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The Man Utd’s No7 shirt curse was too big for Sanchez, but can Sancho be the heir to Best, Beckham, Ronaldo and Cantona?

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the man utds no7 shirt curse was too big for sanchez but can sancho be the heir to best beckham ronaldo and cantona

JADON SANCHO is on the cusp of a mega-money move to Manchester United… finally.

The Red Devils, after much negotiation, are set to land the Borussia Dortmund winger – initially tempting him to join with the promise of wearing their hallowed No7 shirt.

 Jadon Sancho has been earmarked to take the famous No7 shirt at Manchester United

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Jadon Sancho has been earmarked to take the famous No7 shirt at Manchester UnitedCredit: PA:Press Association
 Sancho could succeed Alexis Sanchez as Man Utds new No7

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Sancho could succeed Alexis Sanchez as Man Utds new No7Credit: Getty – Contributor

Now Sancho is thought to have agreed to a five-year deal worth a staggering £350,000 a week – with United paying £110million when all is said and done.

But that has not proven a good omen in recent years with the likes of Memphis Depay and Alexis Sanchez crumbling under the pressure of its history.

For 50 years, the club’s icons bore that shirt with pride, and did it justice.

But since Cristiano Ronaldo donned it for the final time in 2009, no one has dealt with the burden of expectation.

Here, SunSport takes a look back at the superstars to wear the hallowed shirt — and the sharp decline in success – starting with the two recent flops.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ, 2018 TO PRESENT

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Credit: Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford

Success at United

Appearances – 45

Goals – 5

No trophies

After four glorious seasons with Arsenal, Chilean star Sanchez appeared to be a no brainer when United added him to their ranks for £32m.

And Robin Van Persie had previously shown that he could adapt from a move from North London.

However, Sanchez has been a major disappointment – a shadow of the player who ripped defences apart at the Emirates Stadium.

Just five goals in 45 appearances, he is deemed surplus to requirements – shipped out to Inter Milan on loan this season.

MEMPHIS DEPAY, 2015-16

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Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Memphis Depay suffered curse of the Manchester United No7 shirt

Success at United

Appearances – 53

Goals – 7

No trophies

Memphis was immediately handed the No7 jersey by Louis van Gaal after signing for £25MILLION from PSV.

But, despite the hype surrounding his arrival, it was just constant disappointment for the Dutchman, and he left to join Lyon on loan after 12 months, which soon became a permanent deal.

Depay has rediscovered his form with the French giants, scoring 53 times in 134 games from the wing.

It’s a better return than the seven in 53 he managed with United.

GEORGE BEST, 1963-74

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Credit: Getty Images

George Best celebrates his goal against Benfica in 1968 European Cup final

Success at United

Appearances — 474
Goals — 181
First Division (2) — 1964-65, 1966-67
European Cup — 1968
Football Writers’ Player of the Year — 1968
Ballon d’Or — 1968
Ballon d’Or third place — 1971

In an era where shirt numbers were not assigned, Best donned it in 141 of his 474 games.

In 1966, he wore it in what is generally considered his greatest-ever performance, netting twice as United battered the great Benfica 5-1 in Lisbon — and against the  same opponents in the European Cup final two years later.

Best is considered by many the most naturally gifted footballer to have come out of Britain.

BRYAN ROBSON — 1981-94

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Credit: Getty Images

‘Captain Marvel’ Bryan Robson was always there when Manchester United needed him

Success at United

Appearances — 461
Goals — 99
Premier League (2) — 1992-93, 1993-94
FA Cup (4) — 1982-83, 1984-85, 1989-90
League Cup — 1991-92
European Cup Winners’ Cup — 1990-91
European Super Cup — 1991

Immediately picked up the No.7 shirt, despite Steve Coppell still being at the club.

‘Captain Marvel’ was unlucky to play in a United side which failed to challenge for the title during the 1980s — and is the club’s longest-serving captain, who won 90 England caps.

A leader whose influence was apparent as his two goals famously helped the Red Devils overturn a 2-0 deficit against Barcelona in one of Old Trafford’s most glorious nights in 1984.

ERIC CANTONA — 1992-97

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Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Eric Cantona was the catalyst for Manchester United success in 1990s

Success at United

Appearances — 185 Goals — 93
Premier League (4) — 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97
FA Cup (2) — 1993-94, 1995-96
PFA Players’ Player of the Year — 1993-94
Football Writers’ Player of the Year — 1995-96
Ballon d’Or third place — 1993

First player to be officially assigned the No7 shirt.

Cantona was the catalyst, who helped transform United from nearly men to Premier League champions.

He won the title in four of his five seasons at the club — and the only time he failed to was when he was banned for eight months for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan.

DAVID BECKHAM — 1992-03

 David Beckham graduated from No28 to No7

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David Beckham graduated from No28 to No7Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Success at United

Appearances — 394
Goals — 85
Premier League (6) — 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03
FA Cup (2) — 1995-96, 1998-99
Champions League — 1998-99
Intercontinental Cup — 1999
Ballon d’Or runner up — 1999
Fifa World Player of the Year runner up — 1999, 2001

An academy graduate who started off as No28, before moving up through the No.24, No.10 and eventually No.7 shirt when Cantona left.

