Manchester United told there's a big problem with Cristiano Ronaldo transfer

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Manchester Evening News 04 September, 2021 - 06:45am 23 views

What shirt number is Cavani?

Cavani will now wear the number 21 shirt, a number he has never worn at club level but one he has spent the vast majority of his international career wearing since 2010, although he sport the number 7 at the London Olympics in 2012. Manchester Evening NewsEdinson Cavani's new Manchester United number after Cristiano Ronaldo retakes famous number 7

Paul Merson believes Manchester United re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo will block the path of some of the club’s brightest talents.

Ronaldo made a sensational return to the team he left in 2009, signing from Juventus in a €15million (£12.9m) summer transfer on a two-year deal with an option for a third.

Reclaiming the No 7 shirt from Edinson Cavani, Ronaldo is likely to make his second debut at home on September 11 against Newcastle United.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to spearhead United's attack in the majority of games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But with teenage sensation Mason Greenwood starting the 2021/2022 season in red-hot form playing a more central role in Solskjaer’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, scoring three goals in three games, Merson argues that the England striker could be a casualty of the Portuguese captain’s arrival.

As could Anthony Elanga and Shola Shoretire, two academy graduates who made their first-team debuts at the back end of last season and impressed in the limited playing time they received.

Elanga scored on just his second start for the senior side, last season’s 2-1 victory over Wolves, and found the back of the net with a fine-finish against Brentford in pre-season.

Amad Traore was set to go out on loan to Dutch side Feyenoord but that was scrapped at the last minute due to the winger picking up a thigh injury.

Dan James has been sold to Leeds United for £25million despite starting two of United’s three pre-season games this season.

While Merson admits that the next generation of stars will benefit from watching Ronaldo in training and during games, they are likely to be confined to the bench because of his arrival.

Writing in his Daily Star column, he said: “The kids at United should learn from him. If you can’t learn from a player like that, you’ve got a problem.

“But they will also get less game time because of him, and is that good for their development? I’m just saying what I see.”

Read full article at Manchester Evening News

3 Players Manchester United Must Sell When The Transfer Window Reopens | Opinion

MAD ABOUT EPL 04 September, 2021 - 03:01pm

In Tom Heaton, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, Solskjaer looked content with the incomings at Old Trafford. The sensational return of Cristiano Ronaldo came out of nowhere, one that took the Reds’ summer spending further clear of the £100 million mark.

After another trophyless season for Manchester United, the pressure will be on Solskjaer to deliver this time around with the squad full of quality and depth he’s got.

As far as the outgoings are concerned, though, Daniel James was the only player sold, while Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and James Garner were among the academy products to leave Old Trafford on temporary loan spells.

Yet, there must be a growing desire from the Red Devils to recoup some money by offloading the deadwood from their wage bills. The Manchester United squad is currently bloated with players who are unlikely to feature much under Solskjaer this season.

Trimming the wage bill by a few players in the next transfer window would give the Norwegian tactician a chance to address a couple more problematic areas of his squad. That being said, here are three players United must sell during the 2022 January transfer window.

Considering the degree of the Red Devils’ stiff competition for minutes in midfield and attack, it was a big surprise to see Jesse Lingard stay put at the club.

Lingard, 28, enjoyed a successful short loan spell at West Ham United last season, helping them clinch a berth in the Europa League. David Moyes was more than happy to welcome the England international back but the Hammers failed to agree to Manchester United’s £30 million valuation.

Currently in his prime, Lingard, who has entered the final 12 months on his contract, must move on from his boyhood club to revive his career.

Manchester United must definitely not stand in his way when the transfer window reopens in January. And it is freshly claimed the Hammers will prioritise the English midfielder’s signing in the New Year.

With the signing of Raphael Varane, Phil Jones is currently United’s fifth choice centre-back.

Jones’ Old Trafford career has been plagued with various injury problems, thereby, pulling him behind all these years from unlocking his true potential.

