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    Man Utd ready to bring Sam Johnstone back from West Brom in shock transfer should David De Gea or Dean Henderson leave

    MANCHESTER UNITED want to bring keeper Sam Johnstone back from West Brom in a shock swoop.Johnstone’s reputation has grown after a stunning campaign with the Baggies, earning him a first senior England call-up.
    Sam Johnstone, 28, could make a shock return to Manchester United this summerCredit: AP
    United have put him at the head of their wishlist if David De Gea, 30, or Dean Henderson go this summer.
    We revealed the Red Devils would not carry on with both De Gea and Henderson, 24, sharing games in the future.
    Johnstone, 28, who came through the Old Trafford ranks before a £5million move to Albion in 2018, could be tempted to move as his deal is about to enter its final year.
    West Brom might cash in as Johnstone is also one of their top earners.
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    Either Dean Henderson and David De Gea looks likely to leave Man Utd in the summerCredit: Reuters

    Meanwhile, United are set to offer midfielder James Garner a new contract.
    Garner, 20, has been a hit with Nottingham Forest on loan.
    United are looking into a  loan move abroad next term but could yet settle for another year in the Championship for him.
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    Granada 0 Man Utd 2: Rashford strike and late Fernandes penalty put Red Devils in command of Europa League quarter-final

    MIGHTY Marcus Rashford pushed through the pain barrier to open the door to another semi-final for Manchester United.Patched up to play, he looked like he needed to go off as he held his leg and grimaced through the first 20 minutes.
    Marcus Rashford celebrated after giving his side a first-half lead and crucial away goalCredit: Getty
    Marcus Rashford slid in to slot home Man Utd’s opener at GranadaCredit: Getty
    The Granada players could tell he was struggling, which is why they kept leaving a foot in and nipping away at the England international.
    But Rashford is made of tough stuff and if they thought he was going lame they were wrong.
    In the 31st minute he produced the sort of gallop that so impressed Sir Alex Ferguson at Aintree as he completed a hat-trick of wins.
    Victor Lindelof spotted him bursting out the gates between full-back and centre-back and delivered a superb pass from deep inside his own half.
    Tom Brady, who lead the Glazers’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl victory, could not have picked out a team-mate better.
    Rashford looked over his shoulder as he continued his run then with a superb first touch brought the ball under his spell.
    With the second he knocked it forward and then the third saw him slide the ball past the advancing goalkeeper to win this Europa League quarter-final first leg.
    Bruno Fernandes gave the scoreline a more justified look to reflect United’s dominance when he a converted a 90th minute penalty he had won after being knocked over in the box by Yan Brice’s flailing arm.
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    The match had earlier been interrupted by a streaker who was swiftly dealt with by policeCredit: Getty

    His kick sneaked under goalkeeper Rui Silva’s dive and with it he reached 24 for the season.
    Rashford now has 20 and so became the first United player since Wayne Rooney a decade ago to score 20-plus goals in back to back seasons after hitting 22 last season.
    To think he is doing it while carrying a shoulder problem that will need surgery after the Euros this summer.
    Last season a back injury kept him out of action for 141 days.
    An ankle problem meant he had to pulled out the most recent England squad.
    And then he limped out of United’s 2-1 win over Brighton in the 72nd minute on Sunday having grabbed the equaliser ten minutes earlier.
    Solskjaer doubted he could play 90 minutes last night but started him and he delivered so he could come off after 66.
    The 23-year-old is crucial to United a scorer of great goals as we saw in Europe this season with his winner in the Champions League Group against PSG.
    He also got a hat-trick against RB Leipzig in a 5-0 home win that should have propelled them to qualify for the next stage of that competition.
    Rashford’s early goal put Man Utd in charge of the quarter-final tieCredit: Reuters
    Bruno Fernandes’ penalty made it 2-0 in the dying moments of the gameCredit: Getty
    He has eight now across the two competitions.
    That will mean little to Rashford, however, unless United go on to lift this trophy.
    He has winners medals from the 2016 FA Cup and 2017 EFL Cup and when they lifted the Europa League against Ajax in Stockholm.
    That was United’s last trophy though and the Ole Solskjaer era needs one.
    Ajax once more or AS Roma will wait for them in the last four if, as they should, they get the job done in the second-leg next week.
    It will be their fifth semi-final over two seasons and they have lost the other four, twice to City in the EFL, to Chelsea in the FA Cup and Sevilla in this competition.
    Solskjaer said trophies are for egos and the real measure of this team’s progression will be if they finish second in the league after a third place last season.
    But I can’t remember the last time United fans were dancing in the streets at finishing second.
    They were certainly dancing in Stockholm when they won this under Jose Mourinho and would love a trip to Gdansk for the final of this.
    Bruno Fernandes celebrated after his penalty all-but sealed the quarter-final tieCredit: Getty
    How many could witness that final of course is debatable due to Covid.
    Mind you on the evidence of the Europa League last season when United played a mine tournament behind closed doors in Cologne, their supporters will travel just to be in the same City as their heroes.
    And Rashford is a hero on the pitch and off it for his amazing work in fighting child poverty.
    Solskjaer warned that Granada’s fight and spirt could be a problem last night.
    Assembled at eight millions euros, that is less than David De Gea earns in a fortnight.
    Recalled to the side last night he didn’t have to do a lot to pocket his wages for the week.
    Next up it is Spurs away on Sunday and their old boss Mourinho, the last United manager to lift a trophy.
    Rashford will pick himself up this morning, dust himself off and the physios will go to work to get him to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
    They need him, as last night in Andalusia once again proved.
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    Watch Marcus Rashford’s Man Utd opener get MISSED as BT Sport feed shows replay of Granada attack

