Erik ten Hag says Lisandro Martinez’s knee injury “doesn’t look good” and the concerned Manchester United boss is praying centre-back has avoided a “personal disaster”.

The 26-year-old looked crestfallen after being forced off on just his fourth appearance since returning from four months out following the reoccurrence of a foot issue.

Martinez was surrounded by concerned United team-mates in the second half after going down clutching his right knee having been landed on awkwardly by West Ham full-back Vladimir Coufal.

The Argentina international was able to continue for a short period, only to pull up again and eventually trudge down the touchline to supportive chants from the Old Trafford faithful.

Ten Hag is fearing the worst and says “we can only pray” that Martinez, who he signed from former club Ajax in 2022, has avoided serious injury.

“I can’t say (what the situation is) but it doesn’t look good, so there’s a big concern,” the United boss said after Sunday’s 3-0 win against the Hammers.

“But we have to wait for what is the diagnosis and then we can tell you more.

“Of course we do everything to get the right diagnosis and see what the damage is.

“He is very sad, very disappointed. We are all. We feel really with him.

“First of all, it’s a personal disaster when it’s really bad but let’s wait for what it is. But also for the team it’s really bad because he definitely brings us a lot.”

Rasmus Hojlund celebrated his 21st birthday in style as the summer signing’s fine opener and a brace from fellow young gun Alejandro Garnacho fired Manchester United to a 3-0 win against West Ham.

Fresh from 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo’s stoppage-time stunner settling Thursday’s chaotic contest at Wolves, the Red Devils’ talented young talents came to the fore once more.

Summer signing Hojlund rifled United ahead with his fourth Premier League goal in as many games, with 19-year-old Garnacho then seeing an effort deflect in off Nayef Aguerd before firing home United’s third against David Moyes’ Hammers.

The goalscorers and Thursday’s matchwinner Mainoo mimicked West Ham forward Mohammed Kudus’ celebration after Garnacho’s first goal, sitting together on the advertising hoardings.

It provided a fantastic image of three young talents that offer hope for a bright future at United, whose season has been bumpy for the most part but is starting to show signs of improvement.

The only negative for Erik Ten Hag’s side was the injury that saw a grimacing Lisandro Martinez replaced with 20 minutes remaining.

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes has pledged to keep the memory of the Busby Babes alive.

Sunday’s visit of West Ham is the closest fixture to the 66th anniversary of the Munich air disaster on February 6, which claimed 23 lives, including eight players.

It is also the first time without Sir Bobby Charlton, who was injured in the crash, following his death last year.

Fernandes said: “We know the demands of playing for Manchester United. It’s a legacy which is in the club.

“It’s a responsibility for everyone: managers, players, everyone involved in the staff to play in a certain way. But also to pay the most respect possible to those who have been at the club in the past.

“We want to pay our respects to those involved. They built the story of the club and, after that, even more. When bad things happen in your life you get tighter to those close to you.

“It’s going to be 66 years since the disaster and everyone is aware what was built after that and the whole situation around the club before and after.

“We’ve been educated since we arrived at the club to be aware of what happened. I’ve been to the museum with family and friends so we can know more about the history of the club.

“When you go you see everything, I have family and friends who are passionate about the club and when they come here they like to come to the museum. Most people in Portugal are aware of how it was at that time with the Busby Babes.

“Everyone is aware when they come to the club – because every year we pay our respects to those lost in the disaster – what happened. It’s a big part of the story of Manchester United.”

Erik ten Hag and women’s boss Marc Skinner will lead tributes at their fixtures, laying commemorative wreaths. Players will also wear black armbands, while families of the victims will be at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Ten Hag said: “Munich was a disaster for the club and how the club recovered from it, how individuals recovered from it. It was great from such a disaster to survive it and a couple of years later you’re lifting the biggest trophy in European football, that is immense.

“We should always remember this, this is the legacy why Manchester United exist and what we should match as a club, as a team, as an individual.”

Former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has retired from professional football.

Fellaini left Shandong Taishan in November after four years with the Chinese club and has decided to bring his 18-year playing career to an end.

