Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly received financial support from his employers so as to get some important players at the ongoing transfer window.
The former Molde manager is now set to spend big on Barcelona playmaker Phillipe Coutinho who joined the Catalans from Liverpool during last year’s winter market.
The Brazilian hasn’t justified his £142m price tag since his switch to Camp Nou and this season has been a very poor one for him.
He has seen himself dropped down the pecking order under Ernesto Valverde, starting just nine games and scoring only four goals in the process.
His uninspiring form has reportedly forced the Catalans into making a move to re-sign Neymar from Paris St-German this month while declaring him ‘surplus to requirements’.
Despite Coutinho’s form, Solskjaer is more than willing to lure him to Old Trafford this month but Barcelona hope to sell him at a huge price.
According to Calciomercato, the Blaugranas are looking to receive nothing below £140m for his signature but it is very much unlikely that the Red Devils would be willing to take such an offer.
Solskjaer is optimistic the La Liga title holders will reduce the Brazilian price tag as the market progresses and he will Intensify his desire to lure him to Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer and his players are training hard ahead of their trip to Wembley Stadium where they will battle free-scoring Tottenham on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochetino’s side are third on the League table but they must be in their best form against the rejuvenated United team to get positive result
Champions League: Barcelona Overwhelming Favourites vs Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has tipped Barcelona to navigate past Manchester United in their Champions League quarterfinal tie.
Five-time European champions Barcelona were drawn against three-time European champions Manchester United following the last eight draw held on Friday.
Reacting to the draw in an interview monitored by popular media platform Goal, the Spurs boss revealed that Manchester United will pose a threat to the semifinal bid of the Spaniards before adding that Barcelona are a level above Manchester United at the moment.
Manchester United will host Barcelona at Old Trafford in the first leg on April 10 before the Catalan giants entertain their English opponents for the second leg on the 16th of April.
Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with the managerial job at Manchester United in the last few months but current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to keep the position permanently.
Former club striker Solskjaer was appointed the interim Manchester United manager in December shortly after Jose Mourinho was sacked unceremoniously.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has impressed a great deal since taking the job.
He has suffered just three defeats from the 19 games managed by him.
Mauricio Pochettino will also have his hands full in Champions League quarterfinals after Spurs were drawn against Manchester City in what could be termed as a Premier League Derby.
Why we need not worry about Salah, Van Dijk
Egyptian international forward and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has not been in a good goalscoring form so far this season and that has raised a lot of concerns from his fans but there is nothing to worry about, according to defender Virgil Van Dijk.
Last season was a blast for the former AS Roma player as he emerged as the Premier League’s highest goalscorer and scored an average of a goal per game but that is yet to repeat itself.
What is most disturbing is that Mohamed Salah has not scored a goal in his last 7 games, the longest barren run for the star player in a very long time.
However, Virgil Van Dijk has stated that there is nothing to worry about expressing confidence that Mohamed Salah will soon start scoring again. He is of the opinion that the international break is a big advantage for the star player to rest, noting that he will return fresh to begin scoring goals.
Senegal international Sadio Mane has been the man providing the cover for the Egyptian international as he has been hitting the back of the net in almost all games. The Fulham game makes it his 11th goal in 11 games.
Champions League: Barcelona Suffer Double Injury Blow Ahead Of Man Utd Tie
Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their Champions League tie with Premier League giants Manchester United next month.
Manchester United will host Messi and co on the 10th of April at Old Trafford before the return leg in Spain on April 16.
Ahead of the game, Barcelona have received a double injury blow to two of their key players namely Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez sustained a tear in his right ankle during Sunday night’s La Liga win at the home of Real Betis and Barcelona expect him to be out of action for at least two weeks.
He went off injured against Real Betis after scoring a fine solo goal to make it 3-0 to Barcelona.
Luis pulled one back for Real Betis before Lionel Messi wrapped up the 4-1 win with his hattrick.
The win took Barcelona 10 points clear of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid in the race for the Spanish La Liga title.
Luis Suarez is expected to be fit for the Champions League doubleheader against Manchester United in April.
Ousmane Dembele has a more serious injury after he sustained a hamstring tear during the 5-1 win over Lyon in their Champions League last 16 second leg clash on Wednesday night.
The French World Cup winner is expected to miss both games against Manchester United.
Ronaldo Exit Made La Liga Title Challenge Easy For Barcelona
Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo has revealed that the La Liga exit of Cristiano Ronaldo made the league challenge easy for the Catalans.
Semedo told Portuguese media outlet SIC that the former Manchester United player would have made the La Liga title difficult.
Ronaldo and Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo are teammates at international level.
Barcelona are the team to beat in the Spanish La Liga at the expense of the likes of Atletico Madrid and arch-rivals Real Madrid.
The Spanish champions have a seven-point lead over Atletico Madrid in second place and a 12-point lead over Real Madrid in third place.
Real Madrid have struggled a great deal following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.
The Los Merengues have sacked two coaches this season following the series of poor performances that has seen them crash out of all the three competitions.
Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 in a then world record deal of £80m.
The 34-year-old spent almost a decade in Madrid before leaving for Italian Serie A champions Juventus at the start of this season.
Real Madrid’s loss has been Juventus’ gain after Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions in his first six months at the club.
Man United Face Favourites Barcelona In UCL Quarters
Premier League giants Manchester United will face favourites Barcelona in the quarterfinals of this season’s UEFA Champions League (UCL) after the draw was held on Friday afternoon.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players will have to face Barcelona in their bid to win a fourth title after the 1968, 1999 and 2008 triumphs.
Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona are one of the top three favourites to win the Champions League this season alongside Italian champions Juventus and Premier League champions Manchester City.
Manchester United will host Barcelona in what’s the first leg of their last eight tie on the 10th of April.
