England ‘diamond’ has Man Utd transfer ‘dilemma’ waiting after World Cup

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been advised that he would have a “dilemma” when he returns to Old Trafford following the World Cup. Gareth Southgate trusted him to start England’s first game of the tournament, and he was brilliant despite conceding twice to Iran on Monday.

Maguire’s downturn in play at club level has coincided with him being sidelined by Erik ten Hag in favor of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, although remaining first-choice for his country. Former England boss Sam Allardyce has urged Maguire to consider leaving Old Trafford upon his return after losing his starting spot.

“Harry Maguire silenced the critics straight away,” Allardyce told the No Tippy Tappy Football Podcast. “People say it was only Iran, but it was a big moment for him, everyone was looking at him, and he handled it brilliantly. It leaves him in a great dilemma when comes back to United because if he isn’t going to get picked, he needs to leave.

“He’s certainly proven to everyone in the press, who were trying to pressurise Gareth [Southgate] not to play him and saying he isn’t good enough to play for United or England. He’s proven that is nonsense.”

England defender Harry Maguire speaking at the World Cup. (Image: GETTY)

Should Manchester United be tempted to sell their captain, they will be pleased with his first-half performance in Qatar and will hope he can maintain that level for the rest of the tournament, increasing his potential transfer value. If Maguire does leave, Ten Hag will almost certainly be tempted to sign a replacement in the same transfer window.

They have been linked with Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, who kept a clean sheet in South Korea’s opening World Cup game against Uruguay, but have been told that bringing the centre-back to the Premier League would be prohibitively expensive.

“I think his [Min-jae’s] performances recently have been so good,” former England and Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy said during BBC commentary of South Korea’s draw with Uruguay. “The clubs interested now. I was talking to someone this morning who was saying Manchester United are interested and they are talking £100m. That’s how quickly you can grow in this game, because they have been absolutely sensational Napoli to start to the season, him included.”

Maguire was linked with a sensational summer move to Chelsea as part of a potential swap deal that would have seen Christian Pulisic move in the opposite direction.

It is unclear whether that deal will be revived, but United may be looking for another forward after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, and Graham Potter may want to sign a defender after Wesley Fofana’s injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘got a call from Newcastle,’ according to Roy Keane, mocking the World Cup star

Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to have “just had a call from Newcastle,” according to Roy Keane, following Portugal’s 𝔱hrilling triumph over Ghana on Thursday. Ronaldo is competing in the World Cup as a free agent after splitting with Manchester United this week.

The 37-year-old made waves for his scathing interview with Piers Morgan, in which he blamed United’s fall from grace and took shots at both the Glazers and Erik ten Hag. His Portugal teammates have handled numerous inquiries regarding his demeanor around the camp during the World Cup, with Portugal scheduled to play their first group stage game on Thursday.

And it was a 𝔱hrilling match on both sides, with Ghana pushing Portugal all the way. Ronaldo scored Portugal’s first goal after being awarded a controversial penalty, but Ghana’s Andre Ayew equalized minutes later.

Portugal responded with a quick double from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao, but Osman Bukari scored late to give Ronaldo’s team a ꜱcare. And Inaki Williams slipped in behind Diogo Costa in stoppage time to ꜱteal the ball from his feet, only to stumble and waste a fantastic chance at a late equalizer.

Ronaldo couldn’t believe what he was seeing as he gesticulated on the sidelines with his hands on his head. Portugal managed to keep all three points, but Keane couldn’t help but mock his former teammate, claiming that his reaction made it appear as though he’d just received a call from Newcastle about a possible transfer.

Keane said: “Look at Ronaldo’s face, my goodness. Honestly, he’s just had a call Newcastle are in for him.”

Ronaldo will most likely postpone any decision on where he will play next until after the World Cup. However, the Portuguese superstar will not be short of choices, with the MLS and clubs in Saudi Arabia apparently willing to pay him handsomely to make the move.

Ronaldo is also interested in Europe, with Chelsea mentioned as a likely suitor. A return to Sporting Lisbon has also been suggested, and Frank Leboeuf believes it is the greatest choice.

“[Ronaldo] He hasn’t got the power of changing a game like he used to have,” Leboeuf told ESPN FC. “With all due respect, he was a fantastic player, but he isn’t the same. That’s clear, and we can all see that.”

He added: “Maybe [he should] re-join the team he started with, Sporting Lisbon, which would be a great idea.”