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Oblak Wants Man U Move

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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak could be tempted by an offer from Manchester United – if David De Gea joins Real Madrid in the summer.
The Reds stopper has been heavily linked with a move to Los Blancos after previously coming close to swapping Old Trafford for the Santiago Bernabeu in 2015.
One alternative Jose Mourinho may look at is Oblak, who was named La Liga’s best goalkeeper last season after conceding just 18 goals, but he could face stiff competition.
MEN Sport understands that United would have to pay considerably more than the current world transfer record for a goalkeeper, £33m, which has been held by Gianluigi Buffon since 2001.
Oblak, who joined Atletico from Benfica for just £12.6m in 2014, has a €100m (£85m) release clause in his contract but it is understood that a suitor’s project is just as important as the wages on offer.
That is why the 24-year-old would not be against the idea of ‘taking’ a new club into the Champions League rather than immediately playing in it.
“I think for every player it is an honour to come to the UK and play for clubs like this one,” a source close to the player told MEN Sport.
“A lot of top clubs from Europe wants the best goalkeeper in the world. In the UK, there are three of them who show an interest regarding Jan Oblak.
“If De Gea goes back to Spain, everything is possible.”
Oblak, who speaks fluent English, is understood to be ‘very close’ to team-mates Antoine Griezmann and Jose Gimenez, who have both been linked with summer moves to Old Trafford.
The Slovenian has kept 15 clean sheets in 27 games in all competitions for Atleti this season and made a scarcely believable triple save against Bayer Leverkusen last month.
In terms of other potential alternatives, if De Gea left, MEN Sport understands that neither AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma nor Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno have yet been approached.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Sancho back in training with Man United after positive meeting with Ten Hag

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Jadon Sancho was back training with Manchester United for the first time in 10 months, with a club source confirming the winger and manager Erik ten Hag have resolved their differences following their public fallout last year.

Sancho and Ten Hag had a positive meeting at Carrington Training Centre and the two have decided to draw a line under last season’s drawn-out argument, the club source said.

The 24-year-old Sancho made just three appearances for United last season, spending the second half of the campaign on loan to Borussia Dortmund after his relationship with Ten Hag soured in September.

Ten Hag had left the winger out of his squad for United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal, saying Sancho’s performances in training had not warranted a place in his team. Sancho immediately lashed out on social media, accusing Ten Hag of making him a “scapegoat.”

He was banished from the first team and trained with United’s youth squad before returning to his former club Dortmund in January, where he shone during their Champions League semi-final victory against Paris St Germain, earning praise from Ten Hag. Dortmund were beaten by Real Madrid in the final.

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“(Sancho) is a very good player… he showed why Manchester United bought him and he showed he represents a high value for Manchester United, which is good,” Ten Hag told reporters following Dortmund’s 1-0 win over PSG in the first leg.

“I’m happy for Jadon, for the performance, and we’ll see what is going to happen in the future.”

Sancho will not travel with the team to Norway for their pre-season opener against Rosenborg since he began training later than the other players but the club source said he would be available for selection after that.

-Reuters

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Another Nigerian blood replaces Ndidi at Leicester

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Wilfred Ndidi who has just left Leicester City will have another Nigerian blood replacing him.

Leicester has never been without a Nigerian since Ahmed Musa joined in 2016. Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho joined in 2017.

Another Nigerian blood, Caleb Okoli, a centre back, has just been signed from Italian  Serie A side Atalanta on a five-year contract. Born in Itali, Caleb Okoli is Igbo and Yoruba by descent.

The 22-year-old, who spent the last season on loan at Frosinone Calcio, represented Italy at the European Under-21 Championship last year.

“I think now is the right moment (for me) to make a step forward and a very big one. I’m very happy with the choice I made, so I’m very excited to start in the Premier League,” Okoli said in a statement. The clubs did not disclose financial details of the deal.

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Ruud van Nistelrooy returns to Man United

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United legend Van Nistelrooy is expected to be announced as one of Erik ten Hag's assistants

Manchester United legend, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been spotted being driven into Carrington, the training ground of Manchester United.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (left) and Rene Hake arrived at Manchester United’s training ground

Reports have it that the Dutchman is set to be appointed as one of Erik ten Hag’s new assistant coaches.

He played for Manchester United from 2001 to 2006.

Now  48, he reportedly turned down job offer from Burnley to return to his old club, having previously led PSV Eindhoven to second place in the Eredivisie and victory in the Dutch Cup.

He is being joined by Rene Hake, 52, who was persuaded to give up his job as Go Ahead Eagles manager despite leading the Deventer-based club into Europe for only the third time in their history.

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