Man United target Maddison and Soyuncu to restart Foxes contract talks

Manchester United target James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu set to resume contract talks as Leicester push for to get duo on long-term deals

  • With the Premier League restarting Leicester are to restart new contract talks   
  • James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu  are in line for improved Foxes deals 
  • Maddison is a target of Manchester United and expects to double his wages 
  • Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs, 2016 title winners, are also set for discussions
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Leicester are set to revive contract talks with James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu after discussions over long-term deals were placed on hold with the Premier League suspended.

The pair, two of the Foxes’ key players, had been in negotiations over improved terms before the top flight was suspended on March 13 due to COVID-19. 

Maddison, who is admired by Manchester United, was expected to double his £50,000-a-week wages, while Soyuncu was also anticipating a significant rise after becoming an automatic choice in central defence.

James Maddison is set to re-enter contract talks with Leicester with football ready to resume 

Team-mate Caglar Soyncu is also in line for a new deal after Leicester’s superb season so far

Maddison has thrived under Brendan Rodgers this term and is a target for Manchester United

Leicester are also working to ensure 2016 title winners Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs, as well as Nampalys Mendy, remain at the club for the rest of the campaign. 

All three had deals that were due to expire at the end of this month.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said: ‘Guys like Papy (Mendy) and Wes and a few of them that are out of contract, they’re back in here working and training and their representatives will be in communication with the club.

Premier League title winners Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs are also in line for new deals

‘We want to keep all those guys so they’re here to finish the season at the very least. 

‘And then what will happen after that will be organised with the club.’ 

Asked about others who were discussing longer-term deals, Rodgers added: ‘That’s obviously been put on hold and later down the line those discussions will resume and take place.’ 

Rodgers expects the pandemic to cause substantial changes to the market and is anticipating a majority of loan deals when the transfer window opens.

Rodgers has masterminded a superb season as the Foxes sit third in the European places

The Leicester boss had been keen to add experience to his squad for a possible Champions League campaign – the Foxes are third in the table with nine games remaining – yet he conceded that all clubs will have to adjust to the new reality.

He added: ‘The market will be really difficult this summer and maybe for a bit. You might see more loans in this market as opposed to buys. There’s no doubt it will change.

‘Clubs have been hit financially, it’s been very difficult for many clubs, so that will have an impact on transfers I’m sure. What that will be, we’ll have to wait and see.’

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Manchester United and Chelsea sent warning over Kai Havertz transfer deal

Bayer Leverkusen assistant coach Marcel Daum has likened Kai Havertz to Zinedine Zidane and warned Manchester United and Chelsea that it will take a sizeable offer to land the attacking midfielder this summer.

Havertz. 20, is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in European football after racking up 11 goals and five assists in the Bundesliga this season.

Though Havertz has been coy when discussing his future, his recent performances have done little to quell the speculation.

The youngster scored Leverkusen’s winner against Freiburg on Friday night to take his tally to five goals since the return of the German top flight and Daum has been massively impressed.

‘Everyone is asking about Kai Havertz. If you see him play it tells you everything’ the Leverkusen assistant told talkSPORT.

‘For me, he has the elegance of Zidane. If you see his movement, he’s very elegant, he’s always calm, he has great passing ability.

‘What a lot of people don’t see, because we watch him every day, is that he’s pretty fast. That’s a big bonus.

‘He’s a great player; he’s scoring goals, he’s great in the air and he’s pretty fast.

‘It’s up to him how far he can go.

‘I can’t say he will be the best German player ever, but he has the talent and there are no limits. He’s displaying signs of Zidane.’

Daum admits it’s a possibility Havertz could leave Leverkusen this summer but believes the club will be demanding a significant fee for their prized possession.

‘The situation with coronavirus is so strange and so complicated that it’s still open that he will leave us,’ he added.

‘I don’t know what will happen, but at Bayer he has the right place to develop his strengths and improve.

‘The only thing I know is that Bayer won’t sell him for a cheap fee.’

