Edwin van der Sar has signed a new four-year contract as Ajax's general manager, seemingly ending any chance of him moving to Manchester United.

Van der Sar returned in 2012 to the Dutch club he served as a player, joining as a marketing director before being elevated to his current key leadership role four years later.

Since Van der Sar took up that position, Ajax have taken a significant step towards being the European force they were when the former goalkeeper played for the club in the 1990s.

"Very happy with my contract extension at this beautiful club," he wrote on his official Twitter account.

"We've had some difficult moments, but the good times are definitely back. And of course we want more in the future!"

Although last season's Eredivisie title was their first since 2014, Ajax reached the Europa League final in 2016-17 and then captured the imaginations of neutrals en route to the Champions League semi-finals last term.

Long renowned for their impressive academy, Ajax have been particularly effective at bringing through talented players in the past few seasons, while their recruitment has also been praised in recent times.

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong are among those to have come through and been sold on at a massive profit, while David Neres, Hakim Ziyech, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lisandro Martinez and others highlight Ajax's excellent talent identification.

Van der Sar's overseeing of such areas saw him become one of the favourites to land a similar role at another of his former clubs, Manchester United, when executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was reportedly looking into hiring a director of football in 2018.

However, United have provided precious few updates on their search for that position, with Van der Sar now apparently out of reach if the Old Trafford club do ultimately decide to fill the void.

Jadon Sancho could be about to spark a bidding war.

The England international is reportedly ready to leave Borussia Dortmund, a development that will have his numerous European suitors on red alert.

Manchester United have long been linked to Sancho, but could face stiff Premier League competition for his signature.


TOP STORY – SANCHO SEEKING DORTMUND DEPARTURE

Jadon Sancho has become unsettled at Borussia Dortmund and wants to leave, according to the Daily Mail.

The exciting teenage winger is said to have grown dissatisfied with life at Signal Iduna Park after being dropped for a Bundesliga fixture last month for disciplinary reasons.

Head coach Lucien Favre further tested their relationship when he withdrew the Manchester City product before half-time of the heavy Der Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich.

News of Sancho's decision to depart will be noted at Old Trafford, but the report claims Manchester United's bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool are also showing strong interest. 

LaLiga giants Real Madrid appear to be another potential destination for one of the continent's most coveted young stars.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sancho could be heading in the opposite direction to Leroy Sane. The Daily Mirror says Bayern Munich have reignited their interest in the Germany international, who has been sidelined since the start of the season due to a knee injury.

- Granit Xhaka is not the only Arsenal midfielder on AC Milan's radar. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri are even more eager to land Lucas Torreira, and will make a move in June after failing to prise him away from north London at the end of last season.

- Chelsea are set for another fight to keep in-form winger Willian as Juventus and Barcelona circle the 31-year-old, the Daily Mirror reports. Frank Lampard wants to keep the Brazilian at Stamford Bridge but Willian's contract is up at the end of the campaign.

- Manchester City captain David Silva could follow in the footsteps of Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa by seeing out his career in Japan. Spanish television programme El Chiringuito says the 33-year-old is in talks to join Vissel Kobe following the completion of his 10-season spell at the Etihad Stadium.

- Leicester City and Aston Villa have been linked to Alfredo Morelos but Rangers are in no rush to sell. That is the assurance of the Scottish side's new sporting director Ross Wilson, who "categorically" stated that an annual loss of £11.3million would not impact the club's determination to keep their Colombian striker.

Harry Maguire insists there are "definitely no cliques" in the England squad despite the altercation between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez this week.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley after confronting England team-mate Gomez on Monday.

The two players had clashed the previous day, as Sterling's Manchester City were beaten 3-1 by Gomez and Liverpool, the Premier League leaders and the winger's former club.

Yet Manchester United defender Maguire is confident issues between players from rival clubs will not continue to dog England as they reportedly have in the past.

Asked at a pre-match news conference if there were any club cliques in the squad, Maguire replied: "No, everybody mixes.

"I think you've seen how good the unity in the squad is over the last couple of years. It's been a good two years and the group has grown together. We continue to keep on growing and that's really important.

