Manchester United are in talks with Eric Bailly over a new contract, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

The centre-back, who played in his 100th game in all competitions for the Red Devils as they drew 1-1 with Milan in the Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday, sees his deal expire next year.

Bailly joined for a reported £30million from Villarreal in 2016, making him the club's first signing under Jose Mourinho, but persistent injury troubles mean he has started just 27 league matches in the past four seasons.

The Ivory Coast international, who turns 27 next month, has largely impressed when called upon this season, with United keeping eight clean sheets and conceding 12 goals in the 15 matches Bailly has played.

Indeed, since his debut in August 2016, United have won 65 per cent of matches with Bailly in the starting line-up compared with 53 per cent without him. They have also averaged more points per game (2.1 compared to 1.8) and fewer goals against (0.8 compared to 1.0).

Solskjaer is expected to pursue the signing of a new central defender in the transfer window but he appears keen to keep Bailly at the club regardless of potential incomings.

"We've started talking to Eric and Eric's representatives," Solskjaer said. "Eric's been keeping fitter for longer and you can see Eric's performances as well. I've been very happy with him.

"His playing style has sometimes made him lose too many games because 100 games is not enough for the period he's been here. He's getting more and more robust, so he's one we're talking to."

United host West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday hoping to build on last weekend's 2-0 derby win at Manchester City, while also moving nine points ahead of David Moyes' side in fifth.

While he accepts the gap to league leaders City is perhaps too big to bridge - Pep Guardiola's men are 14 points clear, having played a game more - Solskjaer is keen to strengthen the grip on second spot.

He is also happy not to have to face in-form Jesse Lingard, who has impressed on loan at the Hammers since his January move but is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Solskjaer said: "For Jesse, it's really worked out; for David [Moyes], it's really worked out. And for us as a club as well, because we know that Jesse's position is a 10 and we've got Bruno [Fernandes] there.

"For me, it was a no-brainer to get Jesse the chance to prove himself and play some football again. He's really been bright for them. He's finding back to himself.

"I think they've been brilliant. We played them in the FA Cup not long ago as well. We went to extra time, it was a tight, even game, he's got players who score goals, creative, defend really well, really difficult on set-plays, and David's done a tremendous job that we know he's capable of.

"We're very happy for him and we know this is a big game for us. It's maybe too far ahead to City, so we need to consolidate our place in the top two or three, hopefully."

United have something of an injury crisis for the match. Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Juan Mata may not be fit before the international break in the final two weeks of March, while goalkeeper David de Gea may still need to quarantine for a few more days after returning from Spain following the birth of his daughter.

Forwards Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani are also unlikely to be fit, meaning 18-year-old Amad Diallo, who scored his first goal for the club as a substitute against Milan, could be called upon again.

"It's a big change for him, he's moved over here by himself but he's coming into training every day, he's working really hard, he knows he's got a lot to learn," Solskjaer added.

"He's an exciting talent, of course, but he'll have to get used to the tempo and the quality of the level he's playing at now.

"He didn't play much for Atalanta, either, so we're gradually giving him more and more, but he's been hungry to learn. His appetite in training has been spot on."

Anthony Martial will require a scan to check the severity of a hip injury he suffered in Manchester United's 1-1 Europa League last-16 draw with Milan on Thursday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed. 

Martial was withdrawn at half-time on Thursday, with his replacement Amad Diallo putting United ahead five minutes later to become the Red Devils' youngest non-British scorer in European competition, aged 18 years and 243 days. 

However, Simon Kjaer ended United's run of 503 minutes without conceding a goal across all competitions in stoppage time to give Milan a slight advantage ahead of next week's second leg at San Siro. 

It remains unclear whether Martial will be fit for the trip to Italy, but manager Solskjaer is hopeful Marcus Rashford – who missed the opening clash with an ankle injury – will have returned to full fitness in time. 

"Anthony got a whack on his hip so there's another forward we need to scan and look at," Solskjaer told a media conference. 

"Unfortunately, he got a whack on his hip quite early in the first half so he couldn't go on.

"We definitely hope Marcus is back for next Thursday; we're not sure if he'll make Sunday [against West Ham in the Premier League]. Fingers crossed because we'll need him."

