Man Utd won’t make panic buys, vows Solskjaer

Ole Gunner Solskjaer refuses to discuss the idea of any stop-gap signings. (Reuters pic)

MANCHESTER: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United will not look for short-term solutions in the January transfer window just to guarantee his job security.

Solskjaer will not countenance bringing in players if they do not fit in with United’s long-term plan.

His squad has been stretched by injuries and a gruelling schedule and they have not won any of their three matches so far in 2020.

Those weaknesses were brutally exposed in the 3-1 defeat by Manchester City in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals on Tuesday to once again put the spotlight on Solskjaer.

United struggled in the absence of injured midfielders Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

However, Solskjaer refuses to discuss the idea of any stop-gap signings.

“I am not going to protect myself,” Solskjaer said ahead of Norwich’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday.

“I am here to do what I think is best for the club and what I feel is best.

“I would never, ever, ever, put myself before the club. This is Manchester United and there is no I in Manchester.

“I could never do that. That is not me. I am working and managing for Man Utd.

“Myself and Ed (Woodward) are having conversations all the time about how we are going to look in one month, in five months and in a longer period.

“He knows my feelings and I am very happy working with these players we have.”

Due diligence

Despite the shortcomings United have shown this season, they are still just five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.

The right signing could make all the difference in reaching Europe’s elite club competition next season.

Yet Solskjaer is firm in his belief that any newcomer must adhere to the values and qualities that United want.

“We are building towards something, but I am sure the fans are bored listening to me talk about what we do have as a vision and a plan,” he said.

“It doesn’t change from Sept 1 to now. That is impossible to change.

“You wouldn’t put yourself in a position now that you do something that you regret in 18 months.

“So we have to do due diligence on players’ quality and character to make it the right fit into this squad.”

After the defeat by City, United striker Marcus Rashford admitted his team were only playing at 50% of their current potential.

Solskjaer was reluctant to go that far, but he cites Rashford, who has scored 14 goals in his last 19 games for United, as proof of what can be achieved.

“We didn’t perform really well for long periods in that game, that’s for sure,” he said.

“I don’t think it was a half performance but I know where Marcus is coming from.

“We know the potential of how we can perform and sometimes we don’t reach that.

“But Marcus is an example of how well this team has improved and how much it is improving.”