(Reuters) – Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing the side for next season regardless of whether the Norwegian lands the manager’s job on a permanent basis.
Solskjaer has won his opening eight games in charge at United in all competitions, rediscovering the kind of attacking verve associated with the trophy-winning sides he played in under former manager Alex Ferguson.
“What Manchester United are going to look like next season with or without me, it doesn’t matter, I’m here to prepare for next season,” he told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash against Burnley.
Solskjaer believes the next step should be to provide a pathway to United’s homegrown academy products like Mason Greenwood, Jimmy Garner and Ethan Hamilton.
“We have quite a few talents in that youth team that you’d like to see and will see before next season, to put the club and team in a good position (for) how will we look like next season — Mason, Jimmy, Ethan – it’s just about the right time,” he added.
“But we’ve got Alexis (Sanchez), Juan Mata, and Romelu Lukaku who haven’t played so much lately, they’re three players you have to jump ahead of.”
Solskjaer said he was not expecting any departures in the January transfer window, despite British media reports linking midfielder Andreas Pereira and right-back Matteo Darmian away from the club.
“At the moment, I can see everyone staying at the club because no deal has been done with anyone I think, but then again there is still a few more days,” Solskjaer added.
Solskjaer has stuck with the midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera but he expects Pereira, who has made just two Premier League starts this season, to earn more playing time in the second half of the campaign.
“I cannot see him going out on loan because Andreas is going fantastic in training,” Solskjaer said.
“He is a player that you could see playing quite a few games for us towards the end of the season.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)