"No, definitely no cliques. We all share tables and share jokes and laughs together."

England need just a point against Montenegro to qualify for the finals, where they would play a number of matches at their own Wembley home.

Maguire is hopeful, should the Three Lions' secure their progress, the home crowd can be a big factor next year.

"It would be really special to play in a major tournament and walking out at Wembley would be something that you dream of," he said. "People say it would give us a little advantage as well.

"We know that the crowd get right behind us at Wembley and the support over the last few years – especially since I've been playing – has been unbelievable.

"It's a big game [against Montenegro] and one that we're all looking forward to and we feel prepared for."

England's hopes at the Euros would also depend on improved defensive showings, though, with a number of individual mistakes hampering their qualification campaign so far.

Maguire added: "Obviously, we're coming off the back of a clean sheet [in a 6-0 win in Bulgaria], but we've conceded a few sloppy goals recently. I'm not proud of it and we're working hard on the training pitch to make that better.

"We know the firepower we have in our squad. We've got to a stage now where we're scoring near enough in every game, and we're creating problems for other people's defences.

"So my job and I'm sure all the rest of the defenders and the keepers as a group, we'll try to shut the shop up and start keeping clean sheets a lot more regularly."

Manchester United have an option to bring Memphis Depay back to Old Trafford, according to Lyon sporting director Juninho.

Netherlands international Depay joined United from PSV in 2015 but could only manage seven goals in 53 appearances across all competitions.

An unhappy 18 months concluded when he joined Lyon for a fee in the region of £16million in January 2017 - and the 25-year-old has been revitalised in Ligue 1.

Depay has scored seven times in 10 top-flight appearances this season despite his club's troubled start to the campaign, along with four in as many Champions League outings.

Speaking on Tuesday, Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman told reporters it would be better for his country if Depay was playing for a bigger club.

In the event of his performances drawing offers from some of Europe's big hitters, Juninho told his club's official website that United retain first refusal under the terms of Depay's move to France.

"Manchester has a priority if several clubs line up to buy him," he said.

"But we have not received any offers so far. He is really happy right now in Lyon.

"We will discuss a contract extension by the end of the year."

Depay's current deal runs until the end of next season.

Lyon lie 14th in Ligue 1 after a 2-1 defeat to rivals Marseille last Sunday, although recently installed head coach Rudi Garcia had overseen three consecutive wins before that setback.

Scott McTominay and Andrew Robertson have left the Scotland squad ahead of the final Euro 2020 qualifiers with Cyprus and Kazakhstan.

Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser has also withdrawn, while Leeds United's Liam Cooper pulled out on Monday.

Midfielders Lewis Morgan and Graeme Shinnie have been added to the squad.

Manchester United midfielder McTominay damaged his ankle in the 3-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion and had to be substituted.

The 22-year-old is expected to have tests on the problem later this week.

Scotland cannot qualify for Euro 2020 through Group I as they are 12 points behind top two Belgium and Russia with two games to play.

However, they will be involved in the play-offs in March after finishing top of Nations League C, Group 1.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba moved closer to returning from injury, having his ankle cast removed on Monday.

The France international, who has made just five Premier League appearances this season, has been sidelined since late September.

But Pogba, 26, is getting closer to making a return after having his ankle cast removed.

The midfielder posted a video of the procedure on Instagram.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said recently he expected to be without Pogba until December.

Solskjaer's side are seventh in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of the top four.

Anthony Martial's return has been crucial to Manchester United's recent upturn in form, according to team-mate Daniel James.

France forward Martial missed almost two months of action with a thigh injury before returning off the bench late in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on October 20. 

The Red Devils have since won five of their six matches since, with a limp 1-0 loss at Bournemouth the only blot in that run.

Martial, James and Marcus Rashford were in scintillating form as Brighton and Hove Albion were swept aside 3-1 on Sunday, a result that left United seventh heading into the international break.

And James, who turned 22 on Sunday, believes Martial's influence has been pivotal to the recent improvement.

