5.15pm Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Diallo unveiled, Erling Haaland LATEST, Fosu-Mensah leaves club, Trippier update

MANCHESTER UNITED are preparing for a huge showdown with Liverpool this weekend as the top-two in the Premier League clash.

On the transfer front, United have been given a huge boost in their pursuit of Erling Haaland while Timothy Fosu-Mensah has left for the Bundesliga.

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Follow all the latest with our blog below…

  • Ian Tuckey

    GARD AGAINST EXIT

    England midfielder Jesse Lingard is tipped to stay at Manchester United this month.

    The Telegraph report on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeing the midfielder as a useful squad option in the title fight ahead.

    With a new contract signed recently, Lingard did feature in the FA Cup win over Watford.

    But a permanent move in the summer may be on the club’s agenda.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'UTD WON'T FINISH IN TOP TWO'

    Liverpool legend John Arne Riise believes Manchester United will finish no higher than third this season as he stated they are too reliant on Bruno Fernandes.

    The Red Devils sit top of the table after 17 games played ahead of their trip to Anfield on Sunday – three points above Jurgen Klopp's men.

    And while Riise, 40, has praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for turning things around at Old Trafford, he has stated that the club will come up short in their bid to win the Premier League for the first time since 2013.

    Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Liverpool v Man United, he said: "I think at the moment I can only see a title race between three teams: Liverpool, Man City and Man United.

    "When it comes to the end of the season I think it'll be between Liverpool and City; I don't think United will be able to keep up their current form.

    "I might be wrong; I like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer because he's from Norway and we will always support our own people – it's just a shame he's managing the wrong team!

    "I've been very impressed with what Solskjaer has done this season and how he's turned things around after the stick he's had..

    "He's stuck at it, they're top of the league and to be honest I think they deserve to be there because of the way they've played."

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD MANTRA HELPS RASHFORD'S FOOD CAMPAIGN

    Marcus Rashford says the Manchester United mantra of never giving up has helped him in his fight against child poverty.

    The Red Devils' England striker, 23, has refused to let up since forcing the Government to u-turn and extend free school meals throughout the summer to the most vulnerable.

    Marcus Rashford has spearheaded a campaign to feed poor children
    Rashford was inspired after watching his mother struggle financially during his childhood

    Now he is pushing again for food packs and vouchers to support children, especially during the pandemic which has closed schools.

    Rashford said: “Never giving up is something that when you are in United's Academy, they give it to you from then.

    “As someone who has been there from 5 or 6 years old, it is just kind of engrained into your personality, they way you are on and off the pitch really.

    “It is just in whatever you do and if I am losing in something or something is not quite going right, I just want to keep going until I get better at it or start to win.

    “I have been like that since I was a kid and it is from United where you grow that determination.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    CLATTENBURG: REFS WERE BIASED TOWARDS UTD

    Mark Clattenburg claims referees were biased towards Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.

    But the veteran Premier League official, 45, insists this is no longer the case.

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp alleged last week refs still favour United.

    Clattenburg dismissed the German's verdict – but admitted it did happen during Fergie's trophy-laden reign from 1986-2013.

    Writing for MailOnline, he said: "He [Klopp] does not like losing, he never has. He gets prickly.

    "But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions.

    "There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.

    "I am the only referee to give three penalties to the opposition at Old Trafford, and that was for Liverpool, of all teams, in 2014."

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD IN 3-HORSE TITLE RACE

    Mikael Silvestre claims his old club Manchester United are in a three-horse title race with Liverpool and Leicester.

    The ex-France defender Silvestre believes United leapfrogging Liverpool at the top ahead of Sunday's top-two clash typifies a fascinating season

    Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at the launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on that match, Silvestre said: "For me there are only three teams in this years title race: Man United, Liverpool and I'm going to put Leicester in there as well.

    "It's a wide-open season and it's good for Man United to be in the race instead of playing catch-up and looking in from a distance.

    "Now it's just a case of staying up there. They're in a positive position at this point in the campaign."

    "They've taken advantage of other teams' misfortunes. It's why the Premier League in general is so interesting."

  • Ian Tuckey

    MAN UTD REVENUE SLASHED BY COVID

    United's revenue plummeted almost 20 per cent due to the coronavirus crisis.

    And 20 of Europe's elite football clubs lost more than £1billion combined as the financial impact on the beautiful game became clearer.

    KPMG Football Benchmark's The European Champions Report revealed the shocking figures for the 2019-20 season.

    Published this month, it highlights how clubs fared while dealing with the global pandemic.

    And United were among the worst hit of the 20 sampled clubs – as Ed Woodward anticipated last year.

    The Old Trafford side saw their operating revenues fall to £516million, a drop of 18.5 per cent.

    Liverpool turned over £496m (7.9 per cent drop) and Spurs took in £408m (12.3 per cent) as they took a slightly softer blow.

  • Marc Mayo

    SHED A TEER

    Jason McAteer reckons Manchester United are due to ‘drop off’ from the title race.

    The Liverpool her has backed his old team to fight for the title with Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s derby.

