Manchester United are preparing to welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford on Thursday in the Premier League. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s wards are lagging behind Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to finish fourth and need all three points against the Blues.
Meanwhile, Marco van Basten has advised incoming manager Erik ten Hag not to drop Cristiano Ronaldo. Elsewhere, former United defender Rio Ferdinand has said that a Liverpool midfielder wanted to join the Red Devils.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Manchester United transfer stories as on 26th April 2022:
Marco van Basten advises Erik ten Hag not to drop Cristiano Ronaldo
Dutch legend Marco van Basten has advised Erik ten Hag not to drop Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting XI.
The Ajax manager will take charge at Manchester United this summer. Ten Hag is expected to make crucial decisions regarding the squad ahead of the summer, with Ronaldo tipped to face the sack.
However, speaking on The Rondo Show as relayed by The Independent, Van Basten tipped Ronaldo to shine under Ten Hag.
“If Ronaldo carries on playing like he did last week (against Norwich) and scores two or three goals in a match on a regular basis, there is no need to take him out of the team,” said Van Basten.
“Ronaldo is a player who does his own thing, but as long as he delivers, you have to give him a place in the team. Ten Hag will take into account that he cannot ask the same things physically from Cristiano Ronaldo that he will be asking of an 18-year-old. Of course Ronaldo will need to work hard – but I am sure he will work hard because I can see Ten Hag having an influence on him to get him to play how he wants.”
Ronaldo is United’s top scorer across competition this season, with 21 strikes. However, he’s all set to endure a first trophyless campaign in 12 years and possibly no UEFA Champions League football next season if he remains at United.
Thiago Alcantara wanted to join Manchester United, says Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has said that Thiago Alcantara wanted to join the Red Devils before moving to Anfield. The Spaniard has been on a good run of form this season for Liverpool.
Speaking on his “Vive with Five” podcast, Ferdinand heaped praise on Alcantara, saying:
“Thiago has been the standout midfielder; for the last few weeks and months, he’s been absolutely top. You look at his stats? Thiago’s pass accuracy, by the way, in the last two games against Everton and Man Utd: 98.4 % against Everton and 95.6% against Man Utd; that is ridiculous.”
“I spoke to him at the time. He speaks perfect English; he was a great guy, wanted to come to United. But you look at him now, and he couldn’t be happier. What I would like to talk about just with Thiago and finish it with him is that Thiago you could have gone to a huge amount of the fanbase after last season and would have said he isn’t good enough for us; he isn’t the player he thought he was, German League, Bundesliga he’s slowing us down let’s get him out.”
The Englishman also hit back at former players who had previously criticised Alcantara. He said:
“There were ex-players I saw saying he’s side to side, doesn’t play the ball forward; he isn’t ready-made for this league. Players need time. It goes back to this thing with managers and Man Utd as well, the club need to give the manager at Man Utd patience; the club need and the fans need to give players that come in from other leagues especially patience. Sancho is another example. I bet you see a better player with Sancho next season for sure.”
Peter Schmeichel gives verdict on Erik ten Hag
Peter Schmeichel has welcomed the appointment of Ajax manager Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford. The Dutchman will take charge of Manchester United at the end of the season. Speaking on CBS, Schmeichel pointed out that Ten Hag has his task cut out at the Premier League giants.
“It’s a decision that’s been made, and I think that’s very, very positive. There are, and I think it’s obvious to everyone, so many things that need to be done at Manchester United. The whole football department needs to be restructured, the way we’re thinking about how things are supposed to be done needs… everything needs a bit of a rethink,” said Schmeichel.
“Announcing the manager is decision that needed to be made, because it’s a step in the right direction. If I’m honest, it could be him – it could be literally anyone – it’s such a big job, so everything would be a bit of a gamble. I wish him all the best, and I hope he can help in the process of rebuilding Manchester United.”
Ten Hag has signed a contract till 2025, with an option to extend it be a year.