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Liverpool midfielder set to join Manchester United or Chelsea after rejecting deal

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Liverpool are resigned to losing academy prospect Ethan Ennis amid interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.

The 16-year-old broke into the U18s setup at Kirkby last season and scored three goals across their run to the FA Youth Cup final.

However, he has rejected the offer of a scholarship this summer and looks set to instead join one of the Reds’ Premier League rivals.

Liverpool will now turn their focus toward negotiating a development fee for the player, with a tribunal a possibility if an agreement cannot be reached.

A post on one of Ennis’ social media pages this week suggested he was visiting Chelsea’s Cobham training ground ahead of a potential move.But reports emerging on Sunday suggest the Runcorn-born midfielder is in fact close to agreeing a switch to United.

Despite facing the blow of losing Ennis, Liverpool have managed to tie down a number of other talented youngsters to fresh terms this summer.

Kaide Gordon, Stefan Bajcetic and Calum Scanlon were among the 10 players who recently signed their first-year scholar terms.

Do you want an exclusive pre-season Liverpool preview – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.

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Man United

Ruben Neves could add a different dimension to Manchester United’s midfield

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HOME » NEWS(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images) 

Ruben Neves could add a different dimension to Manchester United’s midfield

Ruben Neves has had a fascinating career so far. His next step will define whether he goes onto become one of Europe’s best, or fails to fulfil his potential.

Back in 2015, Neves became the Champions League’s youngest ever captain. At the age of just 18 he led Porto to a win over Maccabi Haifa, breaking an individual record which had stood for 12 years, and it still stands today.

This was a sign of how highly Porto rated him, and it was certainly a peculiar move which saw him sign with Championship side Wolves in July 2017.

The move was reflective of agent power, with Jorge Mendes linking up with Wolves owners Fosun International. It worked. Neves accepted the surprise move and led Wolves into the Premier League at the first attempt.

Neves’ first season in the top flight helped Wolves secure a Europa League place, helping to inflict some pain on Manchester United along the way at the tail end of the 2018/19 season.

The 2019/20 campaign was an almighty challenge, with Neves playing 54 games for the club across all competitions as Wolves secured a top seven finish while reaching the Europa League quarter-finals.

Last season it all caught up with Wolves. Their upwards progression could not be maintained, and there were multiple reasons. The first was burnout from the previous campaign. Their relatively small squad was stretched and got no summer break, similar to United. Star attacker Diogo Jota was sold, indicating for the first time that Wolves were ready to start breaking up the team which had taken them so far.

Then disaster struck as Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull, leaving the team without a proven goalscorer. Manager Nuno Santo and the club mutually parted ways at the end of the season, to kick off a new era at the club.

Part of that new era involves Neves moving on to raise funds and allow him to pursue a new challenge. The Athletic report they will consider letting him leave for just £35 million.  Talksport this week claimed Manchester United are taking a keen interest. A report from 90min last month even suggested Bruno Fernandes has given the club a glowing reference.

Neves next move can take him back to the top

Neves needs to get back to fulfilling the potential he undoubtedly had as a teenager. If he stays at Wolves, he would stagnate. A rumoured move to Arsenal would not take him back to where he should be, they are no longer a top level club.

A move to Manchester United is exactly what Neves needs. He would get a fresh challenge, the chance to finally play Champions League football again for the first time since he was a teenager, and he would also enhance his international ambitions by linking up with Bruno Fernandes.

But is Neves what Manchester United need? United require a defensive midfielder, and there are various ways to go with this. Neves ticks plenty of boxes.

He has Premier League and European experience, and he is priced at an extremely reasonable fee, unlike Declan Rice or Wilfred Ndidi.

Even in a year in which his team took a step back in 2020/21, Neves’ performances held up well. He managed to score five goals from midfield in the Premier League, for context two more than Paul Pogba, who himself has an unclear future

Neves won the fifth highest number of tackles in the Premier League last season, and his total number of tackles and interceptions (136) was the highest in the Wolves team. It was also higher than all Manchester United players bar Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Where Neves also excels is his passing range. He has the ability to create from deep in a similar way to Michael Carrick. Getting the chance to train under the former United midfielder could really help him.

Last season Neves completed 406 long passes in the Premier League. This would rank him number one in the Manchester United squad. For comparison Fred managed 250, Paul Pogba 167 and Scott McTominay 155.

Neves had 62 shot creating actions in 2020/21. This would rank him sixth in the United squad, and this was playing for a more limited and defensive Wolves team.

It’s clear that Neves is a good player, and what he does next with his career will define whether he can become an excellent or even ‘great’ player who performs impressively at Champions League level.