Manchester United, ManU v Burnley – Premier League – Old Trafford Manchester United s Phil Jones EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xNickxPottsx 49772783

The English centre-back hasn’t played competitive football since January 2020 due to a serious knee injury. The 29-year-old, who just like Lingard is in the final year of his contract, is currently building his match fitness by playing in Manchester United’s behind-the-closed-doors friendlies.

He is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and the club must offload him during the winter transfer window. However, the problem in selling Jones might be finding new buyers for him.

Anthony Martial cost big bucks thanks to his burgeoning reputation in France then but six years into his stay at Old Trafford and he seemingly finds himself behind the likes of Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo in the attacking pecking order.

The French international’s time at Old Trafford so far has been a mixed one; inconsistency and injury problems have seen Martial’s stature dramatically shrink over the last 12-15 months. Luckily, he is 25 and set to enter the prime years of his career. This should motivate the forward to leave Old Trafford and be a regular starter elsewhere.

Without any second thoughts, the Red Devils must sell Martial in January and raise funds to sign a quality defensive midfielder.

The inside story of the ISI-Taliban nexus

Sky Sports Football 04 September, 2021 - 08:10am

The Taliban’s dramatic sweep into Kabul raises two questions. What was the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and what do we know of the Taliban leadership? Let me share what I’ve been told by Rana Banerji, a former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). Few people know more than him.

The Taliban came into existence in 1994 at the White Mosque, 50 km from Kandahar. It comprised devout Muslims determined to check extortionist gangs operating on Afghanistan’s highways. Mullah Abdul Samad was the first emir. Mullah Omar, a Ghilzai Hotak, was a commander.

During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, Omar was a member of Yunis Khalis’s Hezb-i-Islami. A shrapnel injury left him blinded in one eye. Disgruntled by Mujahideen corruption, he retreated to religion. The Taliban was the next step.

When a Pakistan convoy was held up in Afghanistan, Major-General Naseerullah Babar, then interior minister, sought the Taliban’s help. It worked and, in gratitude, Pakistan gave its support and aid.

Initially, the Taliban was also supported by Afghanistan’s President Burhanuddin Rabbani. In his unceasing rivalry with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, it was a useful tool. But Pakistani help was more important.

Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar, a former special services group officer, later consul general in Herat, provided military training. The ISI provided funds. A cache of arms, reportedly hidden in tunnels near Kandahar, was handed over.

The Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. Now, their dependence on Pakistan grew exponentially. Banerji says Pakistani “officers, plainclothes assistants and bureaucrats” were the spine of the first Taliban government. “Not only in Kabul but in the provinces as well”. Five years later, when the Taliban was expelled, Pakistan opened its doors.

At Miran Shah, Peshawar and Quetta refugee camps and Shuras were set up. The Taliban took to drug smuggling and Pakistan looked the other way. When Iraq diverted American attention, the Taliban began returning and Pakistan provided assistance and protection. The Taliban’s children studied in Pakistani schools, its injured were treated in Pakistani hospitals.

America knew but didn’t react. Perhaps its dependence on the Karachi-Torkham supply route is the best explanation. Meanwhile, as Taliban control of the country expanded, so too did Pakistani munificence. Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, has described the 2021 capture of Kabul as a Pakistani invasion fronted by the Taliban. So when Mullah Baradar flew into Kandahar, ISI chief Faiz Hamid crossed the border to greet him. Together they prayed at the White Mosque.

Now, to the second question.

What do we know of the bearded turban-wearing men who comprise the Taliban leadership? The present emir is Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Noorzai from Panjwayee, a district in Kandahar.

In Taliban 1.0, he was head of the Qazi courts. When Mullah Mansoor, the third emir, was killed, Akhundzada was the compromise choice. But, importantly, he was acceptable to the ISI. Banerji says he’s a recluse. The BBC says there’s only one picture of him.

Mullah Baradar is a blue-blooded Popalzai. He’s one of the Taliban’s three deputy commanders but the principal interlocutor in the Doha talks. It’s said his wife and Mullah Omar’s wife are sisters. Baradar, which means brother in Farsi, is the name Omar gave him. He spent eight years in Pakistani jails for proposing to speak to Karzai. Has he forgiven and forgotten or does it rankle?

