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    Man Utd hand Arsenal and Tottenham transfer boost after pulling out of Jules Kounde race to focus on Raphael Varane

    ARSENAL and Tottenham’s hopes of signing Sevilla star Jules Kounde have been boosted after Manchester United turned their attention elsewhere, reports suggest.Kounde enjoyed a stunning campaign with the Andalusians as he made 49 appearances across all competitions and earned immense interest from the Premier League.
    Sevilla star Jules Kounde has attracted interest from the Premier LeagueCredit: Getty
    United, Arsenal and Tottenham are said to be keeping tabs on the star centre-back, whose impressive performances in LaLiga earned him an international call-up by France for Euro 2020.
    But Dean Jones recently told The Done Deal Show that the Red Devils are prioritising other defensive targets, mainly Real Madrid star Raphael Varane.
    The Manchester giants are initially looking to officially seal Jadon Sancho’s move from Borussia Dortmund.

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    Real Madrid star Raphael Varane is Manchester United’s top defensive targetCredit: Getty
    United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is then determined to sign a top centre-back that will partner up with Harry Maguire.
    But the Manchester giants are focused on Varane and Villarreal ace Pau Torres, who could move to Old Trafford in a swap deal that would see Eric Bailly going back the other way.
    That works as a major boost for Arsenal and Tottenham, who are highly likely to move for the 22-year-old defender.
    The Gunners appear to be prioritising Brighton ace Ben White but Manchester City have also joined the bidding war for the England international.

    Spurs new boss Nuno Espirito Santo is said to be keen on making Kounde his first signing in North London.
    However, both London rivals will have to splash some serious cash to convince Sevilla to sell their best defender.
    City tried their luck last summer but a bid of around £50million was not enough to do business with the Spanish giants.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Sevilla willing to sell sevilla defender Jules Kounde to Chelsea ahead of Man Utd More

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    Sergio Ramos ‘rejects £10m Man Utd offer after talks over free transfer as Arsenal and PSG eye Real Madrid legend’

    REAL MADRID legend Sergio Ramos has attracted interest from the Premier League after his exit from the Santiago Bernabeu, reports suggest.Ramos’ 16-year stint at Real came to an end last month after the player and club president Florentino Perez failed to reach an agreement over a new contract.
    Sergio Ramos has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal after leaving Real MadridCredit: Getty
    Los Blancos were willing to offer a one-year deal on reduced terms but the 35-year-old defender held out for a two-year contract and that standstill led to the former team captain’s departure.
    According to the Daily Star, Manchester United approached the Spain international and proposed a £10million deal, with the option of a second season.
    But Ramos rejected that offer and reports suggest he is close to joining Paris Saint-Germain, where he has been handed a straight two-year deal with his annual salary slightly minimised.

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    According to Goal, however, there has been no agreement between the player and PSG.
    The same source, though, confirms that the Ligue 1 giants and Ramos have indeed come in contact without a formal offer being tabled.
    Arsenal have also asked to be kept in the loop regarding the star centre-back’s future.

    United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to sign a top defender to partner up with Harry Maguire at the back.
    However, the Red Devils appear to be prioritising the likes of Real star Raphael Varane and Villarreal ace Pau Torres.
    Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, on the other hand, would also like someone to lead his backline but seems to be prioritising the signing of a midfielder.
    If Ramos ultimately joins PSG then he will reunite with former Real team-mates Keylor Navas and Angel Di Maria as well as fellow Spain players Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
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    Inside Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho’s bromance with new Man Utd star asking England pal to get transfer over line

    MANCHESTER UNITED look to have FINALLY got the transfer of Jadon Sancho over the line.And Old Trafford favourite Marcus Rashford may just have proved instrumental in making it happen.
    Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho will be Man Utd team-mates as well as England ones
    The two players are away with England at the EurosCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    The two players, both on international duty with England at the Euros, appear to have a bromance in full blossom.
    According to The Athletic, Sancho text his mate to try and get his dream move to United done.
    The 21-year-old wrote: “Can you ask Ed to pay the money please?”
    But it took almost a year later for it to look like it’s finally happening as United held on to get their man for cheaper.
    The Premier League giants will pay £73million for the former Manchester City youth player.
    SunSport revealed last month that the England star had already agreed personal terms with the Red Devils, worth £350,000-a-week.
    And Rashford will be delighted he will get to share the changing room with his great friend.
    Last month Rashford appeared to reply to a tweet that read ‘Announce Sancho Marcus’ with ‘yes’ – sending United fans delirious.

