Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Manchester United are interested in signing his fellow Norwegian Erling Braut Haaland.
The Red Bull Salzburg forward, 19, has been in prolific goalscoring form this season, scoring 24 goals in 20 games in all competitions including eight in the Champions League.
That has led to him being linked with several clubs across Europe, but United are always said to have had an advantage due to Solskjaer’s knowledge of the teenager from their time together at Molde.
Haaland has also been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund as well as staying within the Red Bull framework at RB Leipzig, but Solskjaer appeared hopeful of signing the teenager when he spoke after United’s 3-0 win over Colchester United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
“Erling has had a good development, so he has to develop further wherever he decides.
“I don’t need to talk so much about him, but we as a team always look for players who can complement the others we have, and then we see what we end up with.”
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Solskjaer has previously stated that he believes Haaland has already made his mind up about where his future will lie, and says that the crucial thing is that the forward goes to the club that is best for him.
“It’s the most important thing with all the players, after all, wherever they go, that they thrive where you are.” he said.
United will face Manchester City in the two-legged semi-finals of the Carabao Cup in the New Year, with Aston Villa taking on Leicester in the other last four tie.
Harry Maguire has the top four in his sights after Manchester United’s thrilling derby triumph at Manchester City .
A week that started with scrutiny and mounting pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the wake of an alarming home draw with promoted Aston Villa ended with a second memorable victory in a matter of days.
Fresh from deservedly seeing off Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday evening, Man Utd won by the same scoreline across town at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a roaring start and impressive game plan.
Few connected to City could have complained had Solskjaer’s side added to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in a fine first half that laid the foundation for a victory that secured more than just bragging rights.
The 2-1 win in the 179th Manchester derby moved United up to fifth and within five points of the Champions League spots after fourth-placed Chelsea fell to a surprise loss at embattled Everton.
“I think you need to look after your own results, don’t look elsewhere, keep winning games,” Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender, said.
“We’ve won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We’ve got another big game next week now.
“The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving.”
United return to action on Thursday as they close their Europa League group campaign at home to AZ Alkmaar, when Solskjaer will want to keep his in-form attackers fresh ahead of next weekend’s league clash with Everton.
The Reds had been hampered by their lack of cutting edge during the early months of the season, but the front three of Rashford, Martial and fleet-footed Daniel James showed they can scare any side on Saturday.
“Over the last month or so, I feel like as a defender I look at the forwards and think they’re going to score goals,” Maguire told MUTV.
“At the start of the season we didn’t really score more than one goal in a game but now I think it’s a few games on the spin where we’re back to scoring goals.
“They’re a big threat, they’re top players, great talent and I think it’s all coming together now.
“But, no, we’re not getting carried away.
“It’s a big three points, it’s a special win, one for the fans, I’m really happy for them.
“We just keep moving up that table and keep chipping away.”
United are unbeaten in five Premier League matches and secured their first back-to-back league wins since things spectacularly unravelled in March.
There is a growing confidence within Solskjaer’s squad and Maguire is targeting more improvements after captaining the side to victory in the blue half of Manchester.
“Proud,” the England international said. “Really proud to the lead the boys out at the Etihad and to get the three points. It was an important game for us.
“We feel like this year we haven’t got results in some games where we feel we deserved the three points.
“I think the last two games, I don’t think no-one can question that we’ve deserved both victories.
“Great start from the lads. The front four in the first half was frightening and when they’re on their game like that, they can cause any defence problems.
“The disappointing thing probably at half-time was that it was only 2-0!
“We knew they were going to come strong, they were going to throw everything at us.
“I think we held out really well. I don’t think they created too much in the second half.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of bouncing passes and David made a good a save late on and to concede from a set play is really disappointing. Something that we’ve got to tighten up on.
“Like I said, to come to the Etihad and them not to score from open play but to concede from a set play as a defender, and I am sure for David as well, it’s disappointing.
“The victory is for the fans. They deserve it this season.”
Solskjaer was proud of United’s performance at the Etihad Stadium, where they displayed the “quick, attacking football” he always knew his side were capable of in the right shape.
