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Manchester United Face Major Overhaul After Wreckage Of Jose Mourinho Era

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As Manchester United survey the wreckage of Jose Mourinho’s reign, the troubled club’s hierarchy would be wise to swallow their pride and copy the successful blueprint established by bitter rivals Manchester City.

Mourinho was sacked by United on Tuesday as the Portuguese coach paid the price for the team’s worst start to a season since 1990.

Now the focus at Old Trafford turns to the search for Mourinho’s successor and the club’s plan to escape the rut they have been stuck in since Alex Ferguson retired after winning their most recent Premier League title in 2013.

United, languishing 11 points adrift of the top four, hope to announce a caretaker manager, with strong links to the club, to see out the rest of the season within 48 hours.

Regardless of that temporary solution, it is the long-term direction of an increasingly rudderless club that most concerns United fans.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Mourinho, with former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane also a strong contender.

Pochettino has caught the eye with his fine work at Espanyol, Southampton and now Tottenham, where the 46-year-old has blended a clutch of talented youngsters and cut-price signings into one of the most attractive sides in Europe.

Despite not signing a single player in the close-season, Pochettino’s side still sit third in the Premier League and also advanced to the Champions League last 16 after an impressive draw at Barcelona last week.

Pochettino is yet to win a trophy with Tottenham but he could be the man to galvanise United, with Ferguson’s former assistant coach Rene Meulensteen saying his old club have lost their identity.

“You hear people talking about how United have lost their identity and that’s what you see among the players. There is no really clear direction,” Meulensteen told the BBC.

– Zidane link –

Zidane, 46, has impeccable credentials, which would ensure he would be respected by a United squad that grew sick of Mourinho’s relentless hard-nosed approach.

One of the finest players of his generation with Juventus, Real Madrid and France, Zidane pulled off the tricky task of making the transition to the dug-out.

In just three years as Madrid boss he won three Champions League titles and one La Liga crown before surprisingly leaving at the end of last season.

United legend Ryan Giggs, now the Wales boss, and Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe have also been mentioned.

Former United defender Laurent Blanc and Carlos Queiroz, who served as one of Ferguson’s assistants, are said to be in the frame for the caretaker position.

Whoever comes in must heal the rifts created by Mourinho, who was the author of his own downfall following damaging feuds with Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Valencia.

The former Chelsea boss also squabbled with United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward after the club failed to land his top transfer targets.

Patrice Evra, a former United left-back, called for the eventual new boss to bring harmony back to the dressing room.

“Let’s focus on rebuilding something solid instead of being in a playground,” he tweeted. “Doing this is only disrespecting the badge. From now we only need positivity.”

While Mourinho once again proved his acerbic style of management cannot be sustained over the long term, the club’s former defender Gary Neville believes United’s powerbrokers must take their share of the blame.

And he says Woodward and United owners the Glazer family need to sanction root-and-branch reform of the club’s football operations.

– Man City blueprint –

They can look across Manchester to see how City have created a modern system that allows boss Pep Guardiola to focus on his team, while chief executive Ferran Soriano and director Txiki Begiristain look after player recruitment and overall club philosophy.

Arsenal underwent a similar overhaul in the closing months of Arsene Wenger’s reign and are reaping the rewards with new boss Unai Emery.

Keen to bring in a sporting director of their own, United have been linked with Manchester-born Paul Mitchell, who works as the head of recruitment and development at RB Leipzig and previously helped Tottenham discover Dele Alli.

Roma’s Monchi is regarded as one of Europe’s top transfer gurus and is also believed to be on United’s radar.

Aware that the quality of the talent emerging from their youth ranks has dipped since the famed ‘Class of 92’, United also need to revitalise their academy.

“My personal view is that the club needs to reset,” said Neville, one of United’s homegrown stars under Ferguson.

“This is not just a moment to sack Jose Mourinho and appoint another manager. This is a moment for the club to take stock.”

(AFP)

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Cristiano Ronaldo Emerges First Billionaire Footballer

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Portuguese professional footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has emerged as the first soccer billionaire.

The 35-year-old Juventus star is the third athlete after Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather to hit the $1 billion earnings mark while still actively competing, according to Forbes.

Forbes via its Twitter handle said Ronaldo earned $105 million in the past year (2019), making him number 4 on the 2020 Forbes list.

Ronaldo raked in £85million last year from his wages and endorsement deals, pushing him into becoming a billionaire.

His capital for the past year was second only to tennis superstar, Roger Federer, in the athletic world and it made him the number one in the game of football.

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BREAKING: Manchester United Agree To Extend Ighalo’s Loan Deal From Chinese Club

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Manchester United have agreed on a deal to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan until the end of January 2021, pending formal approval.

Ighalo initially joined Manchester United in a Deadline Day move from Shanghai Shenhua in January and scored four times in eight appearances in all competitions prior to the suspension of the Premier League.

According to Skysports, his current deal at Shenhua runs out in December 2022 and he will be expected to sign a contract offer until the end of 2024 worth £400,000 a week.

Similarly, Ighalo’s agent has confirmed the forward is set to extend his stay at Manchester United for another seven months.

He will now miss the majority of the 2020 Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in June.

Shanghai’s original stance was that they would only agree to extend his loan if an obligation to buy was incorporated into the deal, with Ighalo likely to cost upwards of £20m.

However, with border restrictions potentially preventing Ighalo from returning to China in time for the new season, Ighalo’s parent club have softened their stance and have allowed him to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

Additionally, Ighalo made a personal request to his parent club to extend his time at United, with the boyhood fan keen to finish what he started after netting four goals in eight appearances since joining on deadline day.

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Chelsea Reportedly In Talks With Leicester Over Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi

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Wilfred Ndidi

Highly rated Nigerian international, Winifred Ndidi, is said to be a possible replacement for Jorginho, who is believed to be linked with a move to Juventus.

Ndidi who joined Leicester from Belgian side, Genk, in 2017, has been in superb form for the foxes attracting interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Mundodeportivo.com reports that Chelsea could need a defensive midfielder as Jorginho could be heading to Juventus to reunite with former boss Maurizio Sari, although Frank Lampard insists that the Italian is not for sale.

The 23-year old is valued at 40 million Euros by Leicester city and has a contract til 2024

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