Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United is "bad news" for out-of-favour midfielder Donny Van de Beek, according to his agent Guido Albers.

Van de Beek arrived from Eredivisie giants Ajax amid plenty of fanfare ahead of the 2020-21 season but the Netherlands international has continued to be overlooked by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 24-year-old has been an unused substitute in United's opening three Premier League games of the 2021-22 campaign, having made just four starts in the league last term.

Van de Beek, who had a deadline-day move to Everton blocked, could now see his prospects of game time further hampered following the Old Trafford comeback of superstar Ronaldo.

"Cristiano arrived on Friday which we knew was bad news for us. Pogba plays on the left, and with Cristiano's arrival it means another extra player in midfield, with Pogba moving away from the left," Albers told Ziggo Sport. 

"We had conversations with Solskjaer and the board. We took the initiative to find a club and our search ended up at Everton. We opened talks with Marcel Brands and Farhad Moshiri.

"On Monday night [before deadline day] we received a call from Solskjaer and the club who told us that a transfer was out of question and that he had to report himself to training the next morning."

United won three and lost one of the four games Van de Beek started in the league last season for a 75 per cent win rate.

That dropped to 52.9 per cent in the other 34 matches the Red Devils started without the Dutchman, while their average goals scored fell from 2.3 with Van de Beek to 1.9 without.

Van de Beek led the way for United in the Premier League in 2020-21 in terms of tackles won per 90 minutes (1.75), meanwhile, and Paul Pogba (2.09) was the only midfielder to play more than once to complete more dribbles per 90 minutes than Van de Beek's 1.4.

Albers added: "The perspective now is that we stated that Donny is not a Carabao Cup player, or FA Cup player, or to play only in European games. Donny went to England to play in the Premier League.

"The way the conversation went this time [with Solskjaer] compared to last summer... things are much more clear now. I have full expectations that Donny will get his chance now.

"Donny worked extremely hard in the summer. He only had seven days off. The rest of the summer he trained to become top fit. He is totally ready."

Jesse Lingard described his celebration for England against Andorra as "a little welcoming gift" for new Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lingard starred for the Three Lions on Sunday, scoring twice and setting up Bukayo Saka for a late header as Gareth Southgate's men ran out 4-0 winners at Wembley in World Cup qualifying.

It ended a long wait for the United midfielder to score for his country, his last goals coming 1,022 days ago against Croatia in November 2018.

Lingard marked his first by mimicking the famous celebration of Ronaldo, who rejoined United from Juventus and could make his first appearance for the club in 12 years against Newcastle United on September 11.

"Me and Mason [Mount] were thinking about celebrations this week and obviously, we mixed my celebration with Cristiano's and I said I'd do it if I scored," Lingard explained to beIN SPORTS.

"It's a little welcoming gift for him. He'll settle in very quickly and it will help the team tremendously this season."

Ronaldo's arrival has threatened to limit Lingard's game time at United even further. Although the Red Devils resisted attempts from interested clubs to prise Lingard away in the transfer window, the 28-year-old has only played four minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

England boss Gareth Southgate believes Lingard will rise to the challenge of competing for game time alongside the formidable forward talent at United's disposal.

"It wasn't long ago that the numbers of English players in the league was low and we would have to pick players that weren't regulars in their team or on loan. We picked Mason from the Championship so we have had to be creative," he said.

"We know Jesse has a challenge and he knows he has a big challenge with the quality of attacking players at United. But they've also got a lot of matches in different competitions so hopefully, he can take that challenge on and he will take that challenge on.

"He has rebounded brilliantly in the last 12 months from a difficult period and he has shown today that he has got quality. It is not necessarily the quality of the opponent but it is performing with the quality of players that we have and stand out. That shows his level of quality.

"He has really good intelligence and works hard without the ball and presses well. Today, I thought he was the brightest spark, particularly in the first half as it was the type of game where those players who can manipulate the ball between the lines would shine more than others."

Paul Pogba insists he and his fellow France players have no problem with head coach Didier Deschamps but were "disgusted" by the team's failure at Euro 2020

Draws against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine in World Cup qualifying have followed France's wretched European mission.

Despite going into Euro 2020 as many people's favourites, France were knocked out on penalties by Switzerland in the second round, with Pogba seen in a lively discussion with Deschamps after the game.

Deschamps has been boss of France since 2012 and is set to lead his reigning world champions into next year's World Cup, assuming they qualify.

Manchester United midfielder Pogba looks set to face Finland on Tuesday as France attempt to end a run of five successive draws – including the 3-3 thriller with the Swiss that was followed by the spot-kick sucker punch.