    FANS nearly missed Marcus Rashford’s goal at Granada after BT Sport’s feed was too busy showing a replay of a failed attack at the other end.Rashford, 23, gave the Red Devils a first-half lead – and crucial away goal – in his side’s Europa League quarter-final first-leg after just half an hour before Bruno Fernandes’ penalty made it 2-0 in the dying embers.
    Blink and you’ll miss Man Utd’s opening goal vs Granada…The Spanish TV director certainly did 😂Marcus Rashford brings up 20 goals for the season 🎯#UEL pic.twitter.com/AsyaaMFxrW— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 8, 2021

    Marcus Rashford gave Man Utd the lead after half an hour at GranadaCredit: Getty
    The Spanish feed being used on BT Sport was too busy showing a replay of a failed Granada attack, missing the build-up to Rashford’s goal
    The England forward poked home a great ball from Victor Lindelof to hand Man Utd the advantage.
    But the Spanish TV director missed the build-up to the goal after showing a replay of a failed Granada attack.
    In the UK, the game was being shown on BT Sport – with the British broadcasters quick to distance themselves from the blame.
    In a subtle tweet, they wrote: “Blink and you’ll miss Man Utd’s opening goal vs Granada…
    “The Spanish TV director certainly did.”
    Fans were quick to joke the director was probably still in shock from the STREAKER who’d earlier invaded the pitch.
    One viewer joked: “I think the streaker might have put him off his game.”
    Another said: “Miss a tasty goal but get to see a hairy naked man – swings & roundabouts really!”
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    The match had earlier been interrupted by a streaker who was swiftly dealt with by policeCredit: Getty

    No fans were allowed in for the Europa League quarter-final against Granada on Thursday night.
    But that didn’t stop one fan from getting into the Estadio Municipal Nuevo Los Carmenes.
    And he ran right across the middle of the pitch, causing a delay in the last-eight tie.
    But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were only briefly held up as Spanish police moved in to escort the man away, with United netting the all-important opener 20 minutes later.
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    Man Utd legend Eric Cantona writes and stars in documentary about the club’s ‘epic’ history

