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Man United begin pre-season with new faces

Reigning FA Cup holders Manchester United embarked on their pre-season preparations on Monday, with several players reporting for duty amidst the 2024 UEFA European Championship.

Among the players back at Carrington was Marcus Rashford, who failed to make the England cut following an underwhelming 2023/24 campaign at Old Trafford.

His compatriot Jadon Sancho has returned to Manchester after a decent short-term loan at Borussia Dortmund in the second half of last season, though the winger’s future at the Theatre of Dreams hangs by a thread.

According to Express Sport, two new faces were spotted arriving at Carrington for the beginning of Man United’s preparation for a potentially career-defining season for manager Erik ten Hag.

Beating fierce rivals Manchester City to FA Cup glory last term was perhaps the only reason the Red Devils decided against sacking the Dutch tactician.

With Man United finishing as low as eighth for the first time in the Premier League era, Ten Hag will be under pressure from day one when the 2024/25 campaign kicks off on August 16.

United’s new season commences at Old Trafford against Fulham.

Club legend Ruud van Nisterlooy has joined Ten Hag’s coaching staff as part of his countryman’s ambition to turn the Red Devils’ league fortunes around.

Van Nisterlooy’s arrival isn’t the only locker-room change.

Former Go Ahead Eagles manager Rene Hake will join forces with the Dutch duo in the dugout.

The new coaching team will have plenty of time to get familiar with each other, with Man United releasing an extensive pre-season fixture schedule.

Starting with a low-profile friendly against Norwegian outfit Rosenborg on July 15, they’ll feature in five off-season exhibition matches.

Games against Rangers, Arsenal, Real Betis and Liverpool will serve to prepare United for a blockbuster Community Shield showdown against perennial Premier League champions Man City on August 10.

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