Football News

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer outlines Man Utd transfer stance as Mino Raiola makes Haaland claims

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:57, 31 December 2019

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that he is looking to make two signings in the January transfer window.

The Red Devils brought in three new players in the summer window but were criticised for their lack of movement after a disappointing end to the 2018/19 campaign.

Harry Maguire was the marquee signing of the summer for United, joining from Leicester City for £80m, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James also moving to Old Trafford.

Manchester United’s transfer plans: Five things to know…

  • Manchester United signed three players in the summer but were criticised for it.
  • The Red Devils experienced a slow start to the 2019/20 campaign but enter 2020 fifth in the Premier League.
  • They were linked with signing Erling Braut Haaland in January but the teenager opted to join Borussia Dortmund.
  • Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, reveals it was Haaland’s choice to move to Dortmund and snub United.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted at wanted two new signings in January, providing they are the “right ones”.

But the new arrivals could not stop a disappointing start to the season, with United finding themselves as low as 14th after nine games. The results led some fans asking for Solskjaer to be sacked, but others backed the boss providing the right transfers were made in January.

United have turned things around and sit in fifth place after 20 matches, just four points behind Chelsea in fourth, but the club are still being linked with new players in the upcoming window.

And Solskjaer has admitted he would like to add one or two players to his squad to bring competition for places, though the Norwegian was adamant the signings had to be right.

“If we can keep these lot fit and if we can keep on improving, and if you get one addition or two additions, of course that’s going to be competition for places,” he told reporters.

“That’s what you’ve got to deal with at this club. I’m always an optimist. I’m a striker by nature and I’ve always been an optimist.

“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.

“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.”

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Haaland turns Utd down

One player with whom United had been heavily linked as the season went on was Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland.

The 19-year-old, son of former Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge enjoyed a phenomenal start to the 2019/20 campaign, scoring 28 goals in 22 matches across all competitions. This included eight in the Champions League group stages and five hat-tricks.

With interest in him so high, Haaland wasn’t expected to be at Red Bull once the New Year began and many had believed United would be the destination, ahead of Juventus and RB Leipzig.

However, Borussia Dortmund recently confirmed the signing of Haaland, keeping the Leeds-born Norwegian international in the Champions League. Reports following the signing claimed United missed out on the deal due to the high demands of Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola.

But Raiola insists it was in fact Haaland who turned down a United move.

“I do not know if Manchester United are briefing this but if they are then they are covering their own loss and that I find strange and disappointing,” he told the Telegraph.

“There was no fallout between me and (United executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward. It was just a normal negotiation and the player has chosen a different path.

“If they want to blame someone then, fine, blame me but the player is happy. He has made his choice and we went through a normal process.”