Gary Neville claims Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘make or break’ signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Gary Neville says the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo is a ‘make or break’ one for Manchester United as the club looks to achieve success following a busy summer in the transfer market.

Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was one of the stories of the summer, though Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane were also brought in during the transfer window, giving the Red Devils one of the best squads in the Premier League.

United haven’t mounted a title challenge under Solskjaer yet, while their record in the Champions League under the Norwegian is pretty ordinary. However, with the squad that has now been assembled, the feeling is that United must now start to produce more consistent results.

Ronaldo himself has had no problem settling back into life in Manchester, scoring four goals in three games so far, and former United and England defender Neville admits the Portugal legend returning leaves old teammate Solskjaer with plenty to deliver.

He told BBC 5 Live Breakfast: “I don’t think Ole is the type [to be bothered about Ronaldo’s touchline instructions].

“He’s dealt with Paul Pogba well over the last 12 months. He’s dealt with big personalities. He seems to have the right temperament for that.

“There is no doubt Ronaldo is a make or break signing for Ole because, with Ronaldo in the squad, he has to win. You can’t have any excuses. You bring one of the best players of all time into your club; with the [Jadon] Sancho signing and the Varane signing at centre-back, he has now got to deliver.

“He has not won a trophy yet with the club, and he knows now is the time to deliver.”

One trophy that the club will not be winning this season is the Carabao Cup. United were knocked out by West Ham on Wednesday, with a second string lineup going down 1-0 to Manuel Lanzini’s first half strike.

Barcelona confirm signing of Emre Demir from Kayserispor

Barcelona have confirmed they have struck a deal to sign Kayserispor starlet Emre Demir, who will join the Catalan side next summer.

The 17-year-old attacking midfielder made his senior debut for Kayserispor all the way back in January 2019 and has since gone on to become the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Turkish Super Lig, having fired home against Genclerbirligi in November of that year.

His emergence caught Barcelona’s eye and the Blaugrana have now confirmed on their official website that they have snapped Demir up for a cool €2m (£1.7m) and handed him a contract until 2027 with a whopping €400m (£342m) release clause.

As part of the deal, Demir will remain with Kayserispor until the end of the season, at which point he will jet off to join up with Barcelona’s B side.

Described as a “skilful left-footed attacking midfielder who can also play anywhere in the frontline”, Demir has managed 31 appearances for the Turkish side so far, six of which were league starts, and he has chimed in with three goals and an assist for good measure.

Those in charge at Camp Nou have been making a clear effort to bolster their ranks with some exciting young stars. The B team have added the likes of Abde Ezzalzouli and in-demand French starlet Kays Ruiz-Atil, while Austrian winger Yusuf Demir was signed for the reserves but has spent most of his time with Ronald Koeman’s senior side.

That Demir joined on a season-long loan from Rapid Vienna which includes an option to buy for €10m (£8.5m) and Barcelona will likely trigger that, having seen the teenager appear in both La Liga and the Champions League already this season.

With money for expensive senior signings hard to come by these days, Barcelona are looking to build a new, young core and are already seeing some solid results.

Star midfielder Pedri and winger Ansu Fati are the obvious headline attractions, but defenders Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza are both first-team regulars as well and youngsters like Alejandro Balde and Gavi are both flirting with breakthroughs of their own.

Antonio Rudiger admits next contract will be ‘the most important decision’ of his career

Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger has confessed that he will not rush a decision over his future with the European champions, describing his next move as the most important of his career.

The 28-year-old, who is a core part of Thomas Tuchel’s side, has entered the final 12 months of his contract and is yet to sign an extension, despite being offered the chance to do so by those in charge at Stamford Bridge.

90min understands that Rudiger is seeking a significant pay rise as a reward for his outstanding form, which he believes has seen him become one of the club’s top earners, but Chelsea have yet to make a satisfactory offer.

Speaking to SID (via Sky Deutschland), Rudiger admitted that he knows this is likely his last chance to earn a big contract and he has no plans to rush his decision.

“For me, this will now be the most important decision of my professional career,” Rudiger acknowledged.

However, he stressed that he is giving Chelsea the chance to meet his demands, adding: “I haven’t spoken to any other club than Chelsea.”

Rudiger’s situation is being closely monitored by a handful of sides across Europe. Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham are all interested, while there have been plenty of links to German champions Bayern Munich, with Julian Nagelsmann seeing the 28-year-old as a potential replacement for Niklas Sule, whose own contract is winding down.

“I don’t like talking about players who are under contract with another club,” Nagelsmann said on Thursday when asked about the situation. “Thomas Tuchel has handled him extremely well since he was on the sidelines. He is extremely aggressive.

“I haven’t spoken to Brazzo [director Hasan Salihamidzic] about it yet, and if I had, I wouldn’t tell you! I’ll see if there’s still money in the bank, and then we’ll see.”

In the meantime, Rudiger is keen to keep his focus on Chelsea and he stressed his desire to get his hands on the Premier League title – which he described as the ‘best league in the world’.

