12pm Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Varane transfer option, Roberto Mancini shock target, Hulk LATEST – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED return to Premier League action this weekend as they face West Brom.

But the Red Devils look set to miss out on a potential move for Brazilian forward Hulk who reportedly wants to rejoin Porto, while we've the very latest on reports suggesting Raphael Varane is a United target.

Follow ALL the latest Man Utd transfer news below…

  • Joe Brophy

    REAL COUP

    Manchester United are tracking Sergio Ramos over a stunning free transfer, according to reports.

    The Real Madrid defender is out of contract at the end of the season so would be available for nothing.

    And the Red Devils are exploring the possibility of making a swoop, report Marca via the Manchester Evening News.

    The Los Blancos captain will be able to enter pre-contract negotiations from January to wrap up a summer deal in advance.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would no doubt jump at the chance to bring into his side an experienced, top-quality centre-back and leader.

    And Ramos – who has 660 Real Madrid appearances, 178 Spain caps and 18 major trophies for club and country – certainly fits the bill.

  • Joe Brophy

    NEW REAL-ITY

    Manchester United target David Alaba wants a free transfer to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in January – and talks are set to begin soon, according to reports.

    The left-back's contract runs out at the end of this season and it is believed he already has his sights set on his next destination.

    But the situation is far from wrapped up with other European giants like Juventus, Manchester City and Barcelona prepared to offer big money to lure the 28-year-old to their clubs.

    Marca report that Real Madrid are very much the favourites and the Spanish club are getting ready to pounce.

    The article says Los Blancos are 'counting the days' to begin negotiations of Alaba's pre-contract.

  • Joe Brophy

    BACK WITH A BANG

    Former United striker Michael Owen has predicted the club to beat West Brom 2-0.

    He told BetVictor: “West Brom come into this after a string of poor results. Aside from putting three past Chelsea, they haven’t looked great at the back and have been equally poor going forward.

    “United have still to find their rhythm and they must find a way to get their best players all on the pitch at the same time, which is obviously easier said than done.

    “You can’t keep Pogba on the bench, and if he can’t secure a regular place in the side soon, he may have to consider his options.

    “For all United are inconsistent, they are up against a side that are really struggling, and I expect them to win this comfortably.”

  • Joe Brophy

    MAUR TO COME

    Manchester United managerial target Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly still open to becoming Barcelona coach, even if he has rejected the LaLiga giants TWICE.

    As a former Espanyol player and manager, the Argentine's past is thought to have ruled him out of the running for the Camp Nou job.

    However, according to Evening Standard, he was asked to take over on two separate occasions in the past year.

    Barcelona controversially sacked Ernesto Valverde in January and, although Xavi was the favourite, Pochettino is said to have turned down the job before Quique Setien was hired.

    Ronald Koeman then came in to replace Setien after the disastrous 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the summer.

    Once again, Pochettino reportedly rejected the opportunity and is now a year out of a job.

  • Joe Brophy

    EYE ON LAI

    Manchester United plan to scout Konrad Laimer when they play RB Leipzig in December, according to reports.

    And the Austrian midfielder could even be seen as a potential Paul Pogba replacement.

    According to the Manchester Evening News, United are preparing for the Frenchman to leave the club next summer.

    The report adds that the Red Devils will make the most of the upcoming Champions League clash to cast their eye over Leipzig ace Laimer.

  • Joe Brophy

    JACK POT

    Manchester United target Jack Grealish had a terrific international break, starting and starring in all three internationals against Ireland, Belgium and Iceland.

    He looks a shoo-in now for England’s Euros squad barring injury – and is confident he can handle high-pressure matches.

    The 25-year-old added: “I’ve got to stay level-headed and know now there’s going to be a bit of pressure on myself. A lot of eyes are going to be on what I’m doing on and off the pitch.

    “I’m old enough and wise enough now to control myself. But with the pressure on the pitch, that’s what I love.

    “All these big games, there are certain people it can affect, but I just thrive off it.

    “I absolutely love the big games and I love the pressure that comes with it.”

  • Joe Brophy

    NUMBERS GAME

    Premier League managers have urged league bosses to do a u-turn over five substitutes.

    In a stunning reversal of their stance, 15 of the 20 top-flight bosses agreed at a virtual meeting that the Prem should revert to having extra substitutes AND a bigger bench.

    Six managers confirmed they had switched their stance on the issue, now agreeing the risks to player safety given the congested schedule justified the change of heart.

    West Ham’s David Moyes has already gone public in conceding he had altered his stance.

    SunSport understands that among the other managers who believed the rules need to be changed were Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson, Brendan Rodgers of Leicester and Wolves chief Nuno Espirito Santo.

    And it will put extra pressure on club chiefs to vote for the rule change they have already vetoed TWICE this season when the matter goes back on the virtual boardroom table, potentially as soon as next week.

  • Joe Brophy

    GAZ TO PROVE IT

    Manchester United target Jack Grealish says he thrives off comparisons to Paul Gascoigne – but maintains they are premature as he has not even featured at a major tournament yet.