France had never before drawn five consecutive games, and they perhaps need a win to lift spirits.

Speaking about his post-Switzerland talks with Deschamps, Pogba told TF1 on Sunday: "It wasn't hard-nosed. It was a discussion with frustration. But it was just that. There is nothing at all. It's going very well with the coach."

Pogba added: "We were disgusted with the Euro. But we want to get over that and move on. It really hurt us. When you think back to that match against Switzerland, nobody would have imagined that. We are the ones who lost the game. It was not Switzerland that won it."

France led 3-1 against the Swiss but folded in the closing stages of normal time, and Pogba said: "If we replayed the game it wouldn't be the same. We would certainly have changed the way we entered the field."

Against Finland, Deschamps will be determined his team avoid another slow start.

France have surprisingly conceded the opening goal in each of their last five games, their longest such run since another run of five from November 2009 to June 2010, during Raymond Domenech's reign as national coach.

They sit top of Group D but Finland, four points behind in second place, have two games in hand, making Tuesday's clash in Lyon a significant game in how the campaign pans out.

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is glad to see Cristiano Ronaldo back in the Premier League but will never compare his record to that of the Manchester United forward.

In the same week he completed a shock return to United, Ronaldo made history on Wednesday by becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in men's international football.

Ronaldo scored a couple of late headers to earn his side a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over the Republic of Ireland and surpass Ali Daei's previous high of 109 goals.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's 111 international goals have come from 180 appearances, an average of 0.62 goals per game.

That compares to 0.66 goals per game for Lukaku at international level, the 28-year-old having scored 66 times in 99 outings for Belgium in all competitions.

While Lukaku still has plenty of time on his side to potentially chase down Ronaldo's ever growing tally, the prolific striker is not interested in individual accolades over team honours.

"I don't have a goals number in mind, all that interests me is to win trophies," he said at a news conference on Saturday previewing Belgium's qualifier against the Czech Republic.

"I will never compare myself to Ronaldo – he is one of the three best players of all time. I am proud to have played against him and it's good for English football he's come back."

Lukaku's latest two-goal haul earned Belgium a 5-2 comeback win over Estonia on Thursday.

He extended his lead at the top of the Red Devils' all-time top scorers list, with Eden Hazard and Bernard Voorhoof second and third with 32 and 30 goals respectively.

Forty-nine of Lukaku's international goals have come in his last 47 appearances, with 2014 being his most prolific calendar year as he netted 14 times in 14 caps.

Chelsea lodged three bids before Romelu Lukaku realised their interest in him was serious, but he did not want to disrespect Inter after they rescued him from Manchester United.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea for a reported £97.5million (€115m) last month, departing Inter after two seasons in Serie A, having led the Nerazzurri to the title last season.

The former United forward excelled in Italy after a difficult two-year spell at Old Trafford, regaining the form that saw the Red Devils pay a reported £75m to sign him from Everton.

Lukaku scored on his second Chelsea debut, helping Thomas Tuchel's team to a 2-0 win at Arsenal.

Reflecting on his move while on international duty with Belgium, Lukaku revealed he was swayed by how much the Champions League holders pushed to sign him.

However, he was grateful to Inter, and adamant he would not take an unfair route in order to secure a move back to west London.

"I didn't want to go behind Inter's back," Lukaku said. "They got me out of the s***. I was in a deep hole at United."

Speaking to VTM Nieuws, Lukaku said: "With Chelsea's third offer, I knew it was serious.

"I only realised that Chelsea were serious when they made their third offer. First, they offered €100m. Then €105m, €105m plus [Marcos] Alonso. Then they offered €110m plus [Davide] Zappacosta, but Inter said no.

"After training I went to [coach Simone] Inzaghi's office. I didn't want to ruin the atmosphere because I was no longer in Milan in my head. So I asked him: please find an agreement."

Lukaku netted twice in Belgium's 5-2 win over Estonia on Thursday. On Sunday, he will make his 100th appearance for the national team should he feature against the Czech Republic.

"He is a legend of Belgian football, his statistics are fantastic," Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said of Lukaku, who is the country's record scorer with 66 goals.

"When I talk about Romelu, it's always a bit subjective. I've been lucky enough to see Romelu grow as a player and he's developed superbly.

"Tomorrow he will play his 100th international match and I think that should be a big party. Sometimes we take for granted what we have. But players like Romelu are rare, they should be enjoyed."

Jadon Sancho has withdrawn from England's squad after sustaining a minor knock. 

