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Man Utd news: Cristiano Ronaldo makes pledge as youngsters set for Brighton clash

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Manchester United’s Premier League campaign starts on Sunday afternoon as they welcome Graham Potter’s Brighton to Old Trafford.

Erik ten Hag has confirmed new signings Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia are all in the frame for a starting role against the Seagulls, while Luke Shaw is fit again. Anthony Martial will miss the fixture after picking up a minor injury in pre-season.

Yet there’s one question that’s on everyone’s lips – will Cristiano Ronaldo play against Brighton? The Portuguese superstar has sent a message to Ten Hag… and it’s included in our United round-up. Here are the latest headlines from Old Trafford.

Ronaldo “ready” to play

Ronaldo has piled the pressure on Ten Hag to start him against Brighton. The forward hasn’t featured much recently after missing the tour of Thailand and Australia due to ‘family reasons’ – playing just 45 minutes of United’s pre-season schedule as a result.

With that limited game-time, Ronaldo is thought to be behind his team-mates in terms of fitness levels. He was hauled off at half-time in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano as Ten Hag looked to protect him in his first outing under the Dutchman.

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to play against Brighton on Sunday
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Manchester United via Getty Imag)

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But with Martial now injured, the United boss has been left with a major decision to make. And Ronaldo is attempting to force his hand with his actions on social media, as he uploaded a post on his Instagram story on Saturday evening.

The attacker posted a picture of himself from the draw with Vallecano, with the back of his shirt towards the camera. He added the word “Ready” down the left-hand side, as well as the praying emoji and the biceps flexing emoji.

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Teenagers involved?

Zidane Iqbal and Alejandro Garnacho could play on Sunday after missing U21 duty.

Iqbal, 19, and Garnacho, 18, were left out of United’s U21 game against Arsenal on Saturday, which finished 3-1 to the Gunners. Charlie Wellens – the son of United academy graduate and EFL legend Richie – opened the scoring before goals from Khayon Edwards, Miguel Azeez and new signing Marquinhos secured the points for the hosts.

“We want to give the young players who deserve a chance the opportunity to play,” said Ten Hag earlier this month. “He [Garnacho] showed himself during pre-season and that’s why he played. He played pretty well and his performance was really good.”

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Sane could return to Manchester

Manchester United are interested in signing Leroy Sane
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Getty Images)

United have made a surprise enquiry about former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane’s availability as Ten Hag continues to assess his attacking options.

Sane hasn’t had the smoothest of times since returning to Germany in 2020 to join Bayern Munich. And the arrival this summer of Sadio Mane from Liverpool has raised questions about how much playing time he will get this season.

The 26-year-old only started 22 Bundesliga games for Bayern last season and Mane’s transfer is likely to impact his opportunities even further. Ten Hag is understood to be happy with the idea of Marcus Rashford and Jason Sancho either side of Martial in attack going into the season.

But he is still hoping to bolster his options and Sane’s situation at Bayern means he’s a player of interest. Ten Hag has been looking at a move for Ajax winger Anthony but the Dutch giants do not want to lose another big name to United having already seen Ten Hag and Martinez make their way to the north-west.

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