Beckham provided vital assists in the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in 1999 as United completed an incredible Treble.

He wore the shirt during his peak years at the club and established himself as the best set-piece taker in world football.

CRISTIANO RONALDO — 2003-09

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Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo was handed No.7 shirt at age of 18 and thrived in it

Success at United

Appearances — 292
Goals — 118
Premier League (3) — 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09
FA Cup — 2003-04
League Cup (2) — 2005-06, 2008-09
Champions League — 2007-08
Fifa Club World Cup — 2008
Ballon d’Or — 2008
Fifa World Player of the Year — 2008
Football Writers’ Player of the Year (2) — 2006-07, 2007-08
PFA Players’ Player of the Year (2) — 2006-07, 2007-08
PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year award — 2006-07
Ballon d’Or runner up — 2007, 2009
Fifa World Player of the Year runner-up — 2007, 2009

Replaced Beckham and, at the tender of age of 18, was handed the most prestigious shirt at the club.

But Ronaldo thrived under the pressure and went from strength-to-strength.

Won a trophy in all but one season and became United’s fourth Ballon d’Or winner.

MICHAEL OWEN — 2009-12

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Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd

Michael Owen wasn’t the worst player, but never justified No.7 shirt

Success at United

Appearances — 52
Goals — 17
Premier League — 2010-11
League Cup — 2009-10

In the whole of world football, only Lionel Messi would have been fit to fill the huge chasm left behind by Ronaldo in 2009.

Injury-prone Owen was nearly 30, had just been released by recently-relegated Newcastle and was only signed as back-up after United had missed out on Karim Benzema.

Highs included a last-gasp derby winner, League Cup final goal and Champions League hat-trick, but never came close to doing the No.7 shirt justice.

ANTONIO VALENCIA — 2009-19 (No7 for 2012-13 season)

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Credit: Getty Images

Antonio Valencia reverted back to No.25 after poor season with No.7 shirt

Success at United

Appearances — 339
Goals — 25
Premier League (2) — 2010-11, 2012-13
FA Cup — 2015-16
League Cup (2) — 2009-10, 2016-17

Europa League – 2016-17

United’s 2011-12 Player of the Year was then handed the No7 shirt after three seasons wearing the No25 — and it was again worn by a right-winger.

However, while Sir Alex Ferguson led his men to a 13th title, Valencia endured without doubt his worst seasons at the club.

At the end of the campaign, he requested the No25 shirt again and there was no No7 during David Moyes‘ reign.

ANGEL DI MARIA — 2014-15

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Credit: Getty Images

Despite his staggering fee, it was a disastrous spell in Manchester for Angel Di Maria

Success at United

Appearances — 32
Goals — 4

United and English football’s then record signing at £59.1million.

Di Maria arrived from Real Madrid after a man of the match performance in the Champions League final, and initially looked a good signing.

But his form dipped drastically, and he became a liability. Sold to Paris Saint-Germain after just one season for £44m.

Man Utd and Jadon Sancho ‘agree five-year £350,000-a-week deal’ over £110m transfer from Borussia Dortmund

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Manchester City to complete club record £64m deal for Benfica centre back Ruben Dias

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manchester city to complete club record 64m deal for benfica centre back ruben dias

Manchester City will complete a club record £64million deal for Ruben Dias, ending a two-year pursuit of the Benfica centre back.

Dias will become the most expensive player in City’s history – eclipsing the £62.8m paid to Atletico Madrid for Rodri a year ago – with Nicolas Otamendi joining Benfica for £13.7m as part of the deal.

The 23-year-old Portugal international has passed a medical but the transfer will only go through once Otamendi has been given the all-clear by his new club.

Benfica captain Ruben DIas is on the verge of signing for Manchester City for £64million

Benfica captain Ruben DIas is on the verge of signing for Manchester City for £64million

City boss Pep Guardiola has decided to let Nicolas Otamendi move in the opposite direction

City boss Pep Guardiola has decided to let Nicolas Otamendi move in the opposite direction

City’s 5-2 capitulation at home to Leicester on Sunday underlined the need to strengthen at the back despite spending £40m on Nathan Ake from Bournemouth.

Dias was one of four options considered by the club which included Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Jose Gimenez at Atletico.

But City believe they have gone for the right man having tracked Dias in previous transfer windows, and got a good deal considering the £80m release clause in his contract.

The Benfica skipper, who has previously attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus, is understood to fit the bill for Pep Guardiola in terms of age, profile and the quality of defender he wanted.

The 23-year-old has attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus before

The 23-year-old has attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Juventus before

City were put off by the price on both Koulibaly and Gimenez, although no formal bid was made for either player according to sources who say the process has underlined the club’s willingness to walk away from a transfer if the terms are not right.

There were also issues with Sevilla over Kounde’s valuation and it’s believed that City were concerned that the 21-year-old Frenchman was too much of an unknown quantity to bring to the Premier League at this stage of his career.