"Since he's come back in, we've got that focal point," James said after the Brighton game. 

"He's a great link-up player. He can come short or go in behind. It's been important for me and for Marcus since he's come back into the team to get that interlink.

"Since he's come back, he's got goals and he's got assists and he's been great for us."

James arrived from Championship side Swansea City in a reported £15million deal in June and has taken on a prominent role in the team, appearing in all 12 Premier League fixtures this term.

The Wales winger concedes he did not expect to feature so much but is relishing the opportunity.

"Coming in was always going to be tough and it was going to be different from playing in the Championship," he added. 

"I think I've taken it in my stride, tried to calm myself down a bit and think, 'I'm here for a reason'.

"At the start of the season, I maybe didn't think I would play as much. Every game I've been learning and the gaffer has trusted me and I've really enjoyed it."

AC Milan, Bologna, Perth Glory, Inter and even Juventus have been linked to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy contract is set to expire before the end of the year and the veteran striker is not short of suitors.

And a return to Old Trafford could be on the cards for the 38-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TARGETING IBRAHIMOVIC

Manchester United are preparing to make a move for former striker Ibrahimovic, reports Mail Online.

Ibrahimovic left United for MLS outfit LA Galaxy in 2018 and he has flourished in the United States, where he has scored 53 goals across two seasons.

But with Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to AC Milan, Bologna and A-League side Perth Glory – coming off contract and United looking to bolster their attacking options following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, a Manchester comeback has been mooted.

ROUND-UP

Inter are set to back Antonio Conte in the January transfer window. Following Conte's outburst over a lack of squad planning after Inter's Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Calciomercato says the Nerazzurri are ready to sign Parma duo Matteo Darmian and Dejan Kulusevski. Darmian only arrived from Manchester United at the start of the season, while teenage midfielder Kulusevski is on loan from Atalanta.

- Pressure is mounting on Unai Emery but Arsenal are not worried. According to the Mail, the Gunners will not be panicked into sacking head coach Emery – whose side have gone four league games without a win and sit sixth, eight points outside of the top four. Former Spain and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Despite Southampton's poor form, the Premier League strugglers are still behind boss Ralph Hasenhuttl according to The Sun. The Saints are 19th and three points adrift of safety amid a seven-match winless streak in the league – highlighted by a record 9-0 humiliation against Leicester City.

Dries Mertens could be set to leave Napoli. Second on the club's all-time scoring list, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport claim Mertens has agreed to join Inter as a free agent at the end of the season. The 32-year-old has called Naples home since arriving from PSV in 2013.

Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League season continued in some style as they turned on the style in a 3-1 win over Manchester City, who they have not lost to at Anfield in the top flight since May 2003.

Meanwhile, it was another tough weekend for Premier League fans across North London, with Arsenal and Tottenham both dropping points as the dark clouds continue to gather around both clubs.

Arsenal's defeat at high-flying Leicester City left the Gunners winless in their last four top-flight outings, while Spurs are without a victory in five attempts after their 1-1 draw at home with Sheffield United.

With Arsenal failing to win, Manchester United had the opportunity to narrow the gap between sixth and seventh to just one point and they did just that, bringing Brighton and Hove Albion's two-game winning streak to an end in a 3-1 victory.

All four games produced a feast of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are brought to light below.

DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST CITY POINTS HAUL

Trips to Liverpool have rarely been kind to Pep Guardiola during his time at Manchester City and Sunday's defeat was his fourth during his time in the Premier League.

City have amassed 25 points this season - Guardiola's lowest return after 12 games of a Premier League season - and he is more than three points behind the league leaders for the first time at this stage of a season.

Liverpool sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester City and only Manchester United in 1993-94 have been further ahead after 12 games in the Premier League era.

The Reds prospered courtesy of goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the latter scoring at Anfield in the league for the 22nd time since August 2018.

No other top-flight player has scored more at a single venue in the same period.

RASHFORD REVELS IN UNITED'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Marcus Rashford gave the Old Trafford crowd a rare moment to savour in a difficult season when his shot ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar to put Manchester United 3-1 up against Brighton.

