Rodgers ‘preferred over Conte for manager job’, Ronaldo Portugal EXCLUSIVE, Tottenham build-up

BRENDAN RODGERS is the preferred candidate for the Manchester United manager’s job, according to reports.

The Leicester boss has impressed the United hierarchy after guiding Leicester into two seasons of European football, despite the fact that they have agonisingly missed out on the Champions League.

And SunSport has compared Conte’s record with that of Rodgers to look at who is most suitable for the job.

That is after United’s 5-0 humiliation to Liverpool last weekend, which has led to the crows circling around Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian is understood to have a stay of execution lasting this weekend and next after multiple calls for the club to pull the plug on his tenure.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has announced he is expecting twins with partner Georgina Rodriguez.

And SunSport can reveal that the Portuguese star is looking to keep playing international football into his FORTIES with the goal of playing in the 2026 World Cup.

And on the transfer front, United have received a boost in their pursuit of Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman.

The winger is stalling over a new deal and the German side are reportedly unwilling to let him leave for nothing at the end of the season.

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

  • SOLSKJAER SPEAKS UP

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has looked back at a difficult week following the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool that has put him under immense pressure.

    Solskjaer said: “I think it affects everyone around, I spoke about it last week.

    “I think Mikel Arteta said something about what we have to deal with as managers in high profile situations and that’s what we’ve got used to.

    “I’m as focused as ever. I’ve had players come up to me.

    “For example I don’t read social media but when Paul came up to me, angry. We expect to be criticised, hands up, the performance wasn’t good enough, we don’t expect, we can’t accept when lies are made up.

    “Paul told me what he put up on his social media. We’re better than that as a group – the culture, environment is better, we can’t stand for blatant lies.

    “They’ve gotta stand up and say so. All the opinions and reports, fine, but don’t make up lies about players or me”

    GETTY IMAGES
    GETTY IMAGES
  • RODGERS REACTS

    Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers insists he remains focused on the Foxes despite reports linking him with Manchester United’s dugout.

    Rodgers is reportedly the United hierarchy’s top pick to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Rodgers said: “My focus is always here with Leicester and developing the football club and challenging for honours.

    “The directors, staff and players all have the same vision”

  • BERB-ING QUESTION

    Dimitar Berbatov issued a match prediction ahead of Tottenham’s clash with Manchester United, two teams the legendary striker played for.

    Berbatov has backed Spurs to inflict more misery on United after last week’s 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool.

    The Bulgaria great told Metro: “Unfortunately, I must say that I think Manchester United are going to have a difficult time after being humiliated by Liverpool.

    “Now is the moment for Spurs to play United and if they are smart enough they will win the match.

    “I think Spurs will take advantage in this one and I expect the crowd to really get behind them”

  • TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS

    Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo will make a late assessment on Bryan Gil ahead of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.

    Gil hobbled off during the midweek Carabao Cup win at Burnley with a hamstring injury.

    The winger now faces an uphill battle to be fit for tomorrow’s match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    Ryan Sessegnon, on the other hand, will definitely be sidelined due to a hamstring injury of his own

  • TOTTENHAM VS MAN UTD PREVIEW

    Manchester United visit Tottenham on Saturday for a major Premier League clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

    Under-fire United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has received a major injury boost as Raphael Varane is included in the squad.

    Varane is fit again after missing the last two matches due to a thigh injury he picked up during the Nations League finals with France.

    But fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba is suspended following his red card in the defeat against Liverpool

    GETTY IMAGES
    GETTY IMAGES
  • COMAN THROUGH

    Manchester United have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman.

    Coman has two years left on his Bayern contract but is yet to agree terms over a new deal.

    According to the Daily Mail, the German champions are keen to cash in on the winger this summer rather than lose him on a free.

    The Bavarians’ refusal to meet the 25-year-old’s wage demands is said to be one of the main reasons that he wants to leave the club.

    However, United have no issues with providing the France international the pay packet he desires

  • GOING RON AND ON

    Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo wants to make history by playing in a record SIXTH World Cup, reports SunSport’s Daniel Cutts.

    Ronaldo has already had a stellar international career with Portugal, winning Euro 2016.

    The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is also the all-time top international goalscorer with a staggering 115 goals in 182 appearances for his country.

    SunSport understands the forward is keen to play up in the 2026 tournament, being hosted in the US, Canada and Mexico.

    The 36-year-old is super-fit and keeps in top shape while having an outstanding injury-free record

  • CON HEIR

    Manchester United are leaning towards hiring Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers and NOT Antonio Conte.

    According to ESPN, United’s hierarchy prefer Rodgers due to Conte’s “abrasive” personality.

    SunSport exclusively revealed the Red Devils had drawn-up a four-man shortlist to replace under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Those are Conte, Rodgers, Zinedine Zidane and Erik ten Hag, all of which pose as early front-runners

  • NEWCASTLE LING

    Newcastle are interested in signing Manchester United ace Jesse Lingard ahead of the January transfer window.

    Lingard has been struggling to make Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting line-up and appears to be searching for more opportunities.

    The winger has been linked with a number of teams, including the Magpies who have just turned into the world’s most expensive outfit after a £300million takeover.