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    Could Marcus Rashford have played a key role in United securing Sancho?Credit: Getty
    Rashford and Sancho appear to be great friends off the pitchCredit: PA
    I stand by you all the way! Growing up in London a lot of the kids their parents struggled financially so having free school meals was a saviour! This one is close to my heart ❤️— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) June 16, 2020

    But the morning after the United star said it wasn’t him and that his account had ‘a little hack’.
    Rashford also shared a photo of the pair in England training, captioning it ‘little bro’ and tagging in Sancho.
    He has also described Sancho, 21, as his ‘favourite player in the Bundesliga’ when asked by a fan on social media.
    The pair have wished each other ‘happy birthday’ over social media, and Sancho was in awe of Rashford’s fight with the government for free school meals for kids.
    The incoming United forward replied on one of Rashford’s statements with: “I stand by you all the way!
    “Growing up in London a lot of the kids their parents struggled financially so having free school meals was a saviour!
    “This one is close to my heart.”
    Sancho will be hoping to create many chances for Rashford next seasonCredit: Getty
    Hilariously, Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham jokingly tried to break their budding friendship.
    Last year United marksman Rashford took to Instagram to wish his compatriot a happy birthday.
    Posting a picture of the duo on international duty, the 23-year-old said: “Happy birthday bro!! @sanchooo10 Enjoy your day, indoors!”
    The ex-Manchester City youth star was quick to reply, as he messaged back: “Thank you Rashhyy, appreciate it bro.”
    In a now deleted comment, Abraham then chipped in where he warned Rashford, “Stay away from my Jadon,” followed by a laughing emoji.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Man Utd wages revealed as Jadon Sancho becomes club’s second highest-paid star on £350k a week after £73m transfer More

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    Man Utd’s No7 shirt curse was too big for Sanchez, but can Sancho fill the boots of Best, Beckham, Ronaldo and Cantona?

    JADON SANCHO has FINALLY joined Manchester United – and is expected to take the ‘cursed’ No7 jersy.The England ace, 21, has completed his £73million move from Borussia Dortmund and will rake in £350,000 a week after putting pen to paper on a five-year deal.
    Jadon Sancho is set to take the ‘cursed’ No7 shirt at Man Utd
    Sancho will now follow in the footsteps of Old Trafford greats like George Best, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo in wearing the No7 shirt – taking it from Edinson Cavani, according to reports.
    But that has not proven a good omen in recent years with the likes of Memphis Depay and Alexis Sanchez crumbling under the pressure of its history.
    For 50 years, the club’s icons bore that shirt with pride, and did it justice.
    But since Ronaldo donned it for the final time in 2009, no one has truly dealt with the burden of expectation.
    Here, SunSport takes a look back at the superstars to wear the hallowed shirt – and how they fared…

    EDINSON CAVANI, 2020-present
    Edinson Cavani wore the No7 shirt for the 2020-21 season but is set to give it to SanchoCredit: AFP – GettySuccess at United
    Appearances – 39Goals – 17No trophies

    AFTER missing out on Sancho a year ago, United turned to Cavani, signing the Uruguayan on a free transfer after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired.
    Cavani went a ways to ending the curse of the shirt, scoring 17 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions in his first season.
    But Cavani was never a long-term solution to the problem, with Sancho set to wear it proudly for years to come.
    Will he live up to the likes of Beckham and Cantona or end up as another Sanchez? Speaking of whom…
    ALEXIS SANCHEZ, 2018-2020
    Credit: Getty ImagesAlexis Sanchez failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford
    Success at UnitedAppearances – 45
    Goals – 5
    No trophies

    After four glorious seasons with Arsenal, Chilean star Sanchez appeared to be a no-brainer when United added him to their ranks for £32m.
    And Robin Van Persie had previously shown that he could adapt from a move from North London.
    However, Sanchez has been a major disappointment – a shadow of the player who ripped defences apart at the Emirates Stadium.
    Just five goals in 45 appearances, he is deemed surplus to requirements – shipped out to Inter Milan on loan before securing a permanent move on a free transfer.

