Paul Scholes claimed Manchester United's dressing room is "an absolute mess" as the Red Devils' poor form continued with a 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday.

United's hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League were all but ended at Emirates Stadium as they fell to a third defeat in four top-flight outings.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th goal in the competition was not enough as Nuno Tavares' opener, a Bukayo Saka penalty and Granit Xhaka's 25-yard drive earned victory for Arsenal.

The Red Devils, who saw Bruno Fernandes miss a penalty, have now lost four straight away league games for the first time since a run of six between December 1980 and 1981.

Reflecting on United's latest setback, club legend Scholes claimed his former side are in disarray behind the scenes as he opened up on a recent chat with Red Devils star Jesse Lingard.

"It is an absolute mess," Scholes told DAZN. "It is a disaster of a dressing room.

"I had a quick chat with Jesse the other day, and I'm sure he won't mind me saying that the dressing room is just a disaster."

United are six points adrift of the top four, having played one more game, and interim manager Ralf Rangnick has conceded that Champions League qualification hopes are over.

Asked about Scholes' comments, Rangnick – who will be replaced by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season – insisted there is no major issue with the dressing room.

"Obviously after games like today or the games at Liverpool or Everton, there is massive disappointment in the locker room for sure. This is normal," Rangnick said.

"But it would be rather a problem if that was different, so this is for me normal. I think the whole group, they get on reasonable with each other.

"I'm not daring to say they get on well with each other, but I don't see that there is an issue with regard to the atmosphere in the locker room."

United have conceded 51 league goals this season, making it only the second time they have shipped 50 or more in a single Premier League campaign (54 in 2018-19).

Next up for Rangnick's side is a home match against Chelsea on Thursday, followed by the visit of Brentford four days later.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick conceded his team's hopes of Champions League qualification are over after Saturday's 3-1 loss to Arsenal.

A top-four finish already looked unlikely for the Red Devils after their 4-0 humiliation by Liverpool at Anfield in midweek, but their trip to the Emirates Stadium saw them go up against a direct rival.

While United's performance was undoubtedly an improvement on their horror show on Merseyside, Rangnick's men fell 2-0 behind in the first half thanks to an early Nuno Tavares goal and Bukayo Saka's penalty.

Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back with his 100th Premier League goal before Bruno Fernandes hit the post from the spot – that was one of three occasions United were denied by the frame of the goal, as Diogo Dalot hit both the upright and crossbar.

Arsenal finished United off slightly against the run of play when Granit Xhaka blasted home from distance with 20 minutes to go.

Victory leaves the fourth-placed Gunners six points ahead of United, while the former also have a game in hand, and Rangnick was frank in his assessment of the situation.

Asked if the top four was out of reach for United, Rangnick told BT Sport: "Pretty sure. For me, even before the game it wasn't likely, but after today's result, the top four is gone, yes."

This was United's first game since Erik ten Hag was confirmed as the club's next permanent manager, news that dominated the build-up to the match from the Red Devils' perspective.

The consensus has been that Ten Hag faces a massive rebuild at Old Trafford, with Rangnick previously suggesting United might need to sign as many as 10 new players.

But Rangnick did not feel United's performance on Saturday highlighted any new issues, while the German – who has been extremely critical of his players at times lately – even praised the team's attitude.

"There is a lot of work for sure [for Ten Hag], we knew before the game," Rangnick continued.

"But we also showed what kind of football we can play, and although we had to deal with the two early goals, we still showed the attitudes.

"So there is nothing about the attitude of the players that we should fault today."

Nevertheless, Rangnick was frustrated by United's feeble defending once again, though he tempered that by questioning the validity of some VAR decisions.

Among them, Xhaka's strike was allowed to stand despite replays suggesting Eddie Nketiah was in David de Gea's line of sight and an offside position, while United were denied a first-half penalty despite Cedric Soares clearly blocking the ball with his hand while crawling.

