Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes gives emphatic verdict on playing with Paul Pogba

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has opened up on playing alongside Paul Pogba and has hailed the World Cup winner as ‘fantastic’. Red Devils fans are excited to see the two line up together at Old Trafford when the Premier League restarts.

Fernandes has been sensational since joining United in the January transfer window from Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese has netted twice and provided three assists in just five Premier League appearances for his new side.

And on Instagram he has opened up on his excitement to get going with Pogba for the remainder of the campaign.

“I think Paul is one of the best players in Manchester and in the world,” Fernandes said during an Instagram Live with Mario Djurovski.

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“He was injured for a lot of time.

“The opportunity to play side to side with him is fantastic because you want to play with the best players you can.”

Former United star Dimitar Berbatov thinks Pogba’s return to full fitness is undoubtedly a boost for the club but warns that a fruitful partnership between the World Cup winner and Fernandes could take more time.

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“Manchester United have had a huge boost in Paul Pogba returning to fitness. It is great news for the team,” Berbatov told Betfair.

“The dangerous thing is that he hasn’t played for so long, so hopefully he has prepared well and he will be ready to play at 100 percent again.

“Is he going to start? I’m not too sure, coming back from a long injury may impact him starting, it will be interesting to see if Solskjaer puts him straight into the battle. I’m sure if the manager asks Pogba how he feels and if he is ready, then Paul will say ‘of course I am ready.’

“It will be the first time we get to see Fernandes and Pogba play together and it will be interesting to see if they can hit it off, they will have had the chance to get to know each other in training but that is totally different to a game.

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“It could be a great partnership and I am sure that Pogba’s return is a massive boost and will give huge confidence to the whole team.

“One player doesn’t define a team, but when you have good, quality, confident players putting all their effort in to help the team then you are going to succeed.”

United currently sit fifth in the Premier League and will look to leapfrog Chelsea when the season restarts in a couple of weeks.

The Red Devils will be desperate to qualify for the Champions League as they look to add the likes of Jadon Sancho to their ranks this summer.

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What Man Utd chief Ed Woodward has been told to do to win Jude Bellingham transfer race

Manchester United face a battle to beat Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal in the transfer race for Birmingham starlet Jude Bellingham. The Red Devils need to offer more guaranteed cash to sign the 16-year-old though.

Bellingham has visited United’s training ground and was personally shown around by Sir Alex Ferguson.

But it is believed German giants Borussia Dortmund are leading the race for his signature after proving their talent in bringing on youngsters such as Jadon Sancho.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to land Bellingham and he would be part of the first-team immediately.

And Birmingham privately accept they will sell the teenager this summer to raise funds to help the club survive in a post-coronavirus world.

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But ESPN claim the Championship club wand a big sum up front for Bellingham, something United have not yet offered

So far the Red Devils have offered a structured deal made up of smaller down payments but Birmingham want more initially for their prized asset.

If United are to beat Dortmund and Arsenal to the signature of Bellingham they will have to raise their original offer.

The Red Devils made their interest clear in January when they enquired about the availability of the youngster.

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And Solskjaer is keen to add Bellingham this summer as well as the likes of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Former United defender Wes Brown thinks Sancho would be a perfect signing for United and could be their new Cristiano Ronaldo.

He told MUTV: “Talent and excitement. We need someone exactly like that at the club.

“We’ve had them over the years and I’m sure if we were to sign him he would bring that excitement back to the club. It would be good for the team as well.

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“We’ve had players like that in the past, like with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“They’re the type of player who draw three or four defenders out and make the game a lot easier for the other players.

“If we could do it, it would be a brilliant signing.”

United are all set for the Premier League restart and will look to leapfrog Chelsea to finish in the top four.

That would ensure Champions League qualification and make them a more attractive club for prospective new players to join.

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Man Utd supremo Ed Woodward makes transfer promise to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ed Woodward has promised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Manchester United will be competitive in the upcoming transfer window. The Red Devils have ambitious plans despite the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis. A new striker is set to drop down the priority list, however, after Odion Ighalo’s loan deal was extended.

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Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho remains the dream target for Solskjaer, although Old Trafford officials are unlikely to meet the Bundesliga club’s asking price of more than £100million.

Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and James Maddison of Leicester City are also on Solskjaer’s target list.

A new striker was on the agenda but the United boss is set to put those plans on the back burner.

The likes of Erling Haaland, Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele were being monitored but Ighalo’s loan extension means the club’s transfer kitty can be allocated on other targets.

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A £140m loan plus £90m in cash reserves means United have money to spend – and Woodward is determined to splash the cash, with the Evening Standard reporting that the executive vice-chairman has promised Solskjaer he will be competitive in the market.

The club are unlikely to blow all their budget on one player, however.

Woodward told fans in April not to expect the next window to be “business as usual” due to the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “As ever, our priority is the success of the team but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.

“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”

Solskjaer has also spoken in cautious tones about a possible summer splurge.

“I think today’s world is different to what it was two months ago and we’ve got to adjust and adapt,” he said last month.

“There are clubs out there struggling more than us financially.

“But still, it’s a new world and I think the transfer market will be completely different to what everyone thought it was going to be.

“We’re always looking to improve the squad. There’s uncertainty in the market now. ‘Who knows how football is going to be and how the market is going to be. I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got.”

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Chelsea enquire about Inter Milan prodigy but face transfer battle with Conte and Man City

Chelsea will take on Manchester City for highly-rated Inter Milan youngster Lorenzo Pirola, according to reports. The Blues have developed a reputation for harvesting world class youngsters and are supposedly looking to bolster their defensive options for the future.

Pirola is considered one of the most exciting talents at Inter Milan and Antonio Conte has already identified the centre-back as a key first-team player going forward.

The Nerazzurri boss reportedly played a key role in recently finalising a contract that ties Pirola down at the San Siro until 2025.

Juventus previously made an approach for the promising defender as they looked to take advantage of any failure to reach a new agreement, but their interest has now cooled.

However, Pirola’s new deal has not put Chelsea and Manchester City off from enquiring about the 18-year-old.

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Serie B News report that the Premier League duo have asked for information about the centre-back while Borussia Dortmund and Hellas Verona have also lodged their interest.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has ushered in a new generation of young talent at Stamford Bridge this season and is keen to keep that conveyor belt of talent rolling.

Meanwhile, City are in desperate need of long-term reinforcements following a number of suspect signings in recent seasons.

Pep Guardiola is yet to adequately replace Vincent Kompany while Fernandinho has been deployed in central defence this season with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones failing to convince.

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The latest report suggests Inter are not considering selling Pirola, although the Italian Under-19 international could be loaned out to aid his development.

It is claimed that Pirola could be loaned to Verona in an attempt to secure the signing of Marash Kumbulla – another defender Chelsea are said to be tracking.

This could take the form of a two-year stay, minimising the disruption of losing Kumbulla.

Pescara are also said to be monitoring Pirola, with the Serie B club having worked closely with Inter in the past.

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While Chelsea would be keen to snap up such a highly-rated talent, the west London club have several more pressing concerns in the summer window.

Lampard is planning an overhaul of his squad with Pedro and Willian out of contract while a host of players are expected to leave.

Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso are both likely to depart, joining Juventus and Inter respectively, while Chelsea will hope to find a buyer for Michy Batshuayi.

Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta could return to Serie A, Tiemoue Bakayoko is being tracked by Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid are expected to take up their £48.5million option on Alvaro Morata.

These departures would leave Chelsea light at left-back while the Blues are looking for a new striker and attacking midfielders to compliment the arrival of Hakim Ziyech.

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Arsenal hero Ian Wright singles out one Man Utd legend who ‘is why they won so much’

Arsenal hero Ian Wright claims the intensity of Roy Keane was a major reason behind Manchester United’s success in the 1990s and early 2000s. Keane won seven Premier League titles in a 12-year spell at Old Trafford and was captain for eight of those years between 1997 and 2005. The Irishman is widely regarded as one of the best captains and central midfielders in the history of the Premier League.

And Wright, who played against Keane for a large part of his career, has described him as the “most intense” player he faced.

Wright says it was that intensity which carried Keane’s teams onto success.

“Well the most intense I’ve played against would probably have to be Roy Keane,” Wright told Stadium Astro.

“Roy Keane was really intense, there was no let up in his manner on the pitch when he was on there with Man United.

