MANCHESTER UNITED are ramping up their pursuit of an interim manager with Ernesto Valverde and Ralf Rangnick favourites to join temporarily.

That's after United were dealt a blow in their pursuit of Mauricio Pochettino as boss.

The French club have been irked by reports the former Spurs manager could head to Old Trafford and have reportedly blocked an approach.

United have now put any move for Poch, 49, on hold until at least the summer.

Brendan Rodgers remains in the running, but United will have to stump £8million to prise him away from Leicester City.

In the meantime, former Barcelona, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao manager Valverde remains a popular option to become United's interim manager.

The Spaniard, 57, has been out of work since leaving the Nou Camp last year, when he was replaced by doomed Ronald Koeman.

And Man Utd legend Peter Schmeichel wants to see his former team-mate Steve Bruce take temporary charge at the Theatre of Dreams.

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland has been urged to join rivals Liverpool over Manchester United or Chelsea.

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Follow all the latest Man Utd news, transfer and gossip from Old Trafford below…

  • Justin Lawrence

    OLE GONE

    Manchester United savagely got rid of any memory of ex-boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the club by removing his mural just days after sacking the Norwegian.

    Solskjaer had a giant mural etched on the Sir Matt Busby stand but United ruthlessly took it down just a day after United’s Champions League win in Villarreal.

    The Norwegian took the reins at United in 2019 but his tenure was short-lived following his lack of success in the role.

    The Red Devils initially gave Solskjaer time to get things right but his clock ran out after a string of poor results and expensive signings this season.

  • Justin Lawrence

    READ THE BURB

    Marcus Rashford and fashion brand Burberry have come together to build libraries in underfunded schools across the UK.

    Burberry has announced that it will pay to create libraries in 10 underfunded schools in Manchester, Yorkshire, and London, donating 8,000 books and providing training to a further 200 teachers across the country.

    In addition to this, all 10 schools will take part in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, a programme created by Rashford and Macmillan Children’s Books earlier this year.

    Speaking on his collaboration with Burberry, Rashford said, reported by Dazed: "These children need the escapism of reading more than most, and access to books should not be restricted by the area you grow up in.

    "Coming out of the pandemic, there was a huge need for safe spaces – a space where children could come and just breathe; process their feelings. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved here."

  • Justin Lawrence

    EURO BATTLE

    Cristiano Ronaldo could face Robert Lewandowski in an epic showdown in the 2022 World Cup's next round of qualifiers.

    The draw for the next round of qualifying – with a two-round playoff incoming, takes place tomorrow at the FIFA headquarters.

    And as Cristiano's Portugal are one of the seeded sides, and Lewandowski's Poland are unseeded, the two European nations could be drawn against each other.

    The draw begins at 4pm tomorrow and SunSport will be running a live blog so you can keep up with all the action.

  • Justin Lawrence

    TURN AROUND

    Ex-Manchester United star Louis Saha reckons his old club can turn things around despite a tumultuous start to the season.

    The Red Devils have been on a poor run of form which culminated in the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    But Saha thinks the season won't be a complete disaster if United's attack, including Anthony Martial come together.

    He told 101 goals: "Because the Premier League is a marathon, I still believe they can pick up form and go on a run,’

    "And when they do, they will be unstoppable because those front 4 players are one of the best in the Premier League. Of course, they will need to defend and ensure there’s the right balance.

    "But when they eventually find the right formula and things click – especially in their heads where at the minute there’s too much over thinking – those players are unstoppable when they play naturally.

    "On their game, no-one can touch that front four or five. Martial, when he’s on top form, he is unplayable."

  • Justin Lawrence

    IN MAUR-NING

    PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino and his star-studded squad flew back to France following their Champions League defeat to Manchester City.

    Second half goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus handed Pep Guardiola's side a 2-1 victory over the Ligue 1 leaders as they booked their place in the last 16 as group winners.

    Pochettino was visiting Manchester for the first time since being heavily linked as the long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.

    But the Argentine did not entertain any form of speculation at the airport as he signed an autograph before boarding the plane back to the French capital.

    Scorer Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos were all in attendance for the flight home as they wore disappointed looks following the defeat.

  • Justin Lawrence

    NOT TRUE

    Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed the talk linking him with the vacant Manchester United job as nothing more than rumours.

    Speculation has been rife that the Argentine will be the next man in charge of United.

    But Poch refused to entertain the idea as there's no need to respond to rumours.

    He said: 'We know their situation. We are living in a business that rumours are there, sometimes negative, sometimes positive.

    "That is not a thing to talk about – the rumours."

  • Justin Lawrence

    NO MAUR

    Zinedine Zidane is not interested in becoming Manchester United manager, according to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

    The former Real Madrid head coach has been touted as a potential long-term fix at Old Trafford following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    But Gunners icon Henry, who played alongside Zidane for the France national team, does not believe it is something the World Cup winner is considering.

    Speaking on CBS Sports, he said: “Zidane going to United? I don’t think he would be interested in that now.

    "Why? Because in the back of my head I’m thinking that maybe he’s waiting for the national team job.