    The Aston Villa star, who shone again against Iceland, said: “I thrive off those kinds of comparisons.

    “I love Gazza, I’ve watched his documentary off Netflix about a million times.

    “I love his character on the pitch and off it. I love the way he played football with such a freedom and such a joy.

    “You hear people talk about him and say he was a joy to watch. I think that’s the biggest compliment you can have.

    “When people say it’s a joy to watch you, it makes me happy, because I just want to entertain people.

    “But I also want to be effective on the pitch, just like Gazza was.

    “Those comparisons are obviously far, far away because I haven’t even played a tournament like he did. He thrived on the biggest stage.

    “Until I do that, I can’t really be compared to him at the moment.”

  • Joshua Jones

    MORNING MAN UTD FANS

    Manchester United reportedly have the opportunity to sign Raphael Varane for well below £100million.

    The Real Madrid centre-back, 27, is considered one of the top centre-backs in world football.

    But the Manchester Evening News claim Los Blancos would be open to selling the Frenchman.

    In other news, the Red Devils could be without Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial for Saturday's showdown with West Brom.

    The club's official website has revealed that both players will be assessed ahead of the game at Old Trafford.

    Lindelof was forced off the pitch during Sweden's 4-2 defeat to France in the Nations League on Tuesday.

    Martial remained on the bench for France after he was hauled off against Portugal with a back injury.

    Meanwhile, United target Dayot Upamecano could decide his future as early as January.

    Bild claims the RB Leipzig star – who has attracted the interest of Arsenal in the past – has a £40m release clause in his contract.

    And the defender, 22, is anticipating offers after impressing for the German side.

    Finally, Roberto Mancini has reportedly emerged as a shock contender to take over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.

    Tuttosport claim Mancini is an alternative option – even though he lifted the Premier League with rivals City.

    But it is understood Mauricio Pochettino is still the firm favourite to replace Solskjaer should he be sacked.

  • sstreet

    WALE OF A TIME

    Here's what Daniel James did for Wales tonight…

  • Jake Lambourne

    TON OF WOE

    Premier League clubs are missing more than 100 stars just nine weeks into the season  – with Liverpool and Manchester United worst hit.

    Players like Reds' striker Mo Salah and Tottenham right-back Matt Doherty will miss the Prem return following the international break after failing coronavirus tests – but clubs are also reeling from a heavy crock list.

    Liverpool have ten players on their absentee list, compared to United's eight.

    And the Prem had a new record of SIXTEEN PLAYERS testing positive in its last round of Covid-19 tests.

  • Jake Lambourne

    NUN BUT YOU

    Leicester City are set to battle it out with Manchester United and Arsenal for Sporting Lisbon's Nuno Mendes, according to reports.

    The 18-year-old left-back has earned plenty of plaudits since breaking into the Sporting first team after lockdown.

    He is now the first-choice left-back for Ruben Amorim – starting all nine matches this season and helping unbeaten Sporting to the top of the league.

    And according to the Daily Mail, Premier League table-toppers Leicester are considering making an approach to sign Mendes.

  • Jake Lambourne

    TAKING THE MICH

    Former Man Utd striker Michael Owen has backed the Red Devils to beat West Brom 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

    He told BetVictor: “West Brom come into this after a string of poor results. Aside from putting three past Chelsea, they haven’t looked great at the back and have been equally poor going forward.

    “United have still to find their rhythm and they must find a way to get their best players all on the pitch at the same time, which is obviously easier said than done.

    “You can’t keep Pogba on the bench, and if he can’t secure a regular place in the side soon, he may have to consider his options.

    “For all United are inconsistent, they are up against a side that are really struggling, and I expect them to win this comfortably.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    LOF YOU GO

    Victor Lindelof is struggling with a recurring back injury as the Manchester United defender asked to go off in Sweden's 4-2 loss in France on Tuesday night.

    The centre-back lasted 66 minutes of the Nations League tie, having also been substituted in United's 2-1 Champions League defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir on November 4.

    And it means the chances of Alex Telles making his United debut in the Premier League at home to West Brom this Saturday are soaring.

    Aftonbladet quote Sweden assistant manager Peter Wettergren as confirming: “Lindelof was in a bit of pain after the match against Croatia, but said that he will give everything for the team.

    “He gave me a signal at half time that he would not go the whole [of second] half. Then I told him to shout when it is not possible. He was able to train okay and said ‘I’ll push as long as possible’.

    “He gave me a signal at half time that he would not go the whole [of the second] half. Then I told him to shout when it is not possible.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    UNITED FRONT

  • Jake Lambourne

    ALEX-AVI

    Xavi can become Barcelona's Alex Ferguson with a glorious long reign, according to Nou Camp presidential frontrunner Victor Font.

    Barca legend Xavi, now coach of Qatari side Al Sadd, is tipped to return next year, although initially he could work WITH current under-fire boss Ronald Koeman.

