Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says unused Manchester United players must earn their way back in

Jesse Lingard's representatives in talks with clubs in England and Europe; Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Andreas Pereira yet to feature in United's matchday squad

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 0:55
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is only focused on winning games with several members of his squad not playing regularly

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Manchester United's out-of-favour stars they have to work their way back into his plans and insists it is not his job to keep them happy.

Jesse Lingard, who was left out of the side for United's league opener against Crystal Palace, has yet to be persuaded to leave Old Trafford despite his representatives holding initial talks with several clubs in England and Europe.

Sergio Romero, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Andreas Pereira have all failed to feature in either of United's matchday squads this season, including Tuesday's Carabao Cup victory at Luton.

United's failure to offload players this summer has been linked to their lack of activity with incomings, with Donny van de Beek the only major signing in this window.

Jesse Lingard, Manchester United 2:18
The Good Morning Transfers panel discuss the future of Jesse Lingard and whether the striker needs to move away from Old Trafford.

"Players are happy when they play well and win games," Solskjaer said. "It's not my job to keep them happy. My job is to pick players to get results.

"It's up to them to be fit, to work hard and be ready when called upon."

Chris Smalling on loan at Roma
Image: Chris Smalling has been training away from the first team as United work on a deal with Roma

Smalling has been heavily linked with a move back to Roma, where the defender spent last season on loan, but Solskjaer has previously claimed the club are yet to receive a serious offer.

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Asked whether Smalling might be integrated back into United's first-team squad, Solskjaer said: "Different things need to happen then. Let's wait and see if there is that change and what happens to Chris."

Ole happy with midfield competition

United's next Premier League game at Brighton on Saturday could see Van de Beek feature in a midfield trio with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes for the first time.

The Netherlands international came off the bench in the defeat to Palace, with Scott McTominay chosen to start.

Donny Van De Beek is congratulated by team-mate Bruno Fernandes after scoring on his debut
Image: Donny van de Beek scored on his United debut after coming off the bench

"Good players can play well together," Solskjaer said. "Scott, Nemanja and Fred are also good players so there's competition for those places. I can see lots of different combinations in that midfield, different systems as well.

"I wasn't happy with the game against Palace, of course. We weren't ready to play at the intensity that we needed.

"After the restart in June I thought we'd taken big strides.

"Once in a while, one game lives its own life. I'm still confident we can break teams down with our quality.

"But, we need some more imagination and more precision than we had in that game, that's for sure."

Transfer Show: 'Man Utd exits proving very difficult'

United are being linked with Porto left-back Alex Telles, while Jadon Sancho reports are likely to persist until the October 5 deadline, but according to Dharmesh Sheth, the inability to sell players including Smalling and Lingard is impacting their recruitment.

"Departures are proving very, very difficult for United and there seems to be a feeling of surprise at Old Trafford that they are unable to get suitable offers for some of their players," Sheth told Sky Sports News' The Transfer Show.

Jadon Sancho 2:56
Sky Sports News' Dharmesh Sheth explains why Manchester United are running out of time to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

"For example, Chris Smalling is still training on his own away from the first team, but Roma are yet to meet United's valuation. By all accounts United want to do business with Roma, who want to do business with United, Smalling was on loan there last season, had a successful spell there and wants to go back.

"All those elements are in place except the one most important element, the fee. It simply cannot be agreed at the moment."

'United want to trim down on defenders'

Sheth added: "There are other players that United would be open to listening to offers for. The 'keeper, Sergio Romero, has found himself going from second to third choice following the introduction of Dean Henderson back into the United fold.

"You've got players like Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, but there's simply been no interest.

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"United have something going in their favour. They've got the financial muscle to offer big contracts and big wages to players, but that advantage becomes a disadvantage when they're trying to offload players.

"You could argue United's current squad has an element of imbalance about it. I was looking at that squad and I've counted eight players who could play central defence. It's clear United want to trim the numbers in that area.

"United are in the market for a left-back, there's interest in Porto's Alex Telles, Sky Sports News reporter James Cooper says United will be looking to release players before they bring in any players."

Summer transfer window - key dates and times

The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday October 5 with a feast of activity lined up on Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms.

A domestic-only window for deals between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on SSN and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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