    He told Sky Sports: “I do think it's a false position.

    “Burnley gave them a tough game but they came through it and showed a bit of resilience. There is a bit of team spirit coming at Manchester United.

    “But Ole hasn't dealt with what other teams have dealt with, in terms of a lot of injuries this season. He's had a lot of players to pick from…

    “Come the end of the season, I think Liverpool and Manchester City will be fighting it out. I think Manchester United will drop off.”

    Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
  • Marc Mayo

    ENTER THE LAIR

    Ethan Laird has told MK Dons fans to expect ‘excitement’ from the young defender in League One.

    The 19-year-old has joined on loan from Manchester United for the remainder of the season.

    And he told MK media: “I want to bring excitement.

    “I want to be that player where, when I get the ball, people are wondering what I’m going to do next. 

    “I need to focus on my defending but hopefully when I get the ball, there can be fireworks! I have the licence to do that here.”

  • Marc Mayo

    MIAMI BECK-ONING

    A move to MLS is on the cards for Odion Ighalo when his Manchester United loan spell ends.

    The Nigerian is due to leave the club at the end of the month with an uncertain future back at Shanghai Shenhua.

    He told ESPN: "I have been watching MLS and the league is doing well and I would like to play in the MLS.

    “I have to wait for offers and if the opportunity arises, I will take it because the league is doing well and it is a good life and I would love it.

    "Lots of players go there. Even Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus is there, also Giovanni dos Santos. Why not? I would like to go there if an opportunity arises. Being an experienced player, going there, doing well. It is an opportunity if it comes for me.

    "The David Beckham club [Inter Miami] is growing, so if an opportunity arises why not?"

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Marc Mayo

    FERGIE TIME

    Sir Alex Ferguson DID secure bias from officials, former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has confirmed.

    In dismissing Jurgen Klopp’s sentiment over the Red Devils’ current level of decisions, Clattenburg accepted that United were once favoured by officials.

    He wrote in the Mail: “He is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. 

    “There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.”

  • Marc Mayo

    MAD FOR IT

    Amad Diallo will look to fellow Ivorian Eric Bailly for help in adapting to life at Manchester United.

    Having arrived from Atalanta, the young winger also named Paul Pogba as a senior star who can offer him advice at his new home.

    He told the club website: “Eric will be a definite reference point for me. 

    “I’ve actually already been in touch with him over the last few months and we’ve been chatting. 

    “I’ll be asking him for advice and will be listening to all he says, and also the other players who speak French and Italian like Pogba for example, he will be another good reference point for me.”

  • Marc Mayo

    DON THE MOVE

    Italian media reports claim Inter Milan are tracking Donny van de Beek.

    According to FCInterNews.it, sporting director Piero Ausilio has made contact over the Dutchman’s availability.

    Inter fancy a loan deal but Manchester United have reportedly rejected the enquiry.

    Credit: AFP or licensors
  • Marc Mayo

    YOR THE ONE

    Dwight Yorke has been hugely impressed with Edinson Cavani since the Uruguayan landed in Manchester.

    The striker’s arrival is similar to that of Henrik Larsson, Robin van Persie and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to Yorke.

    He told Sky Sports: “You can see what he has brought to the table. Often when you bring in a big personality like Cavani, a younger player is taking that [in].

    “We have seen that with Zlatan before and we have seen Van Persie come in and do a job and Larsson as well in that category. You can see Cavani has come in and done that.

    “What I like about Cavani is he is totally different to the rest of the players. His movement is outstanding and he is a seasoned campaigner. 

    “Although he hasn’t played in our league, that hasn’t deterred him and he wants to prove that he can play at this level even at this stage [of his career].”

  • Marc Mayo

    FLASHBACK

    Michael Carrick. 20 yards. Placed finish.

    You know the rest.

  • Marc Mayo

    DIMI VIEW

    Dimitar Berbatov would like Manchester United to nurture their existing strikers rather than sign a big-money target like Erling Haaland.

    Mason Greenwood is one man the ex-striker believes can become a huge star for the team.

    He said: "[Haaland] is still so young and the future is ahead of him. The amount of goals he's scoring is unbelievable, he could be a great, great fit for United if he develops the same way as he is doing now.

    "He is going to cost a lot of money obviously but for a talent like this, you can go and try your best to sign him.

    "But honestly I would like to see Mason Greenwood develop and become better and better.

    "If United don't go to buy someone, I would like to see these three players develop and get better and better.”

  • Marc Mayo

    TOP DRAW

    Mikael Silvestre has given his advice to Manchester United stars for the trip to Liverpool.

    The former Red Devils star wants to see his old team highly disciplined – and predicts a 1-1 draw.

    He told Ladbrokes: “The margin will be very thin this weekend. It's a game where Manchester United need to avoid giving free-kicks away. 

    “Don't concede corners or soft free-kicks around the box. That would be my advice because I'd expect everything else to naturally be spot on with the guys. 

    “When you play for Manchester United you need to be conscious that there will be competition for places from other international players.

    “And the demand and speed of the games means it's normal to have another guy there to compete against and every day you have to do your best in training and prove why you deserve a place in the starting line-up.”