It was the 22-year-old's 30th goal on home turf for the Red Devils, six of which have come in 2019-20, and he needs three more to equal his best goal return in home matches (nine in 2017-18).

Rashford's form has been key to United's recent upturn in fortunes at Old Trafford, where they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and their last seven across all competitions - their longest run under the same manager since March 2018 (eight unbeaten under Jose Mourinho).

Solskjaer named his youngest Premier League starting line-up of the season, averaging 23 years and 350 days, and his side extended Brighton's miserable run on the road against the top flight's "big six": the Seagulls are winless in 15 such games.

ARSENAL IN WORST START FOR 37 YEARS

Unai Emery might be running out of chances after a 2-0 loss to Leicester City condemned Arsenal to their worst record at this stage of a top-flight season since 1982-83.

The Gunners accumulated 17 points from 12 games in 2014-15, as many as they have now, but could at least lay claim to a positive goal difference of +5 at that time, unlike the -1 that resides next to their disappointing points tally this term.

Saturday's trip to the King Power Stadium marked Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge and his 13th defeat.

He has overseen 25 victories and led the club to 87 points, two fewer than Arsene Wenger accrued over his final 50 matches as manager.

The contrast could not be greater to electrifying Leicester, who have now won five successive Premier League home games and boast one more point (26 in total) than they did at this point of their title-winning 2015-16 campaign.

SON SHINING BUT SPURS STILL STUCK IN DARKNESS

If there is some comfort to be found for Arsenal, it is in the malaise affecting north London rivals Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino's men could only draw 1-1 with Sheffield United, who became the third promoted side – after Blackburn Rovers (1992-93) and Nottingham Forest (1994-95) – to go unbeaten through their opening six away games of a Premier League season.

George Baldock's goal earned a share of the spoils and means Spurs have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions this season.

Worse still, the Champions League finalists have banked only 14 points, their lowest tally after 12 games since 2008-09, a season that cost Juande Ramos his job.

Son Heung-min, scorer of the opener, is one player pulling his weight. The South Korea star has netted five times in his past five appearances in all competitions.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Harry Maguire to be the club's captain in the long-term after wearing the armband in Sunday's 3-1 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion.

United cruised to a comfortable victory at Old Trafford against Brighton, with the visitors arguably lucky to avoid losing by a crushing scoreline.

Maguire led the team out as captain and put in a generally commanding display at the back, as he continues to look a solid acquisition following his reported £80million switch from Leicester City.

The centre-back was captain in the absence of Ashley Young, though Solskjaer suggested Maguire could potentially get even more familiar with the position in years to come.

"Harry has come in and been excellent in the dressing room and on the pitch," Solskjaer told reporters.

"He can be a long-term captain."

The one dampener on United's win was a late ankle injury suffered by Scott McTominay, as he appeared to roll his foot and was left in agony.

While he was able to hobble off the pitch aided by United's medical staff, after the match he was carried away on a stretcher.

But Solskjaer was unable to offer much of an update on his condition aside from being set for scans on Monday.

"He went over on his ankle," said Solskjaer. "It's a painful one sometimes.

"I've had one, I was out for eight weeks but then again sometimes you have one and you're back in two weeks. I don't know.

"He's in for a scan tomorrow and then we'll have to see, with the ice there. But it looked painful - Scotty's not one for rolling around.

"He didn't really roll around, because that's probably the sign he's injured. All the players that keep rolling aren't injured."

Daniel James was impressed with Manchester United's vibrant attack in Sunday's 3-1 win and was adamant they could have scored eight on another day.

United were massively disappointing in the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend, struggling to trouble their hosts' backline.

But it was a completely different story in the Europa League on Thursday as they beat Partizan Belgrade 3-0 and again shone during the visit of Brighton three days later.

Andreas Pereira's deflected effort and a Davy Propper own goal were decisive early on and, although Lewis Dunk pulled one back, Marcus Rashford sealed the points.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of United's dominance, as Rashford went on to miss another couple of presentable chances, while James, Anthony Martial, Brandon Williams and Fred all went close in the latter stages.

