Wayne Rooney is not anticipating being sounded out to take over Manchester United on an interim basis and slammed the commitment levels against Watford that ultimately led to the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United parted ways with club legend Solskjaer on Sunday a day after a 4-1 reverse versus the Hornets, their heaviest defeat against a promoted side since September 1989.

The result at Vicarage Road capped a turbulent period for Solskjaer, in which he oversaw a 5-0 loss against Liverpool – their largest margin of defeat against the Reds and the first time they had trailed by four goals at half-time in the Premier League – before a 2-0 humbling by Manchester City.

Saturday proved to be the final straw for Solskjaer and United, who have promoted Michael Carrick to take charge temporarily, are already searching for a new interim appointment until the end of the season when they will then look to make a permanent move for a new manager.

But Rooney is not expecting an offer from his former club as he insisted he is happy managing Derby County, who edged past Championship leaders Bournemouth on Sunday.

"I speak to people at Manchester United on a regular basis so I'm sure if they were to come calling it would have already happened," Rooney, who is United's all-time top scorer with 253 goals across all competitions, told reporters.

"I'm committed to Derby County and until someone says 'you're not welcome to be the manager here' I’m here."

Rooney collected 16 trophies during his time at Old Trafford, with most of those coming under Alex Ferguson who has seen United sack four managers since he stepped away from the dugout in 2013.

The former England international referenced those days under Ferguson as he questioned some of the United players' commitment levels in Solskjaer's final game against Watford.

He added: "Could the players have done more? 100 per cent.

"I was so disappointed watching that game at Watford. As a manager you know you can set the team up, prepare, shape them but there is no excuse for some of them performances.

"None at all. I've seen players waving their arms around, giving the ball away, blaming other people. It's not acceptable. I'd be very angry if that was my players doing that.

"When you look at a club like Manchester United it is one of, if not the, biggest club. Those players are in a privileged position to play for them. With the players they have, they have to show more. 

"I'm not saying they have to win the league or the Champions League, they just have to do more, show the fans they are working and playing for the club.

"That is the least you expect as a fan. Results may vary but you have to at least be willing to put the effort in.

"I remember Sir Alex Ferguson saying to me: 'the hardest thing to do in life is to work hard every day.' Whatever you're doing, it's so true."

Derby County's total points deduction for 2021-22 has reached 21 and relegation looks a near certainty after the Rams admitted to breaching accounting rules.

The Championship club's financial woes came to a head in September when they filed for administration, which was subsequently followed by a 12-point deduction.

That sent manager Wayne Rooney's men to the foot of the table where they remain, having won once in nine league matches since.

Their points total of six had them nine adrift of safety with 17 matches played, though they will now see that dip below zero once again, with relegation to League One practically assured.

Derby confirmed their appeal against the initial 12-point deduction had been withdrawn, while the new sanction relates to rule breaches in respect to amortisation, the accounting process of gradually writing off the initial cost of a player.

Any future breach of terms of their 2021-22 budget will see a suspended three-point sanction also come into play.

A statement released by the club and the English Football League (EFL) read: "The EFL has today confirmed Derby County has received a nine-point sporting sanction with a further three points suspended after admitting to breaches of the league's profitability and sustainability rules.

"The club, via its administrators, has also agreed, following last week's adjournment, to the dismissal of its appeal against the 12-point deduction imposed as a consequence of the club entering administration in September 2021, meaning that the sanction continues to apply.

"The new nine-point penalty has been applied immediately, resulting in the club having been deducted a total of 21 points from this season's 2021-22 Championship table.

"The suspended three-point deduction will take effect if the club does not comply with the terms of the budget as set out in the 'Agreed Decision' for the remainder of season 2021-22.

"Both decisions are now final and are not subject to any further rights of appeal under EFL regulations."

Rooney, 36, is Manchester United and England's record goalscorer and became manager of Derby, initially on a caretaker basis, in November of last year. He was subsequently appointed to the role on a permanent basis in January.

Gareth Southgate joked he would have come under pressure from Wayne Rooney's family if he left Harry Kane on to add to his England tally in the 10-0 thrashing of San Marino. 