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“This is why they won so much, this is why they were so revered, that’s why they were so great because he was a captain that didn’t let anybody rest on their laurels and he drove that team for many years. He was majorly intense on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Wright says former Arsenal defender Martin Keown was the most intense player he played with during his career.

Keown made almost 450 appearances in two spells at Arsenal and won seven major honours, including the Premier League title win in 2004 where the Gunners went an entire season unbeaten.

“I think when you talk about somebody I played with and intensity, Martin Keown,” Wright added.

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“We’re talking about no day off for him, in training he was exactly the same to how he played, which is something that I tried to take from his game because you can’t switch it on and off like a tap, the intensity you have to play at at the Premier League level and international level.

“So if you can maintain a certain intensity all the way through, whether it’s training or whatever you’re doing, even in friendlies Martin said to me you should continuously play, train like you play.

“He was majorly intense to the point where it was over-the-top intense.

“Martin was one of the most friendly men you could ever meet.

“I think when you hear him doing his analysis you can hear he’s very concise, a very intelligent bloke and maybe a little bit misunderstood.”

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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may make boldest signing since Sir Alex Ferguson left

When Sir Alex Ferguson was Manchester United manager, he always liked to cherry-pick the best players from rival clubs. That led to much success at Old Trafford, with the Scot dominating the Premier League during his spell in charge. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be about to do the same with Raheem Sterling if recent reports are to be believed.

Ferguson never thought a player was out of reach for Manchester United.

And, more often than not, the Scot was bang on the money. When he was in charge Old Trafford was a place to be feared – and so too were the club when they’d come calling.

Ferguson controversially raided Leeds for Eric Cantona in the winter of 1992, despite the Frenchman playing for their fierce rivals.

He landed Teddy Sheringham from Tottenham five years later, with the striker going on to help them win the treble.

And he famously angered Spurs by signing Dimitar Berbatov in 2008, with the north London giants refusing to let a single player move to Old Trafford in the time since.

Now, it appears current United manager Solskjaer is hoping to do the same.

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It’s been claimed by the Independent that the Red Devils are monitoring Sterling’s situation at Manchester City, hoping to exploit a potential Champions League ban.

As things stand, the reigning Premier League champions are set to go without Europe’s top club competition for the next two years.

City were found guilty of breaching financial fair play regulations back in February, with UEFA coming down hard.

They’ve appealed the ban to the court of arbitration for sport, hoping to overturn it.

But if they don’t, United are ready to pounce. If given encouragement, they’re prepared to go after Sterling.

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Given his form at the Etihad, it’s easy to see why.

The England international has been a roaring success ever since he upset Liverpool fans by quitting Anfield back in the summer of 2014.

In his first season in Manchester he scored seven goals and registered eight assists from 35 league games as the club won the Premier League title.

But he’s gone from strength to strength ever since Pep Guardiola waltzed in the door as Manuel Pellegrini’s replacement.

Guardiola has helped Sterling scale new heights ever since his appointment, with the 25-year-old now regarded as one of the best players in the top flight.

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Statistically, that certainly appears to be the case.

Last season he was devastating as City won the title, scoring 17 and assisting 12 in the Premier League alone.

And while they’re set to go without the prize this term, 11 goals and two assists is an impressive return.

Should United sign Sterling, it would be the biggest deal of the summer.

And it could be one that sees the power shift from the blue side of the city back to the red. 

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Roman Abramovich to finance £100m+ transfer spree as Frank Lampard eyes Jadon Sancho

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will back manager Frank Lampard in the upcoming transfer window and is prepared to finance at least two “marquee” signings. The Blues are expected to challenge for Leicester star Ben Chilwell and a forward to ease the burden on Tammy Abraham.

The Blues are currently in fourth position, three points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United and are hopeful of securing Champions League qualification when the campaign restarts on June 17.

Entry to Europe’s top-tier competition will help Chelsea attract the biggest names to Stamford Bridge and help to finance various summer incomings.

The Europa League champions haven’t made a signing in the last two transfer windows but have now brought Hakim Ziyech to the club, paying Ajax £35million for his signature.

And the Morocco international, 27, doesn’t look like being the last arrival this summer.

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The Athletic claim Abramovich is as ‘enthusiastic’ as ever about the club and fully prepared to bankroll two major signings additions this summer.

