Solskjaer on January transfers, Lukaku, Sanchez and more

Date published: Friday 21st December 2018 9:46

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer discussed the January transfer window and Manchester United’s top-four prospects in his first press conference as interim manager.

Solskjaer was appointed as United’s manager until the end of the season after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho earlier this week.

The Norwegian spoke about numerous subjects in his first press conference, ranging from his talks with Sir Alex Ferguson, to his long-term propects and Paul Pogba plans.

He also discussed the club’s January transfer window plans. Which is handy, because he has £50m to spend and we have an idea as to how he should do so.

“I will have an input but the job is to get to know the players, to observe them,” he said. “I’ve seen more or less every game from Norway but to get to know the players, what do I think I can improve them on and the club have got the recruitment and scouting, they’ve got their targets but I’ve not sat down and talked about that.”

Solskjaer confirmed reports that Romelu Lukaku had been granted compassionate leave, while also adding that he hasn’t met Alexis Sanchez yet. Maybe he’ll ask him about that £20k bet with Marcos Rojo? – and they didn’t even use an offer from Ladbrokes.

“He’s had a couple of days off. I’ve not seen him yet or Alexis, he’s on his way back as well, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.”

United are 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season seemingly dependent on them winning this season’s competition. Solskjaer is “not going to set” any targets in terms of Premier League points at this stage.

“I think the first thing is the first game, to think about getting my principles into the boys, to get the players to understand how I want them to play.

“Let’s take the results later on see how many points we can gather but this club has made many many points before. I’m not going to set that target now.”

His first game will be against Cardiff, who he failed to rescue from Premier League relegation after he took over in January 2013. It remains his only experience as a first-team manager in England, and he says he has learned from his “mistakes”.

“I’ve had about 300 or 400 games as first-team manager now and that period in Cardiff was a huge step for me.

“I’ve evaluated, reflected, made a few mistakes but if you don’t make mistakes you’re not gonna learn. I made a few of them, but they’re in the Premier League now.”

On how he will pick a team to face his former club despite only being in charge for such a short amount of time, he put the onus on first-team coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.

“It’s Michael and Kieran that’s been here for the whole season, they’ve had their say and input but there are so many game over the next 10 or 15 games, it’s about picking a team that is going to get results.

“But every player needs to know they’re going to get their chance. Kieran and Michael have been great, it’s great being back home and seeing the development – Michael, as good a coach and man manager as he is.”


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