    "I think he has that in the back of his mind.

    "So I see it more, although I don’t think Pochettino will leave, but if Pochettino goes then the PSG job will be free for Zidane.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    SHIRT PULL

    Mauricio Pochettino signed a Manchester United shirt for a supporter before last night’s Champions League tie between PSG and Man City.

    The Argentine, 49, is one of the Red Devils’ top choices to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.

    Paris Saint-Germain are standing firm, however, blocking an approach from United to speak to their manager.

    Pochettino was in town for last night’s clash with Man City at the Etihad.

    And prior to his side’s 2-1 defeat he added fuel to the fire, by signing a young fan’s Man United shirt – despite a PSG representative saying he wouldn’t.

    A United supporter told talkSPORT: “We met Poch today, my kid had his autograph stuff in the bag and the guy goes, ‘see if you can get him to sign a Man United shirt’.

    “That’s my kid’s shirt, what they didn’t post was the photo of him signing it.

    “There was a representative next to him going, ‘excuse me, it’s a Manchester United shirt, he won’t sign it’. And he goes, ‘it’s fine, it’s fine’ and he signed it.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    LEADING EDGE 

    ONE of Chelsea or Liverpool could pip Manchester City to the Champions League title, says Anfield legend Michael Owen.

    The three English heavyweights are joined by Manchester United in qualifying for the last 16 with a game to spare.

    City came from a goal down to defeat the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at the Etihad on Wednesday.

    But former Liverpool striker Owen believes his old club and Premier League leaders Chelsea are a cut above Pep Guardiola’s men.

    He said on BT Sport: “Chelsea and Liverpool have got a little edge on (City).

    “That’s not to say they can’t win it. They definitely can, they’re a top team.

    But I think Anfield is a huge factor for Liverpool in knock-out football. I think they’re a little bit more robust, they’ve got a little bit more know-how.

    “If Chelsea don’t play perfectly I still see them grinding it out. If Liverpool have one bad result, I still see them coming back and battering someone at Anfield.”

  • Alex Terrell

    HAAL HIM IN

    Former Premier League players Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen have narrowed down Manchester City and Liverpool as the two best fits in the Premier League for Erling Haaland.

    Manchester United legend Ferdinand believes Liverpool are the No1 suitors for the Borussia Dortmund ace.

    Ex-Liverpool man Owen suggested on BT Sport that Manchester City would be the best club for him to go to, to which Ferdinand replied: “I think he suits other teams better, if I’m Liverpool I’d take him right now.

    “I think if he goes to Liverpool that’s a devastating front three, I don’t think it’s as hard for him to adapt if he goes to Liverpool, it’s a different system.”

    He also pointed out it wasn’t that easy to adapt to life at the Etihad, with Jack Grealish yet to fully settle following his £100million move in August.

    “You see Jack Grealish, he’s gone to Manchester City, top player brilliant player we all love watching him [but] it’s quite hard to adapt to get into that team.

    “Not many players go there and adapt immediately.”

  • Alex Terrell

    MORE HENRY ON POCH

    Henry continued: "Pochettino is not allowed to be Pochettino at times with that team.

    "How do you take (Messi, Mbappe or Neymar) off?

    "So he put Angel Di Maria in midfield – but he was exposed and not helping."

  • Alex Terrell

    HENRY ON POCHETTINO

    Henry claimed: "If you want to win the Champions League, you cannot defend with seven players.

    "It is impossible, I don't care who you are.

    "The full backs are exposed, so it's virtually a three vs one, three vs two on the pitch.

    "Team that win titles – and the Champions League even more so – have their front-three facing the ball.

    "That way the full backs will feel more comfortable with what's going on behind them.

    "But right now they're too exposed. Teams in France cannot expose them, but Man City can.

  • Alex Terrell

    GONE TO-MAUR-ROW

    Jamie Carragher has urged Mauricio Pochettino to join Manchester United – as Thierry Henry hinted the Argentine can't cope with his star forward trio, writes DAVE FRASER.

    Paris Saint-Germain threw away a lead to lose 2-1 at Manchester City, ensuring they will finish only second in Group A – potentially facing United in the last 16.

    Pochettino has been hotly-linked with a move to Old Trafford to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked on Sunday.

    The Argentine claims he is 'happy' at PSG and wouldn't leave midway through the season, but there are rumblings he's not content living in the French capital.

    And Carragher has revealed he would join United 'tomorrow' if he was in Pochettino's shoes.

    Carragher told CBS Sports: "Pochettino has got to get out of that club.

    "If he's got the chance to go to Manchester United… I'd be gone tomorrow.

    "I honestly would and it's because of those three stars (Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar)."

  • Etienne Fermie

    GOOD MORNING RED DEVILS FANS

    Steve Bruce has reportedly been offered to his former club Manchester United by his agent.

    The Mail claims United’s ex-captain has been put forward for the interim role following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit.

    But Roberto Mancini has supposedly SNUBBED an approach from United.

    The 56-year-old former Manchester City boss plans to focus on World Cup qualification with Italy.

