Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United can still attract big-name players
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 03/05/19 5:05pm
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Manchester United will be able to attract the players they want this summer – even if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League.
United's hopes of finishing in the top four appear slim after last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea left them sixth in the Premier League table with just two games remaining.
But Solskjaer insists Old Trafford remains an attractive destination and says the public would be "surprised" by the players which have been offered to the club by their agents.
"We might be in the Champions League next year, because we have got a chance, or we might not be," Solskjaer said.
"You would be surprised how many agents have been telling us that their clients would love to be a part of Manchester United in the future.
"That is just the lure of Manchester United because they know with the potential here and the size of the club that we will, in the end, get back to good days.
"Yes, we are having a tough time at the moment. We have had a few seasons where we have not reached the standards we expect but that is up to me and up to the club to change it as quickly as possible.
"If it is a season without the Champions League, who knows? But players still want to come to Manchester United and you would be surprised by the names we get asked about."
It is expected to be a busy summer at United with as many as six established players set to leave Old Trafford.
The club are expected to hire a sporting director this summer and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has discussed the position with Rio Ferdinand.
United are also keen on RB Leipzig's head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, who previously worked for Southampton and Tottenham.
But whoever comes in as sporting director, Solskjaer expects to have final say on player recruitment.
"I will have the final say if players come in or go out," Solskjaer said. "We have got regular meetings. I am happy with the way it is going.
"We are supposed to sign 250 players! You are writing about all the players we should sign but hopefully we can get players in that you have not written about as well."
Despite a costly error against Chelsea, David de Gea will keep his place in goal for Sunday's trip to Huddersfield, which is live on Sky Sports, with back-up Sergio Romero struggling with a knee injury.
"Sergio was injured yesterday so he didn't train. He tweaked his knee. David's been training well this week and will play," Solskjaer said.
"He's has been fantastic this season. Towards the end he's been in headlines for the wrong reasons but he has to deal with that.
"The goalkeeping department has experienced better times than just now but David is ready for Sunday."
Eric Bailly is out for the rest of the season after suffering a medial ligament injury in his right knee against Chelsea. Teenager Mason Greenwood has also been ruled out of Sunday's game.
Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard were absent from the portion of Wednesday's training session which was open to the media and Solskjaer admits he is still waiting to see who he will have available.
"We have got a few niggles and a few injuries," Solskjaer said. "We have still got two days, today and tomorrow, to see who gets on the pitch, we missed a few last week."