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Man Uniteds Mcfred Is In Jeopardy As Solskjaer Goes On The Offensive

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is planning a tactical makeover, according to ESPN’s Insider Notebook.

PLUS: The moment PSG’s dream of signing Messi died

‘McFred’ beware: Solskjaer preparing tactical revamp at Man United Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has informed players returning to preseason training that he wants to use a more offensive 4-3-3 formation at the club.

Solskjaer is anxious to start more of his attacking players on a regular basis, and has addressed the potential of employing one defensive midfielder behind two more forward-thinking players with his players and staff.

According to ESPN, adding a new center-back is crucial to the plan, with the club pursuing a deal for Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane.

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Get quick access – Transfer Grades: Grading the Major Summer Moves Solskjaer teamed Fred and McTominay in midfield 28 times last season, but the United manager is confident that the new settoup will allow him to play Paul Pogba or Donny van de Beek with Bruno Fernandes more frequently.

Both Pogba and Van de Beek, who have one year left on their contracts, have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford this summer, but United expects both to stay.

Both Fred and McTominay were placed on the bench for the club’s first match of the season against one of the “Big Six” when Tottenham came to town in October.

However, they both came on at 4-1 down at halftime as United went on to lose an awful 6-1, and from then on, they started every home and away encounter against United’s top rivals (Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham), with Solskjaer’s team collecting 11 points from those matches.

While Solskjaer has relied on the two players at critical times during his tenure, some fans have been disappointed by what they believe to be an over-reliance on the combination — nicknamed “McFred” because of how frequently they appear as a pair — and a lack of innovation in attack, particularly in games where opponents have proven difficult to break down.

United have agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund for England winger Jadon Sancho, and are still hoping to sign a centre-back before the deadline.

Varane is a key target for United, but sources tell ESPN that the Red Devils must wait while Real Madrid and new manager Carlo Ancelotti try to persuade the Frenchman to stay after Sergio Ramos’ move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Varane is in the final year of his contract, and United has been informed that he is interested in taking on a fresh challenge at Old Trafford.

If Varane informs Real Madrid that he does not intend to sign a new contract, the Spanish giants are expected to begin talks over a fee.

United are also interested in right-back Kieran Trippier, but according to ESPN, they will not pay the EUR40 million release clause in his contract, and Atletico Madrid has showed no signs of compromising thus far.

— The midfield tandem of Rob Dawson Fred and Scott McTominay could be separated up next season.

PSG sporting director Leonardo had mentioned Lionel Messi as part of his plans for the upcoming season when meeting with agents this summer to discuss moves, according to reports. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images PSG believed Messi was open to the prospect of leaving Barcelona this summer.

Messi had been considering his alternatives before agreeing to a new five-year contract with Barcelona at a slightly lower wage.

He came close to quitting Camp Nou last summer before making a surprise U-turn, and he was considering it again this season.

PSG jumped to the head of the line for his signature early on, with Leonardo and PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi communicating with the player’s representation throughout the negotiations.

The Ligue 1 champions had crunched the numbers and believed they could afford to sign Messi while also keeping top players Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

According to insiders, the former Barcelona forward tried to persuade Messi to come to Paris, as did Argentina internationals Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria.

PSG’s hopes for a deal were dashed when Sergio Aguero signed a free transfer to Barcelona, despite the fact that the former Manchester City striker is close friends with Messi.

PSG began to back away from pursuing a prospective deal at that point, according to sources, since they wanted to focus on more realistic targets.

The Ligue 1 club will keep an eye on Messi’s status throughout his current contract, but insiders say the club believes he will wind up in Major League Soccer rather than Europe, with Inter Miami rumored to be Messi’s next stop.

— Julien Laurens play 1:27 How Barcelona made Messi’s extension work Sid Lowe explains how Lionel Messi reached an agreement with Barcelona to extend his contract.

Barcelona’s Coutinho conundrum According to ESPN, Barcelona will not release Philippe Coutinho and will not even allow him go on loan if a club is unable to cover a major portion of his wages.

With a total debt of almost EUR1 billion, Barcelona sorely needs to sell players this summer to balance the books.

If they don’t, they risk violating La Liga’s Financial Fair Play rules, which might prohibit them from registering Lionel Messi’s new contract with the league for the following season.

Coutinho, 29, is one of the club’s highest-paid players, earning roughly EUR20 million on a gross basis, and was expected to leave Camp Nou during the summer season.

Sources claim that the Brazilian could be given another shot at Barcelona, with Antoine Griezmann, Miralem Pjanic, and Samuel Umtiti the players most likely to depart in the near future.