    And Font wants Xavi to emulate Fergie's Manchester United dynasty rather than Pep Guardiola's much shorter Nou Camp stint.

    Telecommunications entrepreneur Font, the favourite to succeed interim president Carles Tusquets in Barca's January elections, also hopes to keep star player Lionel Messi beyond the end of his contract next summer.

    The 48-year-old told Reuters: “We decided some years ago the best person to help us build our organisation is Xavi.

    “Ideally we can have Xavi as a general manager for many years like Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United. But if he needs to play a different role, he can be flexible. Few people have the leadership qualities he has.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    UPA AWAY

    Man Utd target Dayot Upamecano could decide his future as early as January.

    Bild claims the RB Leipzig star – who has attracted the interest of Arsenal in the past – has a £40million release clause in his contract.

    And the defender, 22, is anticipating offers after impressing for the German side.

    Upamecano has already clocked up 118 games for Leipzig and helped them to last season’s Champions League semis.

    He is regarded as one of Europe’s most promising centre-backs and has also earned three caps for World Cup holders France, even scoring against Croatia in September.

  • Jake Lambourne

    NO DEFENCE

    Premier League winner Danny Simpson has been branded a “trash bag” by his daughter's mum – years after the shamed footballer was convicted of trying to throttle her.

    Stephanie Ward has a nine-year-old daughter with the former Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Leicester City defender.

    The pair had a turbulent four-year relationship and Simpson was convicted of assaulting Stephanie five years ago.

    On Tuesday, Stephanie, 32, made a furious dig at the 33-year-old defender.

    She posted on Instagram to her almost 20,000 followers: “Choose wisely who you decide to have children with.

    “Co parenting with someone who lacks values, morals and the intelligence to assist you in life decisions for your child is a special kind of hell.”

    She then followed it up with: “Constantly torn between protecting my brand and letting the world know what a trash bag my daughter’s father is.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    'FUTURE IS YOURS'

    Reece James has celebrated his younger sister, Lauren, being called-up by England for the first time.

    The Chelsea star, 20, beamed on Instagram as he congratulated his sibling on her debut Lionesses bow.

    Reece has established himself as arguably England's No1 right-back – battling Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker for the starting spot.

    And now Manchester United star Lauren, 19, is hoping to lead England's women to glory.

    Lauren had been called-up for the Lionesses game against Norway on December 1.

    However, due to coronavirus, she will be forced to wait for her debut, with the match having since been called off.

    On the teenage striker's international call-up, proud brother Reece captioned his snap: “Congratulations @laurennjjames on your first @lionesses call up. Keep working hard. The future is yours.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    GREAT DANE

  • Joe Miles

    KURT OUT

    Chelsea's Kurt Zouma is the Premier League's best header of a football in the 2020-21 season so far, beating Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.

    The Frenchman has won a staggering 96.3 per cent of his aerial duels, according to CIES Football Observatory.

    Zouma has won 26 out of his 27 headed battles, easily the best record in the Premier League.

    But that success rate of over 96 per cent is also the best in Europe – not just in the 'Big Five' leagues, but the entire continent.

    Amongst Premier League players, only Maguire can boast a tally of 90 per cent or more, aside from Zouma.

    The Man Utd skipper has won 27 of his 30 aerial battles – a success rate of exactly 90 per cent.

  • Joe Miles

    OH MAN

    Roberto Mancini has reportedly emerged as a shock contender to take over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United.

    With the Red Devils slumped at 14th in the Premier League table, Solskjaer's future at the club has been questioned.

    Tuttosport claim Mancini is an alternative option – even though he lifted the Premier League with rivals City.

    But it is understood Mauricio Pochettino is still the firm favourite to take over at Old Trafford.

  • Joe Miles

    ED'S UP

    Edinson Cavani would have been a good signing for Liverpool, claimed Steve Nicol.

    The former Liverpool ace told ESPN: “Edinson Cavani is a good option coming off the bench for any team.

    “I wouldn’t have had a problem if Liverpool had signed Cavani for coming off the bench with 20 minutes to go.”

  • Joe Miles

    INJURY UPDATE

    Manchester United could be without Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial for Saturday's showdown with West Brom.

    The club's official website has revealed that both players will be assessed ahead of the game at Old Trafford.

    Lindelof was forced off the pitch during Sweden's 4-2 defeat to France in the Nations League on Tuesday.

    Martial remained on the bench for France after he was hauled off against Portugal with a back injury.

  • Joe Miles

    VAR FETCHED

    Manchester United have the opportunity to sign Raphael Varane for well below £100million, according to stunning reports.

    The Real Madrid centre-back, 27, is considered one of the top centre-backs in world football.

    But the Manchester Evening News claim Los Blancos would be open to selling the Frenchman.

    United tried to sign Varane way back in 2011 under Sir Alex Ferguson but were pipped when Zinedine Zidane – then working behind the scenes at the Bernabeu – intervened.

    So as the Lens teenager joined Real Madrid, United bought Phil Jones from Blackburn.

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