"The only weak side of the performance was we didn't defend well in and around the box," he said. "The same happened when we conceded the second and third goals, but for me there were three very unlucky, let's put it that way, VAR decisions.

"For me the third goal of Arsenal was clearly offside, you can see it in slow-mo. David said to me he couldn't see the ball.

"The second goal of Cristiano was definitely not offside and there was another handball decision in the first half, so we were not very happy with those VAR decisions in the end. It was an improved performance but disappointing result."

Barcelona boss Xavi has highlighted the difficulties of competing for trophies after Lionel Messi's departure, but says the Catalan giants cannot afford to replicate the recent struggles of Manchester United.

The Blaugrana head into Sunday's match against Rayo Vallecano 15 points behind LaLiga leaders Real Madrid with just 18 points to play for, albeit the buffer to Real Betis in fourth is six.

After previous boss Ronald Koeman left the Catalan giants in ninth position, Xavi has overseen a revival of the team's fortunes and is looking to secure a top-four finish at the end of a transitional season for the club.

Although Xavi acknowledged Barcelona will need to be patient in their pursuit of trophies after losing legendary forward Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, he said the club cannot afford to miss out on Champions League football, highlighting the Red Devils as an example of a household name to have struggled to qualify for the competition.

"It's our reality. This is the post-[Lionel] Messi era, that's difficult in itself," Xavi told a news conference ahead of Sunday's clash with Rayo Vallecano. "He used to win games on his own. We have to be patient. I'm excited to win trophies, but we have to strengthen. We have to be realistic.

"We're in the first year of the post-Messi era, we have to be patient. We've seen a lot of great teams, like at Manchester United, [where] it's been hard for them to come back, to qualify for the Champions League. 

"Barca can't allow that. We have to fight for trophies, we want to compete."

Xavi's arrival has had a positive impact on the Camp Nou outfit, who had briefly threatened to challenge runaway leaders Madrid. 

Among the players to look rejuvenated under Xavi is Ousmane Dembele, whose nine league assists in 2022 place him level with former team-mate Messi as the most creative players in the top five European Leagues this calendar year.

Meanwhile, another of Xavi's trusted first-teamers, Frenkie de Jong, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford after his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was confirmed to be taking over from Ralf Rangnick at the end of this season.

Xavi, however, is desperate to keep hold of the midfielder "for many years", saying he has the talent to "mark an era" at Camp Nou.

"Frenkie is very important for me, for the club and for the team," Xavi added. "He is a footballer who has to mark an era, for his quality and personality.

"He is at a very good level since I arrived, and he has to continue scoring goals, [making] assists ... and being a protagonist in the games. He could be one of the best midfielders in the world in the coming years. 

"We have not commented on it [De Jong's future], but if it is up to me, he would continue for many years."

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said he will "hopefully" return from injury before the end of the season.

Pogba sustained a calf problem in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday that is expected to keep him out for a month.

United interim manager Ralf Rangnick had said on Friday he believed Pogba would not feature again this season, adding that he "most likely won't be" staying at the club beyond this campaign.

The France star is out of contract at the end of the season, and United's final game of 2021-22 is on May 22.

"He won’t be available [at Arsenal] and most likely not for the rest of the games. It seems right now he will not renew his contract [so] it's most likely he won't be here any more next season," Rangnick said at a news conference.

However, Pogba – who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and former club Juventus in recent weeks – posted on social media during his team's 3-1 defeat at Arsenal to explain that he is still aiming to play again before the campaign ends.

"Absolutely gutted to not be able to help the team in today's game," he wrote. "I will work even harder to come back stronger and hopefully before the end of the season. It's not over. 

"Thank you all for your support, United we would stand!"

The 29-year-old won the World Cup with France in 2018, playing a starring role in that Les Bleus team, but has struggled to play at a consistently high level for United since returning to the Premier League club in 2016.