The game will be played at the Theatre of Dreams before Barcelona take on the Red Devils at the Nou Camp on April 16.
Barcelona sealed their quarterfinal passage earlier this week after they thrashed French club Lyon 5-1 in their second leg clash at the Nou Camp.
Both teams had played a goalless draw in the first leg.
Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi was the hero for the Catalans after he scored two goals and provided two assists to lead his side into the quarterfinals.
Full Quarterfinal Fixtures:
Manchester United vs Barcelona
Ajax Amsterdam vs Juventus
Liverpool vs FC Porto
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City
Mane joins Ronaldo, Messi for UEFA Champions League awards battle
Liverpool Sadio Mane has now joined the list of those that have been pencilled down for the UEFA Champions League award ahead.
The Senegal international will now battle Barcelona Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo for the UEFA Champions League player of the week.
This is after the starve player bagged a brace against Bayern Munich to help his side with a historic qualification to the Champions League quarterfinals.
Sadio Mane did not only score a brace but he was instrumental in ensuring that his side secures a 3-1 win in Germany after a goalless draw at the Anfield in the first leg of the round of 16.
Lionel Messi of Barcelona was also instrumental for his La Liga outfit’s qualification to the next round as they destroyed Ajax by 6-1 while Cristiano Ronaldo also scored a hat trick against Spanish La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid.
However, all of the four English Premier League clubs, including Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Tottenham have now qualified to the Champions League quarter-finals which speak well of the standard and quality in the league.
However, a draw is expected for the next round with suggestions that two Premier League sides will have to face each other.
Coutinho Unsure Of Barcelona Stay Despite Lyon Performance
Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has thrown his future at the club into further ambiguity after he hinted a possible exit in the aftermath of his impressive performance against Lyon in the Champions League.
After the Lyon game on Wednesday night, Coutinho told reporters that he has not been happy with his performances for Barcelona this season before hinting that he could leave the club this summer.
Philippe Coutinho became the third most expensive player in world football after Barcelona paid £142m, including add-ons, to sign him from Premier League giants Liverpool at the start of last year.
The 26-year-old has not been able to live up to his big price tag since his transfer to Barcelona thereby leading to transfer rumours of a move back to England.
The Brazilian international has been linked with several Premier League clubs including former club Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Red Devils want to strengthen their squad this summer and Philippe Coutinho is on the list of their transfer targets.
Coutinho was back to form on Wednesday night as he found the back of the net against Lyon to lead Barcelona into the quarterfinals of this season’s Champions League.
Coutinho and Barcelona thrashed Lyon 5-1 at the Nou Camp to seal a 5-1 aggregate win.
Man Utd Target Lauded After Champions League Heroics
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was full of praise for midfielder Philippe Coutinho following his performance in the Champions League last 16 second leg clash with French Ligue 1 club Lyon on Wednesday night.
Coutinho has been heavily criticised as a result of his poor outings for Barcelona this season and that has led to transfer reports over a possible return to the Premier League with clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United.
The 26-year-old had one of his best games in a Barcelona shirt as he helped the Catalans seal a spot in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
In his post-match thoughts, Ernesto Valverde praised the Brazilian international for his performance against Lyon.
Valverde and Barcelona thrashed Lyon 5-1 in their second leg clash played at the Nou Camp to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory.
The first leg ended in a goalless draw in France.
Barcelona took a controversial lead in the 18th minute after a debatable penalty was awarded to home side after Lyon defender Jason Denayer brought down Luis Suarez in the box.
Lionel Messi stepped up to convert that penalty before Coutinho added a second goal just before the end of the first half.
It was his 9th goal of the season for Barcelona.
Lyon pulled one back through Lucas Trousart in the second half before Messi, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele scored in the last fifteen minutes to give Barcelona a dominant win.
Betting Preview: Barcelona vs Lyon: Home Win On The Cards
Spanish champions Barcelona are heavy favourites to secure a quarterfinal spot in the Champions League at the expense of their French opposition Lyon.
The Blaugrana will host the French Ligue 1 giants in the second leg of their last 16 tie in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Barcelona have won 26 of their last 29 Champions League matches at the Nou Camp and they are expected to seal a win over Lyon at the end of proceedings.
The Nou Camp giants dominated the first leg but they were unable to find a way past a resolute Lyon rearguard in front of their fans as both sides settled for a goalless draw.
The second leg meeting at the Nou Camp will certainly be a different ball game for Bruno Genesio and his players who have a small fraction of fans to call on for motivation in comparison to the first leg.
Barcelona are overwhelming favourites according to BetKing with the odds of 1.26.
The Nou Camp giants can secure a 12th successive semifinal appearance in the Champions League with a win.
An unlikely victory for Lyon is at the odds of 11.00 while a stalemate between the two sides is at the odds of 6.5 according to Betking.
Champions League: Barcelona Were The Greatest Team I Played Against – Man Utd Legend
Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has disclosed that Spanish champions Barcelona were the greatest team he played against during his Champions League career for the club.
Manchester United told Goal about Barcelona being the best team he ever faced in South Africa.
Ryan Giggs was in South Africa on Wednesday night for the Champions League trophy tour as one of their ambassadors.
The Welsh national team manager also revealed that one of his most memorable Champions League nights was when Manchester United scored two goals in added time to beat German giants Bayern Munich 2-1 for the first trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United and Giggs won the Champions League for the first time during the Sir Alex Ferguson era by beating Bayern 2-1 at the Nou Camp in the 1999 Champions League final.
Ryan Giggs won a second title during the 2008 Champions League final following the penalty shootout win over Premier League rivals Chelsea in Moscow.
The ex-Welsh international played against Barcelona during the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals and ended up on the losing side against the Catalans who had the likes of Carles Puyol, Andreas Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Villa, Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi in their ranks.
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