Tag Archives: Gunnar

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has three concerns with Eduardo Camavinga transfer chase

Paris preference

Despite Camavinga’s willingness to join United, reports have stated that his preference is to remain in France.

With Paris Saint-Germain one of Europe’s heavyweights interested in his services, they could be United’s main threat.

PSG’s interest will likely lead to the Red Devils being aggressive in their pursuit and filing a bid early to force other suitors to act.

This is a deal that looks pretty plausible, but Solskjaer has anything but a clear path to secure his man.

Expect movement on United’s interest in Camavinga in the near future as the club look to steal a march on their rivals.

Author: Alex Turk
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer let down by four players in Villarreal defeat

Manchester United saw their hopes of Europa League glory ended by Villarreal in the final on Wednesday night. Gerard Moreno and Edinson Cavani cancelled each other out with goals in either half. But it was the La Liga side who ended up reigning supreme via a dramatic penalty shootout, with David De Gea missing the decisive spot-kick as United lost 11-10.
United went into the match against Villarreal looking to win their first trophy in four years.

But it wasn’t to be, with the La Liga side causing a major upset by beating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on penalties.

Moreno put the ‘home’ side in front in the 29th minute, outmuscling Victor Lindelof before prodding the ball past David De Gea from close range.

United then levelled through Edinson Cavani, with the Uruguay international scoring his 17th goal of the season.

But Villarreal ended up winning via a penalty shootout, sending the yellow-wearing fans inside the stadium in Gdansk into ecstasy in the process.

Express Sport will now take a look at the four players who let Solskjaer down on the night.

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Marcus Rashford

Before the game, Marcus Rashford admitted to playing with pain throughout the majority of the campaign.

And it was clear from this showing that the England international wasn’t 100 per cent at the races.

Deployed on his favoured position on the left wing, Solskjaer gave Rashford the best possible chance to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

But the 23-year-old didn’t take it, enduring a chastening night throughout.

Rashford must do better on the biggest stages if he’s to ever live up to comparisons with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

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Bruno Fernandes

The best players deliver when the pressure is on.

And while Bruno Fernandes has enjoyed a fantastic individual campaign, the Portugal international went missing on the night.

Fernandes was thwarted at every avenue, with Villarreal’s game plan to stop him paying off emphatically.

Without the 26-year-old on the ball, United simply aren’t the same.

And he’ll now have to brush himself down and go again, with the Red Devils hopeful he can lead them to the Premier League title next year.

Victor Lindelof

This was a huge night for Victor Lindelof, especially with Harry Maguire sidelined.

And the Sweden international failed to sparkle on the night, enduring a rough evening as Villarreal rang rings around him.

He looked nervy when the pressure was on in extra time.

And, even before that, he failed to do enough to stop Moreno from putting the La Liga side in front.

It’s no wonder United are eyeing Raphael Varane behind the scenes, with the France international poised to leave Real Madrid this summer.

Paul Pogba

In United’s last Europa League final, Paul Pogba scored.

The France international said before the game that he remembered dancing jubilantly in the aftermath of their 2-0 victory over Ajax four years ago.

But there was to be no dancing from Pogba tonight.

This was a flat display from the 28-year-old, who was substituted with mere minutes left on the clock.

And he’ll have to do better if he’s to ever live up to his £89million price tag.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hits out at Man Utd stars after Fulham draw and has Villarreal worry

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed his players following their 1-1 draw with relegated Fulham and has raised concerns about their form ahead of the Europa League final.

A win against the Cottagers would have confirmed the Red Devils as Premier League runners-up to rivals Manchester City.

Edinson Cavani’s stunning long-range lob handed United the lead just 15 minutes into the game, which was played in front of 10,000 supporters at Old Trafford.

It was the Uruguayan’s 16th goal of the season and is another milestone in an impressive campaign. United recently exercised a one-year extension to the deal Cavani signed when he arrived on a free transfer following his release by Paris Saint-Germain.

But United failed to see the game through and a poor run of form continues ahead of the Europa League showdown against Villarreal on May 26.

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“Maybe it’s because the crowd came in and we wanted to entertain them. It would be more entertaining if we played properly and scored goals.

