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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defiant as Man Utd plan huge summer rebuild with transfer budget in excess of £200m

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 23/4/2019 James Robson
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defiantly insisted he is the right man to lead Manchester United forward after experiencing the first crisis of his short reign.

The Norwegian is planning a squad overhaul in the summer following a chastening run of six defeats in eight games.

He was moved to apologise to United fans on Sunday after a 4-0 defeat at Everton delivered a blow to their hopes of securing Champions League football next season.

They face Manchester City at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, knowing they will likely need a 100 percent finish to the campaign to ensure their place in the top four.

Solskjaer is already thinking about the major changes required to turn United into genuine title contenders, which will include as many as five new additions.

It will also see a host of his current squad being shown the door – and the 1999 Treble-winning hero is adamant he is strong enough to make difficult decisions.

“I like all these boys,” he said. “I love them because they are great lads, but I’ve got to make a decision.

“I’ve got to manage for the club and I’m managing the club and managing the players.

“I help the players, but I manage for the club and I’m going to put all my effort, and the staff we’re all going to put all our efforts into making sure we do what we think is right for the club.

“Of course I’m confident in my team and myself and that I will be ready to take this challenge on.

“I know it’s a big challenge and that is why I came in when I came in. I came in here and I said I’m going to enjoy every single second.

“I don’t like losing, but it’s a great challenge and it’s a challenge that all the managers at this club has had.

“When you go through bad results, you have got to be confident enough to say this is the way we’re going do it and we are planning ahead.”

Solskjaer will be given well in excess of £200million to bring in a host of targets this summer.

Jadon Sancho is at the top of his wanted list, with additions also needed at right back, centre-back and midfield.

Ander Herrera, Eric Bailly are posing for a picture: Valencia, Herrera and Bailly could be heading towards the door. (AFP/Getty Images) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Valencia, Herrera and Bailly could be heading towards the door. (AFP/Getty Images)

Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia are set to depart, with Juan Mata expected to follow after failing to agree a new contract.

Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly also face uncertain futures.

Solskjaer added: “You learn about players and now is not the time to talk about making wholesale changes in the squad that’s been doing so great.

“City and Liverpool have taken more points than us in the last 18 games and that’s it. We were where we were when we came in and really gave it a go.

"You can see loads of Man United standards, DNA in these players. You have to get players in and some players will go out.”

Solskjaer is expecting an immediate reaction against champions City.

“That’s the best game we could ask for with players hurt as they definitely were,” he said. “We had a meeting after the game and all the players were definitely, definitely disappointed, but really, really hurt by that performance.

“The City game is the perfect one. There’s no hiding place on the pitch and the fans will back you if you give that effort.

“That’s the point - how do we go forward that’s what we’ve got to focus on. Have to look back and reflect on what happened and that was one of two really bad games since I came, that and Wolves.

“Those are the two where we were nowhere near the standards.

“Bounce back and look forward to two great games to come into. This is the main focus, one of the best teams in the country, a local derby - we’ve got to be ready.”

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