Manchester United slumped to a second successive Premier League defeat in 48 hours on Thursday as Liverpool beat their rivals 4-2 at Old Trafford.
United found themselves ahead early on as Bruno Fernandes’ shot was deflected past his own ‘keeper by Nat Phillips, however goals from Diogo Jota and Firmino had the visitors ahead at the break.
Liverpool, who needed a win to keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish, extended their lead just two minutes after the restart through Firmino and could have gone further ahead if it wasn’t for Dean Henderson in the United goal.
Marcus Rashford pulled one back for United to set up a tense final 15 minutes, however Mohamad Salah sealed the win late on to pile the pressure on Chelsea in the race for the Champions League qualification places.
As United’s season stutters to an end with only the Europa League final to provide any hope of silverware, it appears that the club are already looking ahead to next season.
According to The Mirror, the Red Devils have retained their interest in Atletico Madrid’s Marcos Llorente, and hope to tie up a deal for the player when the window opens in June.
The 26-year-old has impressed for Diego Simeone’s side this term, and his club are apparently adamant that he will not leave, with those in charge at the club believed to be ‘concerned’ at United’s interest in the Spaniard.
Llorente, who can play in a number of midfield roles, is seen as a good option to replace Fred, who has struggled for form of late.
A bid of around £68 million is allegedly being prepared by those in charge at United, and the La Liga side have reportedly stepped up contract negotiations with the midfielder in a bid to ensure he stays put.
The club’s CEO, Miguel Angel Gil, is rumoured to be handling the negotiations personally, such is the importance of the player.
Despite his current deal running until 2024, Atletico are believed to be keen on extending his stay and deterring any interest from elsewhere.