    ERIC CANTONA has written and will star in a new documentary about the ‘epic’ history of Manchester United.The Old Trafford legend, 54, lends his voice to a new film – taking on the role of narrator – set for release next month.
    Eric Cantona has written and will star in a new documentary called ‘The United Way’
    Cantona has called on a host of his old United pals, including some Class of ’92 stars, to have their say in the documentaryCredit: Getty – Contributor
    Cantona also co-wrote the documentary – entitled The United Way – which encompasses ‘the dark days of Munich through to a historic Treble in 1999’.
    As well as telling his own story, Man Utd icon Cantona has roped in a host of old pals to star in the movie.
    Class of ’92 legends such as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt have their say on all things United.
    Current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also stars in the documentary having played a huge role as a player in the club’s famous Treble of 1999.
    Peter Schmeichel, Teddy Sheringham, Andrew Cole, Bryan Robson and Norman Whiteside are also big names to star in the documentary.
    Manchester icons such as musicians Shaun Ryder and Peter Hook – as well as mayor Andy Burnham – are also involved in the show.
    The documentary is described as a ‘compelling ride through the history and evolution of the world’s biggest football club, and the social and cultural environment that shaped it.’
    Directed by Mat Hodgson and a Matthew Lorenzo Production it will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 10 before coming to Sky two weeks later on May 24.
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    Five-time Oscar nominated and Bafta-winning composer George Fenton has provided the score for the film.
    Cantona spent five years at Man Utd – between 1992 and 1997 – following his move from Leeds.
    In all, the Frenchman scored 82 times in 185 games for the club, helping to win four Premier League crowns.
    Since retiring, Cantona has gone into acting starring in no fewer than 30 films.
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    Man Utd ‘exploring’ Declan Rice swap transfer with West Ham which includes Jesse Lingard ‘after talk at England camp’

    MANCHESTER UNITED are exploring a swap deal involving Declan Rice and Jesse Lingard after ‘talks on England duty’, according to reports.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has long been a fan of the Hammers star, 22, who has continued his meteoric rise to become the Three Lions’ top defensive midfielder.
    Man Utd are set to ‘explore’ a swap deal involving Declan Rice and Jesse Lingard, say reportsCredit: Getty
    Man Utd want England and West Ham star Rice to join them in the summerCredit: Alamy
    Chelsea are among a host of European giants keen to sign former Blues academy product Rice.
    And David Moyes has warned it would take bids in excess of £100million to sign him.
    Even then, Moyes wants to keep Rice at the London Stadium – particularly if West Ham manage to keep their place in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
    But according to The Athletic, Man Utd are keen to discuss a swap deal involving Lingard in order to tempt the Hammers into selling their star man.
    Lingard, 28, has been sensational since joining West Ham on loan in the winter window – involved in a league-high nine goals since his debut for the Londoners, level with Harry Kane.
    Moyes is desperate to make Lingard’s loan move permanent, with United deliberately leaving an option to buy out of the deal.
    United had hoped Lingard’s stock would rise in East London before selling him this summer with just one year left on his deal having signed an extension in December 2020.
    It’s believed Man Utd will hold out for around £20million to £25m for Lingard this summer.
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    Lingard has been in sensational form on loan at West Ham with the Hammers keen to make his move permanent this summerCredit: PA

    But they could use him as a makeweight to sign Rice, shaving around £25m off the asking price.
    Lingard’s red-hot form has seen him break back into Gareth Southgate’s England squad – even playing in all three of the recent World Cup qualifying games.
    Meanwhile, Rice – who picked up an injury on international duty – won two Man of the Match awards after starring at the base of a midfield three.
    United see Rice as a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic, 33, and would allow the likes of Scott McTominay to push further up the pitch.
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    Jesse Lingard must settle for Man Utd ‘in and out’ role like Daniel James to succeed at club, claims Gary Neville

    JESSE LINGARD has what it takes to succeed at Manchester United – but must accept a bit-part role like Daniel James, according to Gary Neville.The former United academy star, 28, has been in sensational form since joining West Ham on loan in the winter window.
    Lingard can have a future at Man Utd if he’s willing to accept an ‘in and out’ role, says NevilleCredit: Rex
    Neville claimed Lingard would have to settle for a role similar to that of Dan JamesCredit: Getty
    Lingard has scored six times, adding three assists, since his move to London – involved in a Premier League-high nine goals, level with Harry Kane in that span.
    The midfielder’s hot form has even seen him return to the England fold, playing in all three of the recent World Cup qualifying wins.
    And Neville believes Lingard can return to Man Utd in the summer and maintain his strong run, if he’s willing to take on an ‘in and out’ role.
    Neville told Sky Sports: “At Manchester United because there is that expectation of what you need to be.
    “To be a wide player there, [Lingard’s] always going to get a difficult press.
    “He’s a really good player. He’s going to have a great career.
    “Manchester United have sent him out to West Ham to boost his career, maybe with the thought of boosting his price tag.
    “But they might be thinking, ‘actually, we might want him back, he could be a real help to us’.
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    “If he’s willing to go back there and compete and be the player that Dan James has been for the last few weeks, in and out, then there’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United.”
    But Neville admitted Lingard’s form could be down to playing week-in, week-out – and admitted he might have to quit Old Trafford.
    Nev continued: “If Jesse wants to play, and you can see he does want to play, then he needs to leave.
    “He’s not going to play every single week for a Manchester United team that’s competing for second or first place in the league.”
    Meanwhile, West Ham are set to push to make Lingard’s loan move permanent this summer.
    However, the Hammers fear his sensational 2021 could see Man Utd price them out of a swoop.
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    Man Utd tie Zidane Iqbal down to first professional contract with 17-year-old star impressing in youth ranks

