EXCLUSIVE: Solskjaer warned of glaring chance to reel Liverpool in

Date published: Monday 17th August 2020 9:08 - Jonny Whitfield

Klopp Solskjaer TEAMtalk

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a fantastic chance to close the gap on Liverpool by securing top signings this summer.

United are keen to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, with the German side proving difficult negotiators.

The Bundesliga giants are refusing to budge from their £108million valuation of the winger, with United feeling that fee is unrealistic.

Nevertheless, Ferdinand believes the opportunity is about to knock for his former club as they aim to get back to winning ways.

The former defender added that he believes Solskjaer is one of the few managers in world football working with a substantial budget in a summer impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The transfer window is open and not a lot is happening, which says it all about what is happening this summer,” Ferdinand told TEAMtalk.

“The clubs are not going to be as frivolous as they were in the past, we can all see that. The situation we have all lived through in the last six months will affect what clubs can spend. But I still feel that one big transfer will lead to a few more around Europe.

“The big clubs with the big revenues can still spend money. But it is the teams below them that will struggle to spend what they did before. That gives United, Chelsea and Man City a chance to close the gap on Liverpool if they get their signings right this summer.”


Ferdinand added that Solskjaer is wrong to be criticised after his side bowed out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage on Sunday.

Sevilla, the recent masters of the competition, dumped United out with a comeback win and the game was the third semi-final tie the Red Devils have lost this season.

Yet United legend Ferdinand has said that despite the hat-trick of near misses – completed in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup – Solskjaer can still hail this season as a success on a couple of levels.

“The main target for Manchester United was a top-four finish in the Premier League and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has got the tick in his box,” Ferdinand said.

“His remit was to qualify for the Champions League and it doesn’t matter how many points they were behind Liverpool as he did what he was expected to do. The Europa League or the FA Cup were always going to a bonus.

“The second big plus from this season is the way Ole has changed the dynamic around the club. It feels different than it did say a year ago. There is more positivity and the personalities are not overshadowing the team.

“I like the tone Ole has taken from the start. He has always said he doesn’t want to sign players who are not willing to sign up to a team ethic. We always had big stars during my time at United, but first and foremost we were a team and that’s why we won so much.

“The team comes first and he has hit a lot of the right notes, but they will not be far away when things go wrong again, which is inevitable in this game.

“They have had disappointments this season, they are still a team that has a lot to improve on, but I have seen signs of progress from Manchester United and they have to build on that now going into next season.”

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Rio Ferdinand

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