Kane scored four first-half goals in San Marino on Monday, making him the first England player to achieve that since Ian Wright in 1993 and setting a Three Lions record with 16 goals in a single calendar year. 

The Tottenham striker had equalled the previous benchmark of 12 with a hat-trick against Albania last week, with his efforts at Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle making him just the fourth Three Lions player to register trebles in consecutive games. 

Kane drew level with Gary Lineker in third on England's all-time scoring list with 48 goals, just five shy of Rooney's record, but made way for Reece James in the 63rd minute. 

"If we'd have left him another half an hour … we'd have had Wayne Rooney's family on the phone telling us to get him off," Southgate joked to ITV. 

"He's a phenomenal goalscorer. He's obviously not had the opportunity in some of those games where there have been a lot of goals available. We wanted to give him that chance tonight, and he took it really well." 

With England having secured qualification for the 2022 World Cup with the win, Kane could surpass Rooney's record on the biggest stage of them all in Qatar. 

Asked for his feelings after drawing level with Lineker, he said: "It's fantastic again. Every time I wear an England shirt, I am proud, and whenever I can score goals, it is one of the greatest feelings I can have in my career. It's nice to be among those names, and hopefully we can keep them coming." 

The victory was England's biggest in a competitive away match and means that in 2021 they have won more games (15), scored more goals (52) and kept more clean sheets (14) than in any other calendar year in their history. 

Southgate said: "I've got to credit all our players and staff on a really good year. Even in a game like tonight, you can't do anything about the level of the opposition, but the mentality, the way they played, the way they applied themselves was terrific." 

Wayne Rooney has told Manchester United's superstars to show some bottle and prove they care as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fights to keep his job at Old Trafford.

United's record goalscorer Rooney said the 5-0 Premier League defeat to rivals Liverpool on Sunday "wasn't easy to watch", as the Red Devils suffered their worst humiliation of Solskjaer's reign.

Rooney felt it was jarring to see a lack of effort and application from "too many players" as Jurgen Klopp's impressive visitors ran riot in Manchester.

United have three crunch games ahead, with Premier League fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester City either side of a Champions League trip to Atalanta.

Those are widely seen as games that will either seal Solskjaer's fate, or see him earn a lifeline, but Rooney says there must be a drastic improvement. United have only kept one clean sheet in their last 20 matches across all competitions, the worst record among all current Premier League teams.

Rooney said: "The players have to question themselves and look at themselves. It's too easy for the manager to take all the stick when those players are being paid a lot of money to do the job and I don't think they're doing it well enough.

"There is a big responsibility on those players. They are world-class players, international players and a club like Manchester United need more. Those players need to feel hurt when they lose games."

Quoted in several UK newspapers, Rooney added: "There are high demands at that club, high pressure, and I'm seeing too many players not willing to run back, not willing to defend, not willing to put everything on the line and that's not acceptable. Are you telling me that's the manager's fault or the players' fault? I don't know."

Cristiano Ronaldo said the United fans "deserve better" in the wake of the Liverpool result. The veteran Portuguese forward's second spell at United is not yet going to plan, with visions of a Premier League title challenge yet to be realised.

Whether Solskjaer stays in the job he has held since December 2018, initially as an interim manager, remains to be seen, but Rooney is certain the Norwegian will give it his all to avoid being forced out.

"I know Ole, he is a fighter, he'll keep doing the right things," said Rooney, manager of Derby County. "He will keep believing in what he believes in and try and get more out of the players because I think a big responsibility is on them players."

England manager Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane's underwhelming Tottenham form is at least partly down to upheaval and "changes" at the club, something he has not had to contend with at international level.

Kane finished 2020-21 with more Premier League goals (23) and assists (14) than any other player, becoming the first to top both charts in a single season since Andy Cole in 1993-94.

But after unsuccessfully attempting to force a move away from Spurs in pre-season, Kane's productivity and decisiveness have taken a massive hit.

In six league games this term, he is without a single goal – the last time Kane went more Premier League appearances games without a goal was eight matches between April and October 2014.

Some have put his struggles down to playing under a new head coach in Nuno Espirito Santo, and Southgate agrees that upheaval can have an impact, particularly if a manager implements a change of system.

"What's going on with his club is none of my business, really," Southgate said told reporters ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Hungary.

