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Senior Man Utd figures turn on Ronaldo as Ten Hag issue sparks mass clear-out talk

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Sections of the hierarchy at Man Utd have concluded Cristiano Ronaldo must be axed this summer amid fears over the playing style of manager-to-be Erik ten Hag.

The Ajax boss, 52, appears on course to become the next permanent manager at Manchester United. Ten Hag would bring a winning mentality having helped Ajax to dominate Dutch football since taking charge in 2017.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano recently detailed why a total agreement is yet to be reached.

The trusted journalist revealed Ten Hag is angling to ensure he has sufficient power to oversee the project as he sees fit.

Furthermore, Romano noted discussions with Manchester United chiefs are still ongoing with avoiding disastrous transfer mistakes that have plagued recent managers on Ten Hag’s mind.

While it would be a stretch to put Cristiano Ronaldo’s return in that category, few can argue the Portuguese icon was not the type of addition the club needed last summer.

And per the Daily Mail, if Ten Hag does get the job, Ronaldo could be pushed out of the door before playing a game under the Dutchman.

They state ‘senior figures’ at Old Trafford have concluded that Ronaldo should be ‘encouraged to leave’ in the summer.

Ronaldo has another year left on his contract, while the club hold an option for a further 12 months.

Ronaldo could lead exodus of senior stars

The reasoning behind this new stance stems from the type of football Ten Hag would implement.

The Dutchman deploys a high intensity, pressing style in Amsterdam. At 37, Ronaldo is clearly unsuited to that style of play.

Ronaldo was again a passenger on Saturday as United fell to a dismal 1-0 defeat against Everton.

The striker has shown flashes of his mercurial best this season, though there are seemingly doubts as to whether Ten Hag should be saddled with such a huge question mark to begin his reign.

The article adds ‘other older players’ could also be moved on who are also ‘unable to play in such a system’.

No further names are mentioned, though common sense would dictate the likes of Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata will be at risk. The latter two are free agents this summer anyway.

Whether United would indeed axe Ronaldo after just one year remains to be seen.

The report indicates the decision could be made by Joel Glazer and the board, thus suggesting the call may be made with commercial and financial reasons in mind, not footballing ones.

 

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4 Sheffield Wednesday transfer matters that Darren Moore will have to deal with very soon

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The 2021/22 season ended in agonising style for Sheffield Wednesday, as Patrick Roberts’ stoppage time strike for Sunderland knocked the Owls out of the League One play-offs at the semi final stage.

As a result, Darren Moore must now prepare his team for another campaign in the third-tier of English football, when they will again be looking to secure promotion back to the Championship.

That leaves the club facing a rather busy summer in the transfer market, as they look to put together a squad that can take up during the 2022/23 season.

Moore wll no doubt want to get that business done quickly, to give his side the best possible chance to be fully prepared for the start of the new campaign.

So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at four transfer issues at Sheffield Wednesday that Moore may have to deal with sooner rather than later.

Lee Gregory

One player who stood out for Sheffield Wednesday this season was Lee Gregory, the striker ending the campaign as the Owls’ top scorer with 17 goals in 39 games.

That is something that is starting to see interest in the 33-year-old emerge from elsewhere, with Middlesbrough, Wigan and Derby all reportedly keen on the striker.

Moore therefore, will no doubt want a decision on Gregory’s future quickly, then he knows whether or not he can plan around the 33-year-old for next season, or if he needs to go out and find a new option to lead the line, something he will not want to have to rush in the final days of the window.

Can you get 24/24 on this Sheffield Wednesday quiz?



1. When did Sheffield Wednesday last beat Sheffield United in a competitive game?




Massimo Luongo

Of those who are out of contract at Sheffield Wednesday this summer, Massimo Luongo is one that Moore could have a big decision to make over.

Injuries again restricted the midfielder at times this season, but there is no doubting he still possesses the quality to compete in the Championship, let alone League One, while even the likes of Barry Bannan have been calling for the 29-year-old to be handed a new deal.

As a result, there is some pressure Moore to make a decision on what to do over Luongo’s future, and even if they do decide to offer him a contract, there will be the issue of the two parties coming to an agreement over the nature of the deal.

Central defensive loan decisions

On position where Sheffield Wednesday have some big decisions to make is at centre back, where there are a number of loan players that have futures to be decided.

While injuries meant Liam Gibson’s spell on loan from Everton never really worked out, Harlee Dean and Jordan Storey have both had important parts to play since joining temporarily from Birmingham and Preston respectively in January.

Given the end of those loans means the Owls may now be short on options at the heart of their defence, Moore may have to decide quickly whether he attempts to bring any of those players back as he looks to build a defensive foundation for next season, which will also depend on the stance of the parent clubs of those individuals.

A new goalkeeper

Another player who sees his loan spell at Hillsborough end this summer is Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who spent much of this season as Sheffield Wednesday’s first choice goalkeeper.

With Joe Wildsmith also out of contract this summer, that leaves Cameron Dawson – who spent this season winning promotion from League Two on loan at Exeter – as the only goalkeeper on the books at Hillsborough.

That therefore, means some additions between ...s will be important for the Owls this summer, especially considering Dawson has previously struggled to establish himself as Wednesday’s number one at times when he has been given the chance to do so.

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Bristol City keeping tabs on 25-year-old

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Championship side Bristol City currently have Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota on their radar, according to Bristol Live.

The 25-year-old’s 2021/22 campaign was heavily disrupted by injury issues, making just 20 league appearances and was a big miss for the Royals who struggled at the wrong end of the Championship table.

Unfortunately for his current side, his contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium expires in under two months and it’s currently unclear whether the academy graduate will put pen to paper on fresh terms in Berkshire, though a contract has been offered to the midfielder according to Berkshire Live.

Quiz: Can you name which club Bristol City sold these 23 players to from the last decade?

The Robins currently have several midfielders on their shortlist heading into the summer with Andy King’s contract expiring this summer and no guarantees he will remain at Ashton Gate, with Han-Noah Massengo’s future also uncertain amid interest from the Premier League.

As per the same Bristol Live report, they may face competition from other sides for Rinomhota’s signature, although they are expected to engage in discussions with the player’s representatives before the end of the month regarding a potential agreement.

Because of the business plan the Royals agreed with the EFL back in November, they are restricted in the salary they can offer the midfielder with other key first-teamers to tie down as well, increasing uncertainty over his future with Nigel Pearson’s men potentially set to make an offer of their own.

The Verdict:

This would be a good addition for the Robins – because he is an accomplished midfielder in the second tier and certainly has enough experience under his belt to be a decent asset for them.

Possessing the energy and physical presence in midfield to be a good asset both defensively and offensively, this would be a low-risk signing for Pearson and there’s even the chance they could sell him on for a handsome fee in the future.

He may be 25 – but you just feel there’s room for him to improve further and if he does – they could easily sell him at 27 or 28 for a seven-figure fee – a fee that could potentially help them to abide by the EFL’s financial rules.

Rinomhota is one of the better out-of-contract midfielders out there along with teammate Josh Laurent, although a deal to recruit the former may be more realistic with the latter previously attracting interest from Brighton, Rangers and Nottingham Forest.

However, the 25-year-old is an academy graduate so the Royals will be hoping that he chooses them over Pearson’s side if given the opportunity, even if the salary on offer is slightly higher at Ashton Gate.

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