Belfast Telegraph

I’m not scared to tell Ed Woodward what I think – Solskjaer

The Manchester United boss said he has frank communication with the executive vice-chairman.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a long-term plan regarding transfers (Martin Rickett/PA)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a long-term plan regarding transfers (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Eleanor Crooks, PA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he does stand his ground in discussions with Ed Woodward.

It was put to the Manchester United boss during his Friday press conference that some fans believe 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, the Norwegian saying: “Of course I am, of course we’ve got open discussions.

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Ed Woodward is Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman (Martin Rickett/PA).

“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 defender Kalidou Koulibaly and playmakers James Maddison and 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'll never, ever put myself before the club. There's no 'i' in Manchester and there's no 'i' in this team. I could never, ever do that, that's not me Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“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.

“I’ll never, ever put myself before the club. There’s no ‘i’ in Manchester and there’s no ‘i’ in this team. I could never, ever do that, that’s not me. I’m working for Man United.

“It wouldn’t always be the worst thing you can do to put a short-term fix in if it’s good for the group here and now, but you wouldn’t put yourself in a situation that you’ve done something that you regret in 18 months’ time.

“We’ve got to do due diligence – that’s character of players, quality of players and right fit into this squad.”

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Ashley Young has been linked with a move to Inter Milan (David Davies/PA).

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.

“We’ve got a leadership group, we’ve got experience there, so I’m not worried about that,” he said.

Raiola is also the agent of Paul Pogba and has been highly critical of United.

Solskjaer said: “Jesse is working for Man United and whoever he speaks to and gets his advice from is none of my business. Jesse knows what we expect from him. I’ve got a great, open relationship with Jesse, we speak freely. I don’t speak to the agent of many players.”

PA

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