Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand lamented the Red Devils for "downing tools" at Brighton and Hove Albion as he questioned the fight of his former side.

Ralf Rangnick's men were thumped 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard were all on target for Graham Potter's dominant hosts.

Rangnick, who will be replaced by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season, apologised for the humiliating defeat, while Bruno Fernandes accepted United supporters' assessment that the players were "not fit to wear the shirt".

This is set to go down as United's worst season in the Premier League era, having conceded their most goals in a single campaign (56) and fallen short of their record low for points, sitting on 58, six fewer than their 2013-14 mark with only a game to play.

Ferdinand, speaking on his YouTube podcast 'FIVE', heaped criticism on his old club as he expressed his dismay at United's situation.

"We are getting mocked every week," said Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles and a Champions League at United. "We have gone down to Brighton to the seaside for a day out.

"We got pumped and sent back home. There is no fight, there is no character, and it seems there is no desire. People have downed tools, it seems.

"We are getting smashed 4-0 at Brighton. Listen, they are a decent team, but United shouldn't be getting beat 4-0 like that. 

"This is a terrible situation and I really wonder what it is like in that changing room.

"Is there anyone standing up? Are there any characters that are picking people up, or is everyone in there thinking that it has gone now? We have gone, and that is it."

Gary Neville agreed with Jurgen Klopp's verdict on Tottenham under Antonio Conte, believing it shows the coach was not "the right fit" for Manchester United.

United have been linked with Conte on numerous occasions in recent seasons as they have moved from manager to manager since Alex Ferguson's retirement.

The Red Devils have not won the Premier League since Ferguson's final campaign in 2012-13, while Conte has claimed three league titles with three clubs in two countries over the same period.

Now he is seeking to guide Spurs back into the Champions League, frustrating Liverpool to earn a precious 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday.

But the manner in which Conte sets his teams up has been the source of some debate since that match, as Liverpool manager Klopp questioned the tactics employed by his opposite number afterwards. Tottenham had just 34.5 per cent of possession against Liverpool, relying on counter-attacking qualities.

"I don't like this kind of football," Klopp said. "But that's my personal problem. I think they're world class, and I think they should do more for the game."

 

Klopp has the backing of former United captain Neville, who shared a clip of the German's news conference on Twitter as he suggested Conte's style of football would not work at Old Trafford.

"I respect Conte and his football enormously, but this Klopp interview gives the clear reason why he wasn't the right fit for United," Neville wrote.

Former Liverpool man Jamie Carragher, Neville's Sky Sports colleague, replied with evidence of the ex-United man calling for the appointment of Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid coach whose tactics might also be considered negative.

But Neville insisted Conte and Simeone were not comparable, suggesting the Atletico boss would work well at United.

"Simeone 4-4-2 aggressive style. Proper United that," Neville responded. "Conte wing backs? No..."

Following their exit at the hands of Roma in the Europa Conference League semi-finals, Leicester City are at the fork in the road that faces every club their size following some success.

History says that sustainable progress will have to come at the expense of selling the players who got the club to such heights.

While James Maddison and Wesley Fofana have long been on the wish lists of bigger clubs, Youri Tielemans reportedly looks set to leave also.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL, REAL MADRID SET ON TIELEMANS

Arsenal are closing in on a £40million transfer for Leicester City and Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans, The Sun is reporting.

Real Madrid are waiting to pounce, however, if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

Leicester are now reportedly resigned to selling the 25-year-old, whose goal won the Foxes the FA Cup last term. 

Tielemans has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football, meaning Manchester United have dropped out of the race.

ROUND-UP

- Fernandinho appears set to leave Manchester City, despite having a year remaining on his contract, citing a personal decision, per Fabrizio Romano.

Tottenham are looking to sign Villarreal's Pau Torres for a fee below his release clause of £55million (€64.3m), Football Insider reports.

- The Daily Star are reporting Nemanja Matic, who will leave Manchester United at the end of the season, is set to join Juventus.

