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Sport Solskjaer is putting out fires at Man United before the season begins

03:30  19 september  2020
03:30  19 september  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Paul Pogba's illness and Manchester United 's lack of new signings Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a lot to contend with before the start of the season Manchester United have had problems off the field and with the lack of signings United ’s inability to agree terms with Borussia Dortmund before losing out to Tottenham for

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER has warned his Manchester United flops: "You're playing for your futures." Now with TEN players' contracts expiring either this summer or the next, Solskjaer has warned With five players out of contract this summer and five more in 2021, United 's stars better

Paul Pogba, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Harry Maguire are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waved goodbye to his players before the shortest of summer breaks last month, the Manchester United manager could never have imagined what would happen next.

Mason Greenwood being sent home in disgrace after winning his first senior cap for England, Harry Maguire banged up in a Greek jail and Paul Pogba going down with coronavirus must have left Solskjaer scared to pick up the phone.

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Solskjaer said before the game that he wants United to be the best of the rest chasing Liverpool and Manchester City. Now that may not fill fans with optimism but it is simply the reality. Liverpool and City are already there, United under Solskjaer are still trying to get there. Because the club has won

Manchester United 's 3-1 defeat by Palace was their worst start in 25 years. History shows that it 's However, Solskjaer can go into the history books to suggest one defeat doesn't mean the season should There were alarm bells when Wan-Bissaka was put on the bench against his former club on

To add to his problems, when the United boss and his players met for a team-bonding barbecue at Carrington on Thursday — three weeks before the close of the transfer window and 48 hours before Saturday's opening game at home to Crystal Palace — he only had one new signing.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer standing in front of a crowd: Manchester United have had a tough pre-season with off-the-field issues and a lack of signings © Provided by Daily Mail Manchester United have had a tough pre-season with off-the-field issues and a lack of signings

Donny van de Beek will no doubt be a good addition for United but their supporters were expecting Jadon Sancho.

United’s inability to agree terms with Borussia Dortmund before losing out to Tottenham for Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon has dampened the mood around Old Trafford as Solskjaer’s side make a delayed start to the Premier League season.

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Manchester United were comprehensively beaten by Crystal Palace in their first game of the Man Utd transfer news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to win a trophy as United boss (Image: EXPRESS). "But we are always looking to improve if there is something out there that is available at the right price.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has problems at Manchester United - the goalkeeper was not expected to be one of them. As Manchester United lined up the injury-time corner that ended with Pedro clearing Marcos Rojo's header off the line, David de Gea stood helpless outside his penalty area, at the other

Have they got a chance of winning the title ahead of Liverpool and Manchester City?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Harry Maguire are posing for a picture: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to consider whether to drop Harry Maguire as club captain © Provided by Daily Mail Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to consider whether to drop Harry Maguire as club captain Gareth Southgate standing in front of a crowd: Mason Greenwood was sent home from England duty after breaking Covid-19 protocol © Provided by Daily Mail Mason Greenwood was sent home from England duty after breaking Covid-19 protocol

‘Crazier things have happened,’ replied the Norwegian, which may not be exactly what fans want to hear. But it has been a crazy time for Solskjaer in keeping with a crazy period in the history of English football.

The spat with Gareth Southgate and England over Greenwood dominated his press conference on Friday which is saying something when the other topic up for discussion was Maguire.

The United skipper has kept the armband while waiting for an appeal hearing in Greece after he was found guilty of assaulting police, verbal abuse and attempted bribery following an incident on holiday in Mykonos.

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Jose Mourinho has been claiming that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer "might be out of his depth," according to reports in the UK, as After Solskjaer 's permanent appointment the Old Trafford club dropped off dramatically toward the end of last season and were patchy at best for large

And United have not had an approach from either Real or Juventus for Pogba — who was filmed having Solskjaer will ask Frenchman Pogba to stay for one more year before quittingCredit: Getty And Solskjaer — like the rest of his players — is worried keeping an unhappy Pogba could lead to

But it could take more than a year to come to court and Solskjaer will monitor Maguire, admitting the issue is bound to weigh on his mind. ‘Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart,’ he said.