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Barnes claims United 'don't feel the responsibility of HAVING to win'

‘It’s still a huge club but I don’t think they feel the responsibility of HAVING to win’: Liverpool legend John Barnes claims a generation of Manchester United stars have dropped their standards and are happy just to play for a ‘bigger’ club

  • John Barnes believes Manchester United players don’t feel like they have to win
  • The former Liverpool star says there was a similar problem at Anfield in 1990s
  • United have failed to win the Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired
  • Barnes thinks some United players are happy just to say they play for the club 

John Barnes has claimed Manchester United’s slump since Sir Alex Ferguson retired is because the club’s players no longer feel like they have to win.

The Red Devils have failed to win the Premier League title since Ferguson’s final season in 2012-13 and currently find themselves in a battle for fourth place.

They have only lifted the FA Cup and Europa League in the last seven years and are a whopping 37 points behind runaway leaders and fierce rivals Liverpool in the table.

John Barnes believes Manchester United’s current crop don’t feel like they have to win games

Harry Maguire and Nemanja Matic (L-R) look dejected during a defeat by Burnley in January

Barnes believes the club’s sharp decline is because the players do not see winning games as a ‘responsibility’ and are happy just to be playing at Old Trafford.

‘If you look at Manchester United now, and it’s still a huge club, still got great players, but I don’t think they feel the responsibility of having to win,’ the Liverpool legend said on beIN SPORTS’ The Champions Club.

‘Speak to Man United fans now and they’re going “you know we’re going to finish fourth, we can finish fourth” and they will be happy with that because they’re in the Champions League and I think that’s the big difference.’

Barnes, who won 79 caps for England, lifted two First Division titles and two FA Cups during a decade at Anfield after arriving from Watford in 1987.

Explaining his opinion on United, the 56-year-old revealed that their current predicament reminds him of a problem at Liverpool in the early 1990s.

Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the Premier League trophy in 2011 after leading United to top spot

‘I see a huge similarity between Manchester United and Liverpool, huge similarity and I’ll tell you in what way,’ he said. 

‘In the way when I first went to Liverpool, they were a successful team before I was there and the demands to win and the pressure to win was the most important thing, regardless of whether they had superstars Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish and they had won everything. 

‘The demand to win everything was there. Then when all of a sudden, Manchester United, early nineties, and things had changed. 

If you look at the way the players were after say 1992-93, Liverpool still was a huge club, and it seemed that the players there were happy to be at Liverpool without necessarily recognising the responsibility to win. 

‘So when we were finishing third in the league, fourth in the league, we were still Liverpool players, bigger than 99 per cent of the teams, even if they finished above us, Arsenal whoever, but we were the Liverpool players without the demands to win. 

Barnes holds the First Division trophy with Peter Beardsley after helping Liverpool win the title

‘So we still got that kudos, that feeling that we are great, that we are better than everyone else because we are Liverpool players. 

‘Now with Manchester United, when Ryan [Giggs] was there and he came through and they started to win all the Premier League trophies, regardless of whether they won the Premier League the year before, they had that demand that they put on themselves to win. 

‘Then I think that after Man City took over, Manchester United still were the biggest club, and the players were happy to be with Manchester United without recognising the responsibility of having to win. 

‘Because if they finished third and Tottenham finished above they were still bigger than Tottenham players because they played for Manchester United and that happened at Liverpool.’

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Man United agree extension of Odion Ighalo's loan until January 2021

Odion Ighalo agrees to extend Manchester United loan until January after Shanghai Shenhua give the green light for him to stay

  • Odion Ighalo’s loan from Shanghai Shenua was set to end on Monday
  • But the Nigerian has now agreed to extend his stay at Manchester United
  • He will now remain at Old Trafford until the end of January 2021
  • The 30-year-old has scored four times in eight appearances for United

Odion Ighalo is staying at Manchester United after agreeing to extend his loan contract until the end of January 2021, the club confirmed on Monday morning.