"The high press paid off, that's what we have been about all season, playing with energy right from the start," he said.

"We were a little bit edgy when they scored and it was good to score again on the break, but we could have scored also seven or eight goals."

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side are seventh in the Premier League table, echoed that sentiment, reserving special praise for Martial and Williams, who was making his first top-flight start.

"We should have scored many more goals," Solskjaer told BBC Sport. "It was an excellent performance from the lads, when you see them going forward it is a joy to watch.

"Anthony Martial did not get a goal, but he was outstanding. Brandon Williams was excellent too, he has had some good games already and he seems he wants to be out there and enjoy himself.

"The table does not really matter at the moment: we need to keep improving and keep winning games and see where it takes us."

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were to the fore once again as Manchester United saw off Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 at Old Trafford to move back into the top half of the Premier League table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men impressed in Thursday's 3-0 Europa League victory over Partizan Belgrade, which Martial and Rashford both scored in, and the forwards both played crucial roles again as a resilient Brighton were dispatched fairly comfortably.

United looked as though they were going to cruise to victory during the early exchanges, as they found themselves 2-0 up thanks to a couple of fortuitous goals from Andreas Pereira and Davy Propper, who beat his own goalkeeper.

Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton just past the hour, but Rashford - set up by Martial - lashed in soon after to seal the points, though United arguably should have added several more goals, with the England star, Daniel James and Brandon Williams all going close.

United began with real purpose but were extremely fortunate to open the scoring in the 17th minute.

Pereira was guilty of overplaying on the counter and was dispossessed, but the ball came to Martial and he teed the Brazilian up again, with the eventual shot finding the net via a massive deflection.

The hosts were lucky again soon after, as Scott McTominay attempted to bundle over the line and Propper prodded it into his own net.

Chances came at both ends just past the hour – Mat Ryan unconvincingly knocking Fred's long-range effort on to the crossbar, before Dunk lost Pereira at a corner to emphatically head Brighton back into the contest.

Rashford restored the two-goal lead two minutes later, however, crashing an effort in off the crossbar after Martial teed his strike partner up.

An awful miss from Rashford was followed by saves to deny him, Williams and James, but Brighton were unable to make United rue their wastefulness.

A late ankle injury suffered by McTominay, which left the midfielder in considerable pain, was the only significant dampener on an otherwise fine day for the Red Devils.

 

What does it mean? United moving in the right direction

It has not been a straightforward start to the season, but in recent weeks United have shown signs of getting back to the side they were during Solskjaer's days as caretaker manager.

In that period, Rashford and Martial were vital and it is no surprise to see them central to most of what is good about United at the moment. While seventh place is hardly impressive, they are now just a point adrift of Sheffield United and Arsenal.

Fred finding his feet

This was arguably Fred's best performance in a United shirt. His passing was crisp, he moved the ball on quickly and played a role in two of the three goals. Perhaps he is not the dud many claimed he was.

Pereira out of his depth

While he did manage to score a goal, there was little to recommend in Pereira's performance. It remains something of a mystery how he manages to retain a place in the starting XI.

What's next?

United travel to high-flying Sheffield United next Sunday, while Brighton host Leicester City the day before.

Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Leicester City could spell the end of Unai Emery's tenure.

The Gunners failed to win for the fourth Premier League match in succession on Saturday, testing the patience of club officials.

According to reports, contact has been made with Luis Enrique to assess his interest in the job.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL MAKE LUIS ENRIQUE ENQUIRY

It could be a case of one Spaniard out, another Spaniard in at Emirates Stadium.

El Confidencial's Kike Marin claims Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has sounded out Luis Enrique about replacing Unai Emery as head coach.

The ex-Barcelona and Roma boss has been out of football since stepping down as Spain's head coach due to personal reasons in June, two months before the tragic death of his young daughter, Xana.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have joined the race for in-demand Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to the Mirror. The Red Devils are also rumoured to be chasing Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, their former player.

