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Man Utd news: How Mikael Silvestre reacted to Ronaldo and Rooney signings

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney arrived at Man Utd in successive summers (Picture: Getty)

Mikael Silvestre insists he was ‘super happy’ when he discovered Manchester United were signing Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney and says the two Red Devils legends were among the best players he played with.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Ronaldo and Rooney in successive summers in 2003 and 2004 and both players quickly established themselves as fans’ favourites at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League with United before joining Real Madrid in 2009, while Rooney spent over a decade at the Theatre of Dreams and became the club’s all-time record goalscorer.

‘When I heard we were signing him [Wayne Rooney], I was super, super happy. It was the same feeling as when we signed Cristiano the year before,’ Silvestre told United’s official website.

‘You know you are getting someone that’s going to stay there for a while and perform, bring what you need to win trophies, which is scoring goals and creating chances.

‘I think we were all really excited to sign one of the best young prospects around.

‘For me, it meant an even harder test every day because I had to face him in training, but I loved that.

Mikael Silvestre won four Premier League titles at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

‘I had always felt that it was better to face the likes of Wayne and Cristiano in training – before them it had been Ruud, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ole, Teddy – because I was a competitor and I always wanted to test myself against the best.

‘Not only was Wayne fast and clever, he was strong too. So was I and physicality, as a defender, is an important part of the game, so I was always looking forward to the challenge of facing him.

‘He was great when he arrived, but he was always developing. He learnt a lot from the others, from Ole, Ruud, Louis, and like Cristiano he was a fast learner.

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‘He needed to bring consistency quickly into his game to be able to retain his place in the starting XI for United and England.

‘He was, like the rest of us, a bad loser, and if you don’t want to lose then you always have to improve. He got that. He was always looking to improve his game.’

Like Ronaldo and Rooney, Silvestre also enjoyed immense success at Manchester United, helping Ferguson’s side win four Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.

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The former France international rates Rooney and Ronaldo as two of his most talented team-mates.

He added: ‘When I sit down and think about the players I played with during my career, for my clubs and my country, it’s ridiculous.

‘Zidane, Ronaldo, Cristiano, Baggio, Henry, Trezeguet, Blanc, Zanetti, Simeone, Keane, Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, and that’s just a few of them.

‘It’s a joke, but no question at all, when I sit down and think about the best of them, Wayne is among them.’

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What Jurgen Klopp has told Timo Werner as Liverpool move stalls

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Timo Werner’s heart was set on a summer move to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told Timo Werner his Liverpool dream has been put at risk by the coronavirus crisis.

The Germany international had been earmarked as a priority transfer target for the runaway Premier League leaders. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have powered Liverpool’s relentless pursuit of a first league title in 30 years, but Klopp was keen to add an extra level of competition.

Divock Origi, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri are all likely to be deemed surplus to requirements come the summer, while January recruit Takumi Minamino has not yet fully adjusted to the demands of English football.

Werner has enjoyed another reputation enhancing season in the Bundesliga, scoring 24 goals in 28 appearances for Julian Nagelsman’s Champions League quarter finalists.

The 24-year-old is said to have had his heart set on a move to Anfield and is desperate to work under Klopp. Earlier this week it was reported that the Liverpool boss had been in contact with Werner via Zoom.

Timo Werner’s Red Bull Leipzig were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by Hertha Berlin on Wednesday (Picture: Getty)

The Mirror claims Klopp has been brutally honest with the Germany international and spelled out the financial ramifications of the ongoing global pandemic. As recently as February, Liverpool had been willing to activate the versatile forward’s £50million release clause, but now value him at less than £30million.

Should Werner remain with Red Bull Leipzig for another 12 months, his release clause would drop by around £25m. The likes of Barcelona and Inter Milan have also been credited with an interest, while Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea have also been monitoring his situation.

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Leipzig, meanwhile, for their part are refusing to be bullied and will not sell one of their prize assets on the cheap.

Their CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said earlier this week: ‘It won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.

‘In general, we always ask the question: can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?’

MORE: Jurgen Klopp holds ‘virtual meeting’ with Liverpool transfer target Timo Werner

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Man Utd news: Real Madrid offer up four players in Paul Pogba swap deal

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Paul Pogba’s future has been a bone of contention for months (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid are trying to tempt Manchester United into letting Paul Pogba go this summer by making a quartet of players available as part of a swap deal.

The La Liga side have been pursuing Pogba since last summer and will reignite their interest in the next transfer window, although it is unclear when that will open due to the coronavirus crisis.

The global health pandemic has caused economic uncertainty throughout football, so in a bid to avoid offering huge amounts of money for the Frenchman, Real are willing to put four players forward as part of the deal, reports the Sun.

Martin Odegaard is the most appealing of the four names, with Lucas Vazquez, James Rodriguez and Brahim Diaz all also reportedly on offer.

Martin Odegaard has enjoyed an impressive season on loan at Real Sociedad (Picture: Getty Images)

United are unlikely to be tempted by the offer, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now planning to reintegrate Pogba into the first team after missing much of the season through injury.

The World Cup winner has not started a game since September, but he is reportedly fit again after his ongoing ankle problem and will be available when the Premier League starts again – due to be in June.

Solskjaer is excited by the prospect of lining Pogba up in midfield with January signing Bruno Fernandes, a partnership which has United fans drooling at the prospect of.

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The pair have trained together this week and after Fernandes’ blistering start to life in the Premier League, they have the potential to form a dynamic midfield trio alongside either Fred, Scot McTominay or Nemanja Matic.

Pogba has just one year left on his current contract at Manchester United but there is an option for the club to extend it by a further year, which is looking increasingly likely.

With clubs around the world strapped for cash, and Real Madrid’s swap deal not particularly appealing, Pogba is looking more likely to stay than go.

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Odion Ighalo deserves long-term Man Utd deal, says Nigeria teammate Moses Simon

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Ighalo has scored four goals since moving to Old Trafford in January (Picture: Getty Images)

Odion Ighalo has proved himself and deserves to be tied down to a permanent contract at Manchester United, according to his Nigeria teammate Moses Simon.

The 30-year-old is set to return to parent club Shanghai Shenhua with his loan deal at Old Trafford due to expire at the end of the week.

After scoring four goals in eight games for United since joining in January, the club are yet to secure an extension to keep the striker until the end of the Premier League season.

The Red Devils are reportedly unsure if they want to pay £20 million to secure the forward on a long-term contract, but his fellow Nigeria international Simon believes he has proven his worth.

‘If the Manchester United deal can be sealed permanently, not just a loan deal, I think it will be good for his football, his family and for Nigerian football,’ Simon told Tribal Football.

‘Odion Ighalo has proved to be a good striker in Manchester United in the few games he played.

‘It will be good for Nigeria football to see Ighalo succeed at Old Trafford. He has shown good qualities of succeeding already.’

Ighalo has earned 35 caps for Nigeria (Picture: Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted earlier this week that United are ‘in dialogue’ with the Chinese Super League club to extend Ighalo’s deal.

‘The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously, he’s supposed to be going back,’ Solskjaer told MUTV.

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‘We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club, and allowed him to play for his dream club.

‘It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us.

‘At the moment, nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see.’

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