Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Man United have recruitment plans in place for January

Press Association Sport 11:50 17/10/2019
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “100 per cent sure” that the club has the correct structure in place and that money is available to strengthen his struggling squad.

United currently sit 12th in the Premier League table, just two points above the relegation zone and 15 adrift of league leaders Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s clash with their fierce rivals at Old Trafford.

The club’s hierarchy and recruitment under executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has come in for severe criticism since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but Solskjaer has described that as “an insult” as he looks to the future.

“I’ve got a three-year contract now so of course (we are) planning long-term,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “If you lose a game you don’t wait for a call to be given assurances but we have started out a plan and a recruitment plan is in place.

“I am 100 per cent sure from my time here that the structure is right because it’s always the manager that has the final say.

“I know people have said stuff about our recruitment but it’s almost like an insult to the recruitment office, the scouts and us as professionals – me and Mick (Phelan), the staff. We make decisions on the players we want to have and who’s available and then it’s the negotiations.”

United spent £145million in the summer on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, but Solskjaer says more funds are available for the right “ready-made” players.

“The money is there and I’ve been looking at players,” Solskjaer added. “We were close to a couple of players but they weren’t right.

“The money is there to strengthen in January, in the summer, and we are planning, we are looking, we are finding our targets, but just before the transfer window ended no, they weren’t there, the ready-made players.

“The resources are there if the right players are available.”

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Man United line up Max Allegri as Solskjaer replacement and Spurs eye Real Madrid's Isco

Press Association Sport 09:36 17/10/2019
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What the papers say

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could face the sack within two weeks, with Manchester United to replace him with Massimiliano Allegri, according to Italian reports. Tuttosport says ex-Juventus boss Allegri is close to signing a deal, and wants to be on his way to Old Trafford within the next fortnight, to give him as much time as possible to turn United’s season around. Reports say Solskjaer will be sacked if United lose to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. Allegri would be keen on signing Juve’s Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic if he joins United, Tuttosport says.

Tottenham are eyeing Real Madrid star Isco for the January transfer window as they resign themselves to losing Christian Eriksen, Spanish website ElDesmarque reports. With Eriksen having rejected offers for an improved contract from Spurs, the star midfielder looks set to depart, most likely to Real Madrid. The two clubs could make a deal, ElDesmarque says, with 27-year-old Isco, who has struggled for game time recently under manager Zinedine Zidane, the likely target for Tottenham.

Arsenal are set to swoop for Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez in the January transfer window, the Daily Express reports. Real are not keen on losing the 28-year-old, but with Vazquez recently showing signs he wants to leave, they may be forced to sell. Arsenal are said to be keenly interested in the winger, despite already bolstering their wide forward stocks this season by bringing in Nicolas Pepe and youth products Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka.

Newcastle United are moving to hold onto Matty Longstaff by offering him a new five-year deal. The midfielder is out of contract next summer, with a handful of clubs reportedly monitoring the 19-year-old, especially after he scored the winner against Manchester United recently, the Daily Mail says. Newcastle are also keen to extend the contract of Wagstaff’s older brother, Sean, a target for Manchester United.

Everton are interested in Bolton pair Ronan Darcy and Dennis Politic. The teenage attackers have been rushed into the Wanderers’ top side this season and have shone for the third-tier outfit, drawing the attention of the Toffees, according to Football Insider.

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Players to watch

Reece James: The 19-year-old defender could be leaving Chelsea on a loan deal to Leeds United, according to Football Insider.

Mario Lemina: The Southampton midfielder could be on his way back to the club, with Galatasaray poised to end their season-long loan arrangement in January, Sport Witness reports.

Jorge Segura: The 22-year-old defender is set to return to Watford in January, with Mexico’s Atlas disinclined to make his loan deal permanent, Futbol Total says.

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Tottenham contact Jose Mourinho with Mauricio Pochettino future unclear

Press Association Sport 10:03 16/10/2019
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Tottenham have contacted Jose Mourinho over potentially becoming their new manager amid speculation Mauricio Pochettino could head to Manchester United, the Daily Express reports.

The paper says United have been keen on Pochettino for several years and considered approaching him in 2014 before appointing Louis Van Gaal.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side struggling, Pochettino is said to be the club’s main target should they decide to look for a new boss, with Spurs looking at Mourinho, who has been out of work since being sacked by United last December.

Real Madrid are the latest club trying to sign Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, with the Spanish giants prepared to offer £86 million plus James Rodriguez for the midfielder, according to website El Desmarque.

Having failed to sign Paul Pogba last summer, Real are eyeing Kante as they look to boost their midfield. Pogba is still their preferred target, El Desmarque says, but Kante would be their back-up option.

Barcelona are contemplating a bid for Marcus Rashford as a replacement for Luis Suarez, according to the Sun.

The Catalan side has other targets in mind, such as Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, but Rashford is said to be on their radar too.

United look set to miss out on a reported move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

The Croatian is believed to be available for around £35 million. However, ESPN has reported Rakitic does not want to move from Barcelona to Manchester for family reasons.

Olivier Giroud could leave Chelsea due to his lack of playing time, according to the Sun.

The World Cup-winning striker, who scored twice in as many games for France this international break, has started just one Premier League game for the Blues this season.

Players to watch

Mario Mandzukic: Manchester United still want the Juventus striker, but he’s been told to lower his wage demands, according to ESPN.

Gareth Bale: The Welshman may stay put at Real Madrid if he listens to the advice of team-mate Luka Modric, the Independent reports.

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