8pm Man Utd news LIVE: Cavani steps up fitness bid, Kounde transfer latest, Romero exit tilt – The Sun

EDINSON CAVANI will miss out on his Manchester United debut this weekend as he remains in coronavirus protocol.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have stepped up their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and United are eyeing a swoop for defender Jules Kounde.

Follow all the latest from Old Trafford below…

  • William Pugh

    ENGLAND 0-0 DENMARK

    4. Maguire is booked early on for a foul on Poulsen, it was a sloppy challenge from the Manchester United captain.

    Denmark have a free-kick just inside the England half with Eriksen standing over it.

  • William Pugh

    DE FALLOUT

    Spain boss Luis Enrique has defended Manchester United star David De Gea following his latest mistake and claimed blaming him has become an “obsession” and a “turn on”.

    The under-fire goalkeeper was criticised for his role in Spain's shock 1-0 loss to Ukraine last night.

    He found himself bizarrely out of position as Viktor Tsygankov struck what proved to be the winner 14 minutes from time.

    While critics rounded on De Gea, his boss Enrique came out fighting and defended his keeper from people who, he believed, had become fixated on him.

    He told El Chiringuito TV: “Blaming De Gea is an obsession and has become a turn on. The responsibility for each goal belongs to the whole team.

    “We need to improve and create more scoring chances. I am happy with what I have seen today, within the squad that opinion has not changed.”

  • William Pugh

    VAN DE BEEF

    Manchester United plan to beef up new boy Donny van de Beek with a strength programme.

    The Red Devils have been impressed by the former Ajax midfielder’s core fitness since he arrived in the summer.

    However they would like to add a bit of muscle over the next few months so he is more prepared for the extra physicality of the Premier League.

    This will mean putting on muscle in the right areas – so he can look forward to doing some heavy weights and resistance work such as pull-ups and chest presses..

    The club have done similar with other new faces in recent years – including Bruno Fernandes earlier this year and, most famously, Cristiano Ronaldo early in his United career.

  • William Pugh

    NO-MAN

    Bayern Munich have insisted Manchester United never approached them about Kingsley Coman despite him being linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer

    Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was quick to dispel any rumours of United's interest in Coman.

    He also said the German side wouldn't have considered an offer even if United did make one as Coman still has three years on his contract.

    In an interview with Sport Bild he said: “There was nothing, and we wouldn't have looked into it either.

    “His goal in the Champions League final should explain enough why we are relying on him wholeheartedly.”

  • William Pugh

    Pressed on his response to Project Big Picture by members of the DCMS Select Committee, Dowden said: “I've made clear my deep scepticism and concern about this.

    “This would tend towards a closed shop for effectively the six most powerful clubs in the Premier League.

    “More importantly there is a problem which football is perfectly capable of resolving itself, whereby the Premier League and the EFL just need to get together and do this deal.

    “From the conversations I've had we know the EFL clubs will not be allowed to go bust – and there are resources there – but we need a comprehensive deal.

    “This is a distraction at best from that and demonstrates we were wise to put in our manifesto the provisions for a fan-led review because it genuinely brings into question the ability of football to govern itself properly.

    “Football can show it can govern itself well is to get this deal over the line, where the Premier League uses its wealth to support the wider football family and the EFL comes properly to the negotiating table.”

  • William Pugh

    FAN BAN STANDS

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden ordered football’s warring factions to come together and save the EFL.

    In a clear statement of intent, Dowden told MPs the Government is prepared to intervene and force wholesale change on the game if it cannot sort out its most pressing issues.

    Dowden agreed that Gareth Bale’s Tottenham weekly salary was “perverse” when the sum could have kept Macclesfield alive.

    He attacked the weekend launch of pay-per-view Prem games and called on BT to make this weekend’s Merseyside derby free to air rather than being screened behind a paywall.

    But he revealed he had been “promised” that action would be taken to ensure “no EFL club goes bust” as a result of the Covid crisis.

    And Dowden admitted there were “inconsistencies” in the Government policy that has allowed some indoor venues to open to the public while fans are locked out of football stadiums…

  • William Pugh

    League One and League Two clubs rely more heavily on matchday revenue and have fewer resources at their disposal than Championship or Premier League clubs and are therefore more at risk, especially at a time when fans are excluded from attending matches.

    This offer will consist of grants and interest-free loans totalling a further £50million on top of the £27.2m solidarity payments already advanced to League One and League Two this year, making a total of £77.2m.

    Discussions will also continue with the EFL regarding Championship clubs’ financial needs.

    This addresses Government concerns about lower league clubs’ financial fragility.

    Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them.

    The Premier League and all our clubs remain committed to the safe return of fans as soon as possible.

  • William Pugh

    PREMIER LEAGUE STATEMENT

    All 20 Premier League clubs today unanimously agreed that Project Big Picture will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League, or The FA.

    Further, Premier League Shareholders agreed to work together as a 20-club collective on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football, consulting with all stakeholders to ensure a vibrant, competitive and sustainable football pyramid.

