Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘missed a trick’ by failing to partner La Liga star with Ronaldo, Cavani – pundit

Kieran Trippier Atletico

One pundit reckons Man Utd ‘missed a trick’ by failing to land Atletico right-back Kieran Trippier.

The England international is closing in on a Premier League return this month, but with Newcastle instead. According to BBC Sport, the Magpies have agreed a £12m fee plus add-ons to sign Trippier.

The 31-year-old looks set to become the first signing of the new era at St James’ Park. The transfer will also see Trippier reunite with Eddie Howe, as the pair worked together at Burnley.

Man Utd have long been admirers of the defender. Many predicted them to sign him as a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who can sometimes be found lacking in the attacking third.

On Wan-Bissaka, former striker Gabby Agbonlahor said (via HITC): “When I watch Man Utd, [Cristiano] Ronaldo must be so frustrated from the right-hand side. I love Wan-Bissaka defensively – but he can’t cross a ball.

“There was an incident [against Wolves] where he tapped the ball with his left foot and fell over and crossed it out of play.

“He’s just not good enough for United’s service.”

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Agbonlahor then spoke about Trippier potentially forming a solid partnership with Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.

“I don’t understand, why have Man Utd let Trippier go to Newcastle? He would be perfect,” he added.

“Put him on the right-hand side. Imagine how many goals Ronaldo and Cavani would get from that service.

“Wan-Bissaka is not a modern-day full-back, especially not in a modern-day team. So, for me, United have missed a trick with Trippier.”

While Ralf Rangnick chooses between Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot, Trippier will be aiming to keep Newcastle in the top flight.

The Tyneside club sit 19th in the table, having won just once in 19 outings.

Man Utd stars ‘expected’ Conte to join

Meanwhile, a report from The Sun claims United players expected Antonio Conte to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, not Rangnick.

Of course, Conte is now managing English rivals Tottenham. But he was a free agent while Solskjaer was under pressure in October.

The report states United stars openly called for the Italian to be brought in. Therefore, they may be disappointed by the club’s failure to act and resultantly miss out on the manager.

On the team spirit, a source added: “The players have their own cliques, one of which is making the others feel like they need to step up a level when it is the whole team that’s struggling. The players are demoralised.

“This is deja vu of the previous years when things went wrong. The fans probably think the players are not fit enough to put Rangnick’s plans into action.

“That is so untrue. Certain players have just lost that knack and desire. Plus, there is a belief within one section of the squad that some players get selected, regardless of their displays. So everything is a complete shambles.”

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