"There's a lot changes at the club, a new manager and new tactical formations, so like all players there will be an adaptation to that.

"In terms of what we ask him to do, I think we've obviously got a settled way of playing here. His team-mates know him, he knows his team-mates, he knows the patterns of play that we play towards.

"I can't talk about the club, but I think he feels settled in our environment. It's an environment where he knows we have belief, but we have to push him. We want improvement from the team all the time.

"Of course, as the captain, he knows he has to set the standard in the training sessions every day as well. I can't fault his application and dedication to what we're doing. He's got a real desire to go well with us."

Kane's form with England certainly is not of concern, however.

He has scored in each of his previous 15 World Cup and European Championship qualifying appearances and is closing in on a number of goals records.

Firstly, he is just one away from equalling England's all-time record for most competitive goals (Wayne Rooney, 37).

And after that Kane – whose overall goals tally for England is 41 – will undoubtedly have his eye on the most sought-after England record of them all: Rooney's unrivalled haul of 53.

The only other players to have scored more for England than the current captain are Jimmy Greaves (44), Gary Lineker (48) and Bobby Charlton (49) – to be anywhere near such feats further highlights just how reliable Kane is for the Three Lions.

"When you compare with the five or six other players at the top of that scoring chart, and you look at those names, it's a reminder of how much Harry has already achieved at a personal level," Southgate continued.

"And I know what's been more important to him, it's the team getting to two semi-finals and a final. Without a doubt, he's a player who has to keep proving himself.

"I think he knows that, I think he relishes that, and we know that when those chances fall, you've got huge faith they're going to hit the back of the net, such is his technical ability and his mentality and calmness when those chances come."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Premier League Player of the Month for September after making a great start to his second spell with Manchester United.

Ronaldo sensationally returned to Old Trafford from Juventus at the end of August and has hit the ground running.

The Portugal captain scored twice in a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United in his first match for the Red Devils since 2009.

Ronaldo was also on target in a 2-1 Premier League win at West Ham last month and found the back of the net twice in the Champions League.

The prolific 36-year-old's 17 shots in September was more than any other player registered in the top flight.

Ronaldo was on Friday named as Premier League Player of the Month for the fifth time, matching his former team-mate Wayne Rooney's record tally for United.

Real Madrid's record all-time goalscorer Ronaldo last won the gong in March 2008, a gap of 13 years that is the longest in Premier League history.

Joao Cancelo, Antonio Rudiger, Allan Saint-Maximin, Mohamed Salah and Ismaila Sarr were the other players on the shortlist for the award.

Harry Kane sits fifth in England's all-time scoring charts, but he could overtake Wayne Rooney's competitive record for the Three Lions against Andorra.

Kane has found the net nine times in 13 appearances in 2021 for Gareth Southgate's men to leave him 12 goals behind Rooney (53) as England's leading scorer.

However, the Tottenham forward has 36 goals to his name in competitive international fixtures – one fewer than Rooney – before the trip to the Estadi Nacional on Saturday.

Kane is also one shy of becoming just the second player to score 10 or more in two separate calendar years for the Three Lions, after Vivian Woodward in 1908 and 1909.

But comparisons between Kane and Rooney are likely to be the focus in the coming months, as the England captain targets his records – starting with this competitive benchmark.

Kane quicker to this point

Since opening his account on debut against Lithuania in March 2015, Kane has scored 36 times across 53 competitive fixtures – averaging a goal every 118 minutes.

By contrast, Rooney played 21 more matches for his 37 goals, netting once every 156 minutes on average having played an additional 1,545 minutes.

Kane, who is still waiting on his first Premier League strike of the season, has needed just 82 shots on target to reach his 36-goal mark as well, with Rooney requiring 32 more to achieve his tally.

Overall, Rooney has attempted 99 more shots than his counterpart, which translates into a 13.8 per cent conversion rate. Kane has turned 21.3 per cent of his 169 shots into goals.

 

Kane delivers on the biggest stage

Rooney may have scored five more goals than Kane (25) in major tournament qualifiers, but the latter shines when it comes to the showpiece events.

Despite playing in just one World Cup, Kane impresses ahead of Rooney in terms of goals at the finals, with his six to claim the 2018 Golden Boot towering above the former Manchester United forward's one across three tournaments between 2006 and 2014.