    West Ham are also said to be keeping tabs on the England international after his stunning loan stint last season

    GETTY IMAGES
    GETTY IMAGES
  • ‘PUNCH DRUNK’

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United need to take a leaf out of boxing champ Tyson Fury’s book when they get knocked down.

    Fury was floored twice by Deontay Wilder before composing himself to come back and claim victory in their heavyweight trilogy clash.

    Solskjaer said: “Of course, you have to hold hands up and that performance is not acceptable, and we have to look at why it was not acceptable.

    “I use the analogy that it felt like we were a boxer being punch drunk, knocked down in the first four mins or first round.

    “We had a chance, we conceded a goal, we wanted to sort it out, and went a bit too open and too frantic against a good team.

    “You see Tyson Fury when he gets knocked down a few times, it’s remarkable how composed he is and takes a count of five,six seven, he gets up and goes again.

    “We got up too early and tried to sort it. Minds have to be better but we’ve had to look at different things as well, the communication has to be direct.”

  • CON HEIR

    Man Utd are leaning towards hiring Brendan Rodgers and NOT Antonio Conte due to his ‘abrasive’ personality, according to reports.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, 48, is clinging to his job at Old Trafford amid a horror run of form.

    SunSport exclusively revealed United had drawn-up a four-man shortlist to replace the Norwegian.

    Conte, Rodgers, Zinedine Zidane and Erik ten Hag were the early front-runners.

    But that appears to have been whittled down to Conte and Rodgers.

    And ESPN claim Rodgers, 48, is leading the way, with the Old Trafford board worried about Conte’s ‘abrasive’ personality.

  • MARK MY WORDS

    Former Liverpool star Mark Lawrenson has predicted Man Utd to beat Tottenham 2-1 this weekend.

    The BBC Sport pundit said: “[Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer has got to make United difficult to beat. Forget any flamboyant football for now, they just need to start being more solid.

    “With the players United have got, they are a counter-attacking team. They need to start playing like one, and soak up the pressure and play on the break.

    “Don’t give me the spiel that just pouring forward is ‘the United way’ because the game has changed completely from those days. They need to build from back to front, and give themselves a proper foundation.

    “This is a tricky game to approach if you are a manager under pressure like Solskjaer is, but Tottenham are still quite scatty themselves so would not surprise me if United went there and won.”

  • ART DEALER

    Mikel Arteta has spoken on the pressure surrounding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nuno Espirito Santo.

    He said: “It’s always about the results.

    “We all know that and the rest it doesn’t really matter.

    “When you are having difficulty getting results it’s the same for everybody.

    “It’s not a nice moment for those who are going through that.”

  • FERGIE TIME

    Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lifted the lid on why Sir Alex Ferguson was at Carrington this week.

    He said: “Sir Alex came to do some commercial stuff and I met him afterwards and spoke to him for a brief moment.

    “I’ve been through some very bad moments here as a player – and when I’ve been a coach and a manager as well – and I’ve had to deal with setbacks.

    “There have been two or three crises at least since I became the manager here.

    “One thing I can say is I’ll always give it a good shot and fight back.”

  • OLE TRAFFORD

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed his side have had a ‘good week’ of training ahead of their clash against Tottenham.

    Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “It’s been a difficult week, we’ve had to deal with the result and the performance which we know wasn’t good enough.

    “That’s something footballers have to deal with – that’s why we’re in this game. You’ve got to look forward to the next game and make sure you’re ready for that game.

    “When you get to [the next] game you need to sort out what has been challenging you, and the problems from earlier on.

    “We’ve had a good week on the training field.”

  • WHO’S THE BOSS

    Man Utd are considering Brendan Rodgers and Antonio Conte as a replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – but how do they compare?

    The Norwegian, 48, is under increasing pressure at Old Trafford amid a horror run of form.

    Man Utd have drawn-up a four-man shortlist to replace him, should he be sacked.

    Conte, Rodgers, Zinedine Zidane and Erik ten Hag are all being tipped as potential Solskjaer replacements.

    But ex-Chelsea chief Conte and former Reds boss Rodgers are the most likely.

    Here SunSport compares the two.

  • HAARD SELL

    Gary Neville says Erling Haaland moved to Borussia Dortmund instead of Manchester United because of Mino Raiola’s sell-on fee demands.

    Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke revealed this week United offered more than his team ahead of Haaland’s RB Salzburg exit.

    Watzke said: “The offer from Manchester United was better. However Mino Raiola realised that Erling is better off with us.

    “People notice that gifted people make a breakthrough with us the quickest.

    “That is a resounding argument for the players, the parents of the players and the advisors. We have no inhibitions about letting 17-year-olds play.”

    And responding to the quotes on Twitter, Neville wrote: “Yes and we all know why.

    “He structures his deals with clubs that will give him a large per cent of the transfer fee when the player leaves!”

  • GOING RON AND RON

    EXCLUSIVE – Cristiano Ronaldo wants to make history by playing in a record SIXTH World Cup.

    The Manchester United superstar has already had a stellar international career with Portugal, winning Euro 2016.

    He is also the all-time top international goalscorer with a staggering 115 goals in 182 appearances for his country.