The Nigerian striker’s loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua was set to come to an end today, but United have been able to extend it into next year. 

United will pay a portion of Ighalo’s wages and a fee to Shanghai. A new contract in China, understood to be worth approaching £400,000 per week, will be discussed after his United loan ends.

Shenhua admitted today that the ‘uncertainty’ around when foreigners will be allowed to return to China after the coronavirus crisis had played a part in their decision to allow Ighalo to stay in England. 

Striker Odion Ighalo has agreed to extend his Manchester United contract until January

The Nigerian’s loan move from Chinese club Shanghai Shenua was due to expire on Monday


Games played: 8 (3 starts)

Goals: 4

Assists: 1 

The 30-year-old has proved a hit at Old Trafford since his temporary move earlier this year, and has scored four times in eight appearances.

Last week, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: ‘They [Shanghai Greenland Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us.’ 

Ighalo’s agent, Atta Aneke, had revealed on Sunday that a deal was close to being agreed between the two parties.

‘We are nearing agreement with Manchester United on an extended loan,’ Aneke told Norwegian outlet Nettavisen. ‘The agreement will mean that Ighalo will remain with them until January 2021.’

Ighalo initially joined Solskjaer’s United in a shock deadline-day move in January after the club had missed out on signing Norwegian star Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be bolstered by the 30-year-old’s commitment to a new deal

 Ighalo has proven a hit at Old Trafford with four goals in eight appearances so far

His memorable strikes so far in a United shirt have included a stunning volley in the Europa League win over LASK Linz as well as a double in the FA Cup against Derby to help his side through to the quarter-final stage.

Ighalo’s current contract in China expires in December 2022, but Shanghai want to keep him until at least December 2024. 

But he has gone on to score four times in eight games including a brilliant volley against LASK 

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United missed out Paul Pogba's in 2013 as David Moyes wanted Fabregas

Manchester United ‘missed out on sealing Paul Pogba’s return to the club back in 2013’… after then-boss David Moyes opted to pursue £25m chase for Cesc Fabregas instead – before move ultimately failed

  • Man United could have signed Paul Pogba three years before his eventual return
  • But then-bos David Moyes sought to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona instead
  • The deal never materialised and Moyes lasted just ten months in United hot seat
  • Pogba enjoyed his best years between 2013 and 2016 playing for Juventus 

Manchester United reportedly missed out on the chance to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford in 2013 with then boss David Moyes instead opting to try and sing Cesc Fabregas in a £25million deal.

Pogba arrived at United as a 16-year-old keen to make his mark in the Premier League, but quit to join Juventus as a free agent two years later, citing a lack of first-team opportunities as the reason for his exit.

The Red Devils had the opportunity to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford in 2013 when Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson, according to The Mirror.   

Manchester United missed out on the chance to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford in 2013

However, the former Everton boss sought to sign Fabregas for from Barcelona instead.

Moyes was led to believe Fabregas wanted to leave the Nou Camp due to his dissatisfaction at playing second fiddle to Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the heart of the Barcelona midfield.

The deal never materialised, though, and Moyes lasted just ten months at the helm of United before being sacked after a dismal season saw the reigning Premier League champions slump to seventh in the table.

Then-manager David Moyes decided to try and sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona instead

The deal never materialised with Fabregas remaining at Barcelona for one more season

During his time at Juventus, Pogba developed into one of the world’s best midfielders, winning three Serie A and two Coppa Italia titles.

He later re-joined United in a world-record £100million deal that included additional performance bonuses in 2016.

Since returning to Old Trafford, Pogba has won the League Cup and the Europa League and helped drive France to World Cup glory in 2018.

Whereas Fabregas, who stayed with Barcelona for another season after Moyes’ failed swoop in 2013, left for Chelsea a year later.

‘Once I decide to leave (Barcelona), Arsenal will have the first option of any other club, and I cannot speak to any other club for one week to see if Arsenal want me or not,’ he told Arsecast.

