Sunday 26 January 2020

United could struggle to retain Gomes and Chong

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer . Photo: PA
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer . Photo: PA

James Ducker

Manchester United are facing a battle to keep Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong at the club, with the pair both open to moves away next year.

Gomes and Chong are out of contract next summer and, while United have not given up hope of persuading them to commit to new deals, they will be free to negotiate with foreign suitors next month.

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Chong, 20, has attracted interest from Juventus, while Gomes, 19, has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The prospect of losing two former young player of the year winners would be a blow to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at a time when United are placing a huge amount of faith in their academy graduates.

Solskjaer's problems deepened after an abject 2-0 defeat by bottom club Watford on Sunday left United seven points adrift of the top four and increased the pressure ahead of the visit of Newcastle on Thursday.

Concerns The United boss described Paul Pogba's return from injury as the "only plus" on a day when fresh concerns were raised about 'keeper David de Gea's form after an awful blunder for Watford's first goal.

Solskjaer has championed both Chong and Gomes, although neither has managed to hold down a regular place in his squad or kick on in the same way as fellow youngsters Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams.

It could be a busy time in the transfer window for United, with doubts over the futures of full-back Ashley Young and midfielder Nemanja Matic, who is reported to be attracting interest from Atletico Madrid as well as Inter Milan.

United are interested in signing Norway striker Erling Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg and a midfielder.

Red Bull Leipzig are also interested in Haaland, but their head of football, Oliver Mintzlaff, said it would be difficult for the club to compete with some big names. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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