England thrashed Hungary 4-0 in Budapest on Thursday as they made it four wins from four games in World Cup qualifying. 

Sancho, who left Borussia Dortmund to join Manchester United ahead of the 2021-22 season, was not involved at the Puskas Arena after suffering an injury in training. 

The winger will now not feature in the upcoming matches against Andorra and Poland either.

England confirmed on Saturday that the 21-year-old had returned to his club but is expected to be fit for the Red Devils' clash with Newcastle United on September 11. 

That game at Old Trafford will likely see Cristiano Ronaldo make his second debut for United, following the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's dramatic return. 

Gareth Southgate, who sees his side face Andorra on Sunday and Poland on Wednesday, was already without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Everton striker having pulled out due to a thigh injury. 

Dani Olmo departed Barcelona's youth setup in 2014, moving to Croatian giants in Dinamo Zagreb.

Now playing for RB Leipzig, the 23-year-old continues to catch the eye.

Olmo is reportedly eyeing another chance at Barca.

 

TOP STORY – OLMO WANTS BARCA COMEBACK

RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo is hoping to return to Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Olmo came through Barca's famed La Masia before joining Dinamo Zagreb's youth team in 2014 and eventually Bundesliga outfit Leipzig in 2020.

The 23-year-old Spain international, however, wants a new chance at Barca and has reportedly set yes to a Camp Nou comeback without looking at contract terms.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton are hopeful of launching a bid to sign Edinson Cavani from Manchester United following Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford, per Todo Fichajes.

- Calciomercato says Inter are considering a move for Eintracht Frankfurt and Serbia winger Filip Kostic, who was poised to join Lazio on deadline day before a move fell through.

- The Sun says Wolves are set to make Adama Traore their highest earner amid interest from Tottenham and Liverpool.

Chelsea could target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in January, reports Football London. The Senegal star has previously been linked with Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Barca and others.

- Le10 Sport claims Paris Saint-Germain never made an offer for Ronaldo, who left Juventus for United.

Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived in England after completing his remarkable return to Manchester United.

Ronaldo, who left United in 2009 to join Real Madrid before going on to play for Juventus, completed a move back to the Premier League club on Tuesday.

The switch had been announced last Friday, when United confirmed they had agreed a fee with Juve. The Serie A club subsequently confirmed United would pay €15million for the 36-year-old in a series of instalments.

Ronaldo had seemed all set to join United's rivals Manchester City, but with the assistance of club great Alex Ferguson – cited by the Portugal captain as the main reason for his Old Trafford comeback – United completed a sensational swoop.

However, after leaving Turin a week ago, Ronaldo had headed to Lisbon to complete a medical before linking up with Portugal's squad for their September internationals.

He went on to make history on Wednesday, scoring two towering headers late on to seal a 2-1 comeback win over the Republic of Ireland and, in the process, become the leading goalscorer of all time in men's international football, overtaking Iran great Ali Daei.

Portugal subsequently released Ronaldo – who has taken the number seven shirt he wore during his previous United stint – from their squad on Thursday, as he had received a booking late on against Ireland and would have missed next week's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan.

Chronicling every major step in Ronaldo's homecoming, United detailed on Friday that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner had a day earlier touched down at Manchester Airport, where he was greeted by former team-mate and current Red Devils technical director Darren Fletcher.

"Cristiano is now preparing to begin training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side at Carrington next week," United's account of Ronaldo's arrival read.

Ronaldo's second debut looks set to come against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on September 11.

Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer to Manchester United demonstrated a lack of respect towards Juventus and could have been handled differently, according to former players Alessio Tacchinardi and Sergio Brio.

The Portugal captain completed a sensational return to Old Trafford at the end of the transfer window.

Having told Massimiliano Allegri he wished to leave Juve, Ronaldo looked as though he would be heading to Manchester City, only for United to swoop in and complete a sensational move last Friday.

Ronaldo, who became the leading international goalscorer of all time on Wednesday, is set to link up with United following his early withdrawal from the Portuguese camp.

The forward scored 101 goals in 134 appearances during his three-year stint with Juventus, where he also won two Serie A titles.

However, the manner of his departure came under scrutiny from the Italian media, who felt his sister Katia Aveiro made a mockery of the Bianconeri after she posted on Instagram: "Welcome back to United, a club worthy of you."

Meanwhile, former Juve midfielder Tacchinardi, who made over 400 appearances during 13 years with the Turin giants, feels Ronaldo should have shown more respect towards the club.

"He should have made a different exit, not leave with his private plane while Allegri spoke on the eve of the match against Empoli," he told Tuttosport.