Manchester United's hopes of playing Champions League football next season are surely over after losing 3-1 away to fellow top-four hopefuls Arsenal in a Premier League thriller.

United travelled to the Emirates hoping for a response to their 4-0 humiliation by Liverpool and, although their general display was improved, defensively they were unconvincing again.

Nuno Tavares had Arsenal in front early on and a Bukayo Saka penalty made it 2-0 just before Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 100th Premier League goal – though that was just the tip of the iceberg amid an entertaining first half.

The visitors began the second period well and somehow failed to equalise, with Bruno Fernandes missing a penalty and Diogo Dalot hitting the post, with Granit Xhaka's piledriver then dealing the hammer blow.

United made another slow start as Saka tested David de Gea after two defenders missed the ball and Tavares tapped in the rebound for a third-minute lead.

The response from United was purposeful. They created several chances, hit the crossbar from range via Dalot and were controversially denied a penalty when Cedric Soares handled in the box.

But Arsenal then increased their lead just past the half-hour.

Eddie Nketiah had a goal disallowed for offside, yet Alex Telles was deemed to have fouled Saka just prior in the same VAR check and the winger converted the resulting penalty.

United swiftly pulled one back, Ronaldo expertly turning in Nemanja Matic's wonderful curling cross.

They spurned an opportunity to draw level from the spot, though, as Fernandes hit his kick against the post early in the second half – Ronaldo then had a second goal disallowed for a marginal offside.

Dalot struck the goal frame again with United's next attack and Arsenal capitalised on the profligacy in the 70th minute when Xhaka blasted past De Gea from 30 yards to seal victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo has reached 100 Premier League goals after netting for Manchester United against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

The 37-year-old bought up his Premier League century over 19 years after his debut in the competition when he swept home from Nemanja Matic's cross.

Ronaldo's goal hauled United back into the contest after they had found themselves 2-0 down following goals from Nuno Tavares and Bukayo Saka.

It came at the end of a difficult week for Ronaldo, who confirmed the loss of his baby son on Monday and subsequently missed United's defeat to Liverpool a day later.

Having hit all of those goals in United colours, Ronaldo becomes just the third player to reach the landmark while playing solely for the Red Devils, along with former team-mates Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

Ronaldo has now scored 16 league goals since returning to Old Trafford despite the team enduring a frustrating season overall. 

The United great had already tallied up 84 goals in the competition before departing for Real Madrid in 2009, with his finest goalscoring campaign coming in 2007-08 as the Red Devils lifted the Premier League and Champions League trophies. 

Having scored 31 goals in that outstanding campaign, he remains one of just five players to hit 30 goals in a single Premier League season, alongside Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Luis Suarez, and Mohamed Salah.

Despite United underwhelming this season, Ronaldo has continued to make history since returning to the club.

The Portuguese forward scored twice on his second debut for the club against Newcastle United last September, 12 years and 124 days after recording his last Premier League goal in May 2009, the second-longest gap between two strikes by any player in the competition's history (after Matt Jackson's gap of 13 years and 187 days between 1993 and 2006).

Ronaldo has also hit two hat-tricks in the competition since turning 37 in February, in 3-2 wins over Tottenham and Norwich City. Those displays made him just the third player aged 37 or over to hit multiple goals in a Premier League game after Teddy Sheringham and Graham Alexander, and just the second to do so more than once (Alexander also twice).

He is one of just four players to score at least 100 goals in two of Europe's big five leagues, having also reached the landmark for Real Madrid in LaLiga. United team-mate Edinson Cavani (Ligue 1, Serie A), Gonzalo Higuain (LaLiga, Serie A) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ligue 1, Serie A) are the others on that exclusive list.

While Ronaldo's future could become unclear if United miss out on a top-four finish, the striker will be looking to carry his fine goalscoring form into what will surely be his final World Cup appearance in Qatar later this year.