Solskjaer has also raised concerns about his side’s form. They finish their Premier League campaign against Wolves on Sunday before attempting to win their first trophy in four years against Villarreal.

The former United striker believes his squad should be playing well ahead of the final in Poland.

Asked if he had worries about their plight, Solskjaer said: “Very much so because we’ve lost eight points in a period we should be bouncing, going into the next game looking forward to it, looking forward to the final, going into it confident.

“We need to sort a few things out. Stop trying to be the world beater and play as a team.

“We know that we are at the end of the season. We’re tired.

“We need to get minutes into some [players], rest some. Because we need to be ready for the last game of the season – that’s the most important one now.”

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Man Utd 'to make £40m Raphael Varane transfer bid' as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer demands signing

Manchester United are preparing to make a £40million bid to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to reports. United are intent on signing a top-class central defender this summer and have now decided Varane is the best option available to them.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were always going to be on the lookout for a centre-back when the summer transfer market opens on June 9.

But Thursday’s 4-2 defeat by Liverpool at Old Trafford has underlined the team’s weakness in central defence.

Solskjaer was forced to field Victor Lindelof alongside Eric Bailly, with captain Harry Maguire out injured after picking up an ankle injury in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

The hosts were shaky at the back, with Roberto Fimino scoring twice and further strikes from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah securing Liverpool’s first win at Old Trafford for seven years.

United have been linked with Varane on several occasions and narrowly missed out on signing him from Lens in 2011, with the Frenchman joining Real instead.

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However, Varane is about to enter the final year of his Los Blancos contract, giving United confidence they can finally land their man.

According to the Mirror, the club have now settled on Varane as their number one target to partner Maguire next season and are readying a £40m bid.

It is claimed that Solskjaer has personally told United chiefs that he wants the defender signed in the summer.

The World Cup winner with France in 2018 has enjoyed a trophy-laden decade with Real but has reportedly told the club that he wants a new challenge.

The 27-year-old has made 40 appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s side this season, helping Real reach the semi-finals of the Champions League and sit second in La Liga, two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with two games left.

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The Manchester Evening News have previously reported that the Spanish giants offered Varane the club captaincy in a bid to hold on to him.

But with Real’s debt at £775m (€901m), with a net debt of £305m (€355m), the contract on the table is not in line with the club’s highest earners.

Real president Florentino Perez recently admitted to El Larguero that ‘some players will have to be sold’ and ‘if someone does not want to be [at Real Madrid], then they leave’.

While Varane has now emerged as their top target, United have been linked to other defenders in recent weeks.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana and Cristian Romero, who is currently on loan at Atalanta from Juventus, have all been linked with moves.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blames Man Utd stars for creating 'own downfall' in Liverpool loss

The defensive partnership of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof struggled continuously throughout the game, with the former being fortunate to have not conceded a penalty.

The absence of the injured Harry Maguire certainly appeared to show.

Solskjaer has called on his troops to find a way to adapt in the absence of the centre-back in the final few games of the season.

“Harry has been really important for us so of course we’re going to miss him but he’s out so we have to deal with that,” he continued. “It’s about regrouping and building our own confidence again as we have two games and a final.”

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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fires Liverpool shots and teases full strength XI

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stoked tensions ahead of the visit of Liverpool insisting he does not care if he has damaged their Champions League hopes. The Manchester United manager delivered one blow to the former Champions top four hopes when fielding a second-string side in defeat against Leicester City on Tuesday.
And he said he offers no apology for restoring his big guns to the starting line-up for a fixture originally postponed because of the protests of their own fans.

Asked about any possible backlash from an angry Liverpool side, Solskjaer insisted he had no such concerns, as he seeks to deal a second blow to the Reds and all-but end their top-four prospects.

“My job is Man United and my concern is the Man United fans, what they think about my team, what they want from my team,” he said.

“It is that we come together as one and show what Man United is.”

Solskjaer made 10 changes against the Foxes including two teenagers with Anthony Elanga given a club debut and Amad Diallo a first Premier League start.

That the the star names are back for Liverpool on Thursday night is bound to raise temperatures given Leicester’s win left Jurgen Klopp’s men seven points off the top four with just four games left.