- West Ham are leading the race to sign 23-year-old Chile international Ben Brereton-Diaz from Blackburn Rovers, according to The Sun.

Bruno Fernandes agreed with the Manchester United fans' assessment that the team were "not fit to wear the shirt" in Saturday's humiliating defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

United went down 4-0 at the Amex Stadium and were perhaps fortunate not to have conceded more against a Brighton team previously without a home win in 2022.

This is set to go down as United's worst season of the Premier League era, already having conceded their most goals in a single campaign and certain to fall short of the previous low benchmark in terms of points.

And United supporters turned on their team as a shocking second half played out, chanting: "You're not fit to wear the shirt."

Star midfielder Fernandes had no issue with that view when it was relayed to him in a post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"I include myself in that," he said. "What we did today, what I did today, was not enough to be in the Manchester United shirt, and I accept that."

Ralf Rangnick apologised to Manchester United's supporters after what he said was their worst performance under his management, as the Red Devils capitulated in a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Brighton and Hove Albion.

United fell behind to Moises Caicedo's first-half strike before Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross, and Leandro Trossard scored second-half goals to condemn the Red Devils to a humiliating defeat at the Amex Stadium. 

The Red Devils have now conceded more league goals this season (56) than they have in any other Premier League campaign, and with 58 points after 37 games, are guaranteed to record their lowest points tally in the competition (previously 64 in 2013-14).

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have now conceded four or more goals in 12 separate Premier League games since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, as many times as they did in 810 games under him in the competition.

Speaking to BT Sport after United's fifth consecutive away league defeat, Rangnick rejected the idea that his players had "ignored" his game plan but called the defeat "humiliating".

Asked whether the loss was the worst he had experienced since arriving at Old Trafford, Rangnick replied: "It was. From the first to the last minute this was just not enough, in all important areas we were second best and we can only apologise to our supporters. 

"It was a terrible performance and a humiliating defeat. Today, from the first minute we gave them too much time, too much space, we were never in a position where we could stop them playing through our lines.

"I don't think that they ignored the game plan, but we were just not able to stop them, we gave them too much time and space and if you do that against a technically good team like Brighton, this is the result."

Meanwhile, the Seagulls' comprehensive victory represented the biggest top-flight win in their history, in what was their 365th game at this level.

Rangnick attempted to change the game at the break by introducing Edinson Cavani and Fred, and despite three of Brighton's four goals arriving in the second period, maintained something had to change after United failed to register a shot on target in the first half.

"As I said, it was very, very difficult in the first half to stop them at all. In the second half we took the risk to bring on Edinson as a second striker plus Fred, and play 4-4-2", he added.

"In hindsight, maybe it was too much of a risk to play in a 4-4-2 against them but we had to change the energy, today we were just second best in all relevant areas. 

"Had we continued to play as we did in the first half it would only have been a question of time when we conceded the second goal, that's why I decided to take more of a risk with the 4-4-2. But with two early goals, it was a disaster for us. As a team, we didn't defend at all."

Rangnick now has just one match left in the Old Trafford dugout, with United rounding off their frustrating season with a final-day trip to Crystal Palace before Erik ten Hag takes charge.

Looking back on his tenure at United, Rangnick who will assume a consultancy position after vacating his coaching role, claims his side were "on the right pathway" for much of his time in charge, though admitted the Red Devils have been "really poor" recently.

"I think we have to split it into two different halves. Until the West Ham game [a 1-0 win in late January] or even the Tottenham game [a 3-2 victory in March], we had very good performances, when we beat Tottenham at home, West Ham at home, when we won [4-2] at Leeds, it was a completely different level of energy.

"But in games like today, or at Everton [a 1-0 defeat last month], it was a lack of energy, of aggressiveness. If you play like that without the ball you cannot win a game.

"When the call came in November it was clear I wanted to come, and as I said, in the first three or four months we were on the right pathway, we were in three competitions and had really good performances, but in the last four, five, six weeks, we were really poor."