While Kane's goals were subsequently not enough to see England past Croatia in the semi-finals in Russia, the current Three Lions captain also guided his side to their first major tournament final in 55 years at Euro 2020.

However, Rooney (six) has scored two more European Championship goals than Kane, netting four times at Euro 2004 as he briefly became the youngest scorer in the tournament's history.

Nevertheless, Kane outscores Rooney by three at major tournaments, having proven himself the man for the big occasion on the international stage.

 

Rooney filled his boots with five competitive goals versus San Marino, against whom Kane has netted just once, but England's record scorer had an impressive four against both Croatia and Switzerland.

Kane's best hauls have been his four against Bulgaria and Montenegro, although he did score three in one match against Panama at the World Cup.

Two stars similar finishers

Strangely, Kane and Rooney have almost identical records when it comes to the breakdown of how their goals have been scored.

The pair have each scored four with their left feet and 24 with their favoured right boots, with Rooney heading in nine to Kane's eight.

Kane's swerving long-range finish against Poland last time out was his sole goal from outside the box to date, however, whereas Rooney has smashed in six goals from outside the area – two of those being free-kicks.

Rooney has six from the penalty spot, too, where Kane has proved particularly prolific, his 10 conversions from 12 yards allowing him to close quickly on a fellow great.

Wayne Rooney has accused Derby County owner Mel Morris of being "disrespectful" and lacking honesty after the Championship club entered administration.

The Rams' financial woes came to a head when they filed for administration this week, with a 12-point deduction sending them to the foot of the second tier.

Rooney took permanent charge in January but the former England captain revealed the difficult circumstances he has been working under amid an apparent lack of communication from Morris.

Derby's football staff were at a meeting with Morris on Tuesday but Manchester United legend Rooney was disappointed not to have one-on-one talks with the chairman as uncertainty mounted. 

"In my opinion, it wasn't sincere enough, it wasn't heartfelt enough, and it wasn't done with enough honesty," said Rooney ahead of Saturday's trip to Sheffield United.

"Obviously he has moved on and we have to move on and put Mel Morris to the back of our minds.

"I personally haven't spoken to Mel Morris since August 9. I still haven't had a one-on-one conversation, no phone call, no text message. Nothing.

"I find it a bit disrespectful, to be honest. Communication is so important, whether it’s good news or bad news, so we can deal with it.

"He doesn't have to apologise to me. I just found, as manager of this football club, getting questions from players and staff and not being able to answer, I was hurt by that.

"He's put a lot of money into the club, and he deserves a lot of respect for that, but there are ways of handling things and it has left me disappointed."

Derby face the possibility of a further points deduction due to a potential breach of the EFL's Financial Fair Play rules.

Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou of business advisory firm Quantuma have been appointed as the club's administrators.

Rooney, however, insists he will stay put as long as Derby want him.

"I have said how committed I am to this job and this club. Nothing changes," he added.

"I am committed to this football club. I grew up on a council estate in Liverpool. I know how tough life can be.

"What kind of person would I be if I went and laid on a beach for a few weeks? We can stay up but if we get more points deducted, it will get a lot more difficult."

Derby County are facing a 12-point deduction in the Championship after going into administration.

Amid ongoing financial issues, it was confirmed last week that Derby had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

Manager Wayne Rooney revealed he only found out after the news had broken in the media, while owner Mel Morris has claimed the club is losing between £1.3million and £1.5m per month.

The EFL said in a statement on Wednesday that "in accordance with EFL Regulations, a 12-point deduction has been immediately applied to Derby County Football Club's 2021-22 season total".

It added: "The League has already held initial constructive discussions with the administrators and will remain in regular dialogue with them as they seek to find the appropriate solutions required to assist the club as it navigates its way out of insolvency."

Derby also face the possibility of a further points deduction due to a possible breach of the EFL's Financial Fair Play rules.

Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou of business advisory firm Quantuma have been appointed as the club's administrators.

"COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the finances of the club and its long-term ability to continue in its current form," a statement from Hosking, released on the club's official website, read.

"We recognise that with the commencement of the 2021-22 season last month, this news will be of concern to stakeholders and fans, in addition to the city of Derby and the wider football community.

