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Man Utd news: Luis Nani reveals what Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho told him after red card against Real Madrid



Luis Nani was sent off on Sir Alex Ferguson’s final Champions League match as Manchester United boss (Picture: Getty)

Sir Alex Ferguson’s hopes of lifting the Champions League in his final season at the club were effectively ended when Luis Nani received a red card against Real Madrid at Old Trafford.

United were on course to progress to the last-eight when Nani forced an own goal from Sergio Ramos in the second half to give the Red Devils a 2-1 aggregate lead in the second leg at the Theatre of Dreams in 2013.

However, the tie was turned on its head just eight minutes later when Nani was somehow sent off for a high foot on Alvero Arbeloa that left United down to 10-men against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil.

Ferguson was furious at the sending off in the knowledge it was his last chance to win the competition (Picture: Getty)

Substitute Luka Modric scored shortly afterwards and Ronaldo hit a sucker-punch second just three minutes later to put the tie to bed.

It turned out to be Ferguson’s final game in the competition but the Scot bore no grudge against Nani as the Portuguese star revealed both Ferguson and Mourinho told him he should never have been sent off.

‘For sure he knew that was his last season because for a couple of years before there were rumours that Ferguson was in his last year but he kept going,’ Nani told the UTD Podcast.

‘That year was so special because we were doing great in Champions League and in the Premier League and he knew in that game if we beat Real Madrid we would be the champion again. It was a big opportunity.

Mourinho comforted Nani on his way off the pitch (Picture: Getty)

‘Everyone knew that because we were so strong but they found a way to send me off. I was playing so well and making a difference in that game, i remember that.

‘There was no reason to send me off. Even Mourinho and Ferguson they came to me and said: ‘No problem, it’s not your fault’.

‘I apologised to the team even though I knew it wasn’t my fault, there was no intention. I was looking at the ball and doing the [Zinedine] Zidane control but they had to find something to help them [Real Madrid].’

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Mourinho had been heavily linked with replacing Ferguson once the Scot stepped down and the United legend has since confirmed the Portuguese coach was one of the few people in world football that knew of his looming retirement.

Mourinho’s response that night – where he praised United, Ferguson and Nani – was read as the former Chelsea boss putting himself in the frame to move to Old Trafford.

‘Manchester United were playing very well. They were very compact, they were very aggressive, very well organised technically and the match was very difficult for us,’ said Mourinho.

‘I doubt with 11 against 11 we could win the match. I had a feeling that Modric would change the match because he brought to the game some qualities that we did not have on the pitch at the time.

‘I am a bit frustrated because we played so well against Barcelona and today I was waiting for more. I know they (Manchester United) are giants, not just physically but mentally. I know they are fantastic and have a manager capable of organising and motivating people.

‘But I was waiting for us to come here and play in a different way.’

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The United squad were unaware of Ferguson’s intention to step down but there were some signs that night that the Scot was not his usual self.

After Nani’s sending off he made the uncharacteristic decision to gee-up supporters in the south stand by raising his fists on the sidelines and he sent assistant Mike Phelan to the post-match press conference because he was ‘too distraught’ to speak to anyone.

Ferguson’s departure hit the squad hard but Nani says he was particularly affected and wanted to leave the club immediately.

‘When he told me he was leaving I felt myself that I wanted to leave too,’ said Nani.

‘I was there for many years now, it’s a new coach and now it’s time for me to challenge myself in a different team.

‘I had a big injury, I recovered, went to the World Cup and the season I came back I was already in my mind that I had to leave the club.’

MORE: Luis Nani reveals Cristiano Ronaldo ‘openly’ told Manchester United team-mates about Real Madrid move


What Jurgen Klopp has told Timo Werner as Liverpool move stalls



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

MORE: Liverpool ‘need’ top attacking player but unlikely to sign £50m target Timo Werner, says Jamie Carragher

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



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.

MORE: Manchester United join Real Madrid in race to sign Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga

MORE: Odion Ighalo personally intervenes during Manchester United loan talks

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



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.’

MORE: Liverpool set to hijack Manchester United’s move for Sporting Lisbon’s 17-year-old left-back Nuno Mendes

MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides update on Manchester United transfer plans

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