The Norwegian also praised their “great character and attitude” on an afternoon when missiles were aimed at Fred, who produced his best performance in a red shirt.
The Brazil midfielder was also subjected to alleged racist abuse along with Jesse Lingard, who again showed he is getting back to his best at the end of a tough year.”
He’s Man United through and through,” Solskjaer said of Lingard. “He’s a red, he’s got a great attitude and a great workrate.
“Every one of us have things to deal with on and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us. It’s great to see him back.”
Put to Solskjaer that fans do not see off-field issues, he said: “Exactly. That’s the privilege some people think they have.
“You can criticise anyone about anything but, for me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times.
“It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self.”
Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford tonight as the new Tottenham boss looks to heap more pressure on his Manchester United successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mourinho was relieved of his duties last December, and it will be a little under a year to the day that the Special One heads back to the Theatre of Dreams in charge of a new club.
Tottenham have enjoyed the so-called ‘new manager bounce’ with three wins out of three for Mourinho to leave them fifth in the Premier League table – though that says as much about the likes of Arsenal and United as it does about Spurs.
Mourinho’s return could not come at a worse time for Solskjaer, who contrived to draw against Sheffield United (3-3) and Aston Villa (2-2) with Mauricio Pochettino waiting in the wings.
While United are keen to back Solskjaer’s long-term vision for the club, a humbling home defeat to Mourinho of all people could force Ed Woodward to pull the trigger once again in December.
Follow LIVE updates ahead of tonight’s clash below!
Welcome to Standard Sport‘s LIVE coverage of Manchester United vs Tottenham as Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford for the first time *as a manager* since his sacking last December.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was installed as his successor at United, and now knows the intense heat Mourinho was feeling in the dugout 12 months ago.
Can’t see the Man Utd vs Tottenham LIVE build-up blog? Click here to access out desktop page.
Manchester United 1-1 Tottenham: Despite his warm words for United of late, Mourinho would dearly love to inflict a convincing defeat on them on their own turf.
The saving grace for United is that Solskjaer and his side are better in big games, and should have a decent game plan – so a draw is most likely.
Anthony Martial is a major concern for Manchester United ahead of Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford.
The France forward suffered a muscle strain late on against Aston Villa on Sunday, making him doubt for Tottenham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping for better news with Scott McTominay, who is still recovering from the ankle injury he picked up before the last international break.
If Martial fails to recover in time, it could see Solskjaer opt for a three-man central defence, with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James playing as a wide front two.
Mourinho will be missing Hugo Lloris until the New Year, while Michel Vorm’s absence means Paulo Gazzaniga is certain to keep his starting role in goal.
Erik Lamela is sidelined with a thigh injury along with Ben Davies (ankle).
Despite three wins out of three, Mourinho has concerns over a defence which has conceded two goals in each of those matches.
It will be fascinating to see whether the Portuguese coach attempts to constrict such a high-stakes game in his usual manner, or if he sticks with how Spurs are currently winning – by forgetting about defending and looking to outgun a similarly shaky United back line.
Man Utd XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Lindelof, Williams; McTominay, Fred, Pereira; Rashford, James
Tottenham XI: Gazzaniga; Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Ndombele, Dier; Sissoko, Dele Alli, Son; Kane
How to watch Man Utd vs Tottenham
Along with every Premier League match in gameweek 15, the game will be available to live stream online on Amazon Prime.
Existing and new Prime members can watch on devices using the Prime Video app, across mobile, Fire TV, games consoles, Virgin’s V6 TV Box, BT TV, TalkTalk TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, online and more.
Amazon Prime is available for £7.99 per month/£79 a year, but you can watch any game this week if you start a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime.
You can follow all the action on Standard Sport’s LIVE match blog with James Robson and Dan Kilpatrick at Old Trafford.
Head to head (H2H) results history
United have a great record against Tottenham with 91 wins to Spurs’ 52 victories, and 48 draws.
However, their recent history is more evenly split with the last nine meetings alternating between Spurs and United wins.
Last season, Spurs thrashed United 3-0 on their last visit to Old Trafford – a result which sparked the beginning of the end for Mourinho in Manchester – but the Red Devils got their own back with a 1-0 win in north London the last time they met.