Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick
Manchester United suffered a 1-3 defeat on Saturday at Arsenal in the Premier League. In the process, the Old Trafford outfit saw their top-four hopes go up in smoke after their second league defeat in as many games. United are now six points behind the Gunners, who have a game in hand, with only four games to go.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils are interested in a Barcelona midfielder. Elsewhere, interim manager Ralf Rangnick has admitted that his team doesn’t have a realistic chance of securing a top-four finish this season.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Manchester United transfer stories as on 23rd April 2022:
Manchester United interested in Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong is wanted at Old Trafford.
Manchester United are interested in Frenkie de Jong, according to The Hard Tackle via Fichajes. The Premier League giants have a long-standing interest in the Dutch midfielder. With Paul Pogba set to leave the club, the 24-year-old DE Jong could be a suitable option for the Red Devils to indulge in.
Incoming manager Erik ten Hag has already worked with De Jong before and could be eying a reunion this summer. However, the Dutch midfielder has been in resurgent form for the Blaugrana since the arrival of Xavi, bagging four goals and five assists in 42 games across competitions. As such, prising him away from the Camp Nou won’t be easy.
Ralf Rangnick admits top-four hopes are unrealistic
Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United do not have a realistic chance of securing a top-four finish this season. The Red Devils are sixth in the Premier League after 34 games. However, they could drop down to eighth if West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers win their games in hand.
Speaking after the defeat at the Emirates, as relayed by Goal, Rangnick lamented his team’s poor defending that cost them the game, saying:
“Pretty sure (the club’s hopes of securing a Champions League spot are gone). For me, even before the game, it was not very likely but after today’s result it is gone yes. There is a lot of work, for sure. We knew that before the game. We showed what football we can play. Although we had to deal with the two early goals, we still showed the attitude. There is nothing about the attitude of the players we should fault today.”
“I think we showed an improved performance, but in the end, (it was) a disappointing result. I think we bounced back well from the early goal and had numerous chances in both halves to score more goals. I thought the weak part of our performance today was we didn’t defend well inside and around our box.”
Rangnick also rued ‘unlucky’ VAR calls that didn’t go his team’s way, concluding:
“I felt there were three very unlucky VAR decisions. For me, the Arsenal third was clearly offside. The second of Cristiano was not offside. We were not very happy with the VAR decisions today. An improved display but a disappointing result.”
Crisitano Ronaldo bagged his 22nd goal of the season to reduce arrears for United after the Gunners went ahead 2-0. He then had an effort ruled out for offside before Bruno Fernandes failed to draw United level from the spot.
Frank McAvennie slams Jesse Lingard for staying at Old Trafford
Jesse Lingard has struggled for game time at Manchester United this season.
Former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie has slammed Jesse Lingard for opting to stay at Manchester United last summer. The Englishman was linked with a move away from Old Trafford but wanted to fight his way back into the team. That decision has backfired, as he has struggled for game time this campaign.
Speaking to Football Insider, McAvennie said that Lingard’s priority isn’t playing football. He said:
“He’s wasted a year of his career, and if he can’t get in that Man United team, that’s frightening. I’m convinced it’s all about money. I would be screaming if I couldn’t get in that team. I wouldn’t have stayed. When you bring in Ronaldo, and you are Lingard, you move on. Unless he thought he could take Ronaldo’s place, in which case he has more confidence than I thought.”
“It’s a year out of his career. He was so good at West Ham, and he’s only 29; he has years left in him. His priority can’t be playing football; I don’t know any footballers who are happy to sit on the bench. I mean, what is he playing at? I don’t get it.”
Lingard has started only two Premier League games this season.