The Belgium international, who made 87 appearances for his national team, started out with Standard Liege before lengthy spells with Everton and United.

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“I am writing this post to announce that after a career of 18 years, I am retiring from professional football,” Fellaini said on Instagram.

“What an incredible journey it has been! I am so grateful to have played the sport I love at the highest level.

“I am proud to have represented Standard in Belgium, Everton and Manchester United in the UK, and Shandong Taishan in China. It was an honor (sic) to have played for the Belgian national team at the Olympics of 2008, Euro 2016 and the World Cups of 2014 and 2018.

“I have played in front of the best fans in the world, and I want to take this moment to thank all of them for their unwavering support throughout my career. Your encouragement and passion have been a constant source of inspiration for me.

“As I embark on this new chapter in my life, I look forward to new challenges, but be assured, I will continue to support the beautiful game in any way I can.”

Fellaini won an FA Cup and Europa League during his time with Manchester United and helped Belgium to third place at the 2018 World Cup before enjoying league and cup success with Shandong.

Erik ten Hag says it is “not a secret” that he wanted to bring in a striker and admits Manchester United’s inability to sign one means he will have to be a “little bit creative” for the rest of the season.

The January transfer window has been quiet across the Premier League, thanks in no small part to the threat of its profit and sustainability rules.

United were in action during the final hours of deadline day, with teenage star Kobbie Mainoo brilliantly firing United to a 4-3 victory at Wolves deep in stoppage time on Thursday evening.

Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund were among the goalscorers at Molineux, but Anthony Martial’s groin injury means there are no other proven options to lead the line.

Omari Forson, 19, came on in place of Hojlund and assisted Mainoo on his Premier League debut, with Ten Hag needing to be similarly imaginative as United look for Champions League qualification and FA Cup glory.

Asked if he was confident he has the squad required to achieve their objectives despite not bringing in a striker, the Red Devils boss said: “I think it’s not a secret that I wanted a striker extra.

“Because with the injury of Martial we don’t really have back-up there, but it was not possible because we have to match the FFP rules.

“We have Omari, we have Amad Diallo, of course we have Rashford who can play there. I think for the rest, all the positions are occupied. But, yeah, we have to be a little bit creative if it’s up to the number nine position.”


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Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri were among those to leave on loan during a window that saw United focus on streamlining the squad.


But even getting wages off the books was not enough to free up the money required to sign the back-up striker he sought.

“There are some disadvantages on FFP,” Ten Hag said. “So, to make space for FFP, you actually have to sell players and you have to sell good players and I don’t think that’s the way how you build a team.”

United did, though, spend big over the summer, bringing in the likes of Rasmus Hojlund for a fee that could reach £72million and spending up to £47.2m on Andre Onana.

Mason Mount was the first through the door when joining from Chelsea for a fee rising to £60m but the England international has endured a nightmare first season at Old Trafford to date.

A hamstring issue and then calf complaint has restricted the 25-year-old to just 12 appearances, with the last coming against Luton on November 11.

“He was struggling from the second game of the season,” Ten Hag said of Mount, who has begun training on the grass as he steps up his recovery.

“He returns for a period and then picked up another injury, so of course that’s not great.

“That is very frustrating for him and I really feel for him, so I really want to be there for him because he had such high expectations and I had high expectations.


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“I’m sure he’s a very good player for us but, first of all, what’s now important, and we have to do it very secure, is to get him fit.


“Secure in the process, step by step, don’t force it, and then hopefully by the end of the season he can stay fit and find himself in the team, or at least that he play a role in this team.

“Absolutely, I expect him to return this season.”

The United boss does not expect Mount, Tyrell Malacia or Aaron Wan-Bissaka back to face West Ham on Sunday.

Sofyan Amrabat will return to training on Saturday after Morocco’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations and Ten Hag says Victor Lindelof is “on his way back” having returned to team training on Wednesday.

Rasmus Hojlund believes Manchester United have a “generational talent” on their hands in teenage midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

Erik ten Hag has endured an often ugly second campaign in the hotseat and has had to deal with injuries aplenty while failing to get those that were available firing.

