Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has offered a strong response to reports about his conversation with Nathan Ake last weekend.
Pictures showed Solskjaer and Bournemouth defender Ake speaking after United’s 5-2 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Reports claimed Solskjaer told the left-footed Dutchman that he needed a player of his ilk ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
Indeed, the latest speculation adds that Tyrone Mings and Alessio Romagnoli are targets for the Red Devils boss.
While Solskjaer did not deny making the comments about Ake, he insisted that his side are “fine” in defence.
“I’ve got seven centre-backs, so I don’t know where that’s come from. We’re fine,” the manager said.
Solskjaer was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Aston Villa, in which Mings will be involved.
Also involved will be Villa captain Jack Grealish, who scored against United in the reverse fixture – a 2-2 draw.
Amid speculation linking the Englishman with a move to Old Trafford, Solskjaer said Grealish is undoubtedly one of the side’s biggest threats.
“I think the last game they caused us some problems, both Grealish off the left and [Anwar] El Ghazi on the right,” Solskjaer said.
“He [Grealish] scored a fantastic goal, there’s been loads said about him and we need to be aware of him.
“If he’s off the left, middle or right, he attracts players to him. But there’s not just one player in that Villa team, there are a lot of them.”
SOLSKJAER CALLS FOR STRONG MAN UTD FINISH
Solskjaer also said that it is likely his side will need to win their five remaining games to clinch a top-four spot.
United, in fifth, can move one point behind the Foxes with victory on Thursday.
Asked if his side need to maintain their recent form, Solskjaer said: “I think so yeah. You never know what’s going to happen but it looks like teams around are playing well.
“There are so many games, if you win every single one we’re in the top four. We cannot rely on help from anyone else. We have to do it ourselves and go into next season we can put other challenges into teams.”
United follow up their trip to Villa by hosting Southampton on Monday.