United have been eliminated from six of their last eight ties in European competition after failing to win the first leg at home, most recently against Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League.

Despite that poor record, Solskjaer is confident United – second in the Premier League – can seal their quarter-final spot with a positive result in Milan next week.

"We fancy our chances," he added. "We have been exciting away from home, and efficient. Especially in the last round against Real Sociedad [they won the first leg away from home 4-0]. 

"That is the template for how we want to play in games. We go there knowing we need to score at least one and we fancy our chances. 

"Of course it makes it more difficult when you concede at home and you're never happy when you do. 

"Conceding one minute before full time is disappointing but we have got to take that on the chin and go down there next week and go for it."

Stefano Pioli hailed his "extraordinary" Milan players after they secured a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.

United had looked like taking a slender advantage into next week's second leg at San Siro when teenage substitute Amad Diallo scored after 50 minutes in Manchester. 

Milan defender Simon Kjaer had other ideas, though, heading home his first goal in 18 European games deep into stoppage time.

It was no less than they deserved, with the Serie A side carving out 15 shots to the hosts' seven. 

The result might have stretched Milan's winless run against English sides in European competition to eight games, but head coach Pioli was delighted with the Rossoneri's ability to grind out a late equaliser and believes they deserved even more from the game. 

"The team played with personality," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. "We suffered in the difficult moments. We know they have quality, but this performance must boost our self-confidence.

"When we were drawn with Manchester United I thought they were the right opponent for us.

"We are working to improve and try to win again. We want to take Milan where we belong and these are the games where you can improve.

"We want to go all the way through and to do so we have to beat these teams. Today's result is positive, but we have another tough game ahead. The job is not done. They are a great team.

"I am satisfied. I keep repeating to my players that I am not training a regular group. This is an extraordinary group, under any aspect.

"When I see the lads give their soul to get a good result, I can only be happy. It's probably a result we would have accepted before the game. After it, I can say we may deserve something more, but it's a good result.

"The team's spirit was great, we wanted to dominate the game and give our best. We must have a high level of application to play as we do.

"We've been playing one game every four days since September, but these guys never give up. We must continue, it's a crucial part of the season."

Rafael Leao saw a fifth-minute effort ruled out for offside before a wonderful Franck Kessie volley was chalked off six minutes later after a VAR check spotted the midfielder had handled the ball.

Pioli, though, said Kessie was adamant there was no such infringement. 

"That goal would have given us more strength, especially on a mental level," the Milan boss added. "Franck is convinced he didn't touch the ball with his hand, but the referee thought otherwise."

Milan – second in the league standings – host Napoli in Serie A on Sunday before the reverse fixture against United on Thursday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United fell well short of the standards set against Manchester City at the weekend as Simon Kjaer's late header secured a 1-1 draw for Milan in their Europa League last-16 first leg. 

United were in fine form on Sunday as they brushed aside Premier League leaders City on their own ground, yet the Red Devils were well off the pace against Stefano Pioli's side at Old Trafford on Thursday. 

Amad Diallo became the youngest non-British player to score for United in major European competition (aged 18 years and 243 days), netting with his first ever attempt for the Red Devils in the 50th minute, but Kjaer scored a vital away goal for the Rossoneri deep into stoppage time.

It was the first Europa League goal United have conceded in the 90th minute or later, while they have been eliminated from six of their past eight ties in European competition when they have failed to win the first leg at home, most recently against Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League.

United could not complain Milan's leveller was undeserved, though, the visitors having enjoyed 15 shots to their hosts' seven, and Solskjaer could not hide his disappointment.

"I'm very disappointed to concede with one of the last kicks of the ball," he told BT Sport. "That makes it harder, of course, but it was always going to go down to the second game.

"We were a long way [from the performance against City]. Possession-wise, 50-50, we were a bit too slow with the possession, though.

"It's sometimes hard, on the back of a game like we had, but that's the learning we have to get into ourselves. We have to perform every single week because we're playing against good teams and these are definitely a good team."

While Solskjaer accepted a draw was a fair result, Harry Maguire and Daniel James were guilty of shocking misses for United.

