Skip to main content

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants United ready for return to “normality”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking at transfer targets during the lockdown and believes Manchester United are well placed to exploit any knock-on effects of the coronavirus suspension.

With training and matches halted in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, the Norwegian has utiltised some of this unexpected free time to pinpoint how best to improve the squad.

Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Jack Grealish are among the names swirling around the rumour mill, with Solskjaer working with United’s staff to fine-tune targets as they look to become title challengers once more.

“Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens,” the United manager said.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer alongside coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna in Manchester United's last match before the lockdown in Austria

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer alongside coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna in Manchester United’s last match before the lockdown in Austria (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“We want to be the best at everything, and of course now is a chance to spend more time, you discuss players, discuss plans.

“We’ve evaluated what we need, of course with the coaching staff we’ve looked at games, evaluated games, discussing on video calls like this.”

Asked whether United can exploit the transfer market when football returns, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “Who knows how the market is going to react to this?

“Who knows which clubs need to sell players?

“There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man United we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off.

“I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to.”

Solskjaer’s side last played 27 days ago, when United roared to a 5-0 win at LASK in a Europa League last-16 first leg played behind closed doors due to Austria’s coronavirus measures.

There is no imminent sign of a return to normality never mind football, meaning the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba will have surely recovered from their injury lay-offs by the time play resumes.

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have been dealing with injury issues

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have been dealing with injury issues (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Paul and Marcus have been out, now we’ve still got games left, and I think everyone in the league will start more or less on the same level,” Solskjaer said.

“Maybe they’ve got more motivation to keep going now, as they can see when they’re back they may be on the same level or even a better level physically.

“In a way, they have got an opportunity here to play a bigger part in this season than they had hoped.

“And they are big players for us, some of the most important players.

Manchester United are on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions

Manchester United are on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I’ve always been impressed with the players when we’ve had breaks. When we came back from pre-season they were really focused.

“We’ve had the mid-season break now, we did a few things tactically in Marbella in that week and they came back focused.

“We can kick on, I’m sure we can get a good start and climb up that table if we keep doing the right thing.

“Even with the FA Cup and Europa League, if that does go ahead, we’ve got good chances there.”