Cristiano Ronaldo was included in Manchester United line-up for the Red Devils' trip to top-four rivals Arsenal, while captain Harry Maguire was named among the substitutes.

Superstar forward Ronaldo, who is just one goal away from bringing up a career century of Premier League strikes after scoring 15 in the top flight this season, missed Tuesday's 4-0 defeat at Liverpool after announcing the loss of his son on Monday. 

Ronaldo has scored six goals in his last seven appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including twice in the reverse fixture in December, and a brace on his last visit to the Emirates in May 2009 in the Champions League semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Maguire has been named among the substitutes by caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick. The England defender received a bomb threat to his home this week, with police later confirming no suspicious object was found after a search.

Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane will partner one another in the heart of the United defence, while Bruno Fernandes has taken the captain's armband in the absence of Maguire.

Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have also been dropped to the bench after the humiliating loss at Anfield, with Paul Pogba's injury ruling him out entirely as Alex Telles, Jadon Sancho, and Scott McTominay return to Rangnick's XI.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have made just one change from their 4-2 win over Chelsea, introducing Cedric Soares in place of Rob Holding at the back.

United travel to the Emirates three points behind the Gunners in the Premier League table having played one game more, as Rangnick looks to secure Champions League football before making way for Erik ten Hag.

Rumours surrounding Kylian Mbappe's future are likely to rumble on for a couple more months yet.

For a long time, it was reported the France World Cup winner was a shoo-in to join LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

But more recently there have been rumblings he could be swayed to remain at Paris Saint-Germain, and a bumper new contract offer may be on the table.


TOP STORY – PSG READY TO OFFER MBAPPE HUGE MONEY TO HOLD OFF MADRID

Mbappe will be the hottest free agent on the market should he decide not to renew with PSG and a move to the Spanish capital still cannot be ruled out.

However, Goal reports his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu has hit a snag due to a dispute over the 23-year-old's image rights.

Meanwhile, PSG are reportedly ready to offer Mbappe an eye-watering €50million annual salary, a deal that would make him the highest paid player at the Parc des Princes, should he choose to remain in the French capital.


ROUND-UP

- Mauricio Pochettino may not be headed to Old Trafford to become Manchester United boss, but his PSG future still remains unclear. Le Parisien says Antonio Conte is tempted to leave Tottenham for the French capital.

- Declan Rice has put Manchester United and Chelsea on red alert after turning down a third contract offer from West Ham, which the Guardian said was worth £200,000 a week.

- Arsenal's continuing search for a striker has apparently led to interest in Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus. Edu, the Gunners' technical director, has been speaking to the Brazil star's representatives, according to the Athletic.

- Newcastle United are on the hunt for close-season reinforcements. Foot Mercato say Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby and Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile are both on the Magpies' radar.

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has said Paul Pogba "most likely won't be" staying at the club beyond this season.

Pogba picked up a calf injury in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday that will keep the midfielder out for a month.

With the Frenchman out of contract at the end of the campaign, and United's final game of 2021-22 coming on May 22, Rangnick does not expect Pogba to feature again, and has now suggested he may have played his final game for the club.

"He won’t be available [at Arsenal] and most likely not for the rest of the games. It seems right now he will not renew his contract [so] it's most likely he won't be here any more next season," Rangnick said at a news conference on Friday.

Pogba has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and former club Juventus in recent weeks.

The 29-year-old won the World Cup with France in 2018, playing a starring role in that Les Bleus team, but has struggled to play at a consistently high level for United since coming back to the Premier League club in 2016.

 

When asked why Pogba's six years at Old Trafford have been so up and down, Rangnick replied: "It’s difficult to say.

"He’s a player who won the World Cup with France, he's such a good player that he was a regular starter for a team like France. We all know what kind of potential he has and what kind of good player he can be.

"He was quite like a few other players struggling to get his best performance sustainably on the pitch for a team like Man United.

"This has not only been the case this season or in the last couple of weeks. As far as I remember, it was also the case in earlier years."

