David de Gea: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismisses reports Man Utd 'keeper will be unavailable until April

David de Gea is in Spain with his partner, who gave birth to their child on Thursday; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Dean Henderson is ready to deputise, but De Gea will be "back soon"; watch Manchester City vs Manchester United on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm; kick-off 4:30pm

Henderson and David De Gea are competing to be Manchester United's number one 1:29
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects goalkeeper David de Gea to return 'very soon' after celebrating the birth of his first child in Spain

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says David de Gea will be able to return to the Manchester United side "very soon" and has hit out at reports suggesting the goalkeeper could be out until next month.

De Gea is currently in Spain after travelling back to his homeland to be with his partner for the birth of their child, which he announced took place on Thursday.

The 30-year-old was replaced by Dean Henderson for United's 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and stories on Friday claimed the England international is set to deputise for the Spaniard until April.

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But Solskjaer dismissed those reports, saying: "As soon as David travels back we just have to follow the Government rules. So I expect him to be available very soon.

"Making up stories that have been in the press this morning is not fair on our fans, not fair on David.

"We allowed him to go back because he wanted to be there with his girlfriend. We want our players back as soon as possible, but there's a human being that we have to look after.

"David was there for this fantastic day for him and his family. I don't know when he'll be back but it won't be long.

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"Dean came in and played well. He's ready."

Crystal Palace 0-0 Man Utd 3:03
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's draw with Manchester United in the Premier League

Government guidelines state individuals arriving in England from abroad must quarantine for 10 days, although that can be cut to five if they pay for a private coronavirus test and return a negative result.

Footballers are permitted to train and compete while in quarantine, provided they spend the rest of their time at home.

Ole: I don't buy 'bad form' narrative

United's stalemate at Selhurst Park in midweek was their third goalless draw in succession and comes amid a run of just two wins in their last eight Premier League matches.

Their stuttering form compares starkly with rivals Manchester City - who have won a staggering 21 consecutive games in all competitions and lead second-placed United by 14 points - ahead of their clash on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Pep Guardiola Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Image: United take on Manchester City on Sunday, live on Sky Sports

But Solskjaer says he does not accept the "narrative" that his side are in poor form, saying: "When the opposition don't make mistakes you have to earn the right with quality. We've just lacked a little bit of that in the last few games.

"Still, we've gone 10 games unbeaten. Four weeks ago we couldn't defend, then we were really good attacking - that was the narrative, anyway. Now the narrative is we can't score a goal.

"It's been a week. It's not like we've gone six weeks with bad form. It's not long ago we beat Southampton 9-0, we beat (Real) Sociedad 4-0. It's also the opposition you play, and the amount of games can have an effect.

Ole 0:52
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he agrees with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's belief that Manchester United are showing 'progress'

"I'm not buying into the narrative that we've had a dip in form. Yes, we haven't had that little margin to score the first goal in a game. Three 0-0s is not really us, not really what we set out to do, but we've defended well."

Pitch to Post preview podcast: Manchester derby debate, Villa vs Wolves, Bale back on form for Spurs

In this week's Pitch to Post preview podcast Alice Piper is joined by Sky Sports News reporters Ben Ransom and James Cooper to look ahead to the Manchester derby. Can City end United's 21-game unbeaten away run to stretch their Premier League lead to 17 points?

We also hear from Rob Dorsett ahead of the Midlands derby between Aston Villa and Wolves, with both sides looking to return to winning ways.

And Michael Bridge gives us his verdict on Tottenham's recent resurgence, as they prepare to welcome Crystal Palace.

Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox

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