red Devils must target, and stressed he is "positive" about the team's future under "one of the best coaches in Europe" in Ten Hag.

"For me the most important bit is recruitment now, this is, for me, the most vital point, that we bring in the best possible players," he said.

"It's not only about identifying those players, also meeting them, convincing them to join this club even though we will not be playing in the Champions League.

"This is what I see as the most important bit, also with regard to top talented players for the academy, identifying those players. This is for me, for the next one or two years, an important part. My personal opinion is the club should try to find future top star players and try to develop them. 

"Haaland is a young player, but on the other hand, he has developed in the last two years into one of the most expensive strikers in the world. He could be of one of those examples where the focus should be, to identify and find players who could be Manchester United players for the next couple of years.

"We just need to look at the other top clubs in England and in some other countries, what kind of players did they sign in the past? I think then you get the answer yourself.

"I'm positive. With Erik ten Hag, Manchester United will have one of the best coaches in Europe, and then it's about, together with him, recruitment. If those things come together, I'm very positive you can see a different kind of team with a different style of football."

Meanwhile, with a host of out-of-contract players likely to depart Old Trafford at the end of the campaign, including Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Edinson Cavani, Rangnick said the Red Devils will require "quite a few" new signings to compete next term, but insisted Old Trafford remains a desirable destination for players.

"It's obvious that the club and the team needs more players, some players are out of contract, some are not available anymore, and some might want to get more game time [elsewhere]," he added.

"The club needs quite a few new players. For me, it's important the club recruits those kind of players that can help Manchester United develop into one of the top teams again.

"As a club, with regard to the supporters, the stadium, the training ground, yes, it definitely is [still a club players would want to join]. 

"But we also have to be realistic, as soon as other clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City are involved, then you need some good reasons to explain to the players [why they should join]."

United play their final home game of the Premier League season against Brentford on Monday, their first home clash with the Bees in any competition since a 2-1 League Cup win in September 1975.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a "phenomenon" who will have a big part to play at Manchester United under incoming head coach Erik ten Hag, according to Gary Neville.

Portugal international Ronaldo struck his 17th Premier League goal of the campaign – and 23rd in all competitions – in United's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday.

Despite now being 37 years of age, Ronaldo is level with Son Heung-min and behind only Mohamed Salah (22) in the Premier League scoring charts this term.

Indeed, only nine other players from Europe's top five leagues have scored more goals in all competitions in 2021-22 than Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's place in the side has been questioned at times this season, but Neville insists he is too good a player to overlook – no matter who is in charge.

"He lifts the fans, he gets them on the edge of their seats, takes his chances, and it'll be really interesting to see what happens with Erik Ten Hag," Neville told Sky Sports.

"We know he plays with an aggressive press, he tries to win the ball high up the pitch, that isn't Cristiano's strong point and we know that. But he will want a goalscorer. 

"He will want someone who can put the ball in the back of the net 20 or 25 times. Can United use him as a bridge next season to get them through Erik Ten Hag's first season? 

"Ronaldo is a phenomenon. He's achieved everything and more in the game, his professionalism is beyond anything you could ever wish for, really.

"He still continues – his persistence, his determination to score goals is absolutely incredible. You can't speak highly enough of him. 

"His goal [against Chelsea] was wonderful and he doesn't really lose that belief in himself when the rest of the team is really lacking in confidence – his is still there."

Ronaldo has scored eight of his side's last nine goals, with his strikes across the season worth 14 Premier League points to United, who are languishing down in fifth.

Ralf Rangnick will be replaced by Ajax boss Ten Hag ahead of next season and ex-United midfielder Roy Keane also expects Ronaldo to play a part under the Dutchman.

"I know people are quick to criticise what [Ronaldo] doesn't do, in terms of his pressing, but he was never great at that anyway," Keane said.

"He's the greatest at the hardest part of the game – putting the ball in the back of the net.

"Ten Hag will be having a sleepless night watching the team, but if you've got a player in the group who can score that amount of goals, they have to be involved. 

"He'll want to play week-in, week-out, the new manager will come in and will be looking for another striker but Ronaldo's not hanging around unless he's playing."

Cristiano Ronaldo's performance against Chelsea on Thursday proved he can still be a "great help" to Manchester United next season under Erik ten Hag, according to interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

United were generally tame once again in the 1-1 draw, but Ronaldo did at least ensure the Red Devils avoided suffering three successive Premier League defeats for the first time since 2015.

Just 119 seconds after Marcos Alonso had put Chelsea in front at Old Trafford, Ronaldo latched on to Nemanja Matic's scooped pass over the defence and drilled home.

Ronaldo has now scored eight of United's nine most recent goals in the Premier League, with Fred the only other player to net for the club this month.

