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Rio Ferdinand names the striker he wants Man Utd to sign this summer

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Former Manchester United defender and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand has revealed who he’d like to see his old club sign in the summer transfer window – but has also praised the more immediate acquisition of Wout Weghorst on a six-month loan as a fit for manager Erik ten Hag’s style of play.

Weghorst has arrived at United on loan from Burnley, after his temporary spell with Turkish giants Besiktas was cut short this week because of United’s interest. The club have been looking for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, and have signed the Dutchman for the remainder of the season with no purchase option.

The club will look to buy a higher profile striking option in the summer, but with Weghorst brought in before the Manchester derby against rivals City on BT Sport on Saturday lunch time, Ferdinand thinks he could be an effective short-term fix.

Ferdinand told 90min: “I think this is a Ten Hag signing, and it is actually just is going against what United were doing before – we were buying Falcao, Zlatan, we were buying names maybe before going ‘does this guy fit the way we want to play?’.

“This is very much not a fashionable signing, it’s not one that rolls off the tongue. But I think if you look at Ten Hag’s history, you look at Ajax, he took [Sebastien] Haller, who no one was taking in the Premier League, off of West Ham, and he becomes one of the most feared strikers in Holland.

“But also in Champions League football, he was up there with the top strikers in terms of goals in the couple of seasons he was there.

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“That type of player, a Weghorst, suits the way that Erik ten Hag wants to play if you look at Haller as the one example, so you can see why he would bring him. He’s got to have something about him.

“I don’t think you can judge him by the Burnley cameo [2 goals in 20 games in the Premier League last season], and I just think it’s about styles for Erik ten Hag, would he be able to fit into the way we play? In the way I want to play? Yes.

“Does he press, by the way? It’s a big part of Ten Hag’s football and this geezer does press. He’s good at that. So you can see the reason why his name would come up – he’s not the fashionable answer but it could be the effective answer.”

United will be hoping Weghorst can help them seal a place in the top four and win a trophy in the remainder of the current campaign, but attention was soon turned to who United should look to as their long term answer up front if the stars align in the coming months.

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Ferdinand was adamant in his first choice.

“There’s only one!” he joked. “There’s only one! Mbappe, that’s it! The only person you go for is Mbappe, he’s the best.”

When pushed for a slightly more attainable target for the current carnation of United, Ferdinand looked to a rival Premier League striker as the right answer: “That’s the problem. I’m talking dream case scenario. If we’re talking realistically, Man Utd are probably not going to be his next destination.

“If you can get Harry Kane, you’re guaranteed 20 goals, minimum. Job done.”

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Turn Manchester red or blue by voting in BT Sport’s poll on Twitter ahead of the derby.

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Nottingham Forest announce signing of Andre Ayew

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Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of free agent Andre Ayew despite interest from Everton.

The forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Toffees in recent days, but Forest have swooped in to sign the Ghanian.

Speaking to the club’s official website after finalising the move, the forward said:  “It’s a great feeling to sign for Nottingham Forest.

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“I know how big the club is and I know how much the club means to the city and the fanbase. It’s always been difficult whenever I’ve played against Forest and at The City Ground and I love the stadium.

“Steve Cooper is someone who knows me very well and knows how to work with me both on and off the pitch. We have a strong relationship, he’s a special coach and a special human being and someone who I really look up to.”

“I know what I can bring to the team, I’m ready to give my all and make sure that we are able to stay in the Premier League.”



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Wolves vs Liverpool – Premier League: TV channel, team news, lineups & prediction

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Liverpool will be looking to make a statement with a Premier League trip to Wolves this weekend, having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Brighton last Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a league win in their last three attempts and have slipped as low as ninth in the table. Depending on what Chelsea do against Fulham on Friday night, the Reds could be 10th by the time they kick-off at Wolves.

Wolves are still yet to really find their groove under Julen Lopetegui, although at least remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference for the time being.

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Wolves team news

Wolves have no new injury concerns ahead of this one, with Pedro Neto, Boubacar Traore, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho all still sidelined.

Wolves predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Neves, Nunes; Traore, Sarabia, Hwang; Jimenez.

Liverpool team news

Centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the latest Liverpool player to join the injury list, ruled out until at least mid-February with a hamstring problem.

Virgil van Dijk is also still out, as are Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. Arthur Melo is making progress but is a couple of weeks away from resuming training.

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Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo.

It’s certainly feasible that Wolves could continue to pile the misery on Liverpool.

The Reds had beaten Wolves in seven consecutive meetings until a recent FA Cup tie ended in 2-2 draw at Anfield. It was then only a single goal that decided the replay in the Merseysiders’ favour.

Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Liverpool

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Mason Greenwood releases statement after Greater Manchester Police drop all charges

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Mason Greenwood has released a short statement stating that he is ‘relieved’ after the Greater Manchester Police dropped all charges against the Man Utd forward.

Greenwood was charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and assault, allegations relating to the same woman last year and, following an investigation, GMP have confirmed that all charges have been dropped.

The GMP confirmed the news in a statement earlier on Thursday: “Given the significant media coverage of this case, it is only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this.

“The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.

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“Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.

“I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them. An ever increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilising tools, available via the criminal justice system, to keep people safe and care for victims.”

Greenwood has now responded with a statement of his own, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Manchester United are due to conducted their own internal investigation on the matter.

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