The opportunity to trade Otamendi to Benfica in exchange for Dias was a bonus with City recouping almost half of the £32m paid to Valencia for the Argentine defender five years ago.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Jamie Carragher writes off Scott Parker’s Fulham side after just THREE games in the Premier League

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jamie carragher writes off scott parkers fulham side after just three games in the premier league

Jamie Carragher has called Fulham owner Tony Khan a ‘clown’ and insisted that Fulham are more likely to be relegated from the Premier League than Liverpool are to retain their title.

Former Liverpool and England centre-back Carragher watched Fulham put on a defensive horror show as they lost 3-0 at home to Aston Villa on Monday and had no sympathy after supremo Khan apologised to fans on Twitter.

Slamming Khan’s decision to post about the fiasco on social media, Carragher told Sky Sports: ‘It never works, it always ends up in tears.

Fulham are bottom of the Premier League after conceding 10 goals in three games this season

Fulham are bottom of the Premier League after conceding 10 goals in three games this season

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher slammed frail Fulham and club owner Tony Khan

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher slammed frail Fulham and club owner Tony Khan

‘He’s a clown, getting involved with that. Just shut your mouth, get on with it, keep your head down.

‘It was a really poor performance. It was that bad, we were actually laughing at some of the defending. Fulham are going down – I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life. 

‘I’m more certain of Fulham going down than Liverpool winning the league. What we saw there was actually unbelievable.’

Flummoxed Khan revealed he had missed out on four defensive targets since Fulham were promoted from the Championship in August, while beleaguered boss Scott Parker admitted he was not fully aware of the owner’s struggle to enhance his squad.

Khan used Twitter to address supporters in the aftermath of the 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa

Khan used Twitter to address supporters in the aftermath of the 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa

The owner claimed that the club had been hampered in their attempts to boost their defence

The owner claimed that the club had been hampered in their attempts to boost their defence

Khan criticised the playing staff in a move that left Carragher and Roy Keane deeply perturbed

Khan criticised the playing staff in a move that left Carragher and Roy Keane deeply perturbed

Carragher fiercely criticised Khan’s role in Fulham’s big-spending summer two years ago, when they went on to be relegated with a whimper after winning promotion.

He said: ‘He was buying all the players, he made a right mess of that. What does Scott Parker think about this? What do those lads who are playing at the back think about that, who have maybe got to play in midweek or at the weekend?

‘Just keep your mouth shut. They were a mess last time they came up. What they don’t want to be this year is a mess. They’re going to go down but almost go down together, be a club, stick together.’

Former Manchester United midfielder Keane added that he could not see any of the positives mentioned by Cottagers manager Scott Parker (above) during his post-match remarks

Former Manchester United midfielder Keane added that he could not see any of the positives mentioned by Cottagers manager Scott Parker (above) during his post-match remarks

Carragher singled out full-back Denis Odoi for his part in the Cottagers’ third consecutive defeat since their return to the Premier League, while fellow pundit Roy Keane also directed a warning at Khan.

The former Manchester United midfielder said: ‘You talk about engaging with supporters but you shouldn’t be discussing the club’s business or your transfer targets.

‘That’s nobody’s business. When you’ve been beaten 3-0 at home, take your medicine and look at things over the next few days. Bizarre.’ 

There have been reminders of Fulham's last Premier League season in their first three games

There have been reminders of Fulham’s last Premier League season in their first three games

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Arsenal set Friday deadline by Lyon president to wrap up their move for £45-rated midfielder Aouar

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arsenal set friday deadline by lyon president to wrap up their move for 45 rated midfielder aouar

Arsenal have been set a Friday deadline to complete the signing of Houssem Aouar by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. 

The Gunners are determined to sign the 22-year-old this summer and are set to raise their dismissed £32million offer to £36.5m with a further £9m in bonuses in a hope to secure the creative midfielder, according to football.london

Aulas is also braced for late bids for forwards Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay.

Arsenal are preparing a significantly improved second bid for target Houssem Aouar

Arsenal are preparing a significantly improved second bid for target Houssem Aouar

He told footmercato.net: ‘I’m thinking of proposing it tomorrow (Tuesday) to Rudi (Garcia) and Juninho, sporting director), because it’s understandable.

‘As of Friday, players who have not left will not leave. We don’t need to sell and, for me, it’s very easy to say that. 

‘After that, we can find agreements with players and clubs for a year to come.’  

Aouar, who has made 130 appearances for Lyon, is paramount to Mikel Arteta’s plans as he looks to deploy his team in a 4-3-3 formation this season.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder will be vital to Mikel Arteta's 4-3-3 formation this season

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder will be vital to Mikel Arteta’s 4-3-3 formation this season

Despite rejecting their opening offer, Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas suggested that the club would be open to selling Aouar for the right price.

He tweeted: ‘For Houssem Arsenal is too far from his value: we are counting on him to play a great match in Lorient and lead OL in CL next year.’

Aouar has been previously valued at £54m but it is believed the Ligue 1 side will lower their asking price amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Aouar is reportedly keen to depart the Ligue 1 club before the end of the transfer window, meaning any deal must be completed before the deadline on October 5.  

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas wants any deals to be completed by Friday

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas wants any deals to be completed by Friday 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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