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."

Mauricio Pochettino insists he has "always been fully committed to my mission" at every club he has coached at amid rumours he was disappointed to miss out on the Manchester United job.

The Paris Saint-Germain boss had long-since been considered a front-runner to take over from interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who has filled in at Old Trafford since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November.

However, Ajax coach Erik ten Hag was confirmed as the latest man to try and restore the good times at United, with the Dutchman taking over on a three-year deal from next season.

Reports in the British press suggest Pochettino was caught off guard by United's decision, with the Argentinian said to have been researching Manchester as a city to live.

Speaking prior to PSG's clash with Lens on Saturday, a game in which even a point would mathematically clinch the title, Pochettino was adamant he is committed to his role at Parc des Princes.

"All the rumours that have come out this year and throughout my career have never bothered me," he said.

"I never commented on them. I coached Espanyol, Southampton, Tottenham, today PSG, and I have always been fully committed to my mission. 

"I work the same way by being focused on the objectives. If I paid attention to all the rumours, life would be different."

 

United's decision to overlook Pochettino means the former Tottenham boss' future remains unclear.

PSG are cantering towards the Ligue 1 title but were knocked out of the Champions League in a dramatic last-16 tie by Real Madrid.

Mikel Arteta never doubted he had what it would take to lead Arsenal after the Arsene Wenger dynasty – even if he was kept waiting for the top job.

The Arsenal manager paused only briefly to consider the ramifications of taking over a team built by Wenger and developed in the Frenchman's fashion.

It was Arteta's fearlessness regarding the possibility of failure that persuaded him to take up the Gunners post in December 2019, a full 18 months after he came close to being Wenger's immediate successor.

The Unai Emery era separated his Arsenal reign from Wenger's 22-year spell in charge, and Arteta has gradually built up the north London giants to the point where a return to the Champions League is tantalisingly close. A long-term plan to revive the glory years is showing progress.

Asked whether the prospect of having to shape a club previously led for so long by one man crossed his mind, Arteta said: "It did, but it was tiny in comparison with the excitement and the opportunity that I saw to join this club, and try to do what we all want to do, which was to take the club where Arsene took it at the highest level.

"That desire was much bigger than the worries of failing."

Arteta has now been at the helm for almost two and a half seasons, and Arsenal, who face Manchester United on Saturday, are battling for a top-four Premier League finish.

United have laboured to move on from the Alex Ferguson era, and Arsenal have had their own struggles since Frenchman Wenger's heyday, with their decline beginning while he remained in post.

They last played in the Champions League in 2016-17, so to return there would be a feather in Arteta's cap.

Arteta was widely tipped to succeed Wenger in 2018, before Emery, now with surprise Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal, was surprisingly given the job.

"It was close, but things happen for a reason and it probably was too soon," Arteta told a news conference. "People made decisions, and they made a different decision."

Arsenal sit fifth, behind Tottenham on goal difference and three points ahead of a United side who have played one more game.

They are rebuilding impressively, albeit with a few bumps in the road along the way.

"The expectation this club is going to have is always to be the best, because we're going to compare all the time to the beautiful moments that we lived together here," Arteta, a former Arsenal midfielder and captain, said.

"What I'm saying is: do I really enjoy what I'm doing and how I'm doing it? Yes, because I know what we can do, what our potential is and where we want to take it.

"The rest is just fear because you're going to fail because you are looking there.

"You need to understand when you can get there and especially how you're going to do it. The 'how' is clear. It's probably a matter of time.

"But if you start to go there and try to find the 'how' when you don't have the tools to do it, I think you're going to struggle."

Ralf Rangnick has not yet discussed his Manchester United future beyond this season as the interim manager gave his full backing to successor Erik ten Hag.

United confirmed on Thursday that Ajax head coach Ten Hag will take over from Rangnick in the Old Trafford hotseat from the end of this season.