The likelihood of these marquee additions taking place have been boosted from the sales of Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid for an initial £89m, and Alvaro Morata’s £48m switch to Atletico Madrid.

Boss Lampard is desperate to resolve his ‘problem position’ at left-back with £85million-rated Leicester star Chilwell his top priority.

Other options include Porto’s Alex Telles and Ajax full-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

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Both have been extensively assessed by scouts and deemed far cheaper alternatives to Chilwell but Lampard wants the Foxes talent.

However, Chilwell’s arrival is dependent on the futures of Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, who Chelsea are looking to offload along with Willian and Pedro.

The Athletic claim Chelsea are also considering moves for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Lyon’s Moussa Dembele and sought-after RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.

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How Man Utd would line up with Raheem Sterling and three other signings

Manchester United will look to sign Raheem Sterling if Manchester City’s Champions League ban is upheld, reports say. And the England international is also being tracked alongside the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Joe Rodon. Express Sport now takes a look at how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could look with the quartet in their ranks.

Joe Rodon

Manchester United are huge admirers of Kalidou Koulibaly and Dayot Upamecano, of Napoli and RB Leipzig respectively.

But Rodon would be a cheaper signing.

The Wales international is highly-rated at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils recommended the centre-back by Ryan Giggs.

Should United sign him he could take Victor Lindelof’s spot alongside Harry Maguire in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence.

And he’d likely be joined by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw in United’s backline.

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Jack Grealish

The report says that United signing Grealish from Aston Villa seems to hinge on the future of Paul Pogba.

So if the 24-year-old does arrive, it’s likely to mean the France international won’t be around anymore.

United may change Bruno Fernandes’ position to accommodate Grealish should he sign on the dotted line.

Fernandes could be moved into a deeper role alongside Scott McTominay.

And that would allow Grealish to operate in his favoured No 10 position.

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Raheem Sterling

United could swoop for Sterling if City are left without Champions League football for the next two years.

And while it’s unlikely the Red Devils seem to have been plotting behind the scenes.

Should United sign Sterling it would likely be to the detriment of Anthony Martial.

Marcus Rashford would potentially take the France international’s role as centre-forward, despite his fine form on the left flank.

And Sterling would then waltz into the side.

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Jadon Sancho

United’s biggest priority of the summer remains Sancho, who has been sensational for Borussia Dortmund this season.

He took his Bundesliga goal tally to 18 at the weekend with a sublime hat-trick against Paderborn.

And United think he can be the answer to the club’s problems on the right wing.

Sancho would easily be an upgrade on Daniel James – although it’s worth noting the Wales international has done well this season.

Full United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Rodon, Shaw, Fernandes, McTominay, Sancho, Grealish, Sterling, Rashford

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Philippe Coutinho’s stance on Barcelona to Tottenham transfer – with five other teams keen

Philippe Coutinho hasn’t ruled out leaving Barcelona for Tottenham when the transfer window reopens, according to reports. The Brazil international is set to return to the Nou Camp at the end of the campaign after Bayern Munich made it clear they wouldn’t be signing him permanently. And, as well as Spurs, the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Newcastle, Leicester and Manchester United are also keen on the 27-year-old.

Coutinho’s stock has fallen drastically since leaving Liverpool for Barcelona back in the January transfer window of 2018.

The La Liga giants thought they were onto a winner when they paid £142million to sign him, believing the 27-year-old would be the ticket to Champions League glory.

But Coutinho spent 18 nightmare months at Barcelona before being loaned out to Bayern Munich last summer.

He initially flourished under Niko Kovac at the Allianz Arena but has waned since the appointment of Hans-Dieter Flick as manager.

Now, a parting of the ways is on the cards.

And Mundo Deportivo say Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle and Leicester are all interested in the Brazilian.

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Regarding a potential move to Spurs, the report claims that Coutinho ‘doesn’t rule out’ the possibility.

Tottenham were in the picture for Coutinho’s signing a year ago after it emerged that Barcelona were open to a temporary departure.

And, even though Mauricio Pochettino has since been replaced by Jose Mourinho in north London, Coutinho could make the move.

While United are linked the Red Devils are unlikely to go for the former Liverpool star, with Jack Grealish their preferred option.