For a fee of £35 million he is very much worth United taking a gamble on. He adds something different to the midfield with his combination of passing and tackling, and has potential to become a better player with more dangerous players around him.

United are unlikely to spend £70-80 million on a midfielder after spending so much on Jadon Sancho and hopefully Raphael Varane. £35 million on Neves is a very smart investment.

United would be buying low. In previous years he was linked to United for a £60 million fee. The drop in valuation does not reflect a decline in ability. After one season at Old Trafford his valuation could quickly soar to that figure again, or even higher.

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Man Utd agree £51.4million salary and announcement is very close – From Spain today

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Last night, we covered a report (via FI) claiming that Manchester United have agreed a contract with Raphael Varane and need to secure an agreement with Real Madrid to complete the singing.

Today, as per the latest update coming from Spain, we have the salary (figures) that the Red Devils have agreed with the French international and also the fee that will likely be agreed with the Los Blancos.

Transfer: Man United most interested in signing £43million wanted midfielder – Report

According to Sport (press image provided below), Man Utd have agreed a deal with the Les Bleus center half that will make him earn wages worth 60 million euros in five years (£51.4million).

As far as the fee is concerned, the Spanish news source have claimed that Real Madrid had been demanding 70 million euros for their prized asset, however, everything indicates that the 28-year-old will end up moving to Old Trafford for just 50 million euros (£43million).

The official announcement is very close. It is stated that the signing will be confirmed in a few ‘days, maybe in hours’

Sport further report that the capture of the former Lens player will see the Red Devils withdraw from the race to sign Jules Kounde (Sevilla). On the other hand, the Bernabeu outfit’s prime target to replace Varane is Pau Torres (Villareal), who is going to cost not a penny less than 70 million euros.

Raphael Varane is one of the most decorated defenders in world football and I think it would be a major bargain to get a world-class player like him for £43million.

As it stands, it seems that the Frenchman will join and form a central defensive partnership with skipper Harry Maguire next season.

Raphael Varane is one of the most decorated defenders in world football and I think it would be a major bargain to get a world-class player like him for £43million.

As it stands, it seems that the Frenchman will join and form a central defensive partnership with skipper Harry Maguire next season.

As it stands, it seems that the Frenchman will join and form a central defensive partnership with skipper Harry Maguire next season.

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Man Utd may look to sell four players after securing Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier

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With Manchester United close to signing Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and a move for Kieran Trippier seemingly getting closer, they may be forced to sell players.

The Red Devils are set for a busy summer having already concluded the long, drawn-out transfer of Jadon Sancho and look to expand in at least two more positions.

That would ultimately mean certain players may not play as much, opening the door for them to leave.

Here are four names that could be on their way out of Old Trafford this summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side look to balance their squad.

Andreas Pereira remains a Manchester United player having spent last season on loan at Lazio (Image: Getty Images)

Andreas Pereira

Andreas Pereira has largely been out of favour in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, especially since the signing of Bruno Fernandes in January 2020.

Pereira spent last season on loan at Lazio and while the Serie A side were keen on bringing him back again, Manchester United wanted a permanent transfer, which never materialized.

Andreas Pereira playing for Lazio
Andreas Pereira remains a Manchester United player having spent last season on loan at Lazio (Image: Getty Images)

Andreas Pereira

Andreas Pereira has largely been out of favour in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, especially since the signing of Bruno Fernandes in January 2020.

Pereira spent last season on loan at Lazio and while the Serie A side were keen on bringing him back again, Manchester United wanted a permanent transfer, which never materialized.

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The Red Devils still want to sell him with Pereira not likely to break into the first-team and at the age of 25, he will want regular first-team football.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham United and did well, even earning a spot in the preliminary squad for England’s Euro 2020 campaign.

In the first half of the season, though, he rarely featured for Manchester United and that is unlikely to change, with West Ham showing interest in the player again but unwilling to fork out a reported £30m to sign him.

Other clubs have shown interest, with Atletico Madrid the latest name linked, and this transfer saga is probably going to stretch into the final weeks of the window.

Who do you think will leave Manchester United this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

Like Lingard and Pereira, Diogo Dalot spent time away on loan in the last season too, going to Milan in Serie A, where he helped the club to a top four finish.

Milan’s Paolo Maldini has admitted interest in bringing Dalot back to the club and once again, United want to sell permanently rather than loan him out.

There has also reportedly been interest from Real Madrid, but any move down that line seems unlikely and United will want to sell considering he’s hardly in Solskjaer’s plans.

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