The Dutchman, who has a 73.8 per cent win rate across 210 games in charge of Ajax, will become the Red Devils' fifth permanent manager since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Ten Hag has won two KNVB Cups and two Eredivisie titles in his four full campaigns at Ajax, with the Dutch giants on the verge of finishing top of the table again this term.

And while Rangnick does not have a personal connection with Ten Hag, he is a fan of the 52-year-old's style of play.

"We don't know each other, we haven't met as yet in person," Rangnick said. "I knew that Erik was one of the candidates the board spoke to.

"Obviously I told them, at least from what I had seen and know from people who have worked with Erik, that I think he would be a good choice.

"From I've seen of him, both at Bayern Munich when he was the under 23 coach and at Ajax now, I like his football.

"I'm positive with a full pre-season, with having the chance to build and mould his own staff and also a new team, we will see a different team and an improvement on the pitch."

 

Rangnick was placed in charge of United until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

That deal included an agreement that would see the German stay on at United for a further two years in a consultancy position, but he is not sure if that remains the plan.

"We haven't had time to speak about that," Rangnick said when asked if he would be working behind the scenes next season.

Ten Hag will inherit a United squad that has gone five years without a trophy and with question marks surrounding the futures of many players.

Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani are out of contract, while Nemanja Matic has already confirmed he is moving on when his existing deal expires.

United are also expected to be busy in terms of incoming activity as part of a major rebuild, which Rangnick is happy to help out with if called upon.

"It's obvious there are quite a few players with their contracts expiring," Rangnick said. 

"There might be a few others who – although they have contracts – are already on loan and still want to be on loan or leave the club. 

"It will be a significant change and rebuild necessary, that's clear, but how many players and which positions, as I've said, I've not spoken to Erik in person yet. 

"If he asks me my opinion in person, I'm willing to speak to him about my experience, but on the other hand, he'll also have his own ideas."

In what has been another hugely underwhelming campaign for United, skipper Harry Maguire has come in for more criticism than most for his displays in defence.

That personal abuse spilled over on Wednesday when the defender and his family received a bomb threat, though no device was discovered in his house.

Maguire is expected to be in contention to start Saturday's Premier League trip to Arsenal and has been given the full backing of Rangnick.

"I haven't seen him yet because I only got to know about this terrible, terrible thing yesterday afternoon and since then I haven't been able to speak with him," Rangnick said.

"This is another bad sign of the crazy world we're living in and, obviously, I feel very sorry for Harry that he had that terrible experience. 

"He knows that we are all behind him, the club is behind him, everybody, the players, his team-mates. It's sad enough that crazy things like that happen."

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in contention for Manchester United's Premier League meeting with Arsenal, but team-mate Paul Pogba may have played his last game for the club.

United interim boss Ralf Rangnick confirmed on Friday that the injury sustained by Pogba against Liverpool will keep the midfielder out for a month.

With Pogba out of contract at the end of the season, and United's final game of 2021-22 coming on May 22, Rangnick does not expect the France international to feature again.

"It is very unlikely that he will play until the end of the season again," Rangnick said.

"The doctor told me that it will take four weeks minimum for him to recover and since last game is at end of May, I don't think it's very likely he will play again."

Pogba is widely expected to depart Old Trafford for a second time in the next transfer window after a somewhat disappointing six-season spell at the club.

The 29-year-old, who won the World Cup in 2018 and remains a regular for France, was jeered by his own fans after being substituted in last week's 3-2 win over Norwich City.

He started Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Liverpool but lasted just 10 minutes before hobbling off with a heel injury, with that now likely to be his final appearance in a United shirt.

 

Rangnick provided some more positive news ahead of Saturday's early kick-off against top-four rivals Arsenal, however, with three other players back available.

Scott McTominay, Raphael Varane and Ronaldo each missed the Liverpool game but will be part of United's squad for the contest at Emirates Stadium.

