Jadon Sancho will not be a part of Manchester United's training camp in Spain, instead staying behind to work on an individual programme "as part of a process to get back to his highest level."

United will spend a week in Spain preparing for the return of domestic football, playing friendlies against Cadiz on Wednesday and Real Betis on Saturday.

Erik ten Hag will be without 13 first team players due to the World Cup, while the Premier League club confirmed that Sancho – who missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Qatar 2022 – will also not be present.

The 22-year-old was recently spotted training with Dutch amateur side OJC Rosmalen, reportedly with coaches recommended by Ten Hag.

United confirmed on Sunday on their website: "Jadon Sancho is continuing his individual training programme as part of a process to get back to his highest level. The club is fully supporting him in this."

Sancho has three goals and one assist in 14 games (12 starts) for his club this season, having only managed five goals and three assists in 38 games (27 starts) last campaign following a £73million (€85m) move from Borussia Dortmund.

United will also be without defensive trio Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan Bissaka and Brandon Williams in Spain as they continue their recoveries from injury.

The Red Devils return to competitive action in the EFL Cup on December 21 when they host Burnley in the fourth round, before resuming their Premier League campaign at home to Nottingham Forest on December 27.

Virgil van Dijk said Manchester United are not "at the same level" as Real Madrid as he offered transfer advice to his in-form Netherlands team-mate Cody Gakpo.

PSV forward Gakpo scored in each of the Netherlands' three group-stage games and played alongside Van Dijk as the Dutch defeated the United States 3-1 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

With nine goals in 14 Eredivisie games this season, Gakpo's stock has continued to rise in Qatar and rumours of a switch to United have exacerbated since the Red Devils terminated the contract of Cristiano Ronaldo.

LaLiga heavyweights Madrid have also been registered with an interest, while Liverpool are also reportedly monitoring the situation.

Van Dijk has no doubt Gakpo is ready to take the next step in his career but offered a cheeky dig at Liverpool's rivals when speaking to reporters after the USA game.

"Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level? No disrespect, not at all," he said.

"I definitely think he has that next step in him. I definitely feel like it could happen, whether that is in the winter or the summer or next year, time will tell. 

"He is a great boy who works hard, very talented and definitely there is more in him. We are so pleased he is doing so well for us. Long may it continue."

Gakpo did little to quell rumours of a January move when speaking to De Telegraaf about his future last week.

"As it stands now, I will still be playing for PSV after the winter break," he said. "But, as I said before the start of the World Cup, we will see what will happen."

Virgil van Dijk has complete confidence Liverpool will remain a force in world football regardless of who owns the Reds.

It was confirmed last month the club's Fenway Sports Group (FSG) are exploring the possibility of selling up or seeking outside investment as they aim to keep up with the Premier League's big spenders.

Reports suggest Liverpool are valued at an eye-watering £3.7billion with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs said to be overseeing the process.

Van Dijk, speaking to reporters after helping the Netherlands defeat the United States 3-1 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals, says Liverpool will continue to thrive whoever is in charge at Anfield.

"I have full trust in Liverpool that they will be fine. We are a very established club, one of the biggest in the world and that will stay that way," he said.

"Whoever comes in to fill in those roles, they will do very well. I am aware of everything that is happening.

"Whether I am taking it in and doing something with it right now, I don't think so because the full focus is on the World Cup but hopefully everything will be sorted and clarified when I am back. At this point, I am definitely not thinking about it."

Liverpool struggled for consistency prior to the World Cup and sit sixth in the Premier League, 15 points off leaders Arsenal and seven back of Spurs in fourth.

They did win five of their six Champions League group-stage games but finished second behind Napoli on goal difference and face Real Madrid in the last 16 in a repeat of last season's final, which they lost 1-0.

Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

Marcus Rashford can become one of the world's best players after carrying his Manchester United form onto the international stage at the World Cup, according to Harry Maguire.

Rashford lost his place in Gareth Southgate's England squad earlier this year after enduring a miserable 2021-22 campaign, making just 13 Premier League starts for United and scoring four goals.

However, Rashford has been rejuvenated since Erik ten Hag took charge at Old Trafford, finding the net eight times in all competitions this term to force his way into the Three Lions' squad.