The impending arrival of the ambitious Sir Jim Ratcliffe as minority owner has provided a shot in the arm midway through a difficult campaign in which the progress of United’s young players has been the highlight.

Alejandro Garnacho, 19, has established himself as a key first-team player and Mainoo, 18, followed a run of eye-catching displays – including his first United goal in Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport – with a jaw-dropping winner at Wolves.


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The midfielder’s bold run and curling stoppage-time finish stunned Molineux and secured his boyhood side a much-needed 4-3 victory after they had squandered 2-0 and 3-1 leads.

“I think it’s hard to sum it up,” summer signing Hojlund said after the chaotic clash. “A little bit annoyed because we switch off a little bit but so happy for us in the end. A generational talent in Kobbie Mainoo. He did well.”

It is high praise for a player that Hojlund hopes to join as a bedrock of the United team for years to come.

“We enjoyed things, spending time outside together,” the 20-year-old said of Mainoo. “I think I’ve said before that us young guys, we have a little group and we’re chatting to each other.

“It’s very cool to have other young players around the team and hopefully we can set an era for the club and be here many years together.”

Mainoo, like Garnacho, was part of the United side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2022 and caught Ten Hag’s eye shortly after his appointment that summer.

The Stockport-born midfielder joined the club at aged nine and has made 12 appearances this season – a figure would have been higher were it not for a pre-season injury sustained against Real Madrid in Houston.

“You can see his composure,” Hojlund said. “He is so relaxed on the ball, so much quality on the ball.

“Now he’s also starting to show that he has the scoring parts of his game as well. He’s a complete player.

“It’s not about taking the responsibility, he’s so relaxed, so calm. He knows his quality and he knows when he goes out there he’s going to perform.

“Everybody knows that from the team and you guys can see it as well now, he’s a top player.”

United’s belief in the raw 20-year-old striker Hojlund saw them pay Atalanta an initial £64million rising to a potential £72million to sign him in the summer.

Injury impacted Hojlund after his move and it took him until Boxing Day to score his first Premier League, having plundered five in the Champions League.

Hojlund’s bundled effort at Molineux took his top-flight tally to three goals and means he has scored in four of United’s last five matches in all competitions.

“We’re starting to understand each other better into the team and I think I’m getting used to the Premier League and the tempo and how we play as a team,” the Denmark international said.

“Of course (it is going to take time), but if you ask me I would have loved to score my first goal in September or October.”

Asked if he felt like his like his first Premier League goal would open the floodgates, Hojlund said: “Yes and no.

“I knew I could score goals and I’d shown it in the Champions League and at my previous clubs but of course opening the account it’s always like ‘OK, I can do it’.”

Erik ten Hag heaped praised on Kobbie Mainoo after the teenage star’s stunning stoppage-time winner sealed Manchester United a needlessly stressful 4-3 win at Wolves.

The misfiring Red Devils produced their best first half performance of the season at Molineux, where Marcus Rashford struck inside five minutes of his first match since last week’s reported Belfast escapades.

The returning star then played a part in Rasmus Hojlund’s bundled second, before United bounced back as substitute Scott McTominay scored shortly after Pablo Sarabia had converted a softly-awarded penalty.

But United wobbled and looked set to blow a much-needed win as Max Kilman scored before Pedro Neto equalised in stoppage time, only for Mainoo’s moment of magic.

The 18-year-old showed skill and courage to take on the Wolves backline, before bending home to win it at the death and spark wild United celebrations.

“To be honest, I had mixed feelings,” boss Ten Hag said after the breathless clash. “One side very pleased, of course it’s a massive win this.

“I think for a neutral fan, spectator of this game, it was great to see but as a manager when you see you dominate a game for an hour, you should go 3 or 4-0 by the hour, because we had the chances and we conceded nothing.

“But then the way we concede the goals we should manage that better on the pitch, this can’t happen.

“But then you see the spirit of the team and the resilience and especially in Kobbie Mainoo, that is great to see.