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Marc Mayo

    ODD ONE OUT

    Manchester United are still back at 6-1 for the Premier League title – despite sitting three points clear.

    After Manchester City edged Brighton last night, to go four points off the lead with a game in hand, they are now odds-on favourites for top spot.

    Coral have Pep Guardiola's side at 8-11 with Liverpool second favourites at 3-1.

    United fans can back their side at 6-1 and there is a big gap back to Tottenham at 20-1.

  • Marc Mayo

    WAIT JES A MINUTE

    Jesse Lingard will not leave Manchester United this month.

    The Telegraph report on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeing the midfielder as a useful squad option in the title fight ahead.

    With a new contract signed recently, Lingard did feature in the FA Cup win over Watford.

    That said, a permanent move in the summer may be on the club’s agenda.

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Marc Mayo

    DERBY HERO

    Paul Ince has recalled his time in Manchester United’s clashes with Liverpool, which he experienced playing for both sides.

    He told Monday Night Football: “You don’t really know until you go on the street and meet the fans, saying, ‘We’ve got to win, got to win’.

    “I’m thinking what’s it all about?
    “But once you get that kind of experience and you get on the pitch, then you understand what it’s all about.

    “Whether you’re playing for United or Liverpool, and I was fortunate enough to play for both of them, when you score for both teams it kind of makes you a bit more of a hero.”

  • Marc Mayo

    TOO CLOSE

    Premier League captains and managers will hold a “hugging summit” with League chiefs today – in a bid to fend off calls for a shutdown, writes SunSport's Martin Lipton.

    Growing criticism over players’ goal celebrations have reached Governmental level with Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston making a public warning.

    Prem chiefs are concerned that a widespread backlash could put the entire game on the backfoot and make the prospect of an enforced pause more serious

    And while there is no current Government push for the game to be temporarily closed as the mutant strains of the virus spread, the emergency virtual meeting will address all the issues.

    Prem leaders will reiterate the message that Covid protocols MUST be followed to the letter.

    It is understood that the meetings were scheduled by the Prem at the beginning of the week, rather than being a response to the scenes of the past few days.

  • Marc Mayo

    NOR-WAY

    John Arne Riise has backed old club Liverpool for a 3-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

    The Norwegian strong-man reckons the clash is 'perfect' for Jurgen Klopp's side to prove their title mettle.

    He told Ladbrokes: "Man United are very reliant on Bruno Fernandes, though. If he's out for any reason this season, they'll struggle.

    "That's why I don't think United will be up there in May, because they're too dependent on that one player. Man City and Liverpool have so many players who can carry the team; Man United only have one.

    "The weak side of United is defensively, and while it's a good opportunity for Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, at the same time we have to look at the Man United forwards.

    "The main thing Liverpool have to do is make sure they aren't giving United a chance at all in the game to counter-attack them, because they will hurt them. It's a game of two managers finding the right tactics this weekend. It's a much closer game than I would've thought a couple of months ago."

    Credit: AP:Associated Press
  • Marc Mayo

    YEARNING FOR ERLING

    Michael Owen has urged Manchester United to do whatever they can to sign Erling Haaland.

    The former Red Devils hero wants to see a new star striker at Old Trafford, with the Norwegian his ideal signing.

    Owen told Stadium Astro: "At the moment, Manchester United have struggled to find that young player that's going to take them all the way as a No 9.

    "I think the one player out there that springs to mind that could be that type of player that could last for 10 years in their team and to stop them having to keep buying stop-gaps all the time is Haaland at Dortmund.

    "I think he's the player on everybody's lips at the moment, so he is one player that I think could potentially be the No 9 that could last a long time.

    "If he had an open cheque book, if I was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I'd be playing [Rashford, Martial and Greenwood] in wider positions, and I'd probably try and buy someone like Haaland because that's the future of your team for about 10 years."

  • Marc Mayo

    OH KIER

    Kieran Trippier's betting ban scuppered a January transfer to Manchester United, according to reports.

    However, the Old Trafford club are thought to remain 'admirers' of the Atletico Madrid defender.

    According to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils plotted to make a move for the right-back this month.

    But those plans were halted when news of his ten-week suspension and £70,000 fine for breaching FA betting rules broke.

    The ban was announced on December 23 – ending his run of playing every minute this season – but he featured in Atletico's 2-0 win over Sevilla on Tuesday as the punishment is on hold subject to an appeal.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Marc Mayo

    IN SOUMARY

    Boubakary Soumare is not heading to Manchester United this month, it has been claimed.

    The Lille star, 21, has set Ligue 1 alight and is being scouted regularly by the club.

    But The Athletic maintain any move for the midfielder will not come until the summer.

  • Marc Mayo

    YEAR AND NOW

    There is a fun little milestone on offer to further incentivise Manchester United on Sunday.

    If they can come away with Anfield with at least a point, it will mark a whole calendar year without a Premier League defeat on the road.

    In fact, it was Liverpool who last downed the Red Devils on their travels with a 2-0 victory on January 19, 2020.

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