Coutinho may find a move to Newcastle too much of a step down no matter the dizzying wages he could earn at St James’ Park.

And Leicester simply don’t have the same pulling power as their Premier League rivals – although Coutinho did play under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.

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Chelsea and Arsenal appear the teams best-placed to rival Spurs for the signing of Coutinho this summer.

And his agent, Kia Joorabchian, recently admitted that Coutinho was ‘definitely’ interested in a move back to these shores.

“We’re still waiting until the season finishes before we start talking about anything in terms of transfers,” he told Talksport.

“I’ve always said he loves to play in the Premier League.

“He enjoyed his time very much and if the opportunity arises to come back to the Premier League, whether it be this year or in the future, he’s definitely looking at that.”

Meanwhile, former Bayern Munich star Owen Hargreaves recently had his say on Coutinho’s future.

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And he expressed a belief that the Brazilian could rediscover his mojo in the Premier League, saying: “I love his game, I love him as a player.

“He is obviously going through a bit of a tough time after leaving Liverpool.

“Barca didn’t work and Bayern hasn’t really worked, but there is still plenty of time and I would never count him out.

“I would love to see him back in the Premier League. He makes a lot of teams better.

“Premier League teams are probably the only ones with the capacity to sign him and, let’s be honest when he was here he was a dream to watch.

“There are a lot of rumours about Chelsea, even Man United. There are a lot of teams where if I was sporting director, surely his name is on a lot of teams’ lists to come in and make a big impact.”

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What Man Utd target Raheem Sterling has confessed about Red Devils is interesting

Manchester United moving for Raheem Sterling is a possibility, even if it’s unlikely. The Red Devils are reportedly ready to go after the Manchester City star if Pep Guardiola’s side have their Champions League ban upheld. And while it seems remote that the England international would move to Old Trafford, old comments of his make for interesting reading.

Sterling has already played for two of Manchester United’s biggest rivals in Manchester City and Liverpool.

But that hasn’t stopped the Independent from claiming that the Red Devils could go after the England international when the transfer window reopens.

The 25-year-old has been identified as a target by the club’s analytical department, who believe he has what it takes to thrive in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Obviously, the rumour is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

United would find it difficult convincing City into selling Sterling given their status as fierce enemies.

And would he really be wooed to a club who haven’t won the Premier League since 2013, while he’s won three in the time since?

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However, speaking before last season’s FA Cup final between City and Watford at Wembley, Sterling admitted he was a ‘massive United fan’ growing up.

And he spoke of visiting Wembley to watch United lose to Chelsea in the final of the same competition in 2007, with Didier Drogba scoring the only goal of the game.

“I was at the final in 2007,” he said back then.

“I shouldn’t really say this — not now, definitely not now! — but when I was young I was a massive United fan. I had an old United kit, from when they won the last FA Cup.

“To be in the stadium… it was incredible. It was unbelievable and that was when I tried to give the tickets to the school. That was motivated by that — being so close to the stadium and not going there more than once.

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“If two or three of the kids could be inspired, then that’s all I was trying to do. Purely, that’s how I felt at the time.

“If there was a kid who had a chance of being a footballer, hopefully that will give them motivation or inspiration to change their dreams.”

The last player to move between the clubs was Owen Hargreaves, although he was technically a free agent.

So too was Carlos Tevez, who swapped Old Trafford for the Etihad back in 2009.

And he was recently slammed by Gary Neville for his attitude, with the United legend accusing the Argentine of downing tools.

“What annoyed me about Tevez was he downed tools in his second season,” Neville told Sky Sports last month.

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“Started sitting on the treatment bench, started coming out late for training. Started messing around.

“He was playing the club, and I couldn’t stand that.”

That prompted a furious response from Tevez’s agent Kia Joorabchian, who said: “Absolutely not, he was desperate to play.

“He scored 15 goals with seven assists, his record was superb. Every time, he was available for every game bar the three he missed through injury.

“I think the person’s professionalism to be questioned is Gary Neville because he didn’t do his homework on Carlos’ career or as a reporter to say why Tevez wasn’t [professional].

“He never made any phone calls, he never asked the question of me or anyone to know what has happened. He just makes comments time and time again.”

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