Manchester United produced a terrible performance to fall to a fifth consecutive away loss in the Premier League as Brighton and Hove Albion thrashed the Red Devils 4-0 at the Amex Stadium.

Moises Caicedo struck a fine first-half effort beyond David de Gea, but worse was to come for United after half-time as Brighton took advantage of a dismal performance from their visitors.

Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard each scored in quick succession, with the Belgium winger finishing with a goal and two assists.

The result marked a new low in the Red Devils' woeful season, with their tally of 56 Premier League goals conceded this term representing their most in a single campaign in the competition's history.

Ralf Rangnick opted not to restore fit-again captain Harry Maguire to his defence, which was breached after 15 minutes when Caicedo drilled a brilliant finish into the bottom-left corner from outside the area.

Victor Lindelof was forced into a last-ditch clearance after a flowing move from the dominant hosts, before Danny Welbeck lobbed over the bar after latching onto Raphael Varane's poor touch.

Rangnick introduced Fred and Edinson Cavani after watching his team fail to register a shot on target before the break, but Cucurella then side-footed home from Trossard's 49th-minute cutback.

Brighton ended the game as a contest after 57 minutes when Gross produced a neat left-footed finish after taking Trossard's pass into his stride, and they were in dreamland as the creator turned scorer three minutes later, bundling in from close range after Welbeck's chipped effort.

Brighton almost had a fifth after 65 minutes when Diogo Dalot deflected Alexis Mac Allister's effort against his own post, while Welbeck also narrowly missed the target again as United endured another day to forget – Cavani's consolation ruled out for offside at the other end.

What does it mean? Red Devils confirm worst Premier League showing

United's capitulation saw the positivity of Monday's 3-0 win over Brentford evaporate and confirmed the 2021-22 season will be their worst ever in the Premier League.

With 58 points and just one game remaining, Rangnick's team will finish with their lowest points tally in the competition, unable to match the 64 they earned in 2013-14 under David Moyes and Ryan Giggs.

United stunned again

United have now conceded four or more goals in 12 separate Premier League matches since Alex Ferguson's 2013 retirement, as many as they did in 810 games under him in the competition.

Away-day woes continue

Following up defeats at Manchester City, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal with another on the road, this is United's worst such run since they lost six away league games in a row between December 1980 and March 1981.

They could yet match that sequence when they go to Crystal Palace on the Premier League's final day.

What's next?

Brighton's penultimate Premier League match sees them travel to Leeds United next Sunday, while United have just one game remaining this term, away at Palace on May 22.

Borussia Dortmund are "on the right track" to secure the prized signing of Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi, according to Sebastian Kehl.

Kehl, who will move from a player licensing role at Dortmund to become sporting director next season, expressed optimism that the Bundesliga giants will acquire a talent who has also been linked to Manchester United.

It may be that Adeyemi directly replaces Erling Haaland, who looks set to leave Dortmund after two and a half highly successful years with the club.

Haaland is another Salzburg old boy who has flourished in the German Bundesliga since leaving behind its Austrian equivalent, with Manchester City emerging as favourites to sign up the Norway striker in a big-money deal.

Adeyemi is 20 years old and already a full Germany international with three caps and a three-time Austrian Bundesliga winner, so his signing would be a coup for Dortmund.

Kehl told Sky Sport: "The gut feeling got better over the week. We're on the right track."

Recent reports in England have claimed United made a move for Adeyemi but were rebuffed by the player, who was said to prefer a return to his homeland rather than a Premier League switch.

A technically gifted and rapid forward, Adeyemi has long been considered one of Germany's most promising young players, having cost Salzburg a reported €3million when he was 16 and joined from Unterhaching. Adeyemi had left Bayern Munich's youth ranks six years earlier.

This season, he is the leading scorer in Austria's top flight, with 17 goals in 26 games, while he also netted three times and had one assist in eight Champions League games – a European campaign that ended with a last-16 defeat to Bayern.

While Haaland's departure would undoubtedly harm Dortmund, the potential arrival of Adeyemi continues what looks to be a strong transfer window for BVB, who have already reached agreements with centre-backs Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck.