    And SunSport understands he is keen to play up in the 2026 tournament, being hosted in the US, Canada and Mexico.

    The 36-year-old is super-fit and keeps in top shape while having an outstanding injury-free record.

    Ronaldo and rival Lionel Messi are set to play in their fifth World Cup in Qatar next winter.

    Ronaldo will be 41 if he continues, stays injury-free and manages to make the World Cup in 2026.

  • MERS-ILESS

    Paul Merson believes Man Utd will get back to winning ways with this weekend and beat Tottenham 2-1 away in North London.

    He told Sky Sports: “Manchester United have a way of finding results in games like these. But if they do lose to Spurs and keep Solskjaer in this job, they aren’t going anywhere, are they?

    “They can’t keep drifting along like this – it’s already November! It isn’t really Ronaldo’s fault either, he isn’t getting the service. He’s non-existent at the moment, and he isn’t touching the ball.

    “If you want to keep him in the team, drop him back and play someone like Cavani or Greenwood up front. Give Ronaldo the ball and get runners around him. I’d get Cavani in the team and give Ronaldo a free role.

    “This is a must-win game for Manchester United. They just seem to find results in difficult situations, and I think that’s what will happen here. Manchester United are going to win this game, and it’ll paper over the cracks yet again.

    “They did manage a victory against Atalanta in the Champions League, and I think they’ll pull off something similar this weekend.”

  • REDKNAPP CONTINUED

    “They’ve bought themselves a bit of time but if they lose against Tottenham and then lose a couple more games, I’m sorry, but he can’t stay.

    “It’s difficult because it’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, of course he’s a well-respected figure at the club.

    “I said two years ago, it’s going to be like shooting Bambi.

    “But you have to sometimes look at what’s best for the team.

    “Even he will look at it and go, ‘I can’t keep my job under these circumstances’.”

  • GUNNAR GO?

    Man Utd is ‘like a holiday camp’ under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Jamie Redknapp.

    He told Sky Sports: “I’ve been in dressing rooms before when things aren’t working for the manager and that’s what it looks like to me.

    “It looks like that dressing room, in the kindest way, it feels like it would be a bit of a holiday camp.

    “I can’t imagine Solskjaer is going in there pointing his finger telling players what they’ve got to do.

    “Everything just seems too nice. Players are getting away with things and that’s a recipe for disaster in football.”

  • BRU-NO SHOW

    Bruno Fernandes has been ‘mentally bullied’ by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return, according to Paul Parker.

    He told Betfred: “The main player for me is Fernandes. I think he’s been manipulated by Ronaldo’s return and I think that’s affected him.

    “He’s allowed himself to be mentally bullied out of doing all the good things he was doing before.

    “He shirked responsibility in the Leicester game when he would have took it on himself normally but he decided to take the pass to Ronaldo.

    “He’s not grabbing hold of games as he did before. He’s not making opportunities anymore and you have to look at him and think to yourself ‘why is that?’.

    “And there’s only one reason – it’s because he feels he’s got to deliver to Ronaldo and I think there’s a few other players like that as well.

    “But he sticks out because he’s been instrumental in all that United have achieved up until this season.”

  • GOLD STANDARD

    England stars Bukayo Saka and Mason Greenwood have been nominated for the 2021 Golden Boy award.

    Arsenal defender William Salbia – who is currently on loan at Marseille – has also made the 20-man shortlist.

    The winner will be announced before the end of the year and will cement their place as the best under 21 player of the current calendar year – as Erling Haaland did last year.

    Another England star, Jude Bellingham, is included amongst the nominations after setting the record for the youngest player to ever appear in a European Championships in the summer.

    Others who starred at Euro 2020 including Barcelona star Pedri and Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala have also been included.

    Read more HERE.

  • DON THE MOVE

    Man Utd outcast Donny van de Beek reportedly turned down Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola before switching representatives.

    Earlier this month it emerged Van de Beek switched agents in the hope of leaving United in January.

    The midfielder appointed Ali Dursun as his new agent, replacing Guido Albers.

    Dursun looks after Van de Beek’s team-mate Victor Lindelof, as well as Barcelona stars Frenkie De Jong and Martin Braithwaite.

    But he could have joined forces with Dutch-Italian super-agent Raiola, according to journalist Mike Verweij.

    Raiola is said to have approached Van de Beek about representing him but he was knocked back.

    The controversial agent also acts on behalf of Erling Haaland and Gianluigi Donnarumma as well as many other huge football stars.

  • MORE TEDDY ON MAGUIRE

    According to Sheringham, Maguire could take a leaf out of Bruce’s leadership book.

    He said: “When you keep conceding goals, you need a big, strong leader and defender.

    “When United started their good reign, Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister tucked their full-backs in and told them they go nowhere.

    “They didn’t care how many crosses a young Gary Neville and Denis Irwin put in as long as the opposition didn’t put any in, they stayed tight and didn’t concede. A top player would win it at the other end.

    “It seems like everyone is doing their own thing and looking after themselves — and that’s not how a team works.

    “They need to stand by each others’ sides, dig deep in the trenches and work hard together to pull through.”



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