“We have the right character, the spirit in the dressing room is very good when you can show this.”

Mainoo was part of the United team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2022 and caught the attention of Ten Hag shortly after he arrived that summer.

The midfielder has made 13 appearances so far this term and would have played more had it not been for an unfortunate injury sustained against Real Madrid in a Houston pre-season friendly.

“I think very quickly I saw him,” Ten Hag said. “I think last autumn I saw him for the first time and at that moment I thought he was playing a little bit too comfortable in the Under-21s, he should be much more dominant.

“We pushed him a lot by that side, by pushing him in training and you see he makes such good progress and he is almost progressing from game to game.

“And of course, it’s wonderful to see and I hope he stays calm like he is, as he did with his goal as well.

“He is determined, he is a good character and I hope he keeps going with this progress.”

Ten Hag also praised Rashford as the United forward produced an impressive response to days of negative headlines and an internal disciplinary.

“I think the whole team played very good, Rashy as well,” the Dutchman said.

“Maybe you know that, you see the last games, there is coming about in the front line and if they get the service in the back they are a threat for every opposition.”

As for opposition manager Gary O’Neil, the last-gasp defeat was compounded by Wolves’ inability to bring in a striker on deadline day.

They made an approach for Chelsea’s Armando Broja but could not make the loan signing within the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, with the striker instead heading to Fulham.

“We couldn’t afford to do it financially, where it ended up,” O’Neil said.

“But we haven’t been deducted 10 points, we’re still together, we’re still putting in performances that show we’re all together. We’ll try and keep it moving that way.”

Kobbie Mainoo’s dramatic late winner fired Manchester United to a stunning 4-3 win at Wolves as Marcus Rashford shook off any Belfast blues.

The 18-year-old midfielder’s first Premier League goal shocked Molineux in stoppage time after Pedro Neto’s leveller looked to have snatched a point for the hosts just two minutes earlier.

Pablo Sarabia’s penalty and Max Kilman’s close-range strike had given Wolves – who initially came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down – hope either side of Scott McTominay’s second-half header.

Rashford had earlier scored and helped assist Rasmus Hojlund after being disciplined by boss Erik ten Hag.

He called in sick on Friday and was omitted from the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport having reportedly gone drinking in Belfast last week.

But it was an excellent comeback from Rashford, with United – who climb to seventh in the Premier League – inflicting Wolves’ first home defeat since September to end their seven-game unbeaten run.

Rashford was reportedly doing tequila shots during his Belfast bender and those in charge of the music on Thursday clearly saw the funny side, playing the Terrorvision hit Tequila before kick-off.

But the England forward enjoys Molineux and last season the 26-year-old was benched for being late for a team meeting before coming on to score the winner.

This time he took just four-and-a-half minutes to start his new redemption arc.

When Bruno Fernandes dummied Alejandro Garnacho’s low delivery Wolves were in trouble, and it got worse when Hojlund held the ball up and teed up Rashford on the edge of the box.

The striker then curled a fine effort beyond Jose Sa for his third goal in his last four games.

United, with two wins in their previous eight league matches, belied their poor form with an energetic start and Casemiro shot wide.

Wolves, though, managed to find some momentum – with Matheus Cunha threatening – only for the visitors to snuff out any recovery with a second goal after 23 minutes.

Again, Rashford was involved when he collected Garnacho’s pass and slipped in the overlapping Luke Shaw to deliver a low cross for Hojlund to bundle in ahead of Craig Dawson.

It sparked the United fans into chanting ‘Rashford’s on the p***’ as they cheekily saluted the striker.

Casemiro nodded Fernandes’ free-kick wide and Hojlund almost embarrassed Sa when he charged down his clearance, only for the ball to rebound wide.

The openings kept coming with Raphael Varane firing over and Hojlund’s celebrations were cut short a minute before half-time when he had a goal disallowed by an offside flag.

In stoppage time Casemiro also had a header ruled out and the one-way traffic continued after the break when Dawson blocked Fernandes’ effort.

It had been Wolves’ worst display of the season but they almost pulled a goal back after 49 minutes, only for Lisandro Martinez to clear Kilman’s header off the line.