The other deputy commanders are Mullah Yaqoob, Omar’s son, who’s the youngest and has close links with field commanders, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose group has attacked the Indian embassy.

The Haqqanis are India’s chief concern. Banerji says their founder, Jalaluddin, a man with several wives and seven sons, once worked for the Americans. The Haqqanis only joined the Taliban after it first came to power. Though Jalaluddin served as a minister, it’s said Hamid Karzai tried but failed to lure him. Today, the group is particularly beloved of the ISI.

Banerji says they “intimidate” the Taliban. Sirajuddin, the present head, is in-charge of security in Kabul. Do the ISIS attacks suggest he slipped-up or is complicit?

The Taliban’s dramatic sweep into Kabul raises two questions. What was the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and what do we know of the Taliban leadership? Let me share what I’ve been told by Rana Banerji, a former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). Few people know more than him.

The Taliban came into existence in 1994 at the White Mosque, 50 km from Kandahar. It comprised devout Muslims determined to check extortionist gangs operating on Afghanistan’s highways. Mullah Abdul Samad was the first emir. Mullah Omar, a Ghilzai Hotak, was a commander.

During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, Omar was a member of Yunis Khalis’s Hezb-i-Islami. A shrapnel injury left him blinded in one eye. Disgruntled by Mujahideen corruption, he retreated to religion. The Taliban was the next step.

When a Pakistan convoy was held up in Afghanistan, Major-General Naseerullah Babar, then interior minister, sought the Taliban’s help. It worked and, in gratitude, Pakistan gave its support and aid.

Initially, the Taliban was also supported by Afghanistan’s President Burhanuddin Rabbani. In his unceasing rivalry with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, it was a useful tool. But Pakistani help was more important.

Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar, a former special services group officer, later consul general in Herat, provided military training. The ISI provided funds. A cache of arms, reportedly hidden in tunnels near Kandahar, was handed over.

The Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. Now, their dependence on Pakistan grew exponentially. Banerji says Pakistani “officers, plainclothes assistants and bureaucrats” were the spine of the first Taliban government. “Not only in Kabul but in the provinces as well”. Five years later, when the Taliban was expelled, Pakistan opened its doors.

At Miran Shah, Peshawar and Quetta refugee camps and Shuras were set up. The Taliban took to drug smuggling and Pakistan looked the other way. When Iraq diverted American attention, the Taliban began returning and Pakistan provided assistance and protection. The Taliban’s children studied in Pakistani schools, its injured were treated in Pakistani hospitals.

America knew but didn’t react. Perhaps its dependence on the Karachi-Torkham supply route is the best explanation. Meanwhile, as Taliban control of the country expanded, so too did Pakistani munificence. Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, has described the 2021 capture of Kabul as a Pakistani invasion fronted by the Taliban. So when Mullah Baradar flew into Kandahar, ISI chief Faiz Hamid crossed the border to greet him. Together they prayed at the White Mosque.

Now, to the second question.

What do we know of the bearded turban-wearing men who comprise the Taliban leadership? The present emir is Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Noorzai from Panjwayee, a district in Kandahar.

In Taliban 1.0, he was head of the Qazi courts. When Mullah Mansoor, the third emir, was killed, Akhundzada was the compromise choice. But, importantly, he was acceptable to the ISI. Banerji says he’s a recluse. The BBC says there’s only one picture of him.

Mullah Baradar is a blue-blooded Popalzai. He’s one of the Taliban’s three deputy commanders but the principal interlocutor in the Doha talks. It’s said his wife and Mullah Omar’s wife are sisters. Baradar, which means brother in Farsi, is the name Omar gave him. He spent eight years in Pakistani jails for proposing to speak to Karzai. Has he forgiven and forgotten or does it rankle?

The other deputy commanders are Mullah Yaqoob, Omar’s son, who’s the youngest and has close links with field commanders, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose group has attacked the Indian embassy.