"The one with Dan James, second half, it happens at times, you don't connect with the ball as you want to," Solskjaer added. 

"We could have scored one or two more, but they had loads of attempts, especially the header second half [from Rade Krunic], back stick, could have gone in. Probably, a draw is a fair result."

An injury-time header from Simon Kjaer secured a 1-1 draw for Milan at Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

Teenager Amad Diallo's expert header from a Bruno Fernandes pass had put an out-of-sorts Red Devils ahead in the 11th meeting between these clubs but the first outside of Europe's elite club competition.

Each side was missing key players but it was Milan who coped the better and had two goals disallowed, although Harry Maguire produced arguably the miss of the season with the scores at 0-0.

Diallo's impact came in the 50th minute but, with barely 90 seconds to play, Kjaer headed a corner past Dean Henderson to snatch a potentially crucial away goal.

Rafael Leao blasted beneath Henderson five minutes in but the forward had strayed well offside before Kjaer's long ball.

United were perhaps more fortunate to avoid going behind just six minutes later, Franck Kessie's sumptuous half-volley disallowed after a VAR check spotted the midfielder had handled the ball.

Milan had been the better side before Maguire somehow failed to put United ahead from a Telles corner, the captain sending the ball spinning away off the post when standing almost on the goal line.

Anthony Martial was limping at the end of the half and was replaced at the break by Diallo, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a further problem in attack as Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford were already sidelined.

The teenager needed just five minutes to make an impact, racing onto Fernandes' lofted pass and nodding a backwards header over keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Milan responded well to the setback and should have levelled through Rade Krunic, who headed over the crossbar after being picked out by Davide Calabria.

Daniel James spurned a great chance to make it 2-0, putting the ball wide from Mason Greenwood's cross with the goal gaping, and they were punished when Kjaer got free in the box and Henderson could only parry his header into the roof of the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of football's all-time greats and cannot be blamed for Juventus' early Champions League exit, according to international team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

Juve were eliminated from Europe's elite club competition by Porto at the last-16 stage on Tuesday, crashing out 4-4 on away goals after extra time at the Allianz Stadium.

Sergio Oliveira scored the decisive goal late on from a free-kick that went straight through the Juve wall, with Ronaldo sheepishly turning his back on the effort.

Former Bianconeri boss Fabio Capello singled out Ronaldo on the back of the two-legged defeat, in which the five-time Ballon d'Or winner failed to find the back of the net.

Ex-president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli went as far to suggest Juve should never have spent €100million to sign the forward in 2018, meanwhile, but Fernandes has defended his compatriot.

"Cristiano is one of the greats in football history. His mentality inspires those who practice this sport," Fernandes told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He has won a lot, but no one can win alone. 

"I understand that his presence at Juve had created enormous expectations for the Champions League, but when a team lose, the whole squad lose, not one single player.

"I'm not surprised [by the result]. Porto have a winning mentality. They play aggressive football and I expected them to create problems for Juventus."

While Ronaldo and Juve are enduring a difficult campaign, Fernandes is going from strength to strength at Manchester United.

The former Sporting CP star has scored 16 goals and assisted 10 more in the Premier League this campaign, which is the highest direct goal involvement of any midfielder in Europe's top five leagues.

Fernandes spent five years in Italian football with Novara, Udinese and Sampdoria, though it was not until joining Sporting in 2017 that his career truly took off.

"I had to complete my physical growth," Fernandes said of his time in Italy. "I was moving from one country to another.

"I didn't fully establish myself because the role of the attacking midfielder isn't easy in [Italian] football."

Fernandes cited the example of Juve attacker Paulo Dybala, who has often struggled for consistency, before explaining the differences between Italian and English football.

"The story of Dybala seems enlightening to me," he said. "Everyone expects something special from him, but we are always strict towards him.

"Udinese was, also for the years spent with the Friuli, the most important stage, but the change of coach didn't help me.

"It was too bad, because I had found a real teacher in Francesco Guidolin. If I had spent more time with him, it might have been different.

"Anyway, I can only thank Italy for what it has given me. I was happy, I lived an experience of growth, I measured myself with a country where the football is of the highest level."

He added: "There's a lot of intensity in the Premier League. The pace is high.