Yet United remained on top and Wolves survived when Toti lost possession to Garnacho but Sa spared his blushes by saving Holjund’s effort.

There looked no way back for the hosts when Andre Onana saved Dawson’s deflected strike with his face but they grabbed a lifeline after 71 minutes when Casemiro clipped Neto in the box.

Sarabia buried the penalty – after a long VAR check – but United hit back just four minutes later when McTominay, with his first touch, nodded in Fernandes’ corner.

The hosts refused to go quietly, though, and Kilman hooked in from close range to make it 3-2 with five minutes left after Dawson’s shot was blocked.

There was belief Wolves could level and they did in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Neto fired in on the break.

But a chaotic ending was capped by Mainoo’s stunner when he rode two challenges and curled into the bottom corner in the seventh minute of added time.

Liverpool will not struggle once Jurgen Klopp leaves in the same way Manchester United did following Sir Alex Ferguson's exit, according to Stephen Warnock.

The Reds are still coming to terms with last week's announcement that Klopp is to depart Anfield at the end of the season, ending a hugely successful nine-year period at the club.

Parallels have been drawn to when Ferguson stepped down as United manager in 2013 and when Arsene Wenger left Arsenal five years later.

However, ex-Liverpool defender Warnock believes there is enough quality - and longevity - in the current squad to help the new manager pick up from where Klopp leaves off.

"There's a big narrative around filling people's shoes," Warnock told Stats Perform. "We look at Alex Ferguson, we look at Arsene Wenger, and we look at the replacements for them and go, 'Well, they didn't work.' 

"It's taken them years. People will argue Manchester United still haven't recovered from that, and they haven't got the appointments right. Some big, big names have gone in there. 

"But don't forget, Manchester United were on the decline. They were in a club that was always going to struggle. 

"When you actually sit back now and look at it, even a year away from what happened, you could have gone, 'Do you know what, [Ferguson] walked away at the right time'.

"That's completely different to what Liverpool are now. I'd say Arsenal were in a similar situation where the club behind the scenes wasn't in a great position."

Warnock believes the structure behind the scenes under Fenway Sports Group (FSG) will also help with the continuity, as long as the new manager can adapt to the owners' way of working.

"FSG are arguably one of the best-run football clubs in world football," said Warnock, who made 67 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions.

"Yes, they get the critics for not going out and spending £150 million on a player, but we don't hear Jurgen Klopp complaining about it. He totally understands why they work like that, what they do. 

"The next manager who comes in is going to have to understand their process, their logic behind the thinking, how they run as a football club. And they've got to buy into that straight away."

Klopp's coaching staff will also leave Anfield at the end of the campaign, while Jorg Schmadtke is to step down from his sporting director role later this week.

In the view of Warnock, that could prove to be the biggest challenge Klopp's successor faces - improving players who are not necessarily world-class when they arrive.

"One of the things that Jurgen Klopp did was improve players, him and his staff," he said. "They were a group of coaches who were able to improve players. 

"The next manager is also going to have to be a manager who brings in younger players who can improve those players and make them better. 

"I think what we often look at when we look at Jurgen Klopp and his recruitment and Michael Edwards and the team that was there was Liverpool never really bought. 

"People might argue and say Virgil van Dijk, but they never bought a world-class player. They made world-class players. And that's the remit behind the scenes for Liverpool, putting value into players."

Former Liverpool favourite Xabi Alonso is the frontrunner to take over from Klopp, having won many admirers at Bayer Leverkusen this season, while Roberto De Zerbi is another who has been regularly mentioned.

Warnock added: "You look at Alonso's record and you say 'phenomenal, absolutely incredible'. Then you look at De Zerbi.

"I think he's a manager who understands he works within the constraints of what Brighton do and they have a process of how they want to do things. He works within that.

"He never moans, he certainly improves players and the style of football is quite breathtaking at times."

Erik ten Hag says top players should not have to be reminded what is acceptable as the Manchester United boss looks to move on from Marcus Rashford’s reported Belfast escapades.

