Sol­sk­jaer lets slip in­ter­est in sign­ing Bournemout­h’s Ake

United man­ager drops hint to cen­tre-back af­ter match Mid­fielder Matic awarded fresh three-year con­tract

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Matt Law FOOT­BALL NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

United man­ager Ole Gunnar Sol­sk­jaer ap­peared to re­veal that he wants to sign a left­footed cen­tre-back in a post-match ex­change with Bournemout­h de­fender Nathan Ake.

Sol­sk­jaer wants to re­place Mar­cos Rojo with an­other left-footed de­fender this sum­mer and Ake ap­pears to be on the club’s radar, af­ter Sol­sk­jaer ap­par­ently told the Dutch­man: “We need a left-footed cen­tre-back, so keep go­ing.”

Chelsea have the op­tion to re­ing, sign Ake for around £40mil­lion in the next trans­fer win­dow, although that fee would al­most cer­tainly come down if Bournemout­h are rel­e­gated. But Frank Lam­pard’s ad­mis­sion that he may need to add greater height to his squad may see Chelsea look else­where for a cen­tral de­fender, de­spite the ad­mi­ra­tion at Stam­ford Bridge for Ake.

Manch­ester City have also been tak­ing an in­ter­est in Ake for some time, but they could face com­pe­ti­tion from United fol­low­ing Sol­sk­jaer’s quick chat with the player.

The ex­change was broad­cast by BT Sport at the end of United’s 5-2 vic­tory over Bournemout­h on Satur­day, although sub­ti­tles to ac­com­pany the au­dio read: “You need a bit of luck from your cen­tre-backs.”

But United fans were quick to point out that the au­dio seemed to con­tra­dict the sub­ti­tles, with Sol­sk­jaer ac­tu­ally ap­pear­ing to re­veal his trans­fer plans to Ake.

Sol­sk­jaer has Harry Maguire and Vic­tor Lin­de­lof as his first-choice cen­tral-de­fen­sive pair­ing and the duo are both right-footed.

Rojo will be al­lowed to leave Old Traf­ford this sum­mer, which makes the need to bring in a left-footer even greater.

But Sol­sk­jaer is likely to pri­ori­tise us­ing his money on a new striker and right-sided player be­fore United move for a de­fender, whether it is Ake or some­body else. United had also been con­sid­er­ing sign­ing a de­fen­sive mid­fielder, although Ne­manja Matic has penned a new three-year con­tract.

Matic said: “I am very happy that I will con­tinue to be part of this great club. As a player, I still have a lot more to give and achieve in my ca­reer, and to do that with Manch­ester United will be a huge hon­our.

“This is a re­ally ex­cit­ing team to be part of. We have a good bal­ance of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence within the squad and there is great ca­ma­raderie amongst the group. This is a key part of the sea­son and we are play­ing well. We will con­tinue to fight to fin­ish the sea­son on a high and make our amaz­ing sup­port­ers proud.”

Sol­sk­jaer said: “I am de­lighted that Ne­manja has signed a new con­tract, I know his ex­pe­ri­ence, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and lead­er­ship will be in­valu­able to this young, tal­ented group.”

Ex­change: Ole Gunnar Sol­sk­jaer talks to Nathan Ake af­ter United’s 5-2 vic­tory

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.