Rashford scored twice on his first start at the World Cup as England thrashed Wales last time out, moving level with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Alvaro Morata at the top of the tournament's goalscoring charts, and Maguire believes he has the talent to reach the very top of the game.

Asked about his England and United team-mate by talkSPORT, Maguire said: "I'm really pleased for Marcus.

"I don't think he'll ever reach what his talent can get to, because he's so talented that he could be one of the best in the world, and I think he's got to push and strive for that. 

"Over the last year or so it's just not been Marcus at Manchester United. We had a difficult year as a group and it affects people as individuals. 

"This year, he is playing with a lot more freedom and he's playing with a big smile on his face. We speak about him getting back to his best and I'm sure he will do."

Should Rashford score in England's last-16 tie against Senegal on Sunday, he will become the first United player to score four goals at a single major tournament for the Three Lions.

If he starts, the Red Devils attacker will fancy his chances of doing so against a Senegal side that has gone 10 World Cup games without a clean sheet, last recording a shutout at the tournament on their 2002 debut in a famous 1-0 win over France.

Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles will not recover from knee injuries in time to play again at the 2022 World Cup, Brazil confirmed on Saturday.

The pair had each been substituted in Friday's defeat to Cameroon, with team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirming afterwards they would have scans the following day.

Brazil have already been playing without Neymar, Danilo and Alex Sandro due to injuries, and their latest two setbacks are significant.

Reports in Brazil on Saturday had suggested Jesus would miss a month and Telles was potentially facing surgery, also representing blows to Arsenal and Sevilla.

A statement from the CBF subsequently confirmed neither would feature for the remainder of the World Cup.

"As announced by the CBF after the game against Cameroon, players Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus underwent tests this Saturday morning," the statement read.

"Accompanied by the doctor of the Brazilian team, Rodrigo Lasmar, they performed an MRI on the right knee that confirmed the injuries and the impossibility of recovery in time to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

"The coordinator of the Brazilian national team, Juninho Paulista, is in contact with the sports directors of Arsenal and Sevilla to define whether Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus remain with the squad in Doha for continuity of treatment or if they return to their clubs."

While Jesus was set to play only as Richarlison's back-up in the knockout stage, Telles could have been in line for a prominent role.

Alex Sandro is the only other natural left-back in the squad and is uncertain to return in time for the last-16 match against South Korea.

Brazil are at least more optimistic on the status of versatile right-back Danilo, who was set to return to full training on Saturday.

Sofyan Amrabat has been at the centre of Morocco's surprise success at the World Cup, and his performances have put the Fiorentina midfielder on the radar of several Premier League clubs.

Amrabat, 26, had his first taste of Serie A football when he was loaned from Club Brugge to Hellas Verona for the 2019-20 season, catching the eye of Fiorentina, who scooped him up the following year.

The defensive midfielder has steadily increased his role at Fiorentina, making 10 starts and three substitute appearances in the league this season.

He played every minute of Morocco's three group games, guiding his side to an undefeated record (W2 D1) with clean sheets against both Belgium and Croatia, and now he is reportedly wanted by the English elite.

 

TOP STORY – AMRABAT EMERGES AS LIVERPOOL AND TOTTENHAM TARGET

According to Sky Sports Germany, Liverpool believe Amrabat can address their midfield depth issues, and could be available for €30million in January.

An earlier report from La Repubblica claimed Tottenham had enquired about a potential deal last January, and his terrific tournament has only strengthened their interest. 

With a blockbuster last-16 clash booked against Spain on Tuesday, another standout performance could have Amrabat packing his bags for an impending move to England.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting 23-year-old Barcelona target Martin Zubimendi is also on Manchester United's radar, although the Spaniard's contract ties him to Real Sociedad until 2027.

– Calciomercato is also reporting Cristiano Ronaldo is "very interested" in joining Chelsea if the Stamford Bridge side will have him.

– According to Fichajes, Inter would like to bring Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie back to Serie A, but cannot afford to purchase him outright in January, while the Spanish side are not willing to let him leave on a loan deal.

– 90min is reporting Real Madrid would need Kylian Mbappe to agree to certain conditions – including a pay cut and significantly less behind-the-scenes influence – if he wants to come to the club in the near future.

– Newcastle United are not planning any moves in January, and are open to parting ways with 28-year-old winger Ryan Fraser, according to the Telegraph.

