Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows this summer is vitally important to Manchester United – but has doubted the chances of a deal for £100m-rated Jadon Sancho.
A year that started with mounting pressure and an attack on Ed Woodward’s house has improved markedly since the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes.
United are in the midst of a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions and are aiming for glory in the FA Cup and Europa League. More importantly, Champions League qualification now looks a realistic aim.
Solskjaer’s side impressed in Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Brighton but former captain Gary Neville still believes they are a way off challenging for the title. The Sky Sports pundit said “three or four players of high-quality” are still needed.
That claim is something Solskjaer agrees as he explained: “Gary is right in a lot of things he says. Of course we cannot think we’re there because if you look at the table, we’re nowhere near where we should be.
“Consistency has to be improved. We still probably have to improve on many aspects of the game.
“I don’t know how many points we’re behind the top two so definitely Gary’s right.
“There’s not going to be any complacency and thinking ‘this is it, we’ve cracked it’. We’ve still got so much work to do.
“But it’s an enjoyable journey. You can see improvements so, yeah, we need to make one or two very good decisions – or more good decisions – but it’s going to be an important summer, definitely.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Harry Maguire and Fernandes have so far been the permanent first-team arrivals under Solskjaer and speculation is rife about who could be brought in this summer.
Jadon Sancho transfer doubts
United have been strongly linked with Sancho this summer, who is rated at around €120m by Borussia Dortmund.
Saturday’s Paper Talk reports United have agreed personal terms with Sancho ahead of a possible summer transfer.
However, the fee still remains a sticking point with Dortmund seemingly unwilling to budge. A report earlier this week went public with United’s £50m valuation of the 20-year-old. That, however, has since been dismissed as a bluff.
As such, United are willing to play a patient game to land Sancho. Solskjaer’s side will have time on their hands with the transfer window due to stay open until early October.
However, Solskjaer admits he isn’t so sure. The Norwegian says the changing financial landscape makes any big deals difficult this summer.
Asked if he anticipates United being able to make deals to such a backdrop, Solskjaer said: “It’s going to be a strange transfer window and I don’t expect a lot of big transfers, maybe. I don’t know.
“We don’t really know how the market is going to be. For us as a team, club and staff, we need to work really well. It’s about consistency.
“We need to have that mentality of United of old. We need to treat every game as a cup final and every game is a chance to get three points.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Man City, Liverpool or Bournemouth or Southampton, Palace, Everton. You need to go into every single game with the same mindset.
“We’ve been too inconsistent, so for us this summer it’s also about creating consistency.
“I wasn’t just talking about decisions off the field. It’s also here, in and around the training ground.”