Ronaldo was given time off after confirming in a social media post on Monday that his baby son had passed away.

Providing an update on the eve of the Arsenal match, Rangnick said: "Cristiano has been training with us and is available again."

Ronaldo has scored six goals in his last seven appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including a brace on his last visit to Emirates Stadium in May 2009.

United make the trip to London sitting three points behind fifth-placed Arsenal and Tottenham in fourth, having played a game more than both top-four rivals.

The Red Devils announced on the back of their heavy loss to Liverpool that Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag will succeed interim boss Rangnick at the end of the season.

Rangnick's sole focus between now and the end of May is guiding United into the Champions League, making Saturday's meeting with Arsenal effectively must-win.

"We just need to make sure we play far better than we did against Liverpool," Rangnick said. "This is the only way to deal with it. 

"We need to get the best possible team on the pitch and play in a different way, with more conviction, more confidence and more aggressive behaviour on the pitch. 

"We will have to show a completely different performance."

United are winless in their past three home league matches against Arsenal, failing to score each time – never before have they gone four in a row without a goal in this fixture.

Manchester United should not be expected to win trophies under Erik ten Hag immediately, says Gary Neville, warning it is a long job for the Dutchman with a mentally shot squad at Old Trafford.

The Ajax boss will take the reins from interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season, with the Red Devils arguably facing their lowest point in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

Questions over whether a squad low on confidence can challenge for Champions League football remains in the air, and several key players look destined for the door.

Hopes are high that Ten Hag can facilitate a fast turnaround - but speaking after his appointment, former defender Neville has warned there will be no quick fix at the Theatre of Dreams.

"What we're seeing at this current moment is unacceptable," Neville told Sky Sports News. "Ten Hag has got a big job to get the club back up to those minimum standards.

"They need to achieve [...] attitude, work ethic, belief, confidence and then hopefully you start to think about winning trophies.

"But honestly, I wouldn't be putting too much pressure on Ten Hag in the first one or two years to win a trophy at the club. It would be great if he did and he'd be overachieving, in my opinion.

"It will be: get into the top four, re-establish Man Utd in the Champions League, attract the players into the club who can play in the way he wants to play, and then get a system of belief.

"It took Jurgen Klopp four or five years to win a Premier League title. I wouldn't be putting pressure on Ten Hag to win a Premier League title. They're a million miles away from that.

"At the end of last season, I thought they were getting closer. But it's all collapsed and fallen to pieces. I don't know why that's happened. Ten Hag gets to pick up the pieces."

It has been a dramatic fall from grace for United, after their much-vaunted rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked on the cusp of paying dividends last term.

But since their Europa League final defeat at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, they have delivered few statement performances, and Neville believes the losing feeling will be hard to shake.

"The players have completely lost their confidence and belief," he added. "They don't want to play football for Manchester United at this moment in time.

"That's not they don't want to play football for the club - they don't want to play football. They want the season to finish. You can see it in their eyes. They just want these games over.

"But the problem is there is no hiding place at this club. All the eyes are still going to be on them and they're going to have to try to turn up. They've got to find something from somewhere.

"I want to be careful in saying there's long-lasting damage but the mental impact of what's happening, that's going to have [a] long-lasting impact on some of those lads."

Ten Hag will succeed Rangnick, with the German expected to remain at the club on a consultancy basis - and Neville feels that it will be the latter who helps the Dutchman dictate transfer policy.

"Recruitment is the most important job in a football club," he said. "If you get the players wrong, you're struggling.

"Rangnick has had four or five months to assess that dressing room. I'm pretty certain they'll be having pretty direct conversations about who he needs to get rid of.

"It's on the tip of Rangnick's tongue in every single interview he does and you feel like he's going to go rogue at some point and start calling players out.

"He's doing it in groups, but there's no doubt Rangnick will be passing on that very specific information about who Ten Hag needs to get rid of - and I'm sure Ten Hag will listen and buy into that."

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