Thursday's goal took Ronaldo to 17 for the season in the league, a haul bettered by only Mohamed Salah, but Rangnick was keen to highlight the striker's all-round performance as he saluted his defensive work rate.

Ronaldo's future beyond the end of the season does look uncertain with United set for a massive clear-out and rebuild, but Rangnick can see a role for the 37-year-old if he is able to replicate such performances.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rangnick said: "Not only the goal he scored today, also his whole performance, attitude and how often he helped out in our own half.

"At 37, a player like him – this is not normal to do that. He showed that today. If he plays like he played today, he can still be a great help for this team.

"In the end it's both Erik's and Cris' decision what they want to do, it's not for me to speak about that.

"But as I said, today the performance of Cris was really great."

Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke believes incoming Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag needs to be given full control at the club if there are to return to the top of the English Premier League.

Ralf Rangnick said it is "completely false" to say he has been preparing a 'dossier' on Manchester United stars for incoming boss Erik ten Hag.

Reports had claimed Rangnick was working on such a file to hand over to Ten Hag, who will leave Ajax for the United top job at the end of the season.

Interim manager Rangnick was appointed in November and will have spent six months with United's players by the team he steps aside.

Ahead of United's Premier League game against Chelsea on Thursday, Rangnick flatly denied the existence of a dossier.

He told Sky Sports: "This is completely false, completely untrue. The board has never asked me to prepare a dossier, neither for the board nor for Erik.

"I also never said anything to nobody criticising the attitude of the players as being unprofessional or selfish. This is not true, I will always protect my players. I have never realised any issues of them being unprofessional or selfish."

Rangnick succeeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United have continued to struggle to challenge for the Champions League places during the German's Old Trafford tenure, suggesting Ten Hag faces a difficult task when he steps into the role.

While there may not be a folder packed with information to pass on to the new boss, Rangnick will eagerly share the knowledge he has acquired when he talks to Ten Hag.

"I'm definitely looking forward to that. I definitely think it would make sense," Rangnick said.

"Erik is the manager next season and if he would like to get my opinion or hear something about how I assess the current situation, I'm more than happy to speak with him."

It remains to be seen what involvement Rangnick has at United once his temporary spell in charge ends.

United said, at the time of his appointment, that Rangnick would take on a consultancy role for two years, and that appears to be a role he is still planning to undertake.

"I've been talking to the board quite regularly and obviously we were also exchanging our impressions of the current situation," Rangnick said.

"For me it's important, together with Erik, together with the scouting department, we can build a new squad, a new group of players with quality and mentality that Erik, together with his coaching staff, will develop and lead this club into a range where supporters will want to see Manchester United."

United sit sixth in the Premier League and are guaranteed to stay in that position for now, whatever the result of the home clash with third-placed Chelsea.

They have won just nine of 20 Premier League games under Rangnick and have lost their last four away matches in the competition.

From the weekend of his first game in charge, his United side have gathered 33 points, with five teams (Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Tottenham) having accrued more points over the same period.

Chelsea have one fewer point than United in the same period but have played just 18 games in this time.

Ralf Rangnick has acknowledged that no European football may make incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag's first season easier, but vowed to continue fighting in the last four games.

United host Chelsea on Thursday in the Premier League with their Champions League hopes all but over, sitting six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played a game fewer than the Red Devils.

Rangnick's side are sixth and just two points ahead of West Ham, with a finish lower than seventh ensuring no European football next campaign, even in the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

That is barring any alterations to qualification permutations, should Liverpool, Manchester City, West Ham or Leicester City be successful in any of their respective European competitions.

While failure to qualify for continental club football may allow Ten Hag greater time to implement his style with a less gruelling schedule, Rangnick insists United want to win their four remaining league games.

"It could be an advantage, but that does not mean we will give away any of the remaining four games," Rangnick told a news conference on Wednesday.

"For us, it's clear and our obligation. This is our job, my job, the job of the players that we try to get the best possible results and then see at the end of the season in which position we will finish.

"Now to speak about if that would be an advantage or not does not make sense because if I did that then this would be interpreted again.

"For me, it's important we get results, that we play as good as we possibly can, because this will also affect the atmosphere and mood for the new season."

A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick inspired an otherwise underwhelming United past Norwich City in their last game at Old Trafford, but the home players were greeted with discontent within the stadium.

Sections of the United faithful could be heard questioning the commitment of the players, while Paul Pogba infuriated Red Devils supporters by cupping his ears to the Stretford End following boos.

Disappointing defeats at Liverpool and Arsenal followed a 3-2 victory over Norwich, but Rangnick believes the United fans will still get behind their team against Thomas Tuchel's visitors.

"I think in both away games the fans have still been supporting the team and also against Norwich," said Rangnick.

"There was that one issue with Paul Pogba, but apart from that I think the supporters were great also in the game against Norwich.