"We are in the early stages of assessing the options available to the club and would invite any interested parties to come forward.

"Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures in the Championship this season and finding interested parties to safeguard the club and its employees."

Rooney just managed to guide two-time English champions Derby to safety on the final day of the Championship season in 2020-21.

However, there was a risk the Rams could still go down due to financial regulations, though instead they were fined £100,000 and ordered to resubmit their accounts by an EFL disciplinary commission.

Derby, who face Sheffield United on Saturday, beat Stoke City 2-1 in their previous match to move onto 10 points from eight games prior to the deduction.

Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United will help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side mount a title challenge, according to former Red Devil Wayne Rooney.

Rooney played with Ronaldo during a five-year spell at Old Trafford, winning three Premier League crowns and the Champions League.

The Portugal captain, who blasted in 118 goals in 292 games across all competitions in his first spell with United, could make his second debut as soon as Saturday against Newcastle United, who are the only club he managed a Premier League hat-trick against during his first term in Manchester.

Now managing Derby County, Rooney said he will not be watching his former team-mate's homecoming but predicts Ronaldo to have an "enormous impact" in his second spell.

"He's one of the best players in the world," Rooney told reporters ahead of Derby's clash with Birmingham City on Friday.

"Cristiano will know himself it's not going to be as simple or straightforward for him as it was in Spain or Italy.

"Cristiano's going to be a very big player, I think he's going to have big moments in the season and I'm sure he'll score a lot of goals.

"So I think United are finally ready to go and challenge for the title, and I really feel they have to this year."

 

Ronaldo missed a 3-0 victory over Azerbaijan with Portugal after being suspended following a caution against the Republic of Ireland for his last-minute goal celebration.

Indeed, in that game the 36-year-old broke Ali Daei's all-time men's international scoring record as he netted his 110th and 111th goals for the Selecao.

And Rooney pointed to that performance as a reason why his former colleague will thrive in the Premier League.

"We saw, in the game against Ireland, what he does," Rooney continued.

"[In the] last couple of minutes, he scores a couple of goals, great headers, so he can have a massive impact on the Premier League.

"It's a physical league, but he knows that, because he's played in it before, so I'm sure he's prepared and ready to go and score goals again for United."

Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing back at Old Trafford in 2021-22 after Manchester United confirmed his signing from Juventus.

The Portugal great has returned in a deal worth up to €23million (£19.7m), which was sensationally agreed with Juve on Friday.

For a short while, it looked as though Ronaldo – who had asked to leave the Bianconeri – was heading to Manchester City after they missed out on the signing of Harry Kane.

Instead, he is heading back to the red side of Manchester.

With the deal now finalised, Stats Perform takes a look at other greats who went back to their former homes, starting with the Portugal captain...

Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United

Ronaldo spent six years at Old Trafford during his previous spell, arriving as a lanky teenager who loved a stepover and leaving as a Ballon d'Or winner and ice-cold finisher. His then-world-record move to Real Madrid had been a long time coming and he spent nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu, becoming the club's all-time top scorer as he continued his transition from winger to out-and-out 'number nine'. There he won four Champions League titles before moving on to Juve, for whom he plundered 81 goals in 98 Serie A matches and picked up two Scudetti. But now he is returning to England. Whether he can match the standards he set last time remains to be seen, with his 31-goal haul of 2007-08 only bettered once in a 38-match season, but United fans will be convinced he can fire them to a first league title since Ferguson left.

Juan Roman Riquelme – Boca Juniors

Synonymous with Boca Juniors, Riquelme made his professional debut for the Buenos Aires giants and returned to the club for the majority of his final years as a player, following spells with Barcelona and Villarreal. After a breakdown in his relationship with Manuel Pellegrini, Riquelme – the classic number 10 – returned to Boca initially on loan in 2007, going on to stay until 2014. He helped Boca win the Copa Libertadores in 2007, the Recopa Sudamericana a year later, Apertura titles in 2008 and 2011 and the Copa Argentina in 2011-12. He is currently Boca's vice-president.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Milan