– Lionel Messi is certain to re-sign with Barcelona, but the club’s financial woes are far from done. Barcelona paid Liverpool EUR120 million for Coutinho in 2018, with another EUR40 million in prospective add-ons.

The Catalan club is well aware that recouping anything close to that sum in a COVID-19-affected market is unlikely.

The other possibility is a loan, which sources say AC Milan is interested in, but Barcelona sees no point in letting him go if they still have to cover a significant portion of his wage.

With more than a month left in the transfer window, Barcelona are willing to keep Coutinho, with coach Ronald Koeman glad to rely on him.

Only a large transfer fee or a good loan offer would persuade them to reconsider their minds.

Coutinho, meanwhile, returned to Barcelona for preseason last week after missing the previous season due to a knee injury.

Lionel Messi’s five-year contract will have an impact on other Barcelona players, according to Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

VAR and the Premier League: Good News and Bad News One of VAR’s biggest triumphs at Euro 2020 was the quickness with which decisions were made, particularly on offside calls.

Sorry, Premier League supporters, but that will not be the case this season.

Long pauses while seeing the VAR apply offside lines have enraged fans, frequently resulting in goals being disallowed by the tiniest of margins.

And it’s not going to get any easier any time soon.

UEFA assigned twice as many officials to each game at Euro 2020, including a specialized VAR for offside.

In domestic leagues, the incident, the attacking phase, and any offside in the move (which could be many) are all checked by a single lead VAR.

Throughout the 51 games at Euro 2020, UEFA deployed an assistant referee from each of the top five leagues to function as the offside VAR, with Lee Betts representing the Premier League.

Having a specialist offside VAR speeds up the process, but sources told ESPN that the Premier League is unable to do so due to resource and logistical constraints.

There are simply insufficient competent assistants to perform an additional VAR job for offside in every Premier League match.

But it’s not all terrible news.

The Premier League will introduce a tolerance threshold, similar to that seen at Euro 2020, which will require the final image in offside situations to deliver a conclusive outcome in order for offside to be awarded.

What would this mean for the future?

Consider Jordan Henderson’s disallowed goal for Liverpool against Everton in October, when Sadio Mane was called offside, or Mohamed Salah against Brighton and Patrick Bamford for Leeds against Crystal Palace in November.

Fans will no longer be shown the working out procedure, which means no more geometry lectures.

VAR is still a touchy subject for Premier League fans, according to Dale Johnson.

Who needs Varane? Laurence Griffiths/PA Images via Getty Images

PSG academy star looks to make history PSG are still connected with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, but Manchester United are leading the race.

In any event, with a fresh phenomenon from the academy, El Chadaille Bitshiabu, set to break through this season, the Parisians may not need him.

Bitshiabu, 16, has risen quickly at PSG, attracting interest from teams all over Europe. But, he is under contract with the club’s academy until 2023, and the club is looking to grant him a professional contract as soon as possible.

At 6-foot-4, the centre-back is a towering figure, and PSG coaches have praised his ability to bring the ball out of defence.

Bitshiabu has already demonstrated excellent maturity as a teenager, having played for PSG’s Under-16 team when he was just 12 years old.

Bitshiabu was a member of France’s U18 team when he was 15 years old.

On Wednesday, the defender made his debut appearance for PSG against Le Mans, coming on at halftime in their first preseason friendly, and he impressed coach Mauricio Pochettino.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel is considering him for the first squad this season, with Bitshiabu aiming to become the club’s youngest player.

Kingsley Coman, who made his debut at the age of 16 years and eight months, holds the record.

Would Rafael Varane enhance Manchester United’s defense? — Julien Laurens play 0:52

Luis Garcia examines Raphael Varane’s future at Real Madrid following reports linking the defender with a move to Manchester United.

adidas joins Mata’s Common Goal Common Goal, which was co-founded by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata, has gotten a boost after adidas announced that they will donate 1% of their annual football sales to the fund until 2023, totaling almost EUR3 million.

More than 200 players and managers, including Mata, Giorgio Chiellini, Paulo Dybala, and Jurgen Klopp, have donated a portion of their salaries to the project, which is a collective fund gathering money to invest in football charities throughout the world to achieve social change.

“I’ve been a part of the adidas family for many years and with Common Goal since the beginning, so this cooperation is really special,” Mata said after signing a new one-year contract at Old Trafford that will keep him at the club until 2022.

“Our relationship will enable us to use football as a force for good, uniting us to address social concerns as a group.”

This is merely the beginning.

Teamwork is the most essential thing to me, and I believe that everyone can achieve their goals through solidarity, empathy, and effort.

Our goal is to make Common Goal the world’s largest football club, with everyone welcome.” — Rob Dawson

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