"I hope and also expect our supporters to be behind the team and supporting the team [against Chelsea]."

Ralf Rangnick has suggested incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag puts the Red Devils captaincy to a players' vote, placing doubt over Harry Maguire's role as skipper.

Maguire was named captain following the departure of Ashley Young to Inter in January 2020, just five months after the centre-back's £80 million transfer from Leicester City – the world record fee for a defender.

England international Maguire has come under scrutiny for both his performances and captaincy, with United struggling in the Premier League and out of all cup competitions.

United are sixth in the league and unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, sitting six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal – who defeated Rangnick's side 3-1 on Saturday and have played a game fewer.

The future of Cristiano Ronaldo and seemingly outbound Paul Pogba remains in question, with several more players also out of contract at Old Trafford as Ajax coach Ten Hag prepares for a sizeable rebuilding task.

One of the Dutchman's first tasks will be deciding on the leader in the dressing room, and Rangnick has recommended United players vote on who their next captain should be.

Asked whether Maguire will retain the captain's armband next season, Rangnick told reporters: "Again, I understand your question but again, it doesn't make sense because we don't know what kind of players will be here, what the group will look like.

"I can only tell you what I have done in the past when I was head coach or manager because in Germany it's called 'Mannschaftskapitan' – the captain of the team.

"I strongly believe the captain should be elected by the team because he's called the team manager, and we always did that.

"We always had a board of four or five players – we called it the Spielerrat [players' council] – elected by the players. The player with the highest amount of votes was the team captain at the end. That was how I did it.

"I know a lot of head coaches don't do it that way. That's what I would do if I was still the manager next season but in the end, I'm not. This is something that Erik will have to decide."

Recruitment will also be a key factor for the rejuvenation of United, with Rangnick operating in a consultancy role alongside Ten Hag, who has previously suggested he demands some ruling over transfers.

Rangnick expressed his excitement to work with Ten Hag as the pair look to turn around United's fortunes next season.

"I strongly believe that there are a lot of things that can become better and will become better with a new manager and hopefully with some new players, with some fresh energy in that squad," he added.

"With this group of new players and the quality of players that are already here, together with the new manager, I am very positive that next season will be a lot better.

"I am looking forward to working in that advisory role and obviously helping Erik as much as he wants it himself.

"In my last two clubs, we never a signed a player without the approval of the manager and I'm pretty sure this will be the case with Erik.

"I'm also positive that Erik will make some suggestions, then together with the board, together with the scouting department and possibly myself, we will then hopefully decide the right players.

"Obviously, I am more than willing and prepared to help both Erik and whomever in the club in order to change everything for the better."

However, former RB Leipzig coach Rangnick is yet to speak with the incoming Ten Hag due to the latter's commitments with Ajax.

"[Ten Hag's] focus is on Ajax now and trying to win the title there, my focus for the next few weeks is on our club, on getting the best possible results," the German continued.

"Whenever he has time, or would like to speak, yes I am available, but I would not want to contact him on my own account now."

Erik ten Hag must be given "full control" to rebuild Manchester United, says former Red Devils striker Dwight Yorke.

Ajax coach Ten Hag signed a three-year deal with the option of another year to replace interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season when the German moves into a consultancy role at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a sizeable task on his hands in Manchester, with questions surrounding the captaincy of Harry Maguire, and the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba.

United also look set to fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, sitting six points behind fourth-place Arsenal, who defeated Rangnick's side 3-1 last Saturday and have played a game fewer.

Indeed, the Red Devils have not lifted a trophy for five years and Yorke called on Ten Hag to embrace the significant challenge in his new role.

"I think [Ten Hag has] got a very difficult job," Yorke told ESPN. "Simply because it has been a bit of a disaster for us as a football club in terms of personnel and where the team is at.

"There's no hiding place in that. We're not where we're supposed to be. But there's a new beginning, a new start for a manager who a lot of people don't particularly know.

"Obviously, he has done well in Holland. [But] the Premier League is a whole new ball game. Manchester United's manager is on a whole different level.

"You've seen the previous managers that have come there with big names and big reputations and they haven't really got over the line. There's no doubt the job at hand is something he needs to embrace."

Rangnick has previously suggested United may need up to 10 players to compete in the following campaign, with United expected to be incredibly active in the next transfer window.

While Rangnick is expected to oversee proceedings at the club, including transfer activity, in his consultancy role, Ten Hag has already insisted he would not have taken the job without some ruling over signings.

Yorke believes Ten Hag must be given time to succeed and full control to help United transform into a force to be reckoned with once again.

"I keep saying that he has to embrace going in there and have full control," said Yorke, who scored 48 times in 96 league appearances for United between 1998 and 2002.

"If he has full control he can implement his style, his way, and the players that he wants on board to make sure he can get the best out of them. I think that is the key.

