The Cityzens have been outstanding once again this season, leading Liverpool by three points. However, Ralf Rangnick desperately needs all three points at the Etihad. That's because United are two points clear of sixth-placed Arsenal, but have played three games more than the Gunners.
Meanwhile, Paul Merson has advised the Red Devils to drop Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting XI for the City. Elsewhere, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly willing to take charge at Old Trafford this summer.
On that note, here's a look at the key Manchester United transfer stories as on 5th March 2022:
Paul Merson advises Manchester United to drop Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester Derby
Arsenal legend Paul Merson has advised Manchester United to drop Cristiano Ronaldo for the Manchester Derby. The 37-year-old has been on a poor run of form in recent games. The Portuguese has struggled in front of goal, scoring just once in ten games in 2022.
"If the reports are accurate (of players wanting Maguire dropped), that's not nice because Maguire is a top bloke and a good professional who looks after the players. He's not really worried about himself, and he's a team player,” said Merson.
“But for me, I don't think he plays in this game, and I'd also play (Marcus) Rashford and (Anthony) Elanga. If they've got any chance of winning this game, they have to play on the counter-attack with plenty of pace, skill and energy."
Merson also said that the Red Devils would be better off without Ronaldo against City.
"Personally, I'd leave Ronaldo out of this game. Against Watford, they dominated the game and had something like 80 per cent possession, but they're not going to have the ball as much against City. How many times are they going to be in City's half dominating the ball?"
"If you're John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, they would rather play against Ronaldo than mark someone like Rashford. They don't want to play up against pace; City are finding it harder as everybody is sitting back now against them - 10 behind the ball and breaking like Tottenham and Everton did,” said Merson.
The former player added:
"They've got to be careful because if United get it right this weekend, they and Liverpool are the two teams I can confidently say could go to the Etihad and win. They have the firepower ,and we've seen it before with the way they play, but Rangnick has to get it right, otherwise it could be four or five the other way."
Carlo Ancelotti willing to take charge at Old Trafford
Carlo Ancelotti is ready to take over at Manchester United this summer, according to The Express via Duncan Castles.
The Premier League giants have added the Italian to their list of candidates for the permanent job next season. Ancelotti is currently in charge of Real Madrid. However, his position could come under threat if Los Blancos exit the UEFA Champions League or fail to win La Liga.
The Italian has reportedly long been interested in the top job at Old Trafford. He was contacted by Richard Arnold a fortnight ago, and gave a positive response regarding the position.
Ancelotti believes he could get the Red Devils back to their glory days. His association with Real Madrid is not set in stone, so a move cannot be entirely ruled out.
Juventus planning Bosman move for Paul Pogba
Juventus are planning a Bosman move for Paul Pogba, according to The Hard Tackle via Gazzetta dello Sport. The Frenchman's current contract with Manchester United is set to run out at the end of the season. The Premier League giants have so far failed to convince the 28-year-old to remain at Old Trafford.
The Bianconeri are already in contact with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola in an attempt to bring the Frenchman back to Turin this summer on a Bosman move. However, the Serie A giants could face competition from Real Madrid and PSG for Pogba's signature.
The Frenchman has bagged a goal and eight assists in 20 games for the Red Devils across competitions this season.