"The smaller sides have quality and they make you suffer. In Italy, the tactics are like a university of sport."

Fernandes is expected to start United's Europa League last-16 first leg with Milan at Old Trafford on Thursday in a battle between two historically successful European heavyweights.

Milan have not competed in the Champions League since 2013-14, while United have only made it to the quarter-finals of the competition once since the same season.

However, both teams are second in their domestic leagues and are among the favourites to go all the way in the Europa League.

"In some respects, [United] and Milan are the same," he said. "Two clubs with a prestigious past, with 10 Champions League trophies in the cabinet, both have gone through a phase of transition, but are returning to the top.

"At the beginning of the season, no one thought that Milan could fight for the Scudetto. We are in March and they are second. 

"They play well, have interesting young players and the added value of [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic's strength."

Thursday's game will mark the 11th time Milan and United have met in European competition, with all 10 previous encounters coming in the European Cup or Champions League.

United have been eliminated from four of their five knockout ties with Milan, with no side knocking out the Red Devils more often in European competition – Real Madrid having also managed it four times. 

Milan great Franco Baresi believes Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford would be a good fit for the Italian giants due to his versatility in attack.

Rashford has been a regular for United since breaking into the first team five years ago as an 18-year-old.

The England international has 85 goals in 257 games for the Red Devils and 11 in 40 caps for his country.

He has been used predominantly on the left flank this term, though the United academy product can also operate on the right or through the middle.

And Baresi, who is behind only Paolo Maldini in the list of all-time appearance-makers for Milan, would like to see Rashford at San Siro one day.

Asked by The Times which United player he would sign for Milan, the club's honorary vice-president Baresi said: "I like Marcus Rashford a lot,  he's an extraordinary player. He wouldn't be bad for Milan. 

"He can play in any position up front; it would be a nice advantage.

"Rashford is a modern forward who has everything required to do well. He has already shown and done great things and he has a lot of quality."

Rashford has been ruled out of United's Europa League last-16 first leg with Milan at Old Trafford on Thursday with an ankle injury.

The heavyweight clubs have met on 10 occasions in European competition, but this will be their first encounter outside of the European Cup and Champions League.

Milan have not competed in UEFA's primary club competition since 2013-14, but they are second in Serie A and are among the favourites to go all the way in the Europa League.

"We are doing well. We're second in the league and always looking ahead, never to the past," Baresi said. 

"Our objective is to get back into the Champions League and we find ourselves in a good position that we want to maintain.

"Winning Serie A would be the best outcome, of course, but the main aim is a return to the Champions League. 

"United are also in a similar position, they went out of the Champions League, maybe unexpectedly. United is a team that always aims to achieve great things."

Milan have been eliminated from six of their last seven last-16 ties in major European competition, having progressed from each of the previous nine such matches.

The Italian giants have eliminated United on four of the previous five occasions they have met in the knockout stages of a competition, however, and Baresi is hoping for the same outcome in this latest two-legged tie.

"It's a shame to meet United in the last 16, as it would've been nice to face them later in the competition," he said

"But football is made up of cycles. We are coming into this game convinced we can do well, and we're hoping for two great matches where we can annoy United."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Stefano Pioli have proved critics wrong to earn the right to be at Manchester United and Milan, Massimo Taibi says.

United host the Rossoneri on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League last 16 in what will be their 11th competitive meeting but the first outside the European Cup or Champions League.

Since they last faced one another in the Champions League last 16 11 years ago, when United won 7-2 on aggregate, each club has fallen far from their previous positions at the top of English and Italian football.

Milan's last Scudetto triumph came in 2011, while United have not won the Premier League since Alex Ferguson's final season in charge in 2012-13.

There have been signs of recovery under Solskjaer and Pioli, however. United are second in the league this term, 11 points behind leaders Manchester City after their 2-0 derby win, while Milan are above champions Juventus in Serie A and only six points behind leaders Inter.

Taibi enjoyed only brief spells as a keeper at each club, with high-profile mistakes leading to rather perfunctory exits, but he went on to make more than 550 club appearances in Italy in a respectable career.