"I think they will give him time, the fans are aware of that. But they want to see progress. I know people are saying it will take some time but ultimately they will want to see some progress along the way.

"I can only stand and watch and wish him the best in many respects. But there is no doubt this is the biggest job in world football and with the struggles we've encountered this season, there is no way that is going to be an easy task for him."

Erik ten Hag appears as though he will have a huge say over his own Manchester United transfer targets.

The Dutchman has inked a three-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option for a further year.

Ten Hag will officially take over on July 1, with Ralf Rangnick remaining in interim charge.

A face familiar to the Premier League could now be headed to Old Trafford with Ten Hag from Ajax…


TOP STORY - TEN HAG TO BRING HALLER TO UNITED

Manchester United may make a move for Ajax striker Sebastien Haller in the off-season according to The Sun.

Haller currently plays under ten Hag, who will take over at United at the end of the campaign.

The Ivory Coast striker, who spent two years with West Ham United, has netted 33 goals in all competitions for Ajax this term.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are optimistic that they can land Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski in the off-season, reports Sport. Lewandowski is contracted with Bayern until 2023.

- Liverpool have contacted 22-year-old Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni about a move to England, claims Foot Mercato.

- Nicolo Schira claims that Inter are not interested in signing Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic, contrary to reports. Pjanic is currently on loan at Besiktas from Barcelona.

- David de Gea and Manchester United are ready to enter into talks on a contract extension reports 90min.

- Fabrizio Romano claims that Luka Modric will ink a new deal with Real Madrid running until 2023.

Arsenal's project under Mikel Arteta has taken positive steps this season, but the need for a striker remains.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette seemingly on the way out at the end of the season, that need could become even more pertinent.

If the Gunners achieve qualification for the Champions League however, Tammy Abraham's return to the Premier League could be on the cards.


TOP STORY – ARSENAL TO GO AFTER ABRAHAM

Arsenal are showing renewed interest in Tammy Abraham and are looking to bring him to the Emirates Stadium if they qualify for the Champions League, according to Star Sunday.

Mikel Arteta was very keen to sign the 24-year-old Abraham at the start of the season, before he left for Roma, who were able to guarantee a healthy salary and first-team football along with the chance to join Jose Mourinho.

Abraham has enjoyed a stellar first season in Serie A, contributing 15 goals and four assists in 33 league appearances.

While Chelsea can activate a buy-back clause at the end of the season, the Gunners would be willing to offer £50million (€59.5m) to secure Abraham's transfer.  


ROUND-UP

- West Ham have joined the race for Torino and Italy striker Andrea Belotti, whose contract expires at the end of the season, according to Fichajes.

- Real Madrid are in best position to sign German international Antonio Rudiger, who will leave Chelsea at the end of the season, Goal reports.

- Frenkie de Jong has been linked with a move to Manchester United, where he would reunite with incoming coach Erik ten Hag, per the Manchester Evening News.

- Ten Hag is also reportedly keen on signing Christian Eriksen, whose six-month deal with Brentford expires at the end of the season, according to Star Sunday.

Manchester United need to make more than "minor amendments" to fix the glaring issues at the club, according to Ralf Rangnick.

United were thrashed 4-0 by old foes Liverpool on Tuesday, and face a huge game in their hopes of securing Champions League football when they take on Arsenal on Saturday.

The match in north London comes two days after United officially confirmed Erik ten Hag as their new boss, though the Ajax coach will not join until the end of the season.

It leaves interim manager Rangnick with five games to salvage a top-four finish from another underwhelming season.

Rangnick is unsure if he will be staying on in a consultancy role at Old Trafford, but he believes the problems at the club are obvious.

"You don't even need glasses to see and analyse where the problems are," Rangnick told a news conference. 

"Now it's about how do we solve them? It's not enough to do some minor amendments or cosmetic things.

"In medicine, you would say that this is an operation of the open heart.

"If this happens and everyone has realised that this has to happen and if people want to work together then it makes sense and I believe it doesn't take two or three years to change those things. This can happen within one year."

Rangnick hinted that Ten Hag, however, will need assistance in enacting these changes if they are to be successful.

"For sure [strong leadership is needed]. This is something that not just one single person as a manager can do," he continued.

"With all respect to [Liverpool manager] Jurgen [Klopp] and [Manchester City boss] Pep [Guardiola], I'm sure that they didn't do all the things themselves.

"There were also other people involved in those two clubs, people in certain positions, no matter what area it was, in order to rebuild and build something we want to build here. In all areas you have to have top people and they have to work together in a very close, reliable way."

Asked if he wanted to stay on at United, Rangnick replied: "I still see where we could develop.

"We have perfect training conditions, a great stadium, massive fan support, probably the best I’ve ever experienced apart from Schalke. Of course I would want to be part of the process that has to happen."

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