    Clubs will work collaboratively, in an open and transparent process, focusing on competition structure, calendar, governance and financial sustainability.

    This project has the full support of The FA and will include engagement with all relevant stakeholders including fans, Government and, of course, the EFL.

    Also at today’s meeting it was agreed to make available a rescue package which aims to ensure that League One and League Two clubs will not go out of business as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 and be able to complete the 2020/21 season…

  • William Pugh

    That move comes after the clubs agreed on their bail out package for the lower two divisions, even though Championship sides could use their own veto power to block the funds being accepted.

    The Prem sides recognised the expectation from the fans and pressure from the Government on them to help keep the lower league clubs alive.

    That saw what is effectively a “take it or leave it” offer to Leagues One and Two.

    The danger, though, is that Championship clubs are able to block any deal with the lower tier clubs.

    Under EFL rules, the Championship must be in favour for any policy to be agreed by the entire League and the 24 clubs would be certain to vote unanimously against a deal that cuts them out.

  • William Pugh

    PROJECT X

    Premier League chiefs will declare Project Big Picture “dead” after today’s club meeting.

    The two-hour summit ended with the Prem clubs agreeing to make a £50m bailout offer to keep League One and Two clubs alive.

    But there will be NO money available for Championship clubs.

    And despite the determination of Liverpool and Manchester United to keep their grand proposals alive, League bosses have agreed to make a formal denunciation which ALL clubs have been agreed to sign up to.

    League chiefs were this afternoon drafting an emergency release that will be signed off by the clubs before it is published.

    But SunSport has been told the statement WILL contain the stark message that Project Big Picture is dead…

  • Joe Miles

    DOR IS CLOSED

    Borussia Dortmund will NOT entertain any mid-season offers for Jadon Sancho, according to Sport Bild.

    The England star, 20, emerged as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's top target during the summer transfer window.

    But United were unable to reach an agreement with Dortmund because of the player's £108million price-tag.

    Reports claimed the Red Devils were set to revive their interest in Sancho in January.

    But Sport Bild insist Dortmund will not consider Sancho leaving until next summer at the earliest.

  • Joe Miles

    SPREADING FEAR

    Cristiano Ronaldo's positive Covid test has sparked Premier League fears that he could be a superspreader.

    The Portuguese football federation did not reveal when Ronaldo, 35, tested positive for coronavirus, however the news emerged just two days after he played against France in Paris.

    There are now concerns over whether Ronaldo spread the virus to any French  stars before, during or after their game at the weekend.

    PSG's Champions League Group H opener on Tuesday against Manchester United is now said to be at risk.

  • Joe Miles

    FREE TO A GOOD HOME

    Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba head the list of seriously big names who are now into the final year of their current contracts.

    And that means we could see some incredible free transfers at the end of the season.

    Messi threatened to quit Barcelona this summer but decided to honour his deal while Pogba made another ploy to try and manufacture a 'dream' move to Real Madrid over the international break.

    But with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero also running down their deals, plenty of clubs will be eyeing up some smart business.

    And could there even be a surprise return to the Premier League in store for Diego Costa?

    SunSport picks out some of the best players available for nothing next summer.

  • Joe Miles

    DIOGOING

    Manchester United outcast Diogo Dalot is wanted by AC Milan for the long-term with the Italian club prepared to make his loan move permanent, according to reports.

    The 21-year-old has fallen down the pecking order after the emergence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

    He left for AC Milan earlier this month but with the side having a busy schedule coming up, he is expected to get much more game time.

    Dalot made only a single appearance for United this season in a Carabao Cup win against Brighton before he left for the continent.

    Italian media outlet Tuttosport claim Milan manager Stefano Poli recognises the full-back's talent and the club are prepared to re-enter negotiations to make the move permanent in January.

  • Joe Miles

    MADE HIS MARC

    Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has made his MBE official on Twitter.

    The heroic England star received the honour for his free schools meals campaign.

    But he has warned Boris Johnson that his fight is “far from over”.

  • Joe Miles

    A HELPING HEND

    The emergence of Dean  Henderson as a genuine rival to David De Gea serves as a reminder of the vital role the EFL plays in our game.

    And why the Premier League should find it in their best interests financially to ensure clubs below them do not go bust by coming up with a pandemic aid package.

    Goalkeeper Henderson, 23, made his long-awaited Manchester United debut in the Carabao Cup last month and has been tipped to dislodge £375,000-a-week De Gea in the top flight.

    Yet without his time spent in the lower leagues, it is doubtful whether he would even still be at Old Trafford.

    Many EFL clubs are at risk due to a ban on fans until March at the earliest, with Burton chairman Ben Robinson warning some sides may not last past Christmas.

    SunSport have pulled together a star-studded line-up of players that have benefited from EFL loans.

  • Joe Miles

    SEEING RED

    Liverpool boss Gerrard Houllier “almost choked” when Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of them in 2003.

    The Merseyside giants believed they were on track to sign the Portuguese star for £4million.

