7am Man Utd news LIVE: Jadon Sancho gives Liverpool the eyes, Werner could replace Ighalo, Pogba should leave says Rio – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED are gearing up for a return to training but Paul Pogba has surprisingly been encouraged to leave the Red Devils by Rio Ferdinand.

Meanwhile a deal for Jadon Sancho is moving closer and Timo Werner is being lined up as another option up front.

Follow all the latest Old Trafford news and transfer gossip below…

  • CHEEKY SANCHO

    Jadon Sancho responded to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s calls for him to join Liverpool by giving them the ‘eyes’.

    Alexander-Arnold was on an Instagram Live with Michael Dapaah when he sung Sancho’s praising, revealing he would welcome him to Anfield with open arms.

    “If he came to us, he’d make our team better,” Alexander-Arnold told Dapaah. “So I’d be more than happy for him to come. I played with him for England and he’s a special, special, special, special talent.”

    Manchester United are thought to be leading the race for the Borussia Dortmund star.

    But Liverpool could be an option for Sancho, who sent Reds supporters wild when he replied to Arnold’s comments with a series of ‘eyes’ emojis after joining the Live.

  • MORNING UNITED FANS

    United stars were told to prepare to return to training on May 18… and wash their own kits.

    Andy Cole fought tears over his kidney transplant hell and admitted thinking about 'giving up' after the Red Devils icon's 's***storm' 5 years.

    And United are using Old Trafford’s kitchens to cook 60,000 meals for NHS heroes.

    In transfers, it emerged the Red Devils have reportedly offered Jadon Sancho the iconic No7 shirt worn by Cristiano Ronaldo in a bid to seal his £120m transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

    Aston Villa ace Conor Hourihane says Jack Grealish is 'too good' for the Midlands club as United chase his team-mate.

    And finally, Rio Ferdinand said he is excited by Man Utd's 'mouthwatering' front six next season if it includes Sancho and Paul Pogba.

  • PAY DAY

    Premier League stars have been told to ‘f***ing play to get paid’ with footballers set to miss out on thousands in contract bonuses.

    The Athletic discovered how footballers feel about returning to work during the crisis, with the season possibly due to be played behind-closed-doors.

    Players who have taken a pay cut are said to be “raring to go” in order for their wages to be restored in full.

    And others depend heavily on bonuses – with an unnamed star seeing their contract fall from £60,000 to £40,000 without being able to play.

    An agent said: “If you want your money, f***ing play.”

  • Mourinho, 57, said: “I can’t believe it. It’s strange, emotional.

    “You walk into the tunnel and dressing room and try to visualise what a normal day is. Then you see an incredible hospital facility.

    “I feel so proud of the club.

    “Any supporter that knows ten per cent of what the club is doing, it would be enough for anyone to be proud and non-Tottenham supporters to be grateful.”

  • CRACKING GUY

    Jose Mourinho is happy just being a ‘specialist in fried eggs’ right now.

    Tottenham’s boss has a new-found perspective after helping feed the most needy during the coronavirus crisis.

    Mourinho was stunned as he stood in the tunnel at the club’s £1billion home after doing his rounds picking fruit and veg and dropping it to the stadium’s distribution point.

    Dressing rooms were being used for counselling sessions while pregnant women had check-ups in the referee’s room and TV interview areas…

  • FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    Manchester United will use the kitchens at Old Trafford to cook up 60,000 meals for NHS staff.

    The food will be given free to four different sites across the city, with the first batch heading out today.

    Around 80 permanent and casual United staff have stepped forward to prepare the meals, which will benefit workers on the frontline.

    The club’s catering supplier Bidfood will then distribute the grub as part of a joint venture with Mealforce.

    United’s chief operating officer Colette Roche said: “It is an honour to provide this service as part of our support to the NHS.

    “We are all indebted to them for what they are doing to protect and care for us all.”

  • TOP SUPPORT

    Sky Sports are reportedly considering using CGI fans to solve the problem of empty stands in behind-closed-doors matches.

    I News claims should the Premier League return amid the coronavirus crisis, Sky Sports may fill the fan-less arenas with their likeness in CGI.

    It’s reckoned punters watching on TV may be put off by the lack of noise and visuals from the stands.

    And there could instead be computer-generated imagery should the Premier League resume this summer.

  • THE GREAL DEAL

    Conor Hourihane suspects Manchester United target Jack Grealish has outgrown Aston Villa and confessed: “He’s too good for our team.”

    Hourihane said during a podcast for the Irish newspaper, The Southern Star: “He's top, top class.

    “In terms of pure ability and sheer skill and technique level he's easily the best player I've played with to date.

    “He's just got that gift. He's skipping by the best players in this league so easily.

    “He's taken it by storm really.