"I would have expected a press conference to greet the fans. The Juventus people praised him; they deserved a different [goodbye].

"To be told by Cristiano that he would go to a place where he felt like his home was not a beautiful image."

Ex-defender Brio, who played over 300 times for the Bianconeri, concurs: "Juve deserves more respect.

"I did not expect Cristiano to snub the Juventus club in this way; it is not nice on his part. 

"For heaven's sake, Cristiano remains a great player and professional, but the farewell could have taken place in another way and with other words."

Real Madrid have not given up on their hopes of adding Kylian Mbappe. 

He will be a top priority for Carlo Ancelotti following the 2021-22 season.

But could Los Blancos add two stars for the price of one? 

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYE MBAPPE-HAALAND PAIRING

Real Madrid will be the favourites to land Kylian Mbappe following the season if he does not reach a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain, but they will not be content adding only him. 

According to Marca, Erling Haaland is also a prime target at the Santiago Bernabeu and Madrid could pursue both players. 

Mbappe would be available on a free and Haaland could be had from Borussia Dortmund via his €75million release clause. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Declan Rice expects to leave West Ham after the season, according to 90min, which reports he has asked the club to include a release clause in any new contract offer the Hammers might make. 

- Juventus declined the opportunity to sign Edinson Cavani from Manchester United after Cristiano Ronaldo's move in the other direction, the Mirror reports. 

- Former Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier prefers to remain in the Premier League and could end up at Arsenal, according to Sky Sports. The Ivory Coast international and Spurs terminated his contract by mutual consent this week. 

- Nicolas Nkoulou could be an option for Lazio if they cannot sign David Luiz, reports Calciomercato. 

Manchester United have confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will wear the number seven shirt for the 2021-22 season.

Ronaldo, who broke Ali Daei's long-standing record of international goals with a double for Portugal against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, re-joined United in a sensational transfer from Juventus at the end of the transfer window.

The superstar forward, who on Thursday was released from international duty, wore United's iconic number seven during his first stint at Old Trafford, which ended in 2009.

He wore the number nine during his first season at Madrid, before taking the number seven shirt after club legend Raul left for Schalke in 2010.

Ronaldo has since worn the number seven in every season for both Madrid and Juventus, as well as for Portugal.

However, there was some doubt over whether he would be able to take the seven shirt upon his return to Manchester, with United having already confirmed their squad numbers for the upcoming campaign.

Edinson Cavani previously wore the number, and the Uruguay forward made his first appearance of the season against Wolves last time out.

Reports suggested United would seek special dispensation from the Premier League to alter their squad numbers, however, and Ronaldo has now been handed the famous number previously worn by greats such as George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.

In turn, Cavani has taken the number 21 shirt, which was vacated by Daniel James when he completed a move to Leeds United on Tuesday.

He has worn the 21 shirt for Uruguay since 2010-11.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been granted an early release from the Portugal squad, meaning he has time to rest before a second Manchester United debut. 

Portugal captain Ronaldo made history on Wednesday when he became the all-time leading goalscorer in men's international football, with the first of his double in a World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland taking him clear of Iran great Ali Daei's haul of 109 goals. 

The 36-year-old's milestone effort was an 89th-minute header and he followed it up with a dramatic winner deep into stoppage time, removing his shirt as he celebrated completing a turnaround 2-1 success. 

Ronaldo was consequently shown a yellow card that ruled him out of Tuesday’s trip to Azerbaijan through suspension. 

With a friendly against Qatar on Saturday being Portugal's only other fixture during the international break, he was allowed to leave the camp early. 

"Cristiano Ronaldo was released from the national team camp this Thursday," read a statement from the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). 

"The yellow card received against Ireland, being his second in this stage of qualification, made him suspended for one official game, which will come against Azerbaijan. 

"This morning, the Portugal captain was part of the group of players who carried out recovery work at the hotel. 

"Fernando Santos also directed a training session in the morning on a pitch next to the hotel used by the national team during their stay in the Algarve." 

Ronaldo completed a return to United from Juventus this week and could be in line to make his first appearance for the Red Devils in 12 years at home against Newcastle United on September 11. 

Manchester United had a busy window in the transfer market.

The Red Devils landed Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

But their plans will not stop there, as the Red Devils set their sights on re-claiming silverware.

 

TOP STORY - HAALAND TO BE UNITED'S TRANSFER PRIORITY

Manchester United's priority transfer target in mid-2021 will be Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland despite their recent spending spree, claims ESPN.

Haaland can trigger a release in his Dortmund contract at the end of the 2021-22 season that is reportedly set at €75 million.