    MEMPHIS DEPAY, 2015-16
    Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Memphis Depay suffered curse of the Manchester United No7 shirt
    Success at UnitedAppearances – 53
    Goals – 7
    No trophies

    Memphis was immediately handed the No7 jersey by Louis van Gaal after signing for £25MILLION from PSV.
    But, despite the hype surrounding his arrival, it was just constant disappointment for the Dutchman, and he left to join Lyon on loan after 12 months, which soon became a permanent deal.
    Depay quickly rediscovered his top form with the French giants and has now joined Barcelona ahead of the 2020-21 season.
    The Dutchman managed just seven goals in 53 games he managed with United.
    GEORGE BEST, 1963-74
    Credit: Getty Images
    George Best celebrates his goal against Benfica in 1968 European Cup final
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 474
    Goals — 181First Division (2) — 1964-65, 1966-67European Cup — 1968Football Writers’ Player of the Year — 1968Ballon d’Or — 1968Ballon d’Or third place — 1971

    In an era where shirt numbers were not assigned, Best donned it in 141 of his 474 games.
    In 1966, he wore it in what is generally considered his greatest-ever performance, netting twice as United battered the great Benfica 5-1 in Lisbon — and against the  same opponents in the European Cup final two years later.
    Best is considered by many the most naturally gifted footballer to have come out of Britain.
    BRYAN ROBSON — 1981-94
    Credit: Getty Images
    ‘Captain Marvel’ Bryan Robson was always there when Manchester United needed him
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 461
    Goals — 99Premier League (2) — 1992-93, 1993-94FA Cup (4) — 1982-83, 1984-85, 1989-90League Cup — 1991-92European Cup Winners’ Cup — 1990-91European Super Cup — 1991

    Immediately picked up the No7 shirt, despite Steve Coppell still being at the club.
    ‘Captain Marvel’ was unlucky to play in a United side which failed to challenge for the title during the 1980s — and is the club’s longest-serving captain, who won 90 England caps.
    A leader whose influence was apparent as his two goals famously helped the Red Devils overturn a 2-0 deficit against Barcelona in one of Old Trafford’s most glorious nights in 1984.
    ERIC CANTONA — 1992-97
    Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Eric Cantona was the catalyst for Manchester United success in 1990s
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 185
    Goals — 93Premier League (4) — 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97FA Cup (2) — 1993-94, 1995-96PFA Players’ Player of the Year — 1993-94Football Writers’ Player of the Year — 1995-96Ballon d’Or third place — 1993

    First player to be officially assigned the No7 shirt.
    Cantona was the catalyst, who helped transform United from nearly men to Premier League champions.
    He won the title in four of his five seasons at the club — and the only time he failed to was when he was banned for eight months for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan.
    DAVID BECKHAM — 1992-03
    David Beckham graduated from No28 to No7Credit: News Group Newspapers LtdSuccess at United
    Appearances — 394Goals — 85Premier League (6) — 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03FA Cup (2) — 1995-96, 1998-99Champions League — 1998-99Intercontinental Cup — 1999Ballon d’Or runner up — 1999Fifa World Player of the Year runner up — 1999, 2001

    An academy graduate who started off as No28, before moving up through the No24, No10 and eventually No7 shirt when Cantona left.
    Beckham provided vital assists in the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in 1999 as United completed an incredible Treble.
    He wore the shirt during his peak years at the club and established himself as the best set-piece taker in world football.
    CRISTIANO RONALDO — 2003-09
    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
    Cristiano Ronaldo was handed No.7 shirt at age of 18 and thrived in it
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 292
    Goals — 118Premier League (3) — 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09FA Cup — 2003-04League Cup (2) — 2005-06, 2008-09Champions League — 2007-08Fifa Club World Cup — 2008Ballon d’Or — 2008Fifa World Player of the Year — 2008Football Writers’ Player of the Year (2) — 2006-07, 2007-08PFA Players’ Player of the Year (2) — 2006-07, 2007-08PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year award — 2006-07Ballon d’Or runner up — 2007, 2009Fifa World Player of the Year runner-up — 2007, 2009