    “You know the England team and getting that big move is only a matter of time because, if I'm being brutally honest, he's too good for our team at Aston Villa.”

  • AGUER-NO

    Sergio Aguero admits the majority of players are “scared” of going back to training during the coronavirus crisis.

    Aguero said: “The majority of players are scared because they have family, they have children, they have babies.

    “When we go back, I imagine that we will be very tense, we will be very careful and the moment someone feels ill, you will think: ‘what’s gone on there’.

    “It does scare me but I have just been here with my girlfriend, I haven’t had contact with other people.

    “I hope there is a vaccine so all this ends.”

  • “[But] there is no desire to end the season at this time. We want to play the games.

    “There is a great will to play the games. We simply can’t afford to not play but nothing will be done without government approval.

    “If we wait for a vaccine or herd immunity it could be 18 months without football and 90 per cent of clubs would go bust.

    “Even if we sacked 95 per cent of our employees, we’d still go bust because we would still have to pay the players.”

  • YOUR CHOICE

    Footballers will be able to refuse to play if the season resumes amid coronavirus fears.

    That’s according to an anonymous Premier League club owner, who claims “no one will be forced to play” as chiefs aim to resume action on June 8.

    A games schedule has been sent to all 20 teams ahead of a crunch meeting on Friday.

    But one Premier League club owner admits players who do not want to feature can’t be forced to lace up their boots.

    They told Sky Sports: “It will ultimately be the player’s decision. If a player doesn’t want to play, it will be their call.”

  • LONDON CALLING

    Premier League clubs are on red alert for a season restart as Chelsea are ordering their foreign-based stars home by the weekend.

    Brazilian winger Willian was given special permission to fly home to be with his wife and kids during lockdown.

    It is also believed that trio Kepa, Marcos Alonso and Pedro are back in Spain.

    Chelsea want them all back in London by Sunday as top-flight clubs start drawing up plans to resume training.

  • TESTING TIMES

    Premier League stars will be given TWO tests a week to see if they are clear of the coronavirus.

    And players from Liverpool to Watford are also going to have their temperatures checked every day in a thorough medical exercise.

    The doctors at the elite clubs have hatched the safety plan to be prepared for the green light to return to training and eventually play.

    It will mean around 18-tests-per-player over the scheduled nine-week period of training and then playing.

    And that number will work out at around 360-tests-a-squad plus a few more for management and other staff involved.

    So the Premier League are planning on finding – and funding – over 10,000 tests between the start of training and the end of the playing season.

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    It's many happy returns on his 39th birthday to John O'Shea.

    Who can forget this RIDICULOUS lob at Highbury in 2004-05?

  • NEUTRAL VENUES TO STOP CROWDS

    Part of the Premier League's 'Project Restart' discussions will centre around the use of approved venues, which may mean teams playing on neutral grounds and immediately throws up questions over competition integrity.

    Brighton chief executive Paul Barber says being unable to play all games home and away as planned would be a “further imperfection” on top of the already accepted imperfection of playing behind closed doors.

    The UK's national football policing lead Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts told the Press Association that playing all the remaining matches at their original venues would “present challenges” to the emergency services already stretched by the Covid-19 outbreak.

    There would be particular pressure points from a health and public order perspective on a match where the league title or another season-defining issue was on the line, because of the potential for mass gatherings of supporters. DCC Roberts said that will be in the league's thinking.

    He said: “In the first instance, football has to satisfy the Government that they can hold the matches and that it's safe for everyone to do it in terms of players, officials, coaching staff, broadcasters.

    “So you get that first stage of 'how do you make it safe to play football at the location?' And it may be that actually that mandates them being played at specific neutral venues where it can be controlled.”

  • BUDGET TRANSFER 5: AUBAMEYANG

    Arsenal's skipper has once again been in red-hot form this season, netting 20 goals despite the Gunners' enduring an awful campaign.

    The 30-year-old has just one year remaining on his contract in North London, however, and talks are believed to have been scrapped after months of haggling.

    Arsenal will not allow themselves to be pushed into a corner as they were with Alexis Sanchez, and will sell the Gabonese striker this summer if he does not put pen to paper.

    While United may be scarred by the disastrous Sanchez deal, the thought of landing one of the league's best strikers in Aubameyang for potentially as little as £30m must be tempting, especially as they'd be weakening a rival.

  • BUDGET TRANSFER 4: WILLIAN

    United and Willian spent seemingly the whole summer of 2018 flirting with each other back-and-forth, but no deal was agreed upon and the Brazilian remained at Chelsea.

    He is a popular figure at Stamford Bridge, having helped the Blues win two Premier League during his time in West London.

