FORMER STRIKER Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was battling hard to be in defensive mode with the media as he fended off questions about a lack of signings.
While all their rivals have been spending big and improving their squads for the season ahead Manchester United have bought just Donny van de Beek.
Undoubtedly a great player, but that is only one and Solskjaer knows he needs more with the demands of the Champions League to come.
He said it in the wake of the club’s defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League as last season drew to a close but things have not materialised.
He has revealed that the club were aware of his plans and needs but stopped short of saying they had failed to meet them.
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Solskjaer said: “The transfer window is still open for a little while and the club has been working and know my view and we're here to strengthen in the long term as well.”
Yet back in mid-August he was urging the club to get new players in saying: “We need to strengthen the squad depth because it is going to be a long season.
“The league starts very quickly but then the market is open for so long. So we’ve got to be both good, smart and clever.”
It doesn’t look like they have been any of that, however.
Back in April, Solskjaer had been very bullish about what United could achieve in this window particularly due to the financial downturn caused by the coronavirus.
This is what he said back in April: “There might be just a situation there where you can exploit and I know that we at Manchester United, we are one of the biggest and financially well off.”
That statement was put to him ahead of this weekend’s game against Spurs.
Solskjaer said: “I think my wording in lockdown 'exploit' was a bad word by me, I didn't mean in that respect, I meant clubs out there have to move because of the situation and it might be a situation for us, at the moment we've not had the, what's the word, there's not been those situations.
“We've lost loads of money as the other clubs have as well.”
Yet while United have spent just £40million neighbours City have spent £141million, Chelsea £200million, Liverpool £78million and even Aston Villa and Leeds have spent over £70million.
United meanwhile have had a fruitless quest to land Jadon Sancho which looks like finally hitting the buffers.
They continue to squabble over a difference of £6million for Porto full-back Alex Telles with the club wanting £18million and United offering just £12milion for a player who has just one year of his contract left to run.
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It is as well for the United board that they have someone in charge as diplomatic as Solskjaer who did a good job in fending off the questions about the club’s transfer activity.
He said: “All my focus is on Sunday's game, the club's always working hard to have as strong as possible a squad and if something happens in or out you'll get to know.”
The United boss was also keen to emphasise the strength of the squad he already has, one that finished third last season and reached three cup semi-finals.
He said: “I keep reading about players that should be playing instead of ones that are playing because that tells me I've got a strong squad. We need to get fit and keep injury free but there are more competition for places now.
“But we need results to affect the mood of players, staff, club, all the others are just short-term moods as well.”
If they don’t get one on Sunday, 24 hours ahead of the transfer deadline, that mood amongst fans will be very grim indeed.
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