The 51-year-old therefore knows only too well the way the Red Devils and Rossoneri can be magnets for criticism, and he thinks Pioli and Solskjaer deserve immense credit for the work they have done in restoring respectability at two of the world's grandest clubs.

Taibi told Stats Perform News: "If these two managers have managed Milan and United for a while now, it is because they deserve it.

"In football, there are no presents, let alone at such big clubs who are always in the eye of the critics' storm. They very well deserve the clubs they are managing now. They started off in sceptical environments but they proved them wrong with results.

"I spent a few months with Solskjaer and I was impressed how easy it was for him to score, even coming from the bench. I remember they called him the 'angel-faced killer' because he looked like a decent kid but in front of goal was ruthless like a killer.

"I remember he was one of the many people in Manchester who tried to help me settle. Because he was a superb player, a champion who managed to carve out his shining space among Andy Cole, Dwight York and Teddy Sheringham and ended up scoring the winning goal in 1999 final versus Bayern Munich.

"A man who started humble and became great as a player and a manager."

Milan will be without a host of key names for the visit to Old Trafford, including former United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Taibi thinks their true strength lies in their collective endeavour.

He believes Solskjaer has fostered a similar ethos at United, with star names such as Bruno Fernandes lifting a squad of Europa League quality to a higher standing.

"Milan's strength is the collective Pioli managed to create, just like United. In these two squads that are Europa League level, I dare say, there are some individuals who are added value and lift the quality to Champions League level.

"At Milan, you have Ibrahimovic despite being 39 years old, or [Gianluigi] Donnarumma, real world-class players who would play in any club aiming at winning the Champions League.

"The same goes for my ex-colleague, because I played with Solskjaer, who can boast Bruno Fernandes and the great striker [Marcus Rashford] or [David] De Gea, a keeper I like a lot.

"Solskjaer, just like Milan, managed to create a good group with some individual talent that brings that extra bit of quality you sometimes need.

"They are both having great seasons in their respective leagues. United have just won their derby, which is always a nerve-racking game, although I guess City are destined to win the title... just like Inter, I reckon.

"Both Milan and United have started the season to become more solid, to secure Champions League berths, and to me, they are working very well.

Despite some infamous errors against Southampton and Chelsea in his short-lived United career, Taibi still holds the club close to his heart – and even still fits into his old training shirt.

"Of course, watching this match is special for me. I spent two years at Milan and only some months at United but it is not down to length of time, it is about feelings and memories that settled in.

"I still feel a link to Milan and even to United, although I didn't stay long. As you know, you just called me while I was training. And I was training with this 1998 United training kit, the only one big size I have now for my fat belly. All the other shirts don't fit anymore!"

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised the two appointments made by Manchester United in a major restructure at the club.

United installed former player Darren Fletcher as technical director and promoted John Murtough to the new role of football director in an announcement on Wednesday.

Fletcher, who won five Premier League titles as a United player over the course of 12 years, returned to the club as a youth coach in October before being promoted to the first-team setup in January.

He now has a new role in the structure to support Solskjaer, who was pleased to see the former Scotland international moved into a senior position along with Murtough.

"I am very happy we have made this decision and appointment," Solskjaer said ahead of United hosting Milan in the Europa League last-16 first leg.

"I have known John since I came and it is now more of a formal role. He has been working well behind the scenes - he is a cultural fit.

"Very happy with what we have. Continuity and fresh ideas.

"A few months back when we were making a final decision there were other things in pipeline for Fletcher.

"One thing I was sure of was we could not lose Darren. He has got fresh ideas. He has a bright eye for football, a really keen eye.

"Now a little bit less coaching [for him] and more influence on the other side - go speak to players and sell Man United as the club he knows."

Solskjaer was asked about how the changes would affect United's activity in the transfer market at the end of the season.

The United boss added: "It will be an interesting window.

"Of course everyone in world football is affected by the pandemic.

"The process of our recruitment is still going to be the same with new roles. Work we have been doing for years now anyway.

"The communication is very good and we are always looking to add quality to the squad."

A blockbuster tie against Milan will be the 11th meeting between the two teams, but the first to take place outside of the Champions League.