    Replaced Beckham and, at the tender of age of 18, was handed the most prestigious shirt at the club.
    But Ronaldo thrived under the pressure and went from strength-to-strength.
    Won a trophy in all but one season and became United’s fourth Ballon d’Or winner.
    MICHAEL OWEN — 2009-12
    Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    Michael Owen wasn’t the worst player, but never justified No.7 shirt
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 52
    Goals — 17Premier League — 2010-11League Cup — 2009-10

    In the whole of world football, only Lionel Messi would have been fit to fill the huge chasm left behind by Ronaldo in 2009.
    Injury-prone Owen was nearly 30, had just been released by recently-relegated Newcastle and was only signed as back-up after United had missed out on Karim Benzema.
    Highs included a last-gasp derby winner, League Cup final goal and Champions League hat-trick, but never came close to doing the No7 shirt justice.
    ANTONIO VALENCIA — 2009-19 (No7 for 2012-13 season)
    Credit: Getty Images
    Antonio Valencia reverted back to No.25 after poor season with No.7 shirt
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 339
    Goals — 25Premier League (2) — 2010-11, 2012-13FA Cup — 2015-16League Cup (2) — 2009-10, 2016-17
    Europa League – 2016-17

    United’s 2011-12 Player of the Year was then handed the No7 shirt after three seasons wearing the No25 — and it was again worn by a right-winger.
    However, while Sir Alex Ferguson led his men to a 13th title, Valencia endured without doubt his worst seasons at the club.
    At the end of the campaign, he requested the No25 shirt again and there was no No7 during David Moyes’ reign.
    ANGEL DI MARIA — 2014-15
    Credit: Getty Images
    Despite his staggering fee, it was a disastrous spell in Manchester for Angel Di Maria
    Success at UnitedAppearances — 32Goals — 4

    United and English football’s then record signing at £59.1million.
    Di Maria arrived from Real Madrid after a man of the match performance in the Champions League final, and initially looked a good signing.
    But his form dipped drastically, and he became a liability. Sold to Paris Saint-Germain after just one season for £44m.
    Man Utd wages revealed as Jadon Sancho becomes club’s second highest-paid star on £350k a week after £73m transfer More

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    First picture of Old Trafford after Man Utd begin installing 1,500 rail seats for safe-standing trial

    MANCHESTER UNITED have started construction of their 1,500-capacity safe-standing section.The ‘rail seats’ will come into use once full crowds are allowed back into stadiums.
    Manchester United have began to build their safe-standing sectionCredit: Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
    SunSport has previously reported that The Red Devils were given special permission in April last year to become the first Premier League club to trial the new area.
    The initial plan was to install 1,500 barrier seats to allow supporters to either sit or stand in the north-east corner of the stadium.
    But the J Stand area was the one decided upon.
    And should the trial prove to be a success, it could be rolled out to different areas of the ground.
    There had been fears the coronavirus pandemic could have put an end to it though, with worries over social distancing.
    But United were still keen to introduce the trial, even with fans only allowed back at a reduced amount.
    United spent the lockdown period making renovations to Old Trafford, including a new area for disabled fans.
    Safe standing was introduced into English football after the Hillsborough disaster and subsequent Taylor Report.

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    When United announced the safe-standing development, the club were clear that it would INCREASE safety.
    Managing director Richard Arnold said at the time “Our belief is that the introduction of barrier seats will enhance spectator safety in areas of the stadium where – as with other clubs – we have seen examples of persistent standing.
    “It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy.
    “If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium.
    “We will now move on to develop the installation, compliance and licensing plan for the trial, with a view to having the new seats installed for when we can welcome our supporters back to Old Trafford.”
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    Man Utd star De Gea OUT of Spain’s Euro 2020 clash against Croatia after limping out of training with thigh injury

