Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must sign FOUR players... and let these flops leave

Posted Saturday, March 23, 2019 by

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must sign FOUR players... and let these flops leave
Man Utd will have a busy summer in the transfer market (Image: GETTY)

DESPITE two defeats in his last two games, a contract with an offer to take the full-time role this summer is likely to land in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s in-tray some time soon.

That outcome appeared more, not less likely when Barcelona’s name was drawn out of the hat for the quarter finals of the Champions League.

If Lionel Messi and co are too good for Solskjaer’s men over two legs in April vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Manchester United’s fan base might reasonably argue defeat could have happened to anybody.

Had Porto or Ajax been drawn and he suffered a defeat, questions as to his suitability for the job might just have resurfaced in some quarters.

A best case scenario of reaching the semi-finals would see him being able to pen his own deal.

Yet if Solskjaer remains as good as nailed on to take the job – the only bookmaker offering odds are not exactly giving away money with £7 getting you just a quid – there are already plenty of other issues stacking up in the same in-tray.

Solskjaer’s loyalty to United is unshakeable. From player to reserve team gaffer, from his time at Molde in Norway and now to his caretaker shift, he has always used the collective noun of “we”.

Where David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and to an extent Jose Mourinho attempted to put distance between themselves and Ferguson’s legacy (the first named inadvisedly getting rid of Mike Phelan in an effort to put his own stamp down), Solskjaer’s unique selling point has been the link he provides back to those days.

Given that, it is unthinkable that Solskjaer would recommend that there be any changes in his backroom team so Phelan, Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Emilio Alvarez will all be there.

From the point of view of the playing staff, Solskjaer and his team have a few decisions to make, though.

As Barcelona may be about to show, United need some quality additions to their staff with a centre-half, a right-back, a midfielder and a right-sided forward high on a list of must-haves.

To refresh Solskjaer’s squad Woodward needs to move on a number of players who have clearly become surplus to requirements, heralding a summer exit for Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Eric Bailly for starters.

Juan Mata is another who could be moved on. For all that he is well-liked at the club and remains capable of influencing games, he is 31 next month.

Perhaps the biggest dilemma facing everyone is what to do with Alexis Sanchez.

The Chilean remains Woodward’s biggest blunder, snatched as he was from under the noses of Manchester City and given a £350,000 a week deal which, with image rights and bonuses added on, rises to £500,000.

Whilst it is unlikely he has triggered too many of the bonus payments since putting pen to paper in January 2018, his take home has established a ceiling at the club which other more deserving players have used to ramp up their own demands.

David De Gea’s stalling over his new deal being a case in point.

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must sign FOUR players... and let these flops leave
Jadon Sancho is reportedly Manchester United's main transfer target (Image: GETTY)

Embarrassingly for Woodward, it is a problem unlikely to go away either with Sanchez’s contract running until June 2022.

Whatever happens with Sanchez United need to plug the gaps and the acquisition of England starlet Jadon Sancho would undoubtedly delight the fans.

Not only is he a good fit for the style United like to play but fans would take great delight in having poached a former City academy graduate who left Manchester for Borussia Dortmund in search of first team football.

Suggestions Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic remains a target probably have roots in his past not current performances. While Napoli’s central defender Kalidou Koulibaly may be priced out of a switch at somewhere north of £70million.

Elsewhere United face stiff competition for Crystal Palace right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka but are believed to be one of a number of the big six Premier League clubs interested.

The emergence of Scott McTominay into the centre of the midfield will assure Solskjaer he has a ready made replacement for Nemanja Matic likewise Andreas Pereira who is beginning to deliver on potential.

And hopes are sky high that the production line is working further back on the conveyor with Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Jimmy Garner and Angel Gomes all looking promising.

Solskjaer will want that group’s progress closely managed which makes it unlikely any of that group will be sent out on loan.

Under Alex Ferguson, David Beckham went to Preston but he was the exception which proved the rule – neither of the Neville brothers Gary or Phil, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes or Nicky Butt trod that path.

Plenty to think about for the new man.

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