    MANCHESTER UNITED have tied Zidane Iqbal down to his first professional contract after starring for the club’s youth teams.The talented attacking midfielder, 17, joins Robbie Savage’s son Charlie, Teden Mengi, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri and Anthony Elanga – recently promoted to the first-team squad – in penning new deals in 2021.
    Zidane Iqbal has signed his first professional contract at Man Utd, aged 17Credit: Twitter @z10ane
    Zidane Iqbal has starred for Man Utd’s Under-18s this season and will be part of the Under-23s next termCredit: Getty
    Iqbal doesn’t turn 18 until next month.
    But Man Utd are so keen on him, they are set to fast-track his route into the first team.
    Iqbal is tipped to be part of United’s Under-23s squad next season after starring for the Under-18s this term.
    Base Soccer – Iqbal’s representatives – revealed the news of his first pro contract on Twitter.
    They tweeted: “Many congratulations to Zidane Iqbal, who has signed his first professional contract with Manchester United.
    “Well done Zee!”
    Iqbal himself added: “A dream come true to sign my first professional contract @ManUtd.
    “I’d like to thank my family, my friends, the coaching staff and @CAABase for all their help and support.”
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    Iqbal made his Under-18s debut last year aged just 16.
    And he started seven matches for them this season before injury struck, ruling him out since December.
    Despite not having played in nearly four months, United are certain Iqbal has what it takes to succeed.
    Iqbal’s form has helped Man Utd take a two-point lead over rivals City in the Under-18s Premier League table.
    United haven’t won the competition since 2017-18, when the likes of Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong were in the squad.
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    Charlie Savage, 17, signs first pro contract with Man Utd after admitting McTominay – not dad Robbie – is role model

    CHARLIE SAVAGE has been handed his first professional contract at Manchester United as a reward for his fine form this season.The 17-year-old midfielder – son of former Leicester and Derby ace Robbie – has chipped in with two goals and five assists in 17 U-18 Premier League matches.
    Robbie Savage’s son Charlie has penned his first professional contract at Manchester UnitedCredit: Twitter
    The Wales youth international was even called up to two Premier League 2 fixtures in March having impressed for Neil Ryan’s U18 side this term.
    And Savage took to Twitter to announce the news, as he published a photo of himself signing his deal.
    Captioning the post, he said: “Delighted to have signed my first professional contract at Manchester United.
    “I would like to thank all of my friends, family and everyone at New Era Global Sports for all their support.
    “The hard work continues.”
    Savage recently told SunSport that Red Devils star Scott McTominay is his role model, instead of his father who also came through the Manchester United academy.
    He stated: “The main inspiration for me is Scott — he’s the best with us. He comes over to talk to us. He had it difficult in the youth team.
    “He didn’t play many matches but he just kept going and he proved it’s not always the standout players who make the first team.
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    “Sometimes it’s the players who might have had a back seat but they keep pushing and pushing.
    “Scott, Marcus Rashford and also Brandon Williams all inspire us to improve and move forward.”
    Savage has now set his sights on making the Wales first-team, where he is looking to surpass the 39 caps his dad made for the Dragons.
    He added: “It’d be nice to replicate what he did and make it to the Wales first-team.
    “We are different. He was tenacious, whereas I’m more of a ball player.
    “I think I’m a better finisher than him too! He won’t like me saying that — but if I can have half the career he had, then I’ll be very happy.”
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