Fabregas left Barcelona for Chelsea in 2014 after snubbing chance to join United

‘Arsene didn’t give an answer; we just had to wait one full week to see if they responded. Definitely, this was my first option, in my mind I’m telling everyone I’m going to Arsenal – this is what I want.

‘Arsene can see this. I didn’t want to be a beggar, they know the situation, in one week they haven’t said anything, straight away I knew they probably didn’t want me back. They waited the full week without giving me a response.

‘After the week I had to take my chance, I had Manchester City, United and then I spoke to Mourinho – which I didn’t think would ever happen.

‘To be honest, after I left the room with Mourinho I said, ‘that’s it, I don’t need to talk to anyone else, I’m going to Chelsea.’ What he told me, the team he wanted to make, what he thought of me, how he wanted me to play, this is what I wanted.

‘On top of that it’s London and not Manchester, London was my home.’

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United star McTominay reveals Zidane, Keane and Vieira influence

‘Being box-to-box, there’s some amazing examples’: Scott McTominay reveals his midfield inspirations… with star watching clips of Zinedine Zidane, Roy Keane and former Manchester United captain’s rival Patrick Vieira to improve his game

  • Scott McTominay has established himself in the first-team at Manchester United 
  • But he is refusing to rest on his laurels and has been watching footage of stars 
  • McTominay has asked for clips of Zinedine Zidane, Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira 

Scott McTominay has revealed he is learning to improve his game by watching clips of Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane and Zinedine Zidane.

The Manchester United midfielder came through the academy, making his debut in May 2017, and has become a key player under current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

There was even talk that he could be a candidate to win the club’s player of the year honour until he was sidelined for two months due to an injury.

Scott McTominay has revealed he is learning to improve his game by watching former stars

He has taken inspiration from watching former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira in his pomp

McTominay has also been paying attention to footage of Manchester United icon Roy Keane

But McTominay has not been resting on his laurels in his time off and has admitted he has been watching former captain Keane – along with his old rival Vieira and Real Madrid icon Zidane – as he looks to develop.

He was asked to explain his position under Solskjaer on Manchester United’s Box to Box show, and answered: ‘For myself, someone who’s quite strong and a good runner, I should be testing teams more than I do.

‘I should be breaking lines similar to what Paul [Pogba] does, drive into the box and create chances.

The Scotland international has also been watching Zinedine Zidane to learn the game

‘We always have to have that balance of one goes and one sits, which is so important for a midfield player. Being box-to-box, there’s some amazing examples: Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane, driving through the middle of the pitch and they were exceptionally good at it.

‘For me it’s important to keep watching clips like that, I get the guys to send them over as much as they can to analyse it.’

McTominay could be threatened by the return of Pogba to full fitness ahead of the Premier League’s mooted restart on June 17 – after the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes.

Two of McTominay’s inspirations, Keane and Vieira, were on-pitch rivals and clashed regularly

But the 23-year-old has no fears over the challenge ahead of him. 

‘Obviously whenever you play with Paul he’s such a talented footballer and he’s such an amazing guy as well, so for me it helps me a lot,’ he said. 

‘It’s important for whatever midfield partner you’re playing with. If you’re playing with just a single partner or playing with a two or three it’s important that you all click and all gel.

‘We’ve had that a lot this season and I feel like we’ve started getting real partnerships all over the pitch in midfield. Competition is healthy that’s what it’s all about but obviously playing with Paul is amazing.’

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Manchester United make £140m loan withdrawal to bolster summer transfer kitty

Manchester United have taken a £150million loan from a syndicated revolving credit facility, which could bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s summer transfer budget.

The Red Devils announced last week that their net debt had increased by £127.4m to £429.1m in the last 12 months, while registering a pre-tax loss of £28.55m in the third-quarter from 1 January to 31 March.

The suspension of the Premier League has hit United just as much as other clubs and though the club’s commercial strength means they’re best placed to find their way through, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward warned supporters last month not to expect big money transfers this summer.