The Haqqanis are India’s chief concern. Banerji says their founder, Jalaluddin, a man with several wives and seven sons, once worked for the Americans. The Haqqanis only joined the Taliban after it first came to power. Though Jalaluddin served as a minister, it’s said Hamid Karzai tried but failed to lure him. Today, the group is particularly beloved of the ISI.

Banerji says they “intimidate” the Taliban. Sirajuddin, the present head, is in-charge of security in Kabul. Do the ISIS attacks suggest he slipped-up or is complicit?

The inside story of the ISI-Taliban nexus

Yahoo Singapore News 04 September, 2021 - 08:10am

The Taliban’s dramatic sweep into Kabul raises two questions. What was the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and what do we know of the Taliban leadership? Let me share what I’ve been told by Rana Banerji, a former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). Few people know more than him.

The Taliban came into existence in 1994 at the White Mosque, 50 km from Kandahar. It comprised devout Muslims determined to check extortionist gangs operating on Afghanistan’s highways. Mullah Abdul Samad was the first emir. Mullah Omar, a Ghilzai Hotak, was a commander.

During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, Omar was a member of Yunis Khalis’s Hezb-i-Islami. A shrapnel injury left him blinded in one eye. Disgruntled by Mujahideen corruption, he retreated to religion. The Taliban was the next step.

When a Pakistan convoy was held up in Afghanistan, Major-General Naseerullah Babar, then interior minister, sought the Taliban’s help. It worked and, in gratitude, Pakistan gave its support and aid.

Initially, the Taliban was also supported by Afghanistan’s President Burhanuddin Rabbani. In his unceasing rivalry with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, it was a useful tool. But Pakistani help was more important.

Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar, a former special services group officer, later consul general in Herat, provided military training. The ISI provided funds. A cache of arms, reportedly hidden in tunnels near Kandahar, was handed over.

The Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. Now, their dependence on Pakistan grew exponentially. Banerji says Pakistani “officers, plainclothes assistants and bureaucrats” were the spine of the first Taliban government. “Not only in Kabul but in the provinces as well”. Five years later, when the Taliban was expelled, Pakistan opened its doors.

At Miran Shah, Peshawar and Quetta refugee camps and Shuras were set up. The Taliban took to drug smuggling and Pakistan looked the other way. When Iraq diverted American attention, the Taliban began returning and Pakistan provided assistance and protection. The Taliban’s children studied in Pakistani schools, its injured were treated in Pakistani hospitals.

America knew but didn’t react. Perhaps its dependence on the Karachi-Torkham supply route is the best explanation. Meanwhile, as Taliban control of the country expanded, so too did Pakistani munificence. Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, has described the 2021 capture of Kabul as a Pakistani invasion fronted by the Taliban. So when Mullah Baradar flew into Kandahar, ISI chief Faiz Hamid crossed the border to greet him. Together they prayed at the White Mosque.

Now, to the second question.

What do we know of the bearded turban-wearing men who comprise the Taliban leadership? The present emir is Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Noorzai from Panjwayee, a district in Kandahar.

In Taliban 1.0, he was head of the Qazi courts. When Mullah Mansoor, the third emir, was killed, Akhundzada was the compromise choice. But, importantly, he was acceptable to the ISI. Banerji says he’s a recluse. The BBC says there’s only one picture of him.

Mullah Baradar is a blue-blooded Popalzai. He’s one of the Taliban’s three deputy commanders but the principal interlocutor in the Doha talks. It’s said his wife and Mullah Omar’s wife are sisters. Baradar, which means brother in Farsi, is the name Omar gave him. He spent eight years in Pakistani jails for proposing to speak to Karzai. Has he forgiven and forgotten or does it rankle?

The other deputy commanders are Mullah Yaqoob, Omar’s son, who’s the youngest and has close links with field commanders, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose group has attacked the Indian embassy.

The Haqqanis are India’s chief concern. Banerji says their founder, Jalaluddin, a man with several wives and seven sons, once worked for the Americans. The Haqqanis only joined the Taliban after it first came to power. Though Jalaluddin served as a minister, it’s said Hamid Karzai tried but failed to lure him. Today, the group is particularly beloved of the ISI.