Manchester United were left short of attacking options due to the board's refusal to sign a forward late in January, according to Ralf Rangnick.

Rangnick took interim charge in November after the dismissal of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and arrived as a highly acclaimed operator in the transfer market after his technical role at RB Leipzig.

United fans may have been hopeful the German would be allowed to deliver some transfer gems, having previously signed the likes of Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita for small fees while at RB Salzburg.

However, United were instead left with a shortage of strikers after the unsettled Anthony Martial was loaned to Sevilla and Mason Greenwood was suspended indefinitely by the club with three days left in January.

Rangnick eyed moves for Dusan Vlahovic, who subsequently left Fiorentina for Juventus, Manchester City-bound Julian Alvarez, and Luis Diaz, who joined Liverpool from Porto, but none came to fruition.

That left United to rely on the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored nine of their last 13 league goals across 10 matches, with Edinson Cavani hampered by fitness and injury issues.

"The answer at the time was no there was no player on the market that could really help us – there were a few, Diaz who is now at Liverpool, Alvarez who will be at Manchester City in the summer, Vlahovic who at the time still was with Fiorentina those are just three of them that come across my mind now," said Rangnick.

"We had four days off at the time and on the Sunday I was informed about the issues with Mason Greenwood and obviously Anthony Martial had already left.

"Then I was aware that within four days we had some strikers missing and it might make sense, we were still in three competitions – Champions League, FA Cup and fourth in the league but that's the past and it doesn't help us anymore.

"I spoke to the board and said shouldn't we at least speak and try and analyse if we could get a player either on loan or as a permanent deal but in the end the answer was no.

"I still believe that we should have at least tried, if we would've found and been able in 48 hours, 48 hours is short notice but it's still 48 hours, it might have been worth to try and internally discuss but we didn't and it was not done."

Rangnick will move into a consultancy role at the end of the season, alongside his coaching commitments with Austria, and partner the incoming Erik ten Hag in an attempt to transform United's fortunes.

Ten Hag has already demanded some ruling over transfers, while Rangnick claimed United may need up to 10 players to compete.

Rangnick is under no illusions about how sizeable the rebuilding task will be at Old Trafford.

"If there is a good thing about the poor season we had so far it is that everybody now should be aware how big and where the problems are and what needs to be done to raise the level again and to be a serious title contender again – and this is what it's all about – to me it's obvious what needs to be done, this is what is most important," said Rangnick.

"If there hadn't been any problems before I came I wouldn't have come, probably Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] would still be sat here answering your questions.

"There were some problems the team already had at the end of November and as we all know in the first couple of months until the end of January we were improving, we conceded less goals, we had a point average of 2.1 after the West Ham game but then in that international break we lost three players and we had problems to score goals and find our balance."

"Now it's time to look ahead, now we have two games to play try to play as well as we possibly can, get as many points as we possibly can out of those two games. 

"Then together with Erik, together with the board, together with the scouting department, hopefully find and also convince the players, it's not only about finding them, scouting them you also have to convince them to come to Manchester United."

Erik ten Hag says questions about the future of Cristiano Ronaldo and other Manchester United stars are "for the future" as he focuses on attempting to see Ajax over the line in the Eredivisie title race.

It was confirmed last month Ten Hag will be the replacement for interim boss Ralf Rangnick from next season.

The long-term future of Portugal superstar Ronaldo, who signed on for a second spell at Old Trafford from Juventus back in August, has been shrouded in doubt despite the fact he has another year on his contract, with an option to extend for a third season, and has contributed 18 Premier League goals for a United side that has badly underperformed this season.

Reports in the British media suggested Dutchman Ten Hag wants Ronaldo to be a part of his plans next term, but when asked about the prospect of working with the 37-year-old at a news conference previewing Ajax's clash with AZ, he kept his cards pressed firmly to his chest.

"They are questions for the future and not in this moment," he said.