Nevertheless, Solskjaer wants to add to his squad and Reuters report that United have taken a £140m loan from its £150m syndicate in order to boost the club’s cash reserves.

With broadcast revenue and matchday income plummeting in the last three months, United’s cash reserves have taken a drip – though they attributed this to payments on Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire.

However, United told Reuters that the loan would help to ease their cash position, give the Red Devils greater ‘financial flexibility’ and help to maintain liquidity throughout the pandemic.

United had been confident of signing Dortmund superstar Jadon Sancho but the Bundesliga giants are seeking £120m for the England winger.

The Red Devils remain keen but hope to talk Dortmund down from their valuation.

The same stands for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, though United believe he could be signed for a cut-price fee if Villa are relegated.

Solskjaer has a number of transfer targets and had hoped to sign three players this summer but in each case he has at least two back-up options, where players are deemed more affordable and more attainable.

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Werner told to look at United or Chelsea over Liverpool – Hargreaves

‘He’s not going to get past Bobby Firmino’: Timo Werner should consider Manchester United or Chelsea move as he’s not ‘guaranteed to start’ at Liverpool, claims Owen Hargreaves

  • Liverpool are keen to sign Timo Werner to add to their impressive squad 
  • Werner is interested in a move there but Owen Hargreaves can see issues 
  • Hargreaves believes Roberto Firmino will be difficult to dislodge from his role 

Timo Werner has been urged to consider a move to Manchester United or Chelsea as he would get more game time there than at Liverpool, according to Owen Hargreaves.

The RB Leipzig star has had an impressive campaign in the Bundesliga and Champions League and made headlines again on Sunday with a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Mainz.

It means he has now scored 30 goals this campaign, which has led to speculation over his future.

Timo Werner has been urged to consider a move to Manchester United or Chelsea

Owen Hargreaves believes he will struggle to get past Roberto Firmino at Liverpool

Liverpool are considered the favourites to land him – and he has made it clear that he would like a move to Anfield – with Bayern Munich also thought to be keen.

Werner has publicly rebutted interest in Bayern, giving Liverpool a boost in their pursuit.

But former United midfielder Hargreaves believes he should move to Old Trafford – or Stamford Bridge – as he will struggle to start ahead of Roberto Firmino at Liverpool.

‘Well, he’s not going to get past Bobby Firmino, who is one of my favourite players to watch,’ Hargreaves said while commentating for BT Sport .

Werner impressed for RB Leipzig on Sunday, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 win against Mainz

‘I think that’s the thing. Wherever he goes, he has to play. With the way United play right now, I could see him there. They need a number nine.

‘Chelsea could be a good fit, I just think he’s perfect for Liverpool in a way, but he’s not guaranteed to start. 

‘If he’s happy rotating in the front three then yes, he’d be a great fit for Jurgen Klopp.

‘He works hard, he’s a good goal-scorer, he’s a good team-mate, all those things they need but he’s not going to play ahead of Roberto Firmino, I just don’t see that. He’s too good in that team.’

Hargreaves said Firmino is too good for Liverpool to be dropped in favour of Werner

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Man United SUE Football Manager creators over trademark infringement

Manchester United SUING creators of popular Football Manager video game series over alleged trademark infringement due to use of club’s name

  • Manchester United are suing the makers of Football Manager video game series 
  • The club alleges that the game infringes its trademark by using the club’s name
  • They are taking action against Sega Publishing and developer Sports Interactive 
  • United also argue that the game infringes its trademark over the club’s crest

Manchester United are suing the creators of the Football Manager video game series due to the popular franchise allegedly infringing its trademark by using the club’s name.

United claimed that their name features ‘extensively throughout the game’, and have taken legal action against Sega Publishing and developer Sports Interactive. 

The club have also argued that both companies infringed its trademark over its logo, due to the simulation not using the official United crest. The logo has instead been replaced by ‘a simplified red and white striped’ design.