“That would be an absolute dream again,” he concluded. “It has never been so difficult to win the Premier League, but Chelsea are one of the very best teams in Europe.”

Man City predicted lineup vs Chelsea – Premier League

Manchester City face their toughest game of the season so far as they prepare to face joint Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s early kickoff.

City have been inconsistent this season, scoring only once in their last two league matches against Southampton and Leicester, off the back of successive 5-0 wins before that.

More recently, a heavily rotated City side thrashed Wycombe 6-1 in the Carabao Cup in midweek after coming from behind against the League One side.

Here’s a look at the starting XI Pep Guardiola could pick…

Nathan Ake could retain his Premier League placeNathan Ake could retain his Premier League place

Nathan Ake could retain his Premier League place / Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Ederson (GK): Will replace Zack Steffen after the American deputised in midweek. Hasn’t conceded in the Premier League since the opening day but that record will be severely tested here.

Kyle Walker (RB): Has successfully reclaimed his place since the opening weekend of the season and was rested against Wycombe so should be fresh for this one.

Ruben Dias (CB): An ever-present in the Premier League so far, his leadership and composure will be crucial if City are to keep Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea at bay.

Nathan Ake (CB): Fitness doubts surrounding John Stones and Aymeric Laporte could see the Dutchman continue after being drafted in against Southampton.

Joao Cancelo (LB): The lack of options at left-back will likely see him continue on that side. Has been an ever-present in the league this season, with the four appearances on the left.

Phil FodenPhil Foden

Phil Foden was in top form against Wycombe / James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne (CM): Set for his first start of the Premier League season after getting 90 minutes under his belt against Wycombe. Also started in the Champions League against RB Leipzig.

Fernandinho (CM): Doubts over Rodri’s fitness could see the veteran Brazilian called into the XI. He also started the last league game against Southampton.

Phil Foden (CM): A goal and two assists against Wycombe was exactly the introduction needed after an injury-hit start to the season. Questions over Ilkay Gundogan’s fitness could see him start.

Chelsea will provide the biggest test Jack Grealish has facedChelsea will provide the biggest test Jack Grealish has faced

Chelsea will provide the biggest test Jack Grealish has faced / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus (RW): Has become City’s preferred right-wing starter ahead of Riyad Mahrez this season, although there will always be stiff competition from the Algerian.

Ferran Torres (ST): Although not a natural ‘number nine’, the young Spaniard has become the automatic choice in the role this season following Sergio Aguero’s exit.

Jack Grealish (LW): The £100m man has impressed without catching fire this season, characterising an altogether inconsistent attack. This will be the biggest test he has faced so far.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Man Utd Women vs Chelsea Women: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

The Women’s Super League is back this weekend after a brief pause for the September international break, with Chelsea’s trip north to face Manchester United one of the biggest games on offer.

United have started the season well under new manager Marc Skinner but would always have been expected to beat Reading and newly promoted Leicester in their opening two games. Now coming up against the champions, this is an altogether different kind of test.

Chelsea picked up their first points of the season last time out, thrashing an Everton side many tipped to do well this season. That made up for an earlier defeat against title rivals Arsenal.

This is everything you need to know about the game…

What time is kick off? Sunday 26 September, 12:30 (BST)
Where is it being played? Leigh Sports Village
TV channel? BBC Two/iPlayer (UK), FA Player (US)
Referee? Kirsty Dowle

Millie TurnerMillie Turner

Millie Turner is out for Man Utd / Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

United have players returning from all over Europe on international duty. Many, including Ella Toone, Jackie Groenen and Martha Thomas, enjoyed good performances for their respective countries.

Millie Turner remains sidelined with a dislocated kneecap suffered earlier this month.

Chelsea are still waiting to see new signing Lauren James in actionChelsea are still waiting to see new signing Lauren James in action

Chelsea are still waiting to see new signing Lauren James in action / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea equally have players returning from international duty, with Fran Kirby and Millie Bright both impressive for a dominant England side.

Ex-United star Lauren James is yet to play for her new club and has been working on her fitness.

Man Utd: Earps; Blundell, Mannion, Thorisdottir, Batlle; Risa, Zelem, Staniforth; Hanson, Toone, Galton

Chelsea: Berger; Carter, Bright, Eriksson; Charles, Ingle, Ji, Reiten; Kirby, Kerr, Harder

Leah Galton, Ji So-yunLeah Galton, Ji So-yun

There has never been more than a goal between Man Utd & Chelsea in the WSL / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

All three previous WSL encounters between these clubs have been tight affairs.

United are yet to beat Chelsea, who have won by a single goal both times the teams have met at Kingsmeadow. The only previous meeting at Leigh Sports Village was a 1-1 draw.

This United squad is not as good as it was but that hasn’t stopped them winning back-to-back games at the start of the new season and they won’t fail to give Chelsea a challenge here.

Emma Hayes’ Blues blew away Everton last time out and a number of players will have benefitted from getting international minutes this past week as well. They will probably have too much for United on this occasion.

Prediction: Man Utd 1-2 Chelsea

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