Jordan Henderson is convinced England's experience of coming within touching distance of glory can make them better equipped to go the extra mile – because it is a process he knows all about from playing for Liverpool.

Defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley was a crushing blow to England, who felt they were on the brink of a first major title in over 50 years.

Gareth Southgate's team also went mightily close to reaching the 2018 World Cup final, missing out after losing to Croatia in the semi-finals.

They are getting close repeatedly, and this is relatable for Henderson given his 11-year Liverpool career has seen its ups, downs and close calls.

The Reds finished as runners-up in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League during Henderson's time at Anfield before laying their hands on each of those trophies, and he can see why England's situation is comparable.

"I suppose you could see similarities in terms of getting so close and just failing at the last bit until we ended up winning," Henderson said.

"I don't like to make comparisons with other teams, and especially club football, but I do feel like when you go through experiences together, especially good ones, but at the end you don't get what you want, that can make you really stronger as a team.

"I keep my runners-up medals. Not many players get to cup finals so I'll always respect the process of getting there. But when you just miss out on your dream then it can hurt a lot and that is what drives you to get better."

Henderson, an FA Cup and EFL Cup winner as captain of Liverpool last season, said complacency "won't be a danger" when England tackle Senegal in a last-16 tie on Sunday.

His former Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane was ruled out by the Africa Cup of Nations champions just before the tournament began, after a cruel injury blow, but Senegal still beat Ecuador and Qatar in the group stage.

They are a team to be taken seriously, and Henderson, quoted in the Guardian, said: "We can say they are missing Sadio Mane, but they got into the knockout stages without him and they will be feeling confident.

"They are used to winning. We have just got to keep focused on what needs doing, not get too carried away, not look too far ahead."

Jurgen Klopp's agent has ruled out the prospect of the Liverpool manager replacing Hansi Flick as Germany boss following their surprise World Cup exit.

Kai Havertz's brace, as well as goals from Serge Gnabry and Niclas Fullkrug, ensured Germany secured a 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday, but their efforts were in vain as Japan staged a remarkable comeback to beat Spain and join them in escaping Group E.

Germany's group-stage elimination – their second in as many World Cup tournaments – has led to stern criticism of the side, with some questioning Flick's suitability for the role of head coach.

Former Germany international Dietmar Hamann has called for Flick to depart after overseeing a "pathetic" campaign in Qatar, and Liverpool boss Klopp – as well as former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel – has been touted as a potential replacement.

However, Klopp's representative Marc Kosicke told Sky Sports in Germany his client would not be interested in the role, saying: "This is a media topic. 

"Jurgen has a contract at Liverpool until 2026 and he intends to fulfil it."

Flick signed a three-year contract to lead Germany last year, which is set to run through their Euro 2024 campaign on home soil.

The former Bayern Munich boss will be cursing Germany's finishing after they were eliminated from the World Cup despite generating the highest expected goals (xG) tally at the tournament (10.4), three more than the total managed by the competition's second-most creative side (France with 7.4 xG).

Reported Manchester United target Jonathan David believes the Premier League is "the best in the world" and says every footballer wants to play there.

David, who featured in all three of Canada's games at the World Cup, has started the 2022-23 season in fine form for Lille in Ligue 1, scoring nine goals in 15 appearances.

That has apparently caught the attention of English giants United, who are in the market for a new forward following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

David, 22, is not aware of any interest, but revealed he has ambitions to play in the English top flight "some day".

"I am aware of nothing," David said. "When I am at the World Cup I am just focused on trying to enjoy the World Cup and enjoying the moment.

"What happens after I do not know, we will have to see.

"The Premier League is the best league in the world and I think every player would want to play there some day."

Canada crashed out of their first World Cup since 1986 after losing all three of their Group F games.

However, David believes the Maple Leafs gathered enough experience in Qatar to put in a much better showing in four years' time when they co-host the tournament alongside the USA and Mexico.

"What makes the difference at the highest level is the smallest differences," he added.

"Any player who plays at the World Cup, no matter what the outcome, you become a better player, you learn from it, and it helps you grow.

"The future is bright, despite the three losses. There are some good things we take and learn from to try and do better in the future.

"What makes the difference at the highest level is the smallest things, not finishing our chances and not holding onto scorelines."

Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to part ways with their club-record signing, setting a €100million asking price for Portuguese forward Joao Felix.