After a difficult spell under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, Ibrahimovic – who had excelled at both Juventus and Inter – moved back to Italy, joining the Nerrazurri's city rivals Milan on loan for 2010-11. He became an instant star for the Rossoneri, picking up where he left off in Italy with 21 goals, a tally he bettered in 2011-12, scoring 35 times in all competitions. Paris Saint-Germain came calling and he went on to become the Ligue 1 giants' record goalscorer (a title now held by Edinson Cavani), before joining Manchester United and LA Galaxy. Despite being in his late 30s, Ibrahimovic still had more to offer and rejoined Milan for the back half of the 2019-20 campaign, netting 11 goals. He carried on his form into an injury hit 2020-21, scoring a further 16 times, and he is set to be a pivotal figure at San Siro once again this season.

Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea

Part of United's reasoning behind signing Ronaldo was to perhaps ensure they kept pace with their title rivals. For the past two seasons, Ronaldo has gone head-to-head with Lukaku in Serie A. Though Ronaldo won the battle last season, scoring 29 league goals, compared to Lukaku's 24, it was the Belgian who won the war by leading Inter to the title, and now the duo will face off again in the Premier League after Chelsea smashed their transfer record to re-sign the 28-year-old 10 years on from his initial arrival from Anderlecht. Lukaku did not manage to push himself into the starting XI back then and was loaned out to West Brom and Everton, before moving to Goodison Park on a permanent deal in 2014. He returns to Stamford Bridge as the complete package, however, and bullied Arsenal's defence on his second debut, scoring the opener in a 2-0 win for the European champions.

Didier Drogba – Chelsea

Part of the allure for Lukaku returning to Chelsea was to emulate his icon Drogba, who left Stamford Bridge after helping the Blues clinch a Champions League crown in 2012. The Ivorian went back to west London in the 2014-15 season, with Drogba explaining he could not turn down the chance to work with Jose Mourinho once again. He scored four league goals in 28 appearances to help Chelsea win the title, before heading off for a swansong in MLS with the Montreal Impact.

Thierry Henry – Arsenal

Another Premier League great, Henry rejoined Arsenal on a short-term loan deal at the start of 2012. He scored on his second debut against Leeds United in the FA Cup, converting his only attempt of the game in a 22-minute cameo from the bench. He went on to play a further six times, scoring in the Premier League against Sunderland, before he returned to the New York Red Bulls to round off a wonderful career.

Carlos Tevez – Boca Juniors

The Tevez-Boca love affair has dominated most of the striker's complex career. After coming through their youth ranks, the feisty forward was seen as the heir to Maradona. A brief stint in Brazil with Corinthians followed, but Europe had long since beckoned, even if West Ham were by no means the expected destination. He went on to play for Man United and City, increasing tension between the clubs, before then going to Juventus, but throughout this time Tevez seemed to long for a return to Boca. He went back to La Bombonera in 2015, his homecoming interrupted by a brief spell with Shanghai Shenhua in 2017 in the Chinese Super League, though even Tevez acknowledged he saw his time in China as a "holiday". "He filled Santa's sack with dollars and now he has returned to Boca," was Maradona's assessment upon the forward's return from the CSL. His third spell with Boca ended in June 2021 and it remains to be seen if he ever plays for another club.

Wayne Rooney – Everton

With Lukaku joining Man United in 2017, it opened the door for Everton to bring back Rooney, who had left his boyhood club in 2004 on the back of a stellar performance at Euro 2004. Then just 18, Rooney went on to become United's record goalscorer – and England's, too – and he returned to Goodison Park for the 2017-18 season. He scored on his league debut, heading in the winner against Stoke City, and though he netted 11 times in total for the Toffees, a difficult season saw Ronald Koeman sacked and replaced with Sam Allardyce, who was subsequently shuffled out of the door for Marco Silva. With Everton looking to go in a new direction, Rooney left to join MLS side DC United in 2018.

Gianluigi Buffon – Parma

Buffon likes a comeback. Having returned for a second spell at Juventus in 2019, the goalkeeping great departed the club for a second time at the end of 2020-21. The Italy legend had not finished playing yet, though, and Parma quickly emerged as a potential destination despite their relegation to Serie B. After a few weeks of contemplation, it was confirmed that Buffon was heading back to the club where he made his name. Now 43, the iconic stopper is wearing Gialloblu for the first time in 20 years, and he is set to remain with them until he turns 45, given he signed a two-year contract. What happens after that is anyone's guess, but calling it a day with his first club could be a satisfyingly romantic conclusion to a remarkable career – that or he ends up at Juve again!

