Neville delivers scathing Man United verdict amid shock Arnautovic links

Gary Neville admitted Manchester United continue to make ‘desperate’ signings following links to Marko Arnautovic.

Shock links to the former West Ham and Stoke man emerged on Sunday and it subsequently emerged that Bologna rejected a £7.6million offer.

AFP

Arnautovic has worked with Ten Hag and McClaren before

Danijel Arnautovic, his brother and agent, revealed that a bid from a high profile club had been made, but did not name the Red Devils.

He said: “It’s true that there’s a bid from a well-known club.

“I’m in contact with Bologna to see if that can be realised.”

United’s problems were highlighted in their 2-1 opening day defeat to Brighton, which summed up the task that is ahead of Erik ten Hag.

Neville said he had ‘nothing to say’ on the Arnautovic links, but compared it to other striker signings in recent seasons.

“The first thing you do when the phone rings from Manchester United is reject the bid, because the reality of it is after losing that game against Brighton on Sunday, they’re actually negotiating from an even worse position than they were on Saturday, and that’s an even bigger problem for them,” Neville told Sky Sports.

Arnautovic left West Ham for China in 2019

getty

Arnautovic left West Ham for China in 2019

“I’ve got a comment on everything in the world, apart from Manchester United signing Marko Arnautovic. I’ve got nothing to say.

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“We’ve seen Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Odion Ighalo – desperate, it’s a pattern. It’s happening time and time again. I don’t even get angry or animated about it anymore. I’m not going to comment about it.”

The Red Devils need reinforcements up front amid continued doubts over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.

The Portuguese icon came off the bench in the defeat to Brighton, but his desire to leave have been well publicised.

Cavani was not replaced following his departure, while Anthony Martial may be heavily relied up this season by Ten Hag.

Ronaldo still wants to leave United this summer

AFP

Ronaldo still wants to leave United this summer

Neville continued: “I don’t go into names because I think in this pre-season 250 players are involved or linked with Manchester United, so that’s it,” he said. “We have two strikers, maybe a third one, with Marcus Rashford as well.

“We considered him as a striker but he had a really good pre-season on the left side and today he had two really good chances coming in from the left side.

“So I think it was the right decision to do it like this. But the typical No 9 wasn’t available today.”

Someone who did speak about the Arnautovic links, though, is talkSPORT’s Alex Crook, saying United’s approach for the 33-year-old Austrian is ‘disrespectful’ to the fans.

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“This is not what Manchester United fans signed up for,” he said on Sunday night’s Boot Room show.

“It was supposed to be a brave new dawn, there was a boardroom reshuffle, a new manager coming in who we were told wanted to put his faith in young players – clearly Arnautovic doesn’t fit into that structure.

Arnautovic signed for Bologna in 2021 after two seasons at Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, who spent £22.4million to sign him from West Ham

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Arnautovic signed for Bologna in 2021 after two seasons at Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, who spent £22.4million to sign him from West Ham

“And Arnautovic is trouble, let’s not make two bones about it – if you spoke to Mark Hughes about his conduct at Stoke City I think that would be a very enlightening chat. He fell out at West Ham, made that lucrative move to China.

“This is a really backwards step from Manchester United.

“The most alarming phrase, for me, is the fact Ten Hag supposedly views him as a ‘cheap option’ – why are Manchester United looking for a cheap option? Is that going to close the gap?

“Really, they can forget about Man City and Liverpool – they’re over the hills and far away – but is it even going to close the gap on Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for the top four? No chance!

“This is a ridiculous move from the club.”

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