Manchester: Manchester United can ease supporters’ doubts after a relatively quiet transfer window by producing the attractive football that has delighted them in the past, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.
A pall of gloom hangs over Old Trafford with many fans disillusioned with United’s transfer business in the close season even though the club signed defenders Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and winger Daniel James.
However, United lost striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and midfielder Ander Herrera to Paris St-Germain without recruiting replacements but Solskjaer said the club would only sign players if they improved the squad.
“There are always going to be fans out there wanting to sign players. The way we can clear doubts is by playing football, showing what the team want to be and the style of football we want to play,” Solskjaer said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match at home to Chelsea.
“When our fans see that intention they have always been supporting the team. Within the team and the club we are feeling very confident and we don’t feel that negativity.
“There is money available when the right players are available. It’s not about a quick fix, it is about a longer re-build. It’s not time to change that attitude when you haven’t got the correct answers from the players you wanted.”
Lukaku, who did not take part in United’s pre-season matches due to injury, was sold to Inter for a reported fee of 80 million euros on deadline day and Solskjaer said the transfer was a win-win situation for all parties concerned.
“It was time for Lukaku to go. We got a good deal and he is happy so both parties ended that deal as it should be,” Solskjaer added.
“He was injured for a while in pre-season and he didn’t participate. I just hope that he gets a good start at Inter Milan.”
Meanwhile, Manchester City winger Leroy Sane faces up to seven months out with a knee injury, manager Pep Guardiola said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener against West Ham United.
The 23-year-old Germany international damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in City’s Community Shield victory over Liverpool on Sunday, and will undergo surgery next week.
“It is incredibly bad news. I don’t know how long he’ll be out. Normally this kind of injury is six or seven months — hopefully February or March,” Guardiola told reporters.
“In three seasons we’ve had three (knee ligament injuries). He’s young and he’ll recover well hopefully in terms of the surgery next week. All the people will help him, he will feel alone and we help him to feel as comfortable as possible.” Sane, whose contract expires in 2021, had been linked with a move to German giants Bayern Munich during the close season.
He has been offered an extension but has yet to sign, having struggled to seal a regular starting spot last season.
However, Guardiola was keen to stress that at no point had he entertained thoughts of selling the winger who was named PFA Young Player of the Year in 2017-18.
“I didn’t think about him leaving. Always I said he’s our player, and he didn’t tell me he wanted to leave. Always I thought he was ours,” he added.
Guardiola said his Spanish compatriot David Silva would take over as club captain following Vincent Kompany’s departure at the end of last season.
“David has almost one decade here with the club, in the Premier League. He’s incredible, he’s been respectful to his teammates ... He’ll be a good captain,” Guardiola said.
New right back Joao Cancelo is unlikely to feature in their league opener having arrived from Juventus on Wednesday.
Played last night
Liverpool v Norwich
West Ham v Man City, 3.30pm
Bournemouth v Sheffield United, 6pm
Watford v Brighton, 6pm
Crystal Palace v Everton, 6pm
Burnley v Southampton, 6pm
Tottenham v Aston Villa, 8.30pm
Leicester v Wolverhampton, 5pm
Newcastle v Arsenal, 5pm
Man United v Chelsea, 7.30pm