Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd contract terminated
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For the second time this World Cup, a former Manchester United transfer target was the star of the show. The first was Guillermo Ochoa, who saved a penalty from Robert Lewandowski as Mexico held Poland to a goalless draw on Tuesday. And Yann Sommer has now followed suit, with the Switzerland star producing a fine display as his side beat Cameroon earlier today.
Switzerland had gone into their game with Cameroon hoping to make a statement as they look to make it out of a group that also contains Serbia and Brazil.
And they did exactly that, with Breel Embolo netting the only goal of the game to give his side all three points.
While the Monaco star was the goalscoring hero for his side, however, Sommer was the man of the match with the Borussia Monchengladbach operating at the peak of his powers.
Certainly, the 33-year-old’s stats made for positive reading.
Sommer made five saves throughout the showdown, with all of them coming from inside the box – frustrating Eric Choupo-Moting, in particular.
And he proved he was good with his feet, too, completing 25 of his 28 attempted passes as his side battled to victory.
Back in the summer, United probed a deal for Sommer.
The Red Devils were looking for somebody to compete with David De Gea for a starting berth, having allowed Dean Henderson to join Nottingham Forest on loan.
United felt Sommer would be a good option due to his experience and distribution skills, an area of De Gea’s game the Spain international still struggles with.
However, in the end, Erik ten Hag missed out with Sommer opting against a move to Old Trafford.
The 33-year-old was worried about first-team opportunities with the Premier League giants, acutely aware that De Gea would be No 1.
And he’d previously made it clear he was happy playing in the Bundesliga by saying: “I am currently having very open talks with the club [about a new contract].
“I admit that it took me a lot of time to process the past season and to think about everything that happened.
“Everyone was dissatisfied, there was a lot of criticism. And now, of course, there [are] a lot of rumours.”
United eventually signed Martin Dubravka from Newcastle, with the Slovakia international arriving on transfer deadline day.
But he’s been restricted to just one appearance so far, with injuries hampering him from making much of a contribution.
As mentioned above, United were also previously interested in Mexico goalkeeper Ochoa – who is at the fifth World Cup of his career in Qatar.
Sir Alex Ferguson eyed the shot-stopper as a replacement for Edwin van der Sar back in 2007, with the 37-year-old open to a move.
However, things changed that meant Ochoa was never given a chance to join United.
Van der Sar would play on until 2011, with his final match a 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona where Lionel Messi produced a masterclass.
And a young De Gea, who had shot to prominence at Atletico Madrid, would end up arriving as the Dutchman’s replacement instead.
With Switzerland’s World Cup campaign now off to a positive start, Sommer will be hoping he can help his side make it out of the group.
Brazil remain favourites to take top spot, however, with Tite’s side possessing some of the best players on the planet within their ranks.
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