Some very interesting stuff from the Manchester United manager.
While Manchester United haven’t played since Tottenham destroyed them 6-1 at Old Trafford, the most recent international window has still been a busy one for Ole Gunnar Solskajer, especially in relation to Bruno Fernandes.
Elsewhere, there was the matter of Paul Pogba’s negligent comments that it would be a dream to play for Real Madrid for Solskjaer to deal with.
Speaking ahead of United’s match against Newcastle, the United manager insisted that Pogba would see out his deal and seemed convinced he will not be going anywhere.
“Paul’s our player, he’s going to be here for another two years. I’m sure Paul is focused on doing his best for us and we want to see the best of Paul and I’m sure in the next couple of years we’ll get the best out of him,” said Solskjaer.
Elsewhere, there were widespread reports that Bruno Fernandes is unhappy at Manchester United following their poor start to the season.
At half-time in United’s humiliating defeat to Spurs, tempers flared in the Old Trafford changing room and Fernandes was reportedly one of the most vocal.
The Portuguese midfielder was replaced at half-time in the crushing 6-1 defeat to Spurs and reports emerged after the game that words were exchanged between the Portuguese playmaker and Solskjaer in the Old Trafford dressing room.
Fernandes has since clarified these rumours by saying “I believe it is a way to destabilise the group. What was said is in no way true.”
Solskjaer also commented on the reports that he has fallen out with his most creative player.
“It’s one of those things that you have to get over it as soon as you can and move on. We know any little chance from outside, you want to create a division. Bruno spoke really well the other day, we are united and have to stay together. We can’t listen to everyone outside, we’ve got to get on with it.
“Bruno has now lost two league games since he came to the club and he came in February. But, it’s been two in quick succession, he’s not used to losing league games for us but Bruno, welcome to Manchester United, this is what happens when you lose a couple. They’re going to try and create a division between us but that’s not going to happen, this is a group that wants to work hard together and stick together,” said Solskajer.
Finally, in what was a very busy press conference for the Manchester United manager, he was asked about Harry Maguire’s poor form which culminated in the defender’s disastrous performance for England against Denmark.
Rio Ferdinand has said that Maguire should be “taken out of the firing line” due to his poor start to the season, but Solskajer is confident that the £80m defender will regain his form.
“In football, you’re in the headlights all the time, and when Harry is part of the England team that beats No 1 ranked Belgium it’s a normal day, and then you get the headlines when you get a sending off, that’s football for you, there are so many ups and downs, we have to deal with it individually and as a group.
“Harry has got great resilience, I know he’ll bounce back, I know he wants to play and work his way out of the last couple of games he’s been criticised, he picked up a knock just before he came off. So, I’m just hopeful he’ll be fit, I had a look at him yesterday and we’ll test him today,” said Solskjaer.
As for United’s game against Newcastle, Edinson Cavani is unavailable because he is still in quarantine having arrived from France, but Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri have been with training with their new teammates this week and could feature.