    German newspaper BILD report that Mancini turned down contact with the Red Devils as he is to fulfil his 'duty' to help Italy qualify for the World Cup.

    Meanwhile, Lucien Favre’s name has also been thrown into the hat to potentially become interim manager.

    The United hierarchy have allegedly reached out to the 64-year-old to discuss his interest in the post, according to The Telegraph.

    And Brendan Rodgers has again stressed his commitment to Leicester City.

    He said: "I don't take it as anything. For me it's not real. 

    "There's always gossip and speculation and I suppose that will always be there until United appoint a full-time manager.

    "I've always said my commitment is here. My commitment is to this group of players, this team."

    Finally, Jesse Lingard remains determined to leave United despite Solskjaer’s departure.

    The Mail claims the England star is ‘unmoved’ by the managerial change and still has no plans to open up negotiations over a new contract.

  • Anthony Chapman

    TRANSFER TAX

    Prem clubs are facing a £160million transfer tax each season to support the lower leagues.

    It is a key recommendation of former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch’s ‘fan-led review’ of football.

    But clubs and Prem chiefs are likely to fight the plans — and block calls for an overhaul of the parachute payment system for relegated clubs.

    Crouch and her team, appointed after the failed breakaway European Super League in April, feel the best way to distribute funds from the top down is with a new levy.

    The tax would be “similar to stamp duty” paid on properties for clubs buying players.

  • Anthony Chapman

    KO BLOW

    Newcastle’s £300million Saudi takeover would NOT have been waved through by a proposed new owners’ test for football.

    Former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch and her 'fan-led review' team have recommended a new comprehensive process for the entire game.

    In order to be approved by the proposed new independent regulator who would be appointed by the Government, any owner would have to pass a new 'Integrity Test'.

    While a potential owner would be considered 'of good character' unless there is 'reliable evidence' to the contrary, the regulator would look at 'criminal matters', 'relevant information from credible and reliable sources', past business dealings and 'integrity and reputation' of close family members.

  • Anthony Chapman

    NEXT UP

    Let's take a look at United's next five games…

  • Anthony Chapman

    LINK UP

    Man Utd want Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to replace Paul Pogba in the summer, says Corriere dello Sport.

    And the Lazio star's agent admits he needs a 'new adventure'.

    Mateja Kezman said: “He is a great club player.

    "Soon the time will come for him to live a new adventure and new dreams."

  • Anthony Chapman

    POG OFF

    Ex-Man Utd defender Jon Spector believes Paul Pogba should be released this summer.

    He told BritishGambler.co.uk: “I think there’s a lot of ‘extra’ around him. I would hate to speak for Sir Alex, but I have to think that he would have been moved on. 

    And I think that’s probably the best thing for the player and for the club. Again, I think he’s a tremendous player.

    “But for the benefit of the club, you’ve got to put that above any player and I think maybe it’s time to move him on and I think maybe they’ve done that a little bit too late as well.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    ARE BRU SERIOUS?

    Steve Bruce has reportedly been offered to his former club Manchester United by his agent.

    The Mail claims United’s ex-captain has been put forward for the interim role following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit.

    Bruce himself was only sacked by Newcastle earlier this month.

    And an incredible move to Old Trafford could be on the cards.

  • Anthony Chapman

    NUMBER DON

    Donny van de Beek was buzzing to see Jadon Sancho score his first Manchester United goal.

    He high-fived the England winger, who netted the second in Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Villarreal.

    Van de Beek then put his arm around Sancho's neck to commend him for his goal before shouting at him in a positive manner.

  • Anthony Chapman

    JESS OFF

    Jesse Lingard remains determined to leave Manchester United despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure.

    The Mail claims the England star is ‘unmoved’ by the managerial change and still has no plans to open up negotiations over a new contract.

    Former loan side West Ham are keen and a January transfer looks to be moving closer.

  • Anthony Chapman

    IN THE MONEY

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a whopping £26MILLION during his reign as Man United manager.

    A study conducted by 101 Great Goals revealed the Norweigan pocketed £26,334,247 during his time as United gaffer.

    His hefty earnings equated to a staggering £156,751 per game and £286,242 for every league victory.

  • Anthony Chapman

    ROBERT-NO

    Roberto Mancini has supposedly SNUBBED an approach from Manchester United.

    The 56-year-old former Manchester City boss plans to focus on World Cup qualification with Italy.

    German newspaper BILD report that Mancini turned down contact with the Red Devils as he is to fulfil his 'duty' to help Italy qualify for the World Cup.

  • Anthony Chapman

    BRUCEY BONUS

    Peter Schmeichel wants to see Steve Bruce as the interim manager of Man Utd.

    He explained: "I just like the idea, if it is an interim, get somebody who knows the club. Get somebody who is known by the club as well.

    "Somebody like Steve Bruce, that would be fantastic.

    "I would love to have somebody who comes in now to put pressure on the players.

    "A new voice, get them out there performing. Without making massive changes in style, or system.

    “You have to take small steps, you can’t just jump straight in and say we are going to play a pressing game.

    “You can’t do that, the first thing you have to do is give confidence to everybody in the team."

    Source: Read Full Article