He is back where he belongs.
He is back home. #SupermanReturns @gianluigibuffon @Kyle_J_Krause @ParmaCalcio_en pic.twitter.com/bh2FO6P8YX

— Parma Calcio 1913 (@1913parmacalcio) June 17, 2021

Wayne Rooney does not believe Cristiano Ronaldo will risk damaging his Manchester United legendary status by joining Manchester City.

Juventus forward Ronaldo is reportedly close to joining Premier League champions City on a two-year deal before the transfer window closes next Tuesday,

The Portugal captain established himself as one of the best players in the world during a six-year spell with United before joining Real Madrid in a deal worth £80million (€94m) in July 2009.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games under Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, with three Premier League titles and a Champions League triumph among the list of honours he claimed.

The 36-year-old's former team-mate Rooney believes a move to Paris Saint-Germain is more likely for Ronaldo, with Madrid said to be close to signing Kylian Mbappe from the Ligue 1 side.

Asked about the prospect of Ronaldo joining Pep Guardiola's City, Derby County boss Rooney said: "It's an interesting one but I can't see it.

"I think Cristiano has got a very good legacy at Manchester United and I know how proud he is as a player and a person. I can’t see it, but it’s football so you never know."

He added: "There have been a few that have done it [joined City after playing for United] but no one at Cristiano's level. Obviously, Peter Schmeichel and Andy Cole, but I just can't see that as an option for him really.

"Financially of course he doesn't need to do it. I think it’s more likely that it’s PSG he goes to."

Rooney was strongly linked with a move to City during his time with the Red Devils before signing a new contract but the former England captain says that could never have happened.

He said: "I think you need to do what's right for you as a person, for your family. Everyone knows I could never play for Liverpool or Manchester City. That's obvious but everyone's different.

"I think people move to clubs where they don't really want to but from a financial point of view that might be the only option they have, so I might get it from some people's point of view. But in terms of myself that just wouldn't be an option."

Facundo Pellistri got the decisive goal as Manchester United began their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 win over Wayne Rooney's Derby County.

United great Rooney took over from Phillip Cocu in November and was managing against his former club for the first time.

It was, understandably, an unfamiliar-looking United side, however. With numerous players yet to return after Euro 2020 and the Copa America, and several set to feature at the Olympics, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was without 16 players.

As such, Tom Heaton started in goal following his return to the club, and he made an important save from point-blank range just before the end of a first half that was made to look like something of a struggle due to the heat.

Nevertheless, United held a 1-0 lead at the interval as Tahith Chong – who is set to go on loan to Derby's Championship rivals Birmingham City – seized on a defensive error and bundled in from close range after seeing his initial chip attempt blocked back on to him.

Solskjaer made as many as nine changes at the break, with Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi the only players to remain in the team. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic, Lee Grant and Alex Telles were among those to come into the side, with several youngsters also involved.

Two of the young hopefuls combined to put United 2-0 up.

Shola Shoretire – who became United's youngest ever player in European competition back in February – sliced through the defence with a clever throughball and Pellistri coolly rounded the goalkeeper before tucking home.

Colin Kazim-Richards pulled one back for Derby from distance, but Pellistri's well-taken goal was enough to give United a winning start to their pre-season

Mason Greenwood's strike against Aston Villa on Sunday saw him surpass Wayne Rooney to set a new record for the most Premier League goals scored as a teenager for Manchester United.

Greenwood put United 2-1 up shortly after Bruno Fernandes levelled with a penalty, the 19-year-old receiving a pass from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and spinning away from Tyrone Mings in one movement before finding the bottom-right corner. United went on to win 3-1.

It was the 16th Premier League goal of his career, having got his first in November 2019 shortly after turning 18.

As such, Greenwood surpassed Rooney's haul of 15 goals scored for United as a teenager. 

Greenwood could yet extend his record considerably as well, given he does not turn 20 until October.

He has largely struggled to reach the same heights as last term when he scored 10 times in the Premier League, however the England international has hit a purple patch since the start of April.