    But that time appears to be coming to an end this summer, with talks over a new contract having stalled over the length of the deal

    With Chelsea reluctant to offer the 31-year-old a long-term extension, Manchester United could swoop in to finally secure their man.

    Willian would provide an excellent, experienced option in the Red Devils' young squad… and be the perfect man to help nurture developing talent Daniel James.

  • BUDGET TRANSFER 3: THOMAS MEUNIER

    Talented right-back Thomas Meunier has been an excellent player for Paris Saint-Germain and Belgium over the last few years.

    But now 28, he looks likely to become a free agent, with PSG surprisingly not having moved to extend his contract at the Parc des Princes.

    Unsurprisingly he has gathered a lot of interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan… as well as Spurs.

    But the technically adept full-back could do well at Manchester United, with the Red Devils having previously monitored his situation with interest.

  • BUDGET TRANSFER 2: MIRALEM PJANIC

    Losing Paul Pogba may be a blow to United fans… but signing Miralem Pjanic in the process would certainly soften it.

    Pogba has hardly been a factor in the Red Devils' campaign having made just eight appearances this term.

    Bruno Fernandes' explosive arrival following his January switch has made United fans forget all about missing Pogba.

    And with Juventus reportedly willing to offer Pjanic in part-exchange to bring their former midfielder back to Turin, many Red Devils fans would surely take it – particularly with the balance that Pjanic could provide in midfield alongside Fernandes and Scott McTominay.

  • FIVE BUDGET TRANSFERS

    Over the next five posts we’ll look at some stars who United could sign on a budget, if Ed Woodward decides he won’t pay top dollar for new stars.

    1) Edinson Cavani

    United have long fluttered their eyelashes at the Uruguayan star.

    Now 33, Cavani is an all-time great at Paris Saint-Germain, having this season netted his 200th goal in 301 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions.

    While he remains a useful asset for Thomas Tuchel, he is widely expected to leave the Parc des Princes upon the expiry of his contract in the summer.

    Atletico Madrid were thought to be in the driving seat for the former Napoli hitman's signature, but no deal has yet been confirmed. In fact, L'Equipe claim that United are “serious contenders” to bag the legendary goal-getter.

  • TEST MATCH SPECIAL

    Premier League stars will be given TWO tests a week to see if they are clear of the coronavirus, reports ALAN NIXON.

    And players from Liverpool to Watford are also going to have their temperatures checked every day in a thorough medical exercise.

    The doctors at the elite clubs have hatched the safety plan to be prepared for the green light to return to training and eventually play.

    It will mean around 18 tests per player over the scheduled nine-week period of training and then playing.

    And that number will work out at around 360 tests a squad plus a few more for management and other staff involved.

    So the Premier League are planning on finding – and funding – over 10,000 tests between the start of training and the end of the playing season.

    The hope is for the best way possible of detecting any cases to make sure there are no victims of the virus in the top flight.

    It will take similar numbers in the other three divisions, adding to the cost faced by owners at financially-troubled clubs.

  • RED HOT MEALS

    Manchester United are delivering and sending meals to NHS staff and vulnerable people from Old Trafford.

    United have kept their stadium chefs in work making and delivering 60,000 meals around the area.

    NHS staff based at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who would normally have to provide their own meals while on-duty, will benefit from the service.

  • WILL HE OR WERN'T HE?

    Manchester United are set to enter the race for Timo Werner as part of a new data-driven strategy.

    The MEN reports that United are now using third party analytics on a larger scale than ever to decide transfer policy and have already decided upon Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish as their top targets in other positions.

    And it is said that this approach has led them in the direction of RB Leipzig forward Werner.

    However, the report also claims that they have not entirely ruled out turning Odion Ighalo's loan into a permanent deal.

  • BETTER HAUL SAUL

    Atletico Madrid may have to cut a deal with Manchester United for Saul Niguez to escape a financial “crisis” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

    While clubs worldwide stand to lose considerable funds during the pandemic, the Spanish side particularly risk having their budget slashed if LaLiga is cancelled early.

    Currently sat in sixth place with 11 games to play, Atletico will likely miss out on Champions League qualification and the riches that it brings if the 2019/20 campaign ends here.

    Indeed, even a restart holds no guarantees that Los Rojiblancos can clamber into the top-four when up against Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Getafe and Valencia.

    According to AS, via Sport Witness, a financial timebomb is set in Atletico's accounts could most easily be quashed with player sales.

    Chief among their most in-demand assets is Saul.

  • LETHAL IN THE BOX

    Huge boxing fan Wayne Rooney has shared this throwback picture of himself with Mike Tyson.

    The former United star is a keen boxing fan, but as fans will remember, he isn't too hot when getting sparked himself.

    View this post on Instagram

    ⚽️? #tbt

    A post shared byWayne Rooney (@waynerooney) on

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