Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains tight-lipped on Jadon Sancho pursuit
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not talk about the pursuit of Jadon Sancho but knows Manchester United need to strengthen the squad to keep developing.
The 20-year-old England international has been in the Old Trafford giants’ crosshairs all summer, but Borussia Dortmund’s 120million euros (£108m) asking price remains a key sticking point.
Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is so far the only new face to have joined United, but Solskjaer is hoping more business can be done before the October 5 transfer deadline.
“Of course we’ve done some business with Donny,” the United boss. “I’m very happy, delighted to get him in – exceptional smashing lad, very good player that will give us something.
“You know I can’t say anything about other clubs’ players out of respect to them. I can’t speculate. But we understand that to get even further 1) we need to develop what we have, 2) we’re also looking to strengthen the team, of course we are.
“Let’s just wait and see if we manage to bring anyone in. I’ve been in dialogue with the club, of course, we’re always discussing and hopefully let’s see if we can bring anyone in.”
When asked if he understood the supporters’ frustration at the lack of acquisitions heading into the new season, Solskjaer said: “Fans will always want the best possible team to watch, the best possible Man United team, and that’s the passion we want.
“Of course the history we’ve had, we can look back 10 years, 20 years and of course you look back at the great players we’ve had.
“Since Sir Alex left we’ve been average, averaging fifth position. Last season we got third, which was a big step forward.
“Of course we want to take a step forward, we want to develop and we can go into the season with confidence. But we’re always looking to give the players, the group, a boost and we’re working on it.”
Solskjaer has had two major off-field headaches to deal with since bowing out of the Europa League last month, with Harry Maguire facing a Greek court and Mason Greenwood being sent home from the England camp.
The 18-year-old breached the Three Lions’ strict bio bubble in Iceland and the United boss has questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to call him up.
“I’ve worked and the club have worked and all the staff here worked really hard,” said Solskjaer.
“We gave Mason enough time on the pitch, we gave him exposure in the media. Then you come to the end of the season and we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up to the national team.
Since Sir Alex left we’ve been average, averaging fifth position.
“I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer. That the club we asked specifically and pointed out that he should have had a rest.
“He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had. First thing that happens is 1) he’s called up, and 2) he’s right there in the press.
“We’ve done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know that when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him, he’ll be fine.”
Greenwood’s indiscretion came towards the end of an international break that started with Maguire being dropped from the England squad just hours after being selected.
The defender was handed a suspended 21-month sentence after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and bribery during an incident in Mykonos, but he denies the offences and has launched an appeal with the Greek courts.
“The process will keep on going,” Solskjaer said. “Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart.
“But, naturally, as a human being it will be in the back of his mind what’s happened this summer, and apart from that you’ve just got to see how it develops with Harry.
“Personally, I think he will be able to focus on his football but then again who am I to … you can’t predict how people will react.
“But so far he’s trained well, he’s been focused, so hopefully that process will just go on and, of course, we know it’s something that will go on in the legal department over there.”