Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “100% sure” the club has the right structure in place and money is available to strengthen his struggling squad.
United sit 12th in the Premier League, just two points above the relegation zone and 15 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s clash with their fierce rivals at Old Trafford. The club’s hierarchy and recruitment under executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has come in for severe criticism since the exit of Alex Ferguson, but Solskjaer described that as “an insult”.
“I’ve a three-year contract now, so of course (we are) planning long-term,” he told Sky Sports. “If you lose a game you don’t wait for a call to be given assurances but we have started out a plan and a recruitment plan is in place.
“I am 100% sure from my time here that the structure is right, because it’s always the manager that has the final say. I know people have said stuff about our recruitment but it’s almost like an insult to the recruitment office, the scouts, and us as professionals — me and Mick (Phelan), the staff. We make decisions on the players we want to have and who’s available and then it’s the negotiations.”
United spent £145m (€168m) in the summer on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Daniel James — but Solskjaer says more funds are available for the right “ready-made” players.
“The money is there and I’ve been looking at players,” Solskjaer added.
We were close to a couple of players, but they weren’t right. The money is there to strengthen in January, in the summer, and we are planning, we are looking, we are finding our targets, but just before the transfer window ended no, they weren’t there, the ready-made players. The resources are there if the right players are available.
Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson knows United would love to kick-start their season by ending their arch-rivals’ 17-match winning run in the league.
“There is always an edge to it. It’s a proper game and, sometimes, gets played like a cup tie,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“I don’t think it matters what your form is like in these games. It doesn’t matter that we’ve won eight on the bounce (in the league this season) and they’re struggling. It’s Man United v Liverpool."