Having scored 30 goals for the Red Devils in 2022-23, things have gone awry this term and the forward’s paltry four-goal haul has been compounded by some off-field matters.

Ten Hag called Rashford’s decision to go to a party after October’s derby defeat to Manchester City “unacceptable” and stories emerged in recent days of more late-night exploits.

The 26-year-old is reported to have gone out in Belfast last Thursday night until 3am and was unable to train the following day through illness, going on to miss Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport.

United later said in a statement that “Marcus has taken responsibility for his actions” and the “internal disciplinary matter” is closed – something Ten Hag referred to ahead of Thursday’s trip to Wolves.

“So, he has taken responsibility and for the rest it’s an internal matter,” the Red Devils boss said. “Case closed.”

Ten Hag used the phrase “case closed” repeatedly, including when asked outright about Rashford’s reaction and whether the player had apologised for his actions.

But the Dutchman was more forthcoming on the obligations for elite players and the onus being on them to maintain high standards.

“First of all, the players at this level have to manage themselves,” Ten Hag said. “That is what you can demand from the player.

“A player has to know what is good and what is no good. When you want to play top football, it demands a certain way of life. Always.”

Pushed on whether he needs to reinforce that message, he interjected: “No. No, come on. We are talking about top football players.

“I don’t have to educate them anymore. When you are playing for Man United, they should know.”

Ten Hag underlined the need for accountability but says he takes potential matters going on behind the scenes into consideration when dealing with player behaviour.

“Of course, that is part of the job to support your players,” he said. “But also we have people in this club who are helping the players on that.

“But, as I said before, at the end of the day when you are a player at Man United you have to manage yourself and you have to take responsibility for your performance and your performance in a team.

“At Man United it’s winning football games. It’s all about that. It’s not so complicated.”

Rashford is not the first player to face internal disciplinary proceedings, with Jadon Sancho banished from September and Cristiano Ronaldo released by mutual agreement during Ten Hag’s first season.

Ten Hag brushed aside questions about whether the Rashford situation was a distraction or a test of his authority, but did speak about the difference to his handling of Sancho.

The 23-year-old claimed on social media in September he had been made a “scapegoat” after Ten Hag said he left him out of a matchday squad due to his training levels, leading to the exiled player leaving in the transfer window.

Asked to explain the difference in his approach with the pair, Ten Hag said: “We can sort out everything internal, but Jadon chose to go public.”

Sancho trained away from United’s first team before returning to Borussia Dortmund on loan, whereas Rashford is in contention for Thursday’s trip to Wolves.

The England international scored the winner as a substitute on the Old Trafford side’s last trip to Molineux, having been dropped to the bench for poor timekeeping.

Ten Hag disagrees that starting Rashford on Thursday may send out the wrong message and pointed to his absence at Newport, where he rejected the player’s offer to travel down on Sunday after two days off ill.

“I didn’t pick him on Sunday,” the United boss added. “We draw the line and from that point on we move on.”

Premier League clubs have largely kept their powder dry in this transfer window but could there be a flurry of activity on deadline day?

Here the PA news agency takes a look at what could go through before the top-flight window in England closes at 11pm on February 1.

Could Rashford make a shock move?

England forward Marcus Rashford is under the microscope again following his alleged hijinks in Belfast last week, which led to internal disciplinary measures being taken by Manchester United.

While United say they have drawn a line under the matter, Rashford is not as settled under Erik ten Hag as he might once have been.

Any departure from Old Trafford in the next day or so would still be regarded as a major surprise but Paris St Germain are reportedly keeping tabs on United’s homegrown 26-year-old.

Chelsea offloading before buying?

Conor Gallagher has been an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season but with just 18 months left on his contract and no sign of an extension, the England midfielder has been linked with a switch to Tottenham.

Fulham and Wolves are said to be tracking another of Chelsea’s academy products in Armando Broja.

But lightening the books could allow the Blues to follow up reported interest in Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran and Newcastle forward Callum Wilson as well as Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies.