‘But naturally, as a human being, it will be in the back of his mind what’s happened this summer. You have just got to see how it develops with Harry. I think he will be able to focus but you can’t predict how people react.’

Pogba has recovered from his illness and is in contention to play today but, if anything, Van de Beek’s signing has only complicated the issues in midfield. Can the Dutchman play alongside Pogba and Bruno Fernandes?

a man playing a game of football: So far this summer Manchester United have only signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax © Provided by Daily Mail So far this summer Manchester United have only signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax

‘Of course, the three of them can start together,’ said Solskjaer. ‘You’ve got Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic in midfield as well — it’s not just about three players in a squad.’

The other big selection issue is in goal with Dean Henderson mounting the biggest challenge to David de Gea in the decade the Spaniard has been at United.

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OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER will set his Man United team out to be more defensive against The Tottenham chairman has made it clear to his board he plans to reject any Old Trafford approach at the end of the season . MAURICIO POCHETTINO rolled out a wonderful anecdote about sneaking into the posh seats at Man Utd transfer news LIVE - Latest updates from Old Trafford. FRIENDLY FIRE .

Typically, Solskjaer tried to stay positive, just as he has throughout a difficult start to the season . There is an acceptance at United that Solskjaer is overseeing a It's worth remembering Evra's final season at United was not winning another title with Sir Alex Ferguson but the beginning of the club's

De Gea is said to be confident that he will start against Palace, but Solskjaer hinted that he is no longer an automatic No 1 and that the two keepers will be left to fight it out on merit.

‘You keep your place in the team or you play when you play well — it doesn’t matter if you’re a keeper or a striker or full back,’ he said. ‘You need competition to push each other so we can get the best performance out of one of them.’

And what of the transfer situation? Solskjaer tried to be positive yesterday but he wanted more than one new signing by now. In fairness to United, the £40 million paid to Ajax for Van de Beek is one of the biggest deals so far in this transfer window.

It means the net investment in new players under Solskjaer is £240m, in step with Manchester City and Chelsea and more than the other big European clubs.

But it’s clear the pandemic has had a major impact on United’s spending at a time when they were already at odds with Dortmund over Sancho’s £108 m valuation.

a group of young men playing a game of football: The club are still hoping to sign Jadon Sancho but are struggling to come to terms on a deal © Provided by Daily Mail The club are still hoping to sign Jadon Sancho but are struggling to come to terms on a deal

‘You can’t ignore the impact of the coronavirus, that’s really changed the market,’ said Solskjaer. ‘It has been in a period that negotiations will happen.

‘The financial uncertainty of that has added to the difficulty of predicting where we’re at.’

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Even so, Sportsmail understands that United were still in contention to sign both Bale and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish on Monday.

But Bale is now at Spurs and Grealish — who shares the same agent as the Welshman — signed a new contract at Villa after it became clear United would not pay £80 m for him.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with his mouth open: Solskjaer has had a lot to think about ahead of his side's opener against Crystal Palace © Provided by Daily Mail Solskjaer has had a lot to think about ahead of his side's opener against Crystal Palace

Frustrated United keeper Sergio Romero, part of the same stable of players, has remained at home in Argentina waiting for a move after Henderson’s return shunted him to third in the pecking order.

‘Of course, I want players in the building that we want to work with and who want to be here,’ said Solskjaer, possibly referencing the fact that Sancho has hardly beaten down the door to exit Dortmund.

‘There are still a few weeks left of the window,’ said Solskjaer.

‘It might happen that we get someone in. I work with the club and they know what I feel this team needs. We sit down and we discuss but sometimes it doesn’t happen as planned. Life isn’t a straight line here.’

If Solskjaer didn’t appreciate that before the events of the past month, he certainly does now.

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