Banerji says they “intimidate” the Taliban. Sirajuddin, the present head, is in-charge of security in Kabul. Do the ISIS attacks suggest he slipped-up or is complicit?

The Taliban’s dramatic sweep into Kabul raises two questions. What was the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and what do we know of the Taliban leadership? Let me share what I’ve been told by Rana Banerji, a former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). Few people know more than him.

The Taliban came into existence in 1994 at the White Mosque, 50 km from Kandahar. It comprised devout Muslims determined to check extortionist gangs operating on Afghanistan’s highways. Mullah Abdul Samad was the first emir. Mullah Omar, a Ghilzai Hotak, was a commander.

During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, Omar was a member of Yunis Khalis’s Hezb-i-Islami. A shrapnel injury left him blinded in one eye. Disgruntled by Mujahideen corruption, he retreated to religion. The Taliban was the next step.

When a Pakistan convoy was held up in Afghanistan, Major-General Naseerullah Babar, then interior minister, sought the Taliban’s help. It worked and, in gratitude, Pakistan gave its support and aid.

Initially, the Taliban was also supported by Afghanistan’s President Burhanuddin Rabbani. In his unceasing rivalry with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, it was a useful tool. But Pakistani help was more important.

Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar, a former special services group officer, later consul general in Herat, provided military training. The ISI provided funds. A cache of arms, reportedly hidden in tunnels near Kandahar, was handed over.

The Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. Now, their dependence on Pakistan grew exponentially. Banerji says Pakistani “officers, plainclothes assistants and bureaucrats” were the spine of the first Taliban government. “Not only in Kabul but in the provinces as well”. Five years later, when the Taliban was expelled, Pakistan opened its doors.

At Miran Shah, Peshawar and Quetta refugee camps and Shuras were set up. The Taliban took to drug smuggling and Pakistan looked the other way. When Iraq diverted American attention, the Taliban began returning and Pakistan provided assistance and protection. The Taliban’s children studied in Pakistani schools, its injured were treated in Pakistani hospitals.

America knew but didn’t react. Perhaps its dependence on the Karachi-Torkham supply route is the best explanation. Meanwhile, as Taliban control of the country expanded, so too did Pakistani munificence. Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, has described the 2021 capture of Kabul as a Pakistani invasion fronted by the Taliban. So when Mullah Baradar flew into Kandahar, ISI chief Faiz Hamid crossed the border to greet him. Together they prayed at the White Mosque.

Now, to the second question.

What do we know of the bearded turban-wearing men who comprise the Taliban leadership? The present emir is Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Noorzai from Panjwayee, a district in Kandahar.

In Taliban 1.0, he was head of the Qazi courts. When Mullah Mansoor, the third emir, was killed, Akhundzada was the compromise choice. But, importantly, he was acceptable to the ISI. Banerji says he’s a recluse. The BBC says there’s only one picture of him.

Mullah Baradar is a blue-blooded Popalzai. He’s one of the Taliban’s three deputy commanders but the principal interlocutor in the Doha talks. It’s said his wife and Mullah Omar’s wife are sisters. Baradar, which means brother in Farsi, is the name Omar gave him. He spent eight years in Pakistani jails for proposing to speak to Karzai. Has he forgiven and forgotten or does it rankle?

The other deputy commanders are Mullah Yaqoob, Omar’s son, who’s the youngest and has close links with field commanders, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose group has attacked the Indian embassy.

The Haqqanis are India’s chief concern. Banerji says their founder, Jalaluddin, a man with several wives and seven sons, once worked for the Americans. The Haqqanis only joined the Taliban after it first came to power. Though Jalaluddin served as a minister, it’s said Hamid Karzai tried but failed to lure him. Today, the group is particularly beloved of the ISI.

Banerji says they “intimidate” the Taliban. Sirajuddin, the present head, is in-charge of security in Kabul. Do the ISIS attacks suggest he slipped-up or is complicit?

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