Felix, 23, was purchased from Benfica back in 2019 for a fee of €126m – shattering their transfer record by more than €50m.

He helped Atletico to a LaLiga title in the 2020-21 season, before being named the club's Player of the Season for the 2021-22 campaign, but he has now fallen out of favour, starting just five of his side's 14 league games.

Felix has been able to put himself in the shop window during his two starts to begin Portugal's World Cup group stage, including a goal against Ghana, and now Champions League contenders are expected to come calling in January.

 

TOP STORY – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN NAMED AS ONE OF THREE SUITORS FOR FELIX

Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have been named the main interested parties by Spanish publication AS.

The report states Felix's relationship with head coach Diego Simeone has become too strained to continue persisting, and includes a claim that Atletico rejected a €130m offer from United before the season.

With his contract tying him to the club until 2026, there will be no need to settle for an offer deemed unsatisfactory, but AS believes anything approaching that €100m figure – including bonuses – will be enough to get a deal done.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sport is reporting Barcelona view 32-year-old Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets when the German international's contract expires after the season.

– According to Express, Saudi Arabian clubs Al Hilal and Al-Nassr are considered the leading candidates to fight it out for ex-United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paris Saint-Germain will offer Lionel Messi a new contract at the conclusion of the World Cup, according to Goal.

Chelsea and Newcastle United are competing to land 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos, per 90min.

– Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting Milan would like to bring in Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech on a loan deal with the option to make it permanent, but the Moroccan's contract demands could be too expensive.

Jack Grealish expressed remorse for his disparaging comments about Miguel Almiron, admitting "that was one thing I regret".

The Manchester City winger aimed a harsh jibe at his Newcastle United counterpart in the aftermath of the Citizens' Premier League triumph earlier this year.

In a clip that went viral, Grealish said he had welcomed the substitution of Riyad Mahrez against Aston Villa on the final day as his team-mate "played like Almiron" – in reference to the Paraguay international's ineffective performances for the Magpies.

However, Almiron has enjoyed an upturn in form this season and won the Premier League's Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards for October after scoring six times in six games.

As he revisited the infamous incident, Grealish revealed his respect for the former Atlanta United player, who he is thrilled to see thriving in the English top flight.

"I haven't actually been asked about that and let me just address it," the England international told The Independent. "It was the day after the season finished, and obviously I'd had a few drinks.

"Straight after that, because I didn't realise, we were out celebrating, and I wasn't on my phone on social media. I remember I was in Ibiza, and it had obviously come out. That was one thing I regret.

"I'm actually buzzing the way he's reacted. He said something about me in the interview the other day, he wished me the best. I thought 'what a guy'.

"Because if that was me, and somebody had said that about me, I'd have probably been the other way and been like 'f**k it'.

"I messaged [Newcastle defender] Matt Targett because I'm close with him from Villa and I said to him 'can you message him for me and say to him that I apologise? I obviously didn't mean it'.

"When I look back on that, that was just one thing that was stupid of me to say. I shouldn't have said it. I didn't realise it was a video to go out, I thought it was just private. But even in private, I shouldn't have said it because he's a fellow professional.

"I'm actually buzzing for him, I've had a lot of stick off the Newcastle fans and rightly so. At the end of the day, they are backing their player, which I fully understand. He seems like the most harmless, nice guy, so fair play."

Grealish is on duty with the Three Lions at the World Cup in Qatar, appearing as a substitute in all three of their matches so far, while scoring the final goal of the commanding 6-2 win over Iran.

The winger will hope to feature again on Sunday, when Gareth Southgate's side lock horns with Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium for a place in the quarter-finals.

Josko Gvardiol insists he is happy at RB Leipzig but would not rule out the possibility of a future move to Chelsea.

The 20-year-old was the subject of intense speculation at the start of the season, with Chelsea said to have had a £77million (€90m) offer rejected.

Gvardiol subsequently signed a new contract at Leipzig and has continued to impress.

But talk about a transfer has never gone away, and the centre-back discussed the possibility after starring for Croatia against Belgium at the World Cup.

"You know what happened in the last few months," he said. "To be honest, I have no idea. My agent is taking care of this, and we will see.

"Right now, I'm happy in Leipzig. We will see. You never know.

"We know the stories, but all I can see is that I'm happy in Leipzig. Right now, I'm going to stay there."

