Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backtracked on his comments on Manchester United looking to ‘exploit’ the summer transfer market, but insists the club’s hierarchy ‘know’ his view on potential signings.
United were tipped as major spenders this summer in an uncertain transfer market for many clubs, but the arrival of Donny van de Beek from Ajax remains their only signing of the summer to date.
The club’s lack of activity has been a major source of frustration for supporters who have seen Premier League rivals, including the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, significantly strengthen ahead of the campaign, the latter splashing more than £220m on a host of marquee arrivals.
Solskjaer had suggested United’s finances could put his side in an advantageous position to ‘exploit’ a pandemic-disrupted market, though the Norwegian has now backtracked on those comments ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash with Tottenham.
“I think my wording in lockdown – exploit – was a bad word by me. I didn’t mean in that respect,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“I meant clubs out there [may] have to move players because of the situation and it might be an interesting situation for us. At the moment there’s not been those situations.
“We’ve lost loads of money as the other clubs have.”
Solskjaer’s clarification is one that is unlikely to sit well with the Red Devils’ supporters given his comments about needing to strengthen his options at that time, their lack of acquisitions a real concern following an indifferent start to the campaign.
“When I talked about the squad depth, of course the performances from [the then first-choice] players didn’t warrant me giving [other players] more options: the 11, 12, 13, players deserved to play as they played really well.
“I think it’s a different scenario now – after two games already I’ve seen many of the players who didn’t play too much last season performing really well.”
United have spent much of the summer pursuing a deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho but have made little progress in their bid to sign the England international, a protracted chase seemingly failing to find a breakthrough with just days of the transfer window remaining.
The club’s lack of activity was again put towards Solskjaer who insisted new additions are not the only way to improve a side, though suggested the board know his stance when it comes to securing summer signings.
“There are many ways to improve the team. We’re working here to get better.
“I keep reading about players that should be playing instead of ones that are playing: that tells me I’ve got a strong squad. We need to get fit and keep injury-free but there is more competition for places now.
“Of course the transfer window is still open for a little while and the club has been working and they know my view and that’s that we’re here to strengthen it – [to ensure for] the long term as well.”