Solskjaer stands firm over squad discussions

Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set his sights on catching City.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he stands his ground in discussions about the squad with Ed Woodward, the man who holds the purse strings.

Solskjaer has come in for some criticism, with some fans claiming he is not forthright enough in pushing the case for investment in the squad when he talks to executive vice-chairman Woodward.

Solskjaer’s response was emphatic, with the Norwegian saying: “Of course I am, of course we’ve got open discussions.

“I wouldn’t say to you what I say to him. We are building towards something, I’m almost getting bored myself talking about what we do have as a vision and a plan, but it doesn’t change from August until now.”

With United five points adrift of the top four ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Norwich, there has been much attention on who the club might try to bring in this month.

Solskjaer brushed off a question about Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes, while Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly and playmakers James Maddison of Leicester City and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish have been other names linked with Old Trafford.

The United boss insists he is focusing on long-term goals and not thinking about signings in terms of his own reputation.

“I’m not going to protect myself,” he said. “I’m here to do the best for the club, what I think and we feel is right.”

Solskjaer, meanwhile, said he would not be worried about a lack of leadership should Ashley Young leave, and that Jesse Lingard’s decision to link up with agent Mino Raiola was of no concern.

United captain Young has been strongly linked with a move to Inter Milan although Solskjaer hinted the club would not let him leave this month, while Raiola is also the agent of Paul Pogba and has recently been highly critical of United.