ESPN's report cites sources who claim United's capture of Ronaldo came outside of their transfer budget, meaning it will not impact their 2022 recruitment plans.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims that Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne may be willing to leave the club next off-season on a free transfer to join Inter if they cannot agree to a new deal.

- Injured French forward Ousmane Dembele is set to be offered a new deal by Barcelona according to RAC. Barca have seen Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann leave over the past month.

- Barcelona will also look to sign Dani Olmo from RB Leipzig in January after missing out with their deadline day claims Mundo Deportivo.

- Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea defender David Luiz is weighing up options with Lazio , Benfica and Flamengo as a free agent reports Sportitalia.

Cristiano Ronaldo believes he is physically capable of playing at the highest level for another five years after making history with Portugal on Wednesday. 

The 36-year-old sent another record tumbling at the Estadio Algarve by becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football, surpassing Ali Daei’s previous high of 109. 

Ronaldo scored a pair of late headers to bring Portugal from behind in a World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland and secure a 2-1 win, taking his tally for his country to 111 goals in the process. 

Despite turning 37 later this season, Ronaldo, who completed a return to Manchester United from Juventus this week, still believes he can continue to shine into his 40s. 

"I don't know what records are left. But what I want the most is to keep playing. I feel motivated and still have the strength to be able to put on a show for another three, four, five years," Ronaldo told Sport TV. 

He added to TNT Brasil: "It was a record I really wanted to break. After missing the penalty, I was a little sad for 10 minutes. But that's what football is about. We have to believe until the end. 

"The fans helped us a lot but the work of the team that believed prevails in the end."

Ronaldo was shown a yellow card for removing his shirt when celebrating his second goal, which came in the 96th minute, and will consequently miss Tuesday's meeting with Azerbaijan through suspension. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner failed to convert a first-half penalty and admitted the ban looming over him had slipped his mind as he wheeled away to celebrate at the end of an historic outing. 

"I forgot. It's the emotion of the game," said Ronaldo. "Maybe the coach will give me a hard time, but it doesn't matter. The important thing was to help the team. I’m sorry, but the emotions speak louder."

Portugal are scheduled to take on Qatar in a friendly on Saturday and Fernando Santos could decide to release Ronaldo from the team early due to his suspension. 

"We'll decide whether Ronaldo stays or leave. We have 24, 25 players. He won't go to Azerbaijan, it doesn't make sense," said Santos, who compared the United attacker to another Portugal great in an interview with RTP after the match. 

He said: "Ronaldo has always done this. Great players I like that when games sometimes don't seem to be going well. 

"Many years ago there was a coach called Jimmy Hagan [the Benfica boss when Santos was a youth player there]. I once asked him 'Why doesn't Eusebio go off when he isn't playing well?'

"And then when he's needed, where was Eusebio? This is what the great players do. They may not be doing well, but they show up with everything they have and solve games."

Cristiano Ronaldo declared that surpassing Ali Daei as the most prolific player in men's international football is "another record for the museum".

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner drew level with Iran great on 109 international goals during Euro 2020 but had to wait until Wednesday to make top spot his own. 

After seeing a first-half penalty saved in the World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland at the Estadio Algarve, Ronaldo restored parity with his landmark goal in the 89th minute. 

The Portugal captain then steered home a header deep in second-half stoppage time to complete a 2-1 turnaround win for the hosts. 

"It's another record for the museum," Ronaldo told RTP, as quoted by Diario Record. 

"I don't know if anyone has more records than me, but this is mine and it's unique. I'm extremely happy. 

"The secret is the motivation and the desire to continue playing football. It's getting up every day with a desire to do better, to make the fans, the family, my children happy. 

"I dedicate it to all Portuguese people, to the team, to my family."

John Egan put Ireland ahead on the stroke of half-time after 19-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu made Ronaldo wait for his crowning moment by keeping out his spot-kick. 

But the 36-year-old was not to be denied and guided in two headers in the space of seven minutes to make history.

"The team believed until the end. I believed until the end," said Ronaldo. 

"Ten minutes from the end, I asked for the support of the fans because when you're playing at home and the team are not combining on the pitch, the help of the fans is essential. They gave us strength. 

"I'm happy to score two goals, very happy to break the record, but the most important thing was the team."

Ronaldo was making his first appearance since his return to Manchester United from Juventus was confirmed, and he is looking forward to getting back to Old Trafford.

"I am very happy to be returning home, to a club I've always loved," he added. "I have a few more years left in my career and I still want to shine and get back to the best football, which is in the Premier League."

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