Newcastle keeping busy

Newcastle were expected to be one of the biggest movers but they are having to juggle the restrictions imposed by profit and sustainability and financial fair play rules with a desire to strengthen.

Indeed, boss Eddie Howe said this week it was “impossible” to add to their squad without selling first.

Kieran Trippier, Miguel Almiron and Bruno Guimaraes have all been linked with moves abroad but Newcastle have managed to resist any overtures thus far and will hope there are no major departures on Thursday.

Blades want cutting edge defender

Rock-bottom Sheffield United have brought in Chile striker Ben Brereton Diaz and former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Ivo Grbic this month but manager Chris Wilder wants someone experienced to bolster his backline.

The Blades have shipped 54 goals in 22 matches – by far the worst record in the league – and Wilder says the club is working “frantically” to get something over the line before the window shuts.

Hammers go for Jota

With Said Benrahma reportedly close to sealing a move to Ligue 1 club Lyon, West Ham could target former Celtic winger Jota to shore up the wing.

The Portuguese only swapped the Hoops for the Saudi Pro League last summer but has been heavily linked with a return to the UK.

However, David Moyes’ side could meet resistance from Al-Ittihad given Jota has been in Saudi Arabia for just six months.

Erik ten Hag says his players have to be disciplined on and off the pitch as the Manchester United boss looks to move on from Marcus Rashford’s reported Belfast escapades.

The 26-year-old has been far from his best this season, scoring just four goals, and his decision-making off the field has brought further scrutiny and criticism.

Ten Hag called Rashford’s decision to go to a nightclub party after October’s 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester City “unacceptable” and stories emerged in recent days of more late-night exploits.

Rashford is reported to have gone out in Belfast last Thursday night until 3am, before reporting ill the following day and going on to miss Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport.

United later said in a statement that “Marcus has taken responsibility for his actions” and that the “internal disciplinary matter” is closed – something Ten Hag referred back to ahead of Thursday’s match against Wolves.

“So, he has taken responsibility and for the rest it’s an internal matter – case closed,” the Red Devils boss said, before repeating “case closed” when asked a follow-up.

What the papers say

Paris St-Germain are watching developments with Marcus Rashford at Manchester United. According to the i, the French club could rekindle their interest in the England forward, 26.

Armando Broja, 22, is being lined up by Fulham for a move ahead of the transfer deadline. But they are yet to approach Chelsea’s £50million valuation for the Albania striker, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals could be the next player to leave West Ham, reports the Daily Mail. The 27-year-old is close to sealing a move to Real Betis.

West Ham are looking at Portuguese winger Jota, 24, from Al-Ittihad to replace the outgoing Said Benrahma, according to the Daily Mirror. The Hammers are fending off interest from Wolves and Crystal Palace for England striker Danny Ings, 31.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Bryan Gil: Brighton are in talks with Tottenham over a loan move for the out-of-favour Spain midfielder, 22, according to the Daily Mail.

Amad Diallo: The Ivory Coast winger, 19, is keen on a return to Sunderland on loan from Manchester United, reports Football Insider.

Marcus Rashford is not the first player to have fallen short of disciplinarian Erik ten Hag’s standards at Manchester United.

The 26-year-old was this week subject of “internal disciplinary” proceedings after he reportedly went out in Belfast last Thursday night and failed to train the following day due to illness.

Ten Hag is sure to be asked about Rashford in his press conference on Wednesday, having already been among the players to irk the United boss since he arrived in the summer of 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The highest profile issue came with United fan favourite Ronaldo. The veteran was denied the move he wished for during Ten Hag’s first few months at the helm and, having missed the club’s pre-season tour due to a family matter, left before the end of his first friendly against Rayo Vallecano. The Dutchman continued to largely speak positively about Ronaldo in public but the mood soured in October 2022 when the frontman headed down the tunnel having refused to come on as a substitute in a win over Tottenham, leading to him being banished from the squad for the next match. The following month Ronaldo claimed to have been “betrayed” by United in an explosive, wide-ranging interview that led to his contact being terminated by mutual consent.

