Ole: I’ll be shop­ping in Jan­uary sales

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By SA­MUEL LUCK­HURST

OLE Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer is op­ti­mistic United will make a sign­ing in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow but has re­it­er­ated any re­cruits must be for the longterm.

Sol­sk­jaer in­sists the Reds have the re­sources to re­in­force their squad in the win­ter win­dow and has re­ceived back­ing from the board af­ter end­ing the sum­mer with­out two pri­or­ity targets.

M.E.N. Sport re­ported United are con­sid­er­ing an al­ter­na­tive striker sign­ing af­ter Er­ling Haa­land chose to join Borussia Dort­mund.

The Reds re­fused to agree to the terms pro­posed by Haa­land’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Mino Raiola, which were said to have in­cluded a buy­out clause and a per­cent­age from fu­ture sales.

Sol­sk­jaer spoke about United’s pos­si­ble ac­tiv­ity in Jan­uary fol­low­ing their 2-0 win at Burn­ley – the day be­fore Dort­mund an­nounced the ac­qui­si­tion of Haa­land.

“I’m op­ti­mistic we can keep play­ers fit and if the right ones be­come avail­able we do have the re­sources and I do have the back­ing from the board,” Sol­sk­jaer said. But it’s also about get­ting the right ones. It has to be.

“There’s no point sud­denly bring­ing some­one else in now for the sake of three or four months if that can dis­rupt any good feel­ing or chem­istry in the group, be­cause the chem­istry in the group is re­ally good.

“It has to be the right type and it has to be a good in­vest­ment for the long-term as well.”

OLE Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer says Ma­son Greenwood has filled the void Romelu Lukaku left in the United at­tack.

Greenwood, 18, has al­ready scored eight goals in his first full sea­son, hav­ing only made his full de­but in the fi­nal game of last term.

United sold Lukaku for a fee ris­ing to £73m in early Au­gust but were pressed for time to re­place him, since the Premier League trans­fer win­dow closed.

Sol­sk­jaer said in the sum­mer any out­go­ings would be re­placed but then claimed a new striker sign­ing would have po­ten­tially blocked Greenwood’s path­way to the first­team.

“We al­ways be­lieved An­thony [Mar­tial] and Mar­cus [Rash­ford] were go­ing to score goals but Ma­son has filled a big void,” Sol­sk­jaer said.

“He’s chipped in with goals, so I’m not wor­ried about goals from cen­tre for­wards.

“Ma­son’s on eight now. Mar­cus I don’t know - 14 or 15 (16)? An­thony has quite a few. Romelu’s a good striker and he’ll al­ways score goals but it was time for him to move on.

“We didn’t find the right one out­for side our club but we had Ma­son.”

United will end the decade with two ti­tles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and a maiden Uefa Cup, but the 10-year pe­riod also fea­tured the man­age­rial sack­ings and the end of the club’s 20-year do­mes­tic dom­i­nance un­der Sir Alex Fer­gu­son.

Sol­sk­jaer has re­mained op­ti­mistic through­out a test­ing first half of the cam­paign and is ex­cited about what the new year has in store.

“2020 sounds quite good for me. I’m go­ing to make 2020 a good year my­self. I think we’re on the right track. We are in a tran­si­tion pe­riod, we’ve seen other clubs do it and come out strong af­ter a cou­ple of years, and that’s just in the nature of this club.”

Sol­sk­jaer is also hope­ful United will build upon their re­cent wins when they had the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion. Be­fore the Box­ing Day stroll against New­cas­tle, United had won just one of their past 17 Premier League matches when they en­joyed the lion’s share of the ball, but recorded more than 50 per cent against New­cas­tle and Burn­ley.

“It’s hard to com­pare but we have to learn that way of play­ing foot­ball,” Sol­sk­jaer re­it­er­ated. “I’ve said we’re not a Manch­ester City, we can’t play, out-play and out-foot­ball teams like they do yet but hope­fully in a few years we can.

“It’s not go­ing to be overnight. It’s only them who can do that. We are more with fast-flow­ing, quicker [at] at­tack­ing, but if you can mix that with then you’ve got a chance.”

United boss Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer be­lieves Ma­son Greenwood can fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku

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