Friday 23 August 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he won't have players in his Manchester United dressing room who are 'driven by money or fame'

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer congratulates Paul Pogba
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer congratulates Paul Pogba
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains optimistic of a top-four finish (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he will target a different type of player in the transfer market this summer, after suggesting star names who are 'driven by money or fame' will have no place in his plans.

In comments that will inevitably spark speculation over the future of club record signing Paul Pogba and several high profile performers of his current squad, the United manager has outlined his vision for a future that will feature players who share his passion for success and are willing to embrace a team ethic.

Speaking ahead of his side's vital Premier League game against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday, Solskjaer's comments will be viewed as a rallying call to his players after they lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions.

When asked whether United would be willing to out-bid their rivals to sign some of the biggest names in world football this summer, Solskjaer offered up a response that suggests he will look at the character of potential new faces as well as their ability.

"We want the player with the right quality and the right personality. That's it," he stated.

"All my life I've believed in human beings and what drives people and what makes you successful in the end. Driven by money or fame they are not right for Man United – or my team.

"It was the same when I was in Molde, Cardiff...I need players who reflect me as a person and my values. We don't want them if they are only coming because they were ­offered 20 per cent more.

"You can't say that we haven't invested enough money. If you look at the money that's been spent, the owners have invested loads of cash – and will continue that.

"I've been in meetings and we've had discussions about that. But you can’t change the team in one transfer window. It isn't going to happen overnight, but we have the time frame and we have the backing.

"We are all realistic enough to see where we are and you just don’t go bang and move from 70 points to 90 points."

Solskjaer went on to suggest he is not trying to emulate his former manager Alex Ferguson after he was handed a permanent contact to manage United last month, as he insisted he does not fear facing a similar fate to David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, who all struggled to build dressing room harmony during their time in charge of the club.

"We are doing things differently to all the previous managers," he added, after former United skipper Roy Keane had warned Solskjaer his players could make life difficult for him at Old Trafford.

"We can't try to copy Sir Alex and be successful – because he was unique. We have to do our own way. We have a different generation of players. Maybe some of them could not have handled the Sir Alex way of managing but that doesn't matter.

"We look to do it our way. They know the history of the club and what he achieved and it means a lot for everyone but it can't linger on.

"I speak to the players all the time, they know my expectations and standards. I have got three years here now and I am going to do whatever I can to make this club successful.

"We do that together, it is not players against managers here. Supporters know, we know, we are doing this together and working together to improve. We are all in this together."

Solskjaer's comments were made ahead of a crucial Premier League game against Chelsea, where a defeat would put a huge dent in the club's hopes of securing a top four finish and qualification for next season's Champions League.

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