"I want to answer questions about Ajax, we are in an important race, and an important week. I want to focus on Ajax and not on Manchester United."

There have been rumours Ten Hag could look to take some of his Ajax squad with him to Old Trafford, with Sebastien Haller, Antony, and Jurrien Timber among those linked with a switch.

Ten Hag denied suggestions any deals are in place, though.

"No, there are no agreements about that," he added. "I now have very good players, but it's not an issue at all."

Manchester City have become a shock suitor for disgruntled Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, with his contract set to expire at the end of this season.

Pogba, 29, has previously spoken about regretting his move to Old Trafford, and had been expected to leave the Premier League in the upcoming transfer window, being strongly linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

While the Frenchman has highlighted his desire to compete for trophies, he may not have to leave the city to get his wish, with a chance to insert himself into Manchester football folklore if he ditches the red for sky blue.

 

TOP STORY – CITY TO OFFER POGBA FOUR-YEAR DEAL WITH FREE TRANSFER

The Daily Mail is reporting City have interest in bringing in Pogba on a free transfer, while the Guardian claims the French midfielder would like to work with Pep Guardiola, and that the club are willing to offer a four-year deal.

If he makes the move, Pogba would be arguably the biggest name to ever make the switch, rivalling Carlos Tevez, but the Guardian report notes he would be taking a pay cut in doing so.

It is not known if offers coming from Spain would be more lucrative financially, but arguably no team can offer a better chance at European and domestic success than City.

In 154 Premier League appearances since his arrival in 2016, Pogba has scored 29 goals and laid on 41 assists.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter is considered the favourite to replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham if he is to leave at the end of the season. Brighton are said to be seeking compensation of £10million from Spurs in the agreement.

Manchester United are interested in 19-year-old French striker Hugo Ekitike from Reims, according to the Daily Mail.

– Football London is reporting Chelsea are considering a move for Torino defender Gleison Bremer.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Monaco will not accept less than €70m for Liverpool defender Aurelien Tchouameni.

– The Liverpool Echo is reporting Liverpool have agreed to a £7m deal for Fulham's 19-year-old Portuguese forward Marco Silva.

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has defended his decision not to play Jesse Lingard in what could have been the winger's final game at Old Trafford after receiving criticism from the player's brother.

Lingard was an unused substitute as the Red Devils ran out as 3-0 winners over Brentford in their final home league game of a frustrating season on Monday, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and Raphael Varane on the scoresheet.

A number of players either confirmed or likely to leave Old Trafford, including Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Phil Jones, and Edinson Cavani, were given appearances by Rangnick, although Lingard was not afforded a farewell outing ahead of his contract expiring in June.

That attracted the ire of the player's brother Louie Scott, who posted on Instagram: "20 years of blood sweat and tears, four domestic trophies, three cup final goals, not even a farewell. No wonder it's Conference League next year."

But Rangnick insists he has done more for Lingard than several past United bosses, and listed several factors affecting his decision not to play the 29-year-old.

"Well to start with, I think in the last couple of weeks under my tenure, he has played far more games than he used to before I came," Rangnick said.

"Number two, on gameday against Chelsea [last Thursday] he contacted me at the hotel and asked me to release him from the game and to also release him from the training session two days after the Chelsea game, for some personal family reasons, and I allowed him to do that.

"This was the reason, and with only three substitutions, unfortunately – in all the other leagues you have five – I had to take a decision between bringing on Cavani or Lingard, or even the young Alejandro Garnacho, who I also would have loved to bring on and give him a chance after being 3-0 up.

"I took the decision to bring on Edinson for the very reasons I just explained. If I hadn't brought on Edinson maybe someone else would have posted 'it was classless not to bring on Cavani', or someone else would have posted 'why didn't the manager bring on Garnacho?'

"You have to take a decision. This will not be to the liking of everybody, but it's part of the game."

Lingard has made 22 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions this season, although only four of those have been starts and the 29-year-old has only featured for a total of 548 minutes.