Manchester United are suing the creators of the popular Football Manager video game series

United believe that this depiction ‘deprives the registered proprietor of its right to have the club crest licensed’.

Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive said they have been legitimately using United’s name in a football context across all versions of Football Manager, and its predecessor, Championship Manager, since 1992 without complaint. 

The two companies accused United of attempting to ‘prevent legitimate competition in the video games field by preventing parties not licensed by the claimant from using the name of Manchester United football team within such games’.

United barrister Simon Malynicz, at a preliminary remote hearing on Friday, said that the club’s name ‘is one of the world’s most valuable and recognised brands’ – and also explained that the money teams make from licensing their names and logos was significant. 

The club alleges that the game infringes its trademark by using its name and took legal action

Sega Publishing and Sports Interactive say they’ve been using Manchester United’s name across all Football Manager games for over a decade without any complaints

Malynicz alleged that ‘consumers expect’ to see United’s crest next to the name of the club, and that the failure of Football Manager to do this ‘amounts to wrongful use’.

Sega and Sports Interactive also ‘encouraged’ the use of downloadable patches containing replica trademarks, supplied by third parties, Malynicz also said. 

United alleged that the defendants ‘directly benefited from it by avoiding the need to take any licence and enjoying increased sales of their game’.

Roger Wyand QC, representing Sega and Sports Interactive, argued that the ‘simplified’ club badge used for United in the game ‘was one of 14 generic logo templates that is randomly chosen by the Football Manager game engine each time a new game is started’.

United also argued an infringement of its trademark over its logo due to a ‘simplified design’

Wyand also explained that copies of the game had been sent to a number of United officials and players for several years, and that ‘there have been a number of positive press comments and tweets about the game by them’.  

In the written defence to United’s claim, Wyand added: ‘Further, the claimant’s staff working in the data analytics and scouting teams have contacted SI on various occasions asking for access to the Football Manager database for scouting and research purposes.’  

The case judge, Mr Justice Morgan, reserved his judgment on United’s application to amend its claim to a later date. 

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Man United and Angel Gomes contract talks remain at 'standstill'

Manchester United and Angel Gomes contract talks remain at a ‘standstill’ with the two parties unable to reach an agreement and the 19-year-old can leave for free at the end of June

  • Contract talks between Manchester United and Angel Gomes are at a standstill 
  • The midfielder has been offered a new deal but has not reached an agreement 
  • The 19-year-old can leave for free at the end of June when his contract expires
  • The club remain hopeful they can convince the academy graduate to sign 

Manchester United are running out of time to negotiate a new contract with 19-year-old Angel Gomes who can leave the club for free in a matter of weeks.

The academy graduate is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal with talks at a standstill but United remain hopeful they can convince the midfielder to stay.

A contract has been put on the table but the two parties have been unable to reach an agreement so far and Goal report that discussions have stalled.

Manchester United are running out of time to negotiate a new contract with Angel Gomes

The 19-year-old is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal with talks are reportedly at a standstill

Gomes was first offered a new deal at the start of the season and improved contracts have been put forward since but a resolution has not been found. 

He was reportedly offered £25,000 a week to sign an extension but his representatives were thought to be concerned at his lack of game time.

Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have both been given chances in the first team and Gomes is desperate to follow in their footsteps. 

Gomes’ fellow academy graduate Tahith Chong (left) signed a new contract at United in March

However, fellow academy player Tahith Chong signed a new contract in March hope that would lead to Gomes agreeing fresh terms.

Chelsea have been linked with the midfielder but last month he suggested he wanted to stay at Old Trafford and go on to win trophies with the club.

‘I’ve seen it over the years, coming up from the academy and being at United my whole career,’ said Gomes during a Google Hangout on the club’s official website.

‘It’s what I want to go on to do – win trophies for the club.’

The youngster captained England under-19s to World Cup success in 2018.

The midfielder has previously stated his desire to remain at Old Trafford and to win trophies

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