Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing a battle to maintain the faith of his players, according to a report.
Solskjaer’s men ended up finishing third in Group H and, as such, have dropped into the Europa League. Indeed, the Norwegian is now under pressure to win the competition.
According to the Manchester Evening News, however, serious concerns about the faith in Solskjaer have arisen.
The newspaper says that ‘some players’ believe that the manager is the ‘source’ of the club’s recent problems. What’s more, they feel that he is to ‘blame’ for their recent form.
Another feeling within the squad is that Solskjaer and the club should make important decisions over a key duo.
The first, perhaps more pressing issue, is over Paul Pogba’s future. The Frenchman’s agent said on Monday that his client is “unhappy” and “has to change teams” in the January transfer window.
Pundits have slammed the timing of the comments, on the eve of the match in Germany and Saturday’s Manchester derby.
But the Manchester Evening News says that while Pogba remains a ‘popular’ figure at Old Trafford, the club should not stand in the way of his desire to leave.
Indeed, there is reportedly a ‘growing acceptance’ within United’s boardroom that they will have to sell him. The Red Devils recently activated their 12-month option on Pogba, extending his contract to 2022.
Solskjaer facing calls to axe De Gea
Meanwhile, the newspaper adds that another decision some players want Solskjaer to take is to drop goalkeeper David de Gea.
Certain sections of the squad feel that Dean Henderson should earn a run in the team.
The Englishman made his full Premier League debut last Saturday but some stars want him to keep his place.
De Gea suffered a drop in form at the end of last season, with Henderson on loan at Sheffield United.
But while the Spaniard’s efforts have reportedly improved since the No 2’s arrival, some players feel that he should make way.
United head into Saturday’s derby with Manchester City after winning both Premier League ties between the clubs last season.