United are looking to avoid a fifth consecutive away league defeat when they travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in their penultimate game of the Premier League season on Saturday, with their current run of four consecutive league losses on the road already their worst such streak since the 1980-1981 season (a run of six).

Harry Maguire is in line for a return to action when Manchester United travel to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, Ralf Rangnick has confirmed.

The United captain has not played since the Red Devils fell to a crushing 4-0 defeat at rivals Liverpool on April 19.

He was only the bench four days later as United lost to Arsenal 3-1, with Rangnick confirming the mental toll of a bomb threat made against Maguire was one reason for leaving him out.

A knee injury then forced him to miss the 1-1 draw with Chelsea and United's 3-0 defeat of Brentford.

United sit sixth in the Premier League table, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal going in to the final two games of Rangnick's tenure as interim manager.

Maguire has been criticised after playing his part in just seven clean sheets in 35 appearances across all competitions this term but should return at the Amex Stadium, although Rangnick refused to say whether he would start.

Fellow England international Marcus Rashford, however, has been ruled out after suffering from a bout of bronchitis.

"Harry is back in training, he trained the whole week, the second day after the Brentford game he resumed training, so he will be available and will be part of the group," Rangnick told his pre-match press conference.

"This [whether will start Maguire] is a decision I have to make after training today, obviously I don't want to tell our opponents the line-up with which we will start, but he will definitely be part of the group.

"Edinson [Cavani] is in training, obviously he came on as a sub [against Brentford], [but] Marcus Rashford will be missing, he has caught bronchitis, with a high temperature, so he won't be able to be part of the group."

United will defend an excellent head-to-head record against the Seagulls when they travel to the south coast: they have won each of their previous seven games against Brighton in all competitions, their longest ongoing winning run against another current Premier League side.

However, the Red Devils have lost each of their past four away Premier League games, as many as they had in the previous 42 on their travels, making it the club's longest run of consecutive league reverses on the road since a streak of six between December 1980 and March 1981.

However, as Rangnick prepares to make way for Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag and assume a consultancy role at the end of the season, he reiterated his belief that the future is bright at Old Trafford, saying he was pleased to see his players enjoying their football against the Bees last time out.

"In last two home games we got four points, and the Brentford game was one of our best games in the last six months. I'm positive that the team will try to play on the same level tomorrow and in two weeks' time against Crystal Palace," he added.

"Once again, what I liked about the game was you could see they had fun playing together, that they were enjoying themselves on the pitch, and this is exactly the kind of approach we need for tomorrow as well.

"I think it was visible against Brentford, you could see they enjoyed themselves on the pitch. This does not mean everything was perfect, but in possession we were controlling the game.

"With regard to next season, there will be some changes, obviously. There are some players whose contracts are expiring, with new players to join us here, in the end it's also a thing that needs to be discussed with Erik and the board.

"Erik needs to tell the board which players he wants to work with, but I'm positive with the right new players, plus the players that are already here, the pathway could be a very positive one, this is what we will all try to achieve.

"We will definitely speak at the end of the season. Both Erik and myself want to have our full focus on the outstanding games, he has another three games to play and will do everything to try to win the title in the Netherlands.

"We have agreed we will chat and speak about everything at the end of the season."

Anthony Elanga is eager at the prospect of working under Erik ten Hag when he eventually takes over as manager at Manchester United.

Despite a turbulent season that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed in November, the 20-year-old Elanga has progressed under his interim replacement, Ralf Rangnick.

Elanga was not in a first-team squad in the Premier League this season until Rangnick's arrival and since then has made 19 league appearances.

However, Ten Hag's football with Ajax has Elanga excited with what he can bring to Old Trafford.

"You can see the way Ajax are playing in Europe," he told Sky Sports. "He's a great manager with a fantastic record in Europe. I've seen how good he is with developing young players, so that's one of the reasons I'm really excited to work with him.

"Obviously we're focused on finishing the season strongly, but we're also feeling very, very positive about next year. His experience in Europe, developing young players like myself and we've got other young players coming up. He'll bring exciting football to Old Trafford.