“There’ll be changes, of course, but many of the players that played against Leicester did really well, so they’re in contention as well,” said Solskjaer.

“It’s about managing the squad now, building momentum and confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second and then going into the final confident.”

Liverpool is the first of United’s three remaining games with Solskjaer’s side hosting relegated Fulham next Tuesday and finishing with a trip to Wolves on May 23.

And while Solskjaer will demand his side hold on to second place, the Europa League Final against Villareal in Gdansk three days later is already dominating thinking.

Solskjaer has ruled Harry Maguire out of their remaining Premier League fixtures after he sustained ankle ligament damage against Aston Villa last Sunday.

However the United manager remains “hopeful” the injury will not rule him out of a shot at silverware in Europe.

“The good news is it wasn’t broken, there was no fracture, but a ligament injury is serious,” said Solskjaer.

“If I said I was very positive that is maybe stretching it, but I’m hopeful he might be ready for it.

“I don’t think he’ll play inthe league again but we’ll do everything we can to get him ready for the final.”

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With a further two weeks between United’s final date and the start of England’s European Championship campaign on June 13 Maguire could miss Gdansk but be fit for international duty.

“If he’s fit he’ll play for us, if he’s not he won’t,” said Solskjaer. “We’re hopeful he’s ready and if he’s ready for us he’ll be ready for the Euros.”

Predicted Man Utd XI vs Liverpool: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani

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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives Harry Maguire injury update after Aston Villa win

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken out after his side’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday and offered an update on Harry Maguire‘s injury. The Red Devils fell behind in the first half courtesy of Bertrand Traore’s powerful strike. But goals from Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani ultimately gave the visitors victory.
Traore struck in the 24th minute to put Villa ahead, capitalising on some woeful defending from Victor Lindelof to find the net.

But United were a side transformed after the interval, turning on the style to claim all three points and boost their hopes of finishing second in the Premier League table.

Fernandes got the comeback rolling by scoring a penalty, converting his effort from 12 yards after Paul Pogba had been fouled inside the area.

Greenwood then put United ahead, expertly beating Emiliano Martinez with a fine low drive.

And Cavani made the points safe late on, with the Uruguay international scoring his eighth goal in seven matches with a pinpoint header.

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Solskjaer also praised Maguire by saying: “Harry has been excellent and it’s almost unheard of, the minutes he’s played.

“His fitness is very good – he’s robust. But, today, it looked like the boy landed on him and he twisted his ankle.

“I don’t know how serious it is. He might be available on Tuesday, he might not.”

Luke Shaw was also happy after the game, admitting Solskjaer inspired the win with his half-time team talk.

“Going 1-0 down in the first half we knew it was going to be a hard game and we have been in this situation so many times – second half we came back much better,” he said.

“That’s a positive but we need to start the first half better than we normally do. Maybe we’re not ready for the game but we have the quality and can’t keep counting on second-half performances.

“He (Solskjaer) said exactly what I have just said, we have been in this situation a lot of times, we have the quality, are a fit team and we always believe. When we got the first goal I felt we were going to win.

“We are just focusing on ourselves, even more so we look at the City result and we are disappointed with the points we have let go this season. We have two games in four days, we need to be ready.”

Goalscorer Greenwood added: “It is some achievement.

“We don’t really want to go behind but it gives us a little boost to come back and get the win.

“It was well improved [in the second half]. Ole said his bits in the changing room. It seemed to pay off.

“To be on the main stage and scoring important goals like today, it means a lot.

“We just concentrate on ourselves, we take it game by game. We want to get as many points as we can and keep the pressure on.”

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was enraged, however, venting his fury at the decision to give United a penalty.

“I don’t think anybody knows, everybody is confused how Raheem Sterling can go through and have four or five touches on him last night and not get a penalty, then one touch here and it is a penalty – it looked a pathetic decision to me, but he goes down, similar to Old Trafford and last season here,” he said.

“Ollie Watkins has got sent off for a second yellow, there is no way the referee can tell me he is convinced he hasn’t been touched.

“I just don’t understand the decision-making of the officials and more importantly at Stockley Park.

“It looks like now he has to get hurt to win the penalty – is it enough contact for a penalty, no.”

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