Greenwood now has five Premier League goals in that time, a tally that no player can better. It took him 29 league outings to score his previous five in the competition.

It was the kind of form that had Greenwood's 2019-20 looking even more remarkable, given his 10 goals came from an xG (expected goals) value of just 2.9.

No one in the Premier League had a better xG overperformance last term, suggesting his finishing was either spectacularly clinical or he was getting lucky an abnormal amount.

While it seems it was a blend of both, his recent showings suggest Greenwood's got his career back on track after a bit of a wobble.

It was a Premier League weekend in which the Premier League seemed to take a back seat, with Sunday's emergence of a European Super League blowing everything else out of the water.

However, Monday's sacking of Jose Mourinho did at least serve to remind us that, yes, Tottenham did play on Friday and were typically flaky, letting a lead slip again even if they did get a leveller to tie with Everton.

Against the same Super League backdrop, Arsenal added more fuel to the burning question of why they're involved in it at all, given they required a 97th-minute equaliser to draw with Fulham, who now look doomed to relegation with Sheffield United.

And a week on from emulating Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood levelled a record held by Wayne Rooney.

Using Opta data, we look at some of the quirky facts from the latest Premier League matches.

Everton 2-2 Tottenham: Mourinho pays the price for Spurs' mentality issues

Given what's happened in the time since, it's easy to forget Spurs' draw at Everton was as long ago as Friday.

But it proved to be Mourinho's final game in charge of Spurs nonetheless, with Tottenham's Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread – good job they've secured themselves a spot in a closed competition!

There will be many theories about Mourinho's demise, but perhaps the most pertinent with respect to his Spurs team relates to concerns over mentality.

After all, the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park saw them drop points from a winning position yet again. That's 20 points they've thrown away in 2020-21 – no team has a worse record.

Even Harry Kane's heroics weren't enough, as he twice punished defensive errors and became only the fourth player to score 20 or more goals in at least five Premier League seasons.

Who knows, maybe he'll soon follow Mourinho out the door…

Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United: Blades among the Premier League's worst ever teams?

Now, obviously it depends on how you determine the "worst" teams – everyone will likely have their own point of view.

Derby County of course hold the record for the lowest ever points total of 11, which the Blades have already surpassed, but their 1-0 defeat at Wolves consigned them to relegation.

It means they suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, along with Derby (2007-08), Ipswich Town (1994-95) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19).

Certainly, United are party to one of the biggest drop-offs in a relegation season, as no team had finished as high as ninth one campaign and then been relegated the next since Birmingham City in 2010-11.

But here's the kicker – it was their 26th defeat of the season, equalling a club record. They could yet surpass the 29 suffered by Sunderland and Derby.

Arsenal 1-1 Fulham: Gunners' late equaliser highlights lack of progress against Super League backdrop

The rumours relating to the European Super League had emerged prior to Arsenal's Sunday clash with struggling Fulham. It provided a timely reminder of the competition's nonsensical premise.

Eddie Nketiah scored an equaliser deep into second-half stoppage to spare Arsenal's blushes – actually, if anything it probably accentuated their blushes given Fulham's failing battle against relegation.

The point means Arsenal have the exact same number of points (46) after 32 games as they did last term.

The last time they amassed fewer at this stage of a season was 1994-95 – it's hardly a show of progress.

On this evidence, Arsenal might be better off performing a Super League U-turn to avoid humiliation.

Manchester United 3-1 Burnley: Greenwood finding his groove again to match Rooney

It's not been the easiest of seasons for Greenwood. From getting booted out of an England camp to struggling badly for goals, it's fair to say a few have questioned whether they were right to believe the hype.

Thankfully the youngster has rediscovered his scoring touch lately and appears transformed, attacking defenders with confidence and purpose once again.

His brace against Burnley took him to 15 Premier League goals for United, levelling a record set by Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored by a teenager for United.

Greenwood will surely overtake Rooney in this regard as well, given he doesn't turn 20 until October 1.

On a similar note, his second effort on Sunday meant he has scored more top-flight goals as a teenager than any other player in the top five European leagues since the start of 2019-20.

But has he left this surge too late for a Euro 2020 call-up?

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.