Alejandro Garnacho


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The teenager did not get anywhere near angering Ten Hag like his idol Ronaldo did, but he was one of the first to get a taste of his improved levels of discipline around United under the Dutchman. Fresh from starring in United’s FA Youth Cup triumph, Garnacho was dropped during the summer tour of Thailand and Australia after turning up late for meetings. The Argentina international has clearly learned his lesson, going on to become one of the star performers for United despite still only being 19.


Jadon Sancho

Sancho struggled for consistency after his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund in 2021, but his first season under Ten Hag started brightly enough. The winger then did not feature from October 22 until February 1 – a period that included an individual winter fitness programme in the Netherlands – but returned to help United win the Carabao Cup. However, things went dramatically awry in September 2023, when Sancho claimed on social media that he had been made a “scapegoat” after the Dutchman said he omitted him from a matchday squad due to his training levels. Sancho was banished from the first-team and this month rejoined Dortmund on loan.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford was dropped to the bench at Wolves last season for timekeeping, but that was quickly put to bed by all parties after he came on to score the winner. More problematic has been some of his off-field decision-making this season. Rashford went to a nightclub party after October’s embarrassing 3-0 home derby defeat to Manchester City – something Ten Hag called “unacceptable”. Now stories have emerged that he went out in Belfast on Thursday night, before reporting ill the following day and missing training. Rashford missed Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport and a club statement on Tuesday read: “Marcus has taken responsibility for his actions. This has been dealt with as an internal disciplinary matter, which is now closed.”

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has urged Marcus Rashford to think carefully about his “choices and timing” after the forward’s reported Belfast escapades led to an internal disciplinary.

The homegrown 26-year-old has performed poorly this season, scoring just four times, and the England international’s decision-making away from the pitch has also come under scrutiny.

Rashford went to a nightclub party after October’s embarrassing 3-0 home derby defeat to Manchester City – something his manager Erik ten Hag went on to call “unacceptable”.

The United academy product is back under the microscope after reportedly spending Thursday night in a Belfast nightclub, where he apparently stayed out until 3am before flying back to Manchester.

Ten Hag said the following day that Rashford was unable to train as he “was ill” and, having missed Sunday’s FA Cup win at Newport, the club said in a statement that “Marcus has taken responsibility for his actions”.

United called it an “internal disciplinary matter” that it is now closed, with former skipper Neville – Rashford’s former coach with England – hoping he learns from this experience.

“To me, going out for a drink or going out for a night out is something that every football player should do and will do, so I’ve got no problem with that whatsoever,” he said.

“They need to enjoy themselves. It’s just all about choices and timing.

“I said this after the Manchester City game. We got beat home by City a few months ago and he went out last night to Chinawhite. I think it was for his birthday.

“I think we had a game against Newcastle on the Wednesday in the Carabao Cup or something like that and I just said ‘look, choose your time’.

“I think Manchester United have just had a winter break. They’ve had a couple of weeks off, so there was a better moment for him to choose to go out.

“So, I would say go out, have your moment where you relax with your friends, but just your timing’s got to be right.”

United say Rashford is back in training and available for selection for Thursday’s Premier League match at Wolves after days of unwanted headlines.

Manager Ten Hag is sure be quizzed on the matter at his pre-match press conference scheduled for Wednesday lunchtime.

Asked what former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson would have done with Rashford, Neville told the BBC: “He would have given him a dressing down.

“But he would have said similar things – make sure you do it at the right moments, the right time.

“No-one ever says to a football player ‘you cannot go out’ but obviously when you’ve got a game three days later… Marcus himself knows.

“He’s an experienced player, we’re not talking about a young lad, but he’s done it a couple of times in the last few months.


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“I’ve always seen Marcus as being really responsible, a good professional, someone who works hard every single day and, look, he’s going through a dip in form at this moment in time.


“But it’s happened once, it’s now happened twice, and it sometimes can become your personality if you’re not careful.

“If you do it too many times, people can start to say ‘well, what’s happening in his life?’

“So, he just needs to relax, calm down, drink a bit of cacao, choose when to go out and get back to playing football at the levels which we know he can.”

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