Erik ten Hag gives Barcelona double boost after meeting Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has offered Erik ten Hag some advice ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Barcelona and Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Newcastle

Manchester United face Barcelona on Thursday night for a mouth-watering Europa League clash at Old Trafford.

Two European heavyweights faced each other last week in a thrilling 2-2 draw, as Raphinha’s equalizer denied the Red Devils a statement win at Camp Nou. Managers Erik ten Hag and Xavi will face off again in Manchester to decide which team progresses to the last 16, with Barcelona looking drained by injury and a crucial suspension.

United, on the other hand, bounced back after a confidence-boosting 3-0 win over Leicester on Sunday, a result which has kept them well and truly in the Premier League title race. Ten Hag will no doubt have Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Newcastle in mind, but fortunately a familiar face has given him some advice during his biggest week since taking charge.

Here’s a summary of the latest news from Old Trafford.

Ten Hag describes Ferguson’s meeting
Erik ten Hag opened up about his meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson after being spotted having dinner with the legendary former Red Devils boss on Tuesday night. Enjoying snacks and drinks, Ten Hag took Ferguson’s brain in hopes of receiving some wisdom ahead of two giants games.

“I always like to talk to people who have a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience and he wants to share it, he wants to help and support,” the Dutchman said of Ferguson. “Manchester United is his club and he feels very committed. We did well. It was a great night and I’m looking forward to another night with him.”

Sir Alex Ferguson and Erik ten Hag seen enjoying a meal together in Wilmslow
Erik ten Hag hopes to mastermind the win over Barcelona on Thursday

United received Barcelona’s double push
Harry Maguire and Antony are expected to be available for selection ahead of Thursday’s game with Barcelona. Both have been absent of late, with Antony last playing on February 4 and Maguire missing the weekend win against Leicester with a knee injury.

“We still have training to go but I hope Harry and Antony are available,” Ten Hag said in his pre-match press conference. “Anthony Martial is not available. He’s back, he’s back on the pitch, so we’re waiting.”

As for Barca boss Xavi, he will be without Gavi due to suspension. Pedri, Sergio Busquets and Ousmane Dembele are also still injured.

Antony was seen training when Robin van Persie visited Carrington

The Glazer’s worries confirmed Neville’s fears
Gary Neville’s fears have come true after it emerged that United co-owner Joel Glazer was unsure about the idea of selling his family’s majority stake in the club. According to the Daily Telegraph, Glazers are reluctant over the idea of a full sale following offers from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Greater Manchester-born INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Neville believes the Glazers and brother Avram can remain at Old Trafford after the club announced they were raising season ticket prices for the first time in 11 years. “The increase in ticket prices at United is very strange,” the former Red Devils right-back tweeted.

“Why would sellers who leave before next season introduce something they hate more and they won’t benefit from it! Any new buyers will likely freeze prices in the first year to stay with fans. That raises the question of whether they are actually leaving! I Do not doubt this kind of action!”

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