    DAVID DE GEA is out of Spain’s Euro 2020 last 16 clash with Croatia.The Manchester United goalkeeper was injured in training ahead of tonight’s showdown.
    DAvid De GEa has been ruled out of Spain’s clash with CroatiaCredit: AFP
    The goalkeeper hurt his thigh in training yesterdayCredit: Reuters
    De Gea, 30, took part in the session at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium yesterday.
    But he was forced out of the training drills with what is believed to be a thigh injury.
    Video footage later emerged of him walking along the touchline with Spanish medical staff by his side.
    He then went back into the dressing-room for treatment.
    De Gea is yet to feature for his national side in the tournament.
    He has played back-up to Unai Simon throughout the group stage.
    Now his hopes of earning a surprise recall to Luis Enrique’s starting XI for the Croatia clash are over.
    The star looks set to miss the match entirely with Brighton’s Robert Sanchez expected to replace him on the Spanish bench.
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    A statement from Man Utd said: “There are suggestions it could only be a minor injury for David, which would be a boost as, if Spain progress, they will face either Paul Pogba’s France or Switzerland in the quarter-finals on Friday.”
    He is the second United keeper to suffer injury agony at the Euros.
    Dean Henderson was forced to withdraw from the England squad due to a hip injury.
    He was replaced by Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.
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    Man Utd lining up transfer of Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga with PSG, Real Madrid and Arsenal all interested

    MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly lining up a move for Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga.The Daily Mail claim the Red Devils are turning their attention to the Frenchman once they wrap up Jadon Sancho’s transfer this week.
    Manchester United are eyeing up a move for 18-year-old Rennes starlet Eduardo CamavingaCredit: Getty
    The report adds that United see Camavinga as a more than able alternative to England ace Jude Bellingham – who they missed out on last year.
    Camavinga, 18, has just a year left on his current deal and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are said to have been alerted to the fact that Rennes are willing to cash in now rather than risk him becoming a free agent.
    Reports back in April stated that Camavinga would not put pen to paper on a new contract with the Ligue 1 side.
    He signed with Gareth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett at the end of last year, possibly in anticipation of a mega move.
    But United face competition for Camavinga with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Arsenal all interested.
    SunSport previously reported that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is willing to sell FOUR players in order to finance a move for him.
    United meanwhile would consider bidding for Camavinga after finalising their transfer for Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho.
    SunSport revealed earlier this month that the winger has agreed a five-year, £350,000-a-week deal to arrive at Old Trafford.
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    The news will come as a boost to the 21-year-old amid a frustrating Euro 2020.
    After being included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad, Sancho didn’t even make the bench for England’s opening 1-0 win over Croatia.
    He then remained an unused substitute against Scotland but was afforded a late cameo in the narrow victory over Czech Republic.
    Watch Eduardo Camavinga, 17, score stunning overhead kick on first start for France More

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    Gary Neville ‘bored’ by Jadon Sancho transfer to Man Utd as legend blasts drawn out saga and eyes more arrivals

    JADON SANCHO signing for Manchester United is now such a formality that Gary Neville has grown ‘bored’ of the transfer saga.The Red Devils are finally on the verge of sealing a deal for the Borussia Dortmund winger.
    Jadon Sancho is nearing a move to Manchester UnitedCredit: EPA
    Earlier this month, United agreed a £91million, five-year contract with Sancho – as revealed by SunSport.
    And reports suggest the clubs are closing in on a transfer fee in the region of £80m.
    Club legend Neville, 46, has admitted his exhaustion at the saga after his old team spent most of last summer being strongly linked with Sancho.
    Therefore, the sight of the 21-year-old finally stepping onto the Old Trafford pitch may not feel as special as he had hoped.
    Neville tweeted: “Manchester United closing in on Sancho again!
    “A transfer should be a joy and a moment of excitement.
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    Manchester United Closing in on Sancho Again! A transfer should be a joy and a moment of excitement . I’ve never been more bored by a transfer in my life to the point I feel like he’s already signed and I want to know who is next already. Not the lads fault at all I should say!— Gary Neville (@GNev2) June 26, 2021

    “I’ve never been more bored by a transfer in my life to the point I feel like he’s already signed and I want to know who is next already.
    “Not the lad’s fault at all I should say!”
    Sancho is currently with England at Euro 2020.
    Despite being yet to start a game for Gareth Southgate’s side, he is not expected to complete his Manchester move until after the tournament.

    Neville may not have long to wait to enjoy whoever may follow Sancho through the door with United plotting a busy summer.
    A new centre-back is on the agenda and Real Madrid star Raphael Varane is strongly linked with a move.
    Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is another target although Chelsea and Tottenham are set to provide competition for the France international.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
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