Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

Man Utd

News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opens up on Manchester United transfer plans and drops Paul Pogba contract hint

4 min read
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on during Manchester United's Premier League clash with Southampton
Manchester United have had a strong start to the campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Picture: Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Manchester United are ‘looking at players and targets’ as they normally would do at this stage but says the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic may prevent the club from strengthening as they wish in the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils were left disappointed as they missed out on their number one target, Jadon Sancho, last summer but still ended up splashing a total of £76.6million on Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistriri, with Edinson Cavani joining on a free transfer.

England sensation Sancho remains firmly on United’s radar – with Borussia Dortmund reportedly slashing their asking price for the forward – and a whole host of big-name players continue to be linked with moves to Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes has set the bar outrageously high for new arrivals since his £47million move from Sporting Lisbon and Solskjaer would be delighted if future signings make half the impact he has in his opening 12 months at the club.

But the Norwegian has cast doubt over United doing any major business for the foreseeable future due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Advertisement

Advertisement

‘I still think we’re doing the same planning, preparation,’ the United head coach told reporters ahead of their clash with Everton.

‘But, of course, the pandemic has changed the market and it’s changed the world and it might affect what we can do.

‘We just have to see where we’re at in the next few months but we’re looking at players and targets as we normally would do.

‘We have done some very good business in the last few windows I feel and it’s not like wholesale changes we need to make. It’s the odd contribution and addition to the squad.’

Manchester United players in training
The Red Devils will be bursting with confidence after their record-equaling 9-0 win over Southampton (Picture: Getty)

Solskjaer believes some of United’s recent additions have helped give underperforming members of the squad a much-needed ‘kick up the backside’, with the likes of Luke Shaw and David de Gea raising their game this season.

‘I think it’s a sign of a Man United player that takes on the challenge of competition because if you can’t deal with competition and you want to be successful you’re at the wrong place,’ he added.

‘Nobody is guaranteed a place in the team like a season ticket card here, you’ve got to perform to be part of the success of Man United and I’ve been part of it myself with strikers coming in, and you’ve just got to take the challenge head on.

‘I’ve really enjoyed the response I’ve had from players.

‘You say Luke [Shaw], you say David [de Gea] but we signed Donny and Amad now, we’ve signed players that we believe in but that’s also kicked some of the other players up the backside to perform and make sure they keep performing.’

Paul Pogba looks on ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Southampton
Pogba is tied into a deal at Old Trafford until 2022 (Picture: Getty)

Rumours surrounding Pogba’s future have dominated the back pages ever since the Frenchman’s agent, Mino Raiola, claimed his client was ‘unhappy’ in the north-west in December.

Advertisement

Advertisement

But Pogba has been key to United’s success this term and Solskjaer hinted the midfielder could be on the verge of signing a new contract, with ‘good, open dialogue’ taking place.

‘Speculation about Paul is always going to be there. We’ve got a good, open dialogue with Paul, but what we talk about and how we see that situation remains between us,’ he continued added.

‘I’m just happy he’s focused, that he’s playing really well and that he’s happy within himself. That’s important – you can see Paul enjoying football himself with a red shirt on.

‘Our conversations remain private, of course. But Paul is a Man United player through and through.

‘He’s been here in two spells. He came as a kid and he’s learnt about the history of the club, the passion of the club, and he wants to do the best for Man United when he’s here.

‘We’ve seen that he really cares for his team and he’s trying to be as successful as everyone else. But our conversations must remain private.’

Solskjaer went on: ‘I think you should ask Paul what he’s done. The answer is that Paul has really knuckled down. He’s worked hard, he’s got his fitness back.

‘He had a bad season last season with injuries, he had Covid this season, and an injury.

‘But he really works hard and is playing in a team that plays well. He’s a big inspiration for everyone.

Advertisement

‘He always has a big smile – well, not always a big smile because in training yesterday, when his team lost, you could see how it affected him. He wasn’t happy.

‘But today is a new day and he is ready to go again tomorrow.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

MORE : Manchester United add two players to their Premier League squad for the rest of the season

MORE : Paul Merson claims Jesse Lingard has ‘no future’ at Manchester United and should leave on permanent transfer

Advertisement

Advertisement

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.