    Phil Thompson, who was Houllier's assistant, told The Athletic: “For an 18-year-old, that was a lot of money.

    “But Tony said it was negotiable and I thought, 'Jesus, these lot really are trying to push him out of the door'.

    “We were keen, the boy was obviously a great talent.”

    Before he added: “I will never forget what happened next.

    “On the Tuesday morning, we were having lunch at the training ground and it came up on the yellow strap on Sky Sports, 'Manchester United have signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £12.2m'.

    “Gerard and myself almost choked on our food. I can remember Gerard jumping up and saying, 'What the hell has gone on here?'”

  • Joe Miles

    PAUL THE OTHER ONE

    Paul Scholes has urged Manchester United to prioritise signing Erling Haaland over Jadon Sancho.

    He told Stadium Astro: “I think Haaland is sensational.

    “I think he'll be up there with your Ronaldo's and Messi's levels from what I've seen so far.

    “That's why I just never felt Sancho was the right type of player because we've got three of that type of player already.

    “To spent £100m or whatever, I didn't think it was right. I wasn't that disappointed.”

  • Joe Miles

    RESCUE PACKAGE

    Premier League clubs are set to make a £50million bail-out offer to keep League One and Two clubs alive.

    But there will be NO money available for Championship clubs.

    And the top flight outfits are also expected to demand the head of English Football League chairman Rick Parry.

    The majority of Premier League clubs are furious at Parry for conducting secret negotiations with Liverpool and Manchester United that saw the EFL chairman become the public face of Project Big Picture.

    EFL clubs have come out in support of Parry, pointing to the promise of £250m immediately coming from the Premier League to the lower three divisions as a result of the plan.

  • Joe Miles

    SPAINFUL

    David De Gea has been slammed on social media for 'criminal positioning' that led to Ukraine's winner against Spain.

    A delightful through-ball from West Ham star Andriy Yarmolenko was picked up by substitute Viktor Tsygankov to slam the ball home for a 1-0 win.

    But it was Manchester United keeper De Gea who was heavily criticised for conceding.

    He was caught half-way between coming out and staying on his line – and it didn't go unnoticed by eagle-eyed footie fans.

    Olly Lovel wrote that the Spaniard's positioning was 'criminal', while Scott Rodgers asked why he 'was so far out'.

  • Joe Miles

    GREAT DANE

    Gareth Southgate is set to ring the changes for England's clash against Denmark tonight.

    The Three Lions boss is aiming for a trio of wins this international break after beating Wales in a friendly and Belgium in the Nations League last Sunday.

    United forward Marcus Rashford looks set to start up top, with Harry Maguire at the back.

    Here's how Southgate's side could look…

  • Joe Miles

    RON THE MEND?

    Ex-Red Devils star Cristiano Ronaldo is anxiously awaiting the result of a new coronavirus test he personally requested before deciding his next move.

    The 35-year-old was pictured late on Tuesday giving the thumbs-up and smiling from the balcony of his room at Portugal squad’s training base on the outskirts of Lisbon where he is currently self-isolating.

    He watched his pals train as they prepare to face Sweden in the Nations League they are looking to defend.

    It is understood the 35-year-old Juventus star demanded a new test by a different lab from the one the Portuguese FA uses – and is still awaiting the result.

  • Joe Miles

    BYE FER NOW

    Manchester United could be without Bruno Fernandes for FOUR games as a result of Cristiano Ronaldo's positive coronavirus test, a report has claimed.

    The Portuguese star, 26, may have to abide by UK government guidelines for a 14-day quarantine after coming into contact with an infected person.

    Fernandes and Ronaldo were part of the same Portugal side that drew 0-0 with France last Sunday.

    Portuguese outlet A Bola speculate that Fernandes, who has since given a negative coronavirus result, could be made to quarantine.

    Regulations in the UK state anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case must self-isolate for two weeks.

    However, United and Fernandes could be exempt from this because the rule does not apply to footballers who have been in athlete bubbles.

  • Joe Miles

    POG-BACK

    Paul Pogba still has the backing of the Manchester United dressing room despite openly 'dreaming' of a transfer to Real Madrid, according to reports.

    The Frenchman, 27, made his latest ploy to manufacture a move to the Bernabeu during the international break.

    He said: “Today, I am still at Manchester United and I am fighting to try to take the club even higher.

    “Yes, all footballers would like to play for Real Madrid. Maybe it is a dream. It is a dream for me, why not one day?”

    But according to the Manchester Evening News, the comments have not done any harm to the midfielder's popularity among his team-mates.

  • Joe Miles

    TROUBLE BRUING?

    Bruno Fernandes has lost faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Duncan Castles of the Transfer Window Podcast.

    A number of other players in the Manchester United dressing room allegedly agree that Solskjaer is not up for the job.

    Fernandes is also reportedly annoyed at the club's transfer business this summer.

    The midfielder stormed down the tunnel at half-time of United's defeat to Tottenham.

    It is understood that then he launched a scathing attack at the manager and slated his tactics.

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