"It all starts from pre-season and how we take in his instructions and tactics. He'll be a great addition to the club and I'm really, really excited to work with him."

Elanga has started to establish himself at United, with 25 appearances in all competitions this season, claiming three goals and two assists in that time.

The attacker believes the difficulty of this campaign at Old Trafford, that will likely result in a failure to qualify for the Champions League, has still provided him an important learning experience.

"Playing 25 games for the first team and making my international debut, I've personally learnt a huge amount," Elanga said.

"Despite what's happened this season, I still feel I've learnt a lot and I'm ready to take my game to the next level next season."

Manchester United will next face Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Manchester United have been proven wrong by David Moyes, who deserved more time at Old Trafford, according to Phil Neville.

Neville left United as a player to join Moyes at Everton and then returned to his former club as part of the new manager's backroom staff in 2013.

But Moyes' United tenure did not go to plan after he was appointed with the backing of outgoing legend Alex Ferguson.

The Red Devils were reigning Premier League champions but finished seventh in a season Moyes failed to see out, sacked with four games remaining.

Since then, Moyes has endured mixed fortunes, struggling at Real Sociedad and suffering relegation with Sunderland before restoring his reputation across two stints with West Ham.

The 59-year-old will lead the Hammers out in a Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, with the club on course for a second successive season of European football having been battling relegation when the manager returned to London Stadium.

Meanwhile, United – one place above West Ham in sixth – are turning to Erik ten Hag as their sixth appointment since Ferguson's retirement (including incumbent interim boss Ralf Rangnick).

Neville feels the club would have been better served giving time to the man named as Ferguson's successor.

"If you look back now, it was totally wrong the lack of time that he was given," the Inter Miami head coach told Sky Sports. "It was totally wrong the lack of backing, the lack of finance in terms of the investment that other managers have had.

"I'd say that's the biggest thing. When we both left the club at that time, we needed another season.

"Ten months at Manchester United, in a difficult period when the greatest manager of all time had just left, wasn't enough. He had unbelievable plans to take the club forward in that summer.

"I'd say that, looking back, it was probably one of the biggest mistakes United made since Sir Alex left, not giving David Moyes more time.

"I think he's proven now at West Ham: with time, he can build a football club to sustain, with quality and to be successful.

"That, for me, was probably one of the biggest disappointments in football, when he was sacked by Manchester United."

Barcelona are reportedly open to "big-money" offers for Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong.

De Jong, who has 40 caps for the Netherlands, arrived at Barcelona from Ajax for a €75million fee in 2019, accumulating 137 appearances for the club in all competitions.

The midfielder has been a key pillar in Barcelona's line-up this season, appearing 44 times, but the Catalan giants may be ready to move on as the interest from United intensifies.

TOP STORY – BARCA ARE CONSIDERING OFFERS FOR DE JONG

The Blaugrana are open-minded about potentially parting ways with De Jong, who is being closely linked with his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag for his new venture at United.

He is one of the main players on the Red Devils' wish-list, which Fichajes reports also includes Southampton's James Ward-Prowse, Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia and West Ham's Jarrod Bowen.

The Telegraph adds that Ten Hag has identified eight players "he can trust" at the club, while being on the fence about Marcus Rashford's future.

ROUND-UP

– L'Equipe is reporting RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku would like to leave the club after this season, with a desire to head to Manchester City, United, Paris Saint-Germain or Milan

Newcastle United have met with the agent of Watford's Ismaila Sarr but will have to match the club's £40million asking price, per FootballTransfers.

Bayer Leverkusen are planning a move for PSG youngster Eric-Junior Dina Ebimbe after failing to secure the deal during the January transfer window, according to RMC Sport.

– Sport is reporting Samuel Umtiti will leave Barcelona in the next transfer window and wants to return to Lyon, who will be competing for his services with Rennes, Montpellier and Nice

– Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is unlikely to sign an extension with the club and could be sold in the next transfer window with his contract set to expire in 2023, according to The Times.

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