United have been eliminated from four of their five knockout ties with Milan, but go into the contest at Old Trafford on a high after their stunning 2-0 win at Manchester City in Sunday's derby.

Captain Harry Maguire senses a strong belief within the squad amid a gruelling fixture calendar.

"When you win the big games against the top teams it gives us confidence that we know we can beat anyone," he said. "We have felt that for around a year now.

"Of course you are expected to win trophies at this club. It is really important. We are playing for three competitions.

"If I need a rest I will speak to the manager, but I am used to it now. I feel good physically and the more we win the better I will feel mentally. I'll rest when I'm retired!"

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is running out of superlatives to describe Erling Haaland after the Borussia Dortmund striker sent Champions League records tumbling.

Haaland scored twice in Tuesday's last-16 second leg against Sevilla at Signal Iduna Park to help Dortmund through 5-4 on aggregate in a thrilling tie.

In doing so, Haaland became the first player to score twice in four successive matches in the Champions League as he took his tally in the tournament to 20 goals in 14 games.

That is the quickest time a player has reached 20 goals and, at 20 years and 231 days, he is the youngest player to net in six straight games in UEFA's flagship competition.

Another record was also broken as the former Salzburg star ousted Solskjaer as Norway's all-time leading scorer in the competition.

And Solskjaer, who is now in charge of Manchester United, is not surprised the player he formerly managed at Molde is continuing to reach new levels.

"It was just a matter of time before he scored more goals than me in the Champions League," he said at a news conference on Wednesday previewing United's Europa League tie with Milan.

"There are not many more superlatives to use. Whatever I want to say I will say in Norwegian directly to him."

Asked about his own scoring accolades as a player, Solskjaer said: "Unfortunately I can't play football anymore and Erling can only work on improving and keep on scoring.

"My focus is only on improving Man United so I'll gladly give away all my records to improve what I'm doing now.

"Now it’s you're the first manager to do this to win this and my focus is always on improving and getting better." 

Of Haaland's 20 Champions League goals, 15 have been scored with his stronger left foot, four with his right and one via his head, coming from 45 shots in total.

No player has found the net more times than the Norwegian since he made his debut in the competition for Salzburg in September 2019, with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (19) next on the list and Kylian Mbappe third with 10 goals.

Stefano Pioli insists Milan are in confident mood ahead of their Europa League last-16 tie with Manchester United, despite having to contend with a growing injury list.

Milan are without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Mandzukic, Ismael Bennacer, Hakan Calhanoglu, Theo Hernandez and Ante Rebic for Thursday's first leg.

The Italian side travel to Old Trafford with just two strikers in their squad – Rafael Leao and academy product Riccardo Tonin, who has yet to feature at senior level.

However, Milan were also far from full strength for their 2-0 league win at Hellas Verona last weekend and Pioli is hoping to build confidence from that victory.

"We have a choice to make: either let ourselves be overwhelmed by the negative waves or ride the positive ones of confidence," he said. 

"We will choose to ride it and I'm sure the team will put in a good performance against a difficult opponent.

"Winning our last game gives us momentum. When we play at our best we do well and against United we will be prepared.

"We have to play this type of game to our fullest ability. A positive result would give us momentum in view of the return match."

Milan are meeting United for the 11th time in a competitive match, though all 10 previous encounters have come in either the European Cup or Champions League.

The Rossoneri have not competed in Europe's flagship competition since 2013-14, while English heavyweights United exited the tournament at the group stage.

Both teams are second in their domestic leagues and United enter the match on the back of an impressive 2-0 win at Manchester City last time out.

But Pioli does not believe the winners of the two-legged affair should necessarily be considered the favourites to go all the way and lift the trophy.

"I don't think so. There are many other teams that have a chance to win it," he said. "But of course it is a prestigious match with a lot of history and past.

"We are working hard to get back to winning trophies. As [technical director Paolo] Maldini said, it takes a couple of years of continued presence in the Champions League.

"We need to tackle this path with enthusiasm and conviction."

Thursday's clash will mark a first return to Old Trafford for Diogo Dalot since joining Milan on loan last October.

The full-back struggled for appearances at United but has been used 20 times in all competitions by Pioli, including eight outings in the Europa League.