Asked for his opinion on Chelsea, Gvardiol replied: "It's a big club. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll be there.

"It's really nice to see things like this, especially because there is [Mateo] Kovacic. You should ask him [if he wants me there]. Just talk with him."

Gvardiol was described as "the best stopper in the world" by Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic on Thursday, with the defender relishing the global stage.

"Of course it is [good for my career]," he said. "To be here at this biggest event, it's a big thing for me at 20 years old. I'm happy."

Usain Bolt says he is disappointed to see Cristiano Ronaldo exit Manchester United, crediting the forward for keeping the club in the Premier League last season.

The Portugal captain departed Old Trafford by mutual consent last month following an explosive interview that saw him roundly criticise the club, manager Erik ten Hag and owners, the Glazer family.

It came after a difficult first season back following his return to the club from Juventus, in which the veteran striker looked ill at ease under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

Now Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medal winner and United supporter, says he is disheartened by the star's exit, but stresses he understands his reasons.

"It's sad to see him go," said Bolt of Ronaldo. "He played such an important role for us last season. He kept us in the Premier League last season. Because many games he was the one he scored, kept giving us points.

"So it is sad to see him go, but I understand by listening to his interview there is a lot going on that a lot of us don't know.

"I wish him all the best on his journey because I am a massive Cristiano Ronaldo fan. So it is sad to see him gone."

The exit of Ronaldo has prefaced a potential sale by the Glazer family, who have long been the target of ire from the club's fanbase, and Bolt adds that it has been something supporters have been keen to see for a while.

"For me, it has been [a] long time [coming] for the fans," he added. "[They] have spoken about this for years. Since Alex Ferguson [left], the club has been up and down,

"It surprised me as a supporter to know that the club hasn't really moved on technology-wise to try to improve and to help the players to move forward.

"So, to get new owners, hopefully they'll come in and develop the club in a way that is necessary."

Aymeric Laporte headed into Spain's Group E finale having not missed a beat at the heart of Luis Enrique's defence – but his overall World Cup focus has been sketchy at best and that is by his own admission.

The Manchester City defender, who has been joined by club-mate Rodri at the heart of the Spanish backline, has indicated he is not paying attention to the tournament far beyond caring about La Roja's next game.

Former Athletic Bilbao star Laporte said he had not "even looked" at who might await Spain in the last-16 stage and had "no idea" of the possibilities of who that might be.

It is perhaps an unusual attitude for a professional footballer, but Laporte appears to fall into the category of sportsmen who are stunningly proficient in what they do, but not naturally inclined to take their work home with them.

He told the Guardian: "I'm not a football addict. Honestly, I don't like watching matches."

The 28-year-old accepts he is not the sharpest at keeping tabs on his team's workload, even at City.

"Honestly, when I play for City, I don't even know what time kick-off is," he said. "My family call and say: hey, what time tomorrow? [I say] 'I don't know.'"

However, Laporte has done little wrong on the pitch in Spain's opening games, a 7-0 win over Costa Rica and a 1-1 draw with Germany.

Heading into Thursday's run of games, of all defenders to have played at least 90 minutes in this World Cup, Laporte had averaged the most passes per 90 minutes (125.5 – 11.31 more than anyone else) and the most passes in his own half (89 – 18 more than the next player on the list).

He had had the third-most touches per 90 minutes (132.5) among defenders, with only team-mate Jordi Alba (136.23) and Germany's Nico Schlotterbeck (132.58) having more.

It helps that Spain play in a similar vein to City, with their possession-based game one that suits Laporte, and it can only help to have Rodri with him, even if for their club the former Atletico Madrid man is typically deployed in midfield.

Laporte had no doubt Rodri would be an ideal fit for defensive duties, and he is coaching his friend through games.

They had another job to do against Japan on Thursday, with Spain knowing a draw would be enough to secure progress.

"Rodri's intelligent, he knows how to adapt," Laporte said. "It's different for him. He seeks advice, asks a lot of questions; it's all very natural.

"We've only let in one and we hope there aren't any more. Basically, I answer the questions he asks. Do I step out? When do we drop? Do I have to go with the striker when he runs into the space? Do I hold? Do I follow? Do I step out with the ball?

"He asks lots of questions: being firm, decision-making, with the ball, without it. And I try to help as best I can."

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