"We are happy with his performance and his growth," Pioli said. "As far as his future is concerned, we are too focused on the league and on the Europa League for that.

"Besides, it is not me who makes a decision about his future."

Milan have been eliminated on six of the last seven occasions in which they have reached the last 16 of a major European competition.

However, they have got the better of United in four of their previous five knockout ties in European competition, with no side eliminating the Red Devils more often.

Manchester United have appointed Darren Fletcher as technical director and promoted John Murtough to the new role of football director.

Both former United midfielder Fletcher and Murtough will support manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club announced on Wednesday.

United's search for a director of football has seen them linked with a number of their former players and some of the top sporting directors on the continent.

They have settled on two new roles, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward calling the appointments "hugely important" for United.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gianluigi Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season, so where will he be playing in 2021-22?

The Milan and Italy goalkeeper – still in discussions with the Rossoneri – has attracted interest from across Europe.

Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly circling.

 

TOP STORY – DONNARUMMA WANTED IN ENGLAND

Manchester United and Chelsea are considering signing Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma as a free agent, according to The Transfer Window podcast.

Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season, though Tuttosport reports he and Milan remain in contract discussions.

Serie A champions Juventus and Ligue 1 titleholders Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked.

Sky Sports says United are also targeting Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak amid doubts over David de Gea's future.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are eyeing Chelsea's Christian Pulisic. The United States international has found himself out of favour under new manager Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.

- The wish list of new Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been revealed. Sport reports aside from Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Laporta is also targeting Sergio Aguero and Bayern star David Alaba, as well as in-demand Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

Arsenal want to sign Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi as a replacement for Hector Bellerin, according to the Telegraph. Bellerin has been linked to PSG and Barca.

- Sport Bild reports Bundesliga champions Bayern will let veteran defender Jerome Boateng leave amid his links with Chelsea.

Edinson Cavani said he is proud to wear the Manchester United shirt after his father claimed the star forward is unhappy at Old Trafford and wants to leave at season's end.

Cavani joined United as a free agent on a one-year deal at the start of the season and the 34-year-old has impressed in Manchester, where the Uruguayan has scored seven goals and supplied two assists across 25 appearances in all competitions.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has flagged the possibility of a contract extension amid Cavani's links to Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors.

Cavani's father, Luis, claimed Paris Saint-Germain's all-time leading goalscorer is not happy in the Premier League and "would like to play for Boca".

But Edinson Cavani dispelled those comments via social media on Tuesday.

"Proud to wear this shirt @manchesterunited," Cavani wrote in an Instagram post.

Earlier, Luis Cavani had told TyC Sports: "My son is not happy in England and wants to return nearer his family. He wants to play in South America.

"I want Edinson to play for a team which fights for important trophies. He has had many conversations with [Boca vice-president Juan Roman] Riquelme and would like to play for Boca.

"At the halfway point of the year, he'd like to return to South America. My son’s idea is not to continue there [in Manchester]. He wants to return.

"I think he's going to come back in June this year."

Cavani Sr cited his son's punishment by the Football Association (FA) for using a racially insensitive word in a social media post as a factor in his unhappiness.

"There are things which sometimes annoy us as humans, as people. The whole ban issue annoyed him," Luis Cavani added.

"That has been playing on him, sometimes players can't find form either. These things can weigh heavy on you. Sometimes mentally you can get dragged down."

English Premier League club Manchester United has reportedly contacted agents of Jamaica international Leon Bailey with a view to potentially securing the services of the player this summer.

The 23-year-old winger is under contract with German club Bayern Leverkusen until 2023 but rumors have run rife that the player could be set for a move away from the Bundesliga this transfer window.

With United in the marketplace for more attacking options, the Jamaica winger, who is valued somewhere in the region of £50 million, could be a solid bet.  According to reports, the Reds Devils have sent scouts to keep an eye on his development in the past 18 months.  Initially, the club was thought to be interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho but the clubs remain far apart on valuation numbers.

The Jamaican has had a strong season for the German club in both the Bundesliga and European League.  In the Europa League, the player scored five times and provide 4 assists in 6 appearances, while so far, he has scored 6 league goals and dished 6 assists in 20 appearances.

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