- As rumours linking Eriksen to Old Trafford re-emerge, Tottenham are preparing to move for a former United man. The Mirror say Spurs are plotting a £50million bid for Memphis Depay, who has flourished since leaving the Premier League for Ligue 1's Lyon.

- The same British tabloid believes Chelsea could splash £70million on towering Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if their transfer ban is lifted in January.

- Olivier Giroud could be leaving Chelsea for a fee of around £5million. The Daily Express say Antonio Conte's Inter and Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps are prepared to offer the France international an escape route.

- Giroud could depart Stamford Bridge for Italy and Mario Pasalic might remain there. The Chelsea-owned midfielder is on loan at Serie A outfit Atalanta, who are considering forking out the €15million required to keep him, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Paris Saint-Germain have identified their priorities and an extension for Neymar is seemingly not among them.

Neymar, 27, reportedly almost left the Ligue 1 champions in the close season amid strong links to LaLiga giants Barcelona.

The Brazil international is contracted until 2022 and PSG appear to be in no rush to extend his stay.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STOP NEYMAR TALKS AMID MBAPPE FOCUS

PSG's negotiations with Neymar about a contract extension have stalled, according to L'Equipe.

However, the report says PSG have not ruled out a potential extension for Neymar in the future.

It comes amid talk the club are eager to re-sign Kylian Mbappe, who is also contracted until 2022 and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Like Neymar and Mbappe, the talk around Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will not go away. Sport reports Juventus want to bring the midfielder back to Turin, while Tuttosport says Pogba is also eager to return to the Serie A giants.

- Ivan Rakitic has made just one start for Barcelona this season and the midfielder could be on the move in January. Mundo Deportivo reports Juventus and Inter have the Croatia international – who is contracted at Camp Nou until 2021 – in their sights.

- Nicolo Zaniolo's impressive performances for Roma are leading to renewed interest in his services. Juventus are ready to pay more than €40million for the midfielder, according to CalcioMercato, although Roma are eager to keep Zaniolo, who has scored three Serie A goals this season.

- Unai Emery is under fire at Arsenal and the Premier League club are already eyeing his replacement. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is being earmarked for the job at Emirates Stadium, according to The Sun.

- Staying at Arsenal and AC Milan are considering a €40m (£34.5m) move for midfielder Lucas Torreira in January, according to Fichajes.com. Meanwhile, Turkish-Football reports Arsenal have made contact with the representatives of Juventus defender Merih Demiral about a potential move.

- Alessandro Florenzi could make a move from Roma in January, according to CalcioMercato. Fiorentina and Inter are reportedly interested in the right-back.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will resist the temptation to grant Mason Greenwood a regular starting spot despite another fine showing from the teenager.

Greenwood scored one and assisted another as United eased to a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday.

The 18-year-old forward combined well with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in a mature 90-minute performance.

Solskjaer admires Greenwood's ability but will not easily bow to calls for him to be handed a first Premier League start for the season.

"I think we're finding the right balance between playing him, resting him and training him," Solskjaer said.

"He needs to learn the man's game. He's gone up from the Under-18s last year, now he's training with the first team every day and you can't just turn that switch on and off. You've got to perform every day if you're going to be accepted into a group like this."

Solskjaer continued: "The DNA of this club, and it's always been in our philosophy and my philosophy, is to give young players with the right attitude a chance.

"If that takes a couple of years for him to really, really come through, it's worth it. I'm managing for Man United, I'm not managing for me. I'm managing the best way I think we can get the best out of Mason. 

"If he really stamped his authority every single day in training and [had] been the best option he would have played every game.

"But as a young boy you expect ups and downs, and he's had some downs. I think he's on the way back up again."

Martial and Rashford joined Greenwood on the scoresheet against Partizan as United cruised through to the Europa League knockout stages.

While eager to improve the club's middling Premier League results, Solskjaer accepts the knockout competitions are where the Red Devils can realistically contend for silverware.

"I don't want to stop winning in cups," he said.

"We've spoken about that before. The Premier League trophy is out of our reach, we're too far behind the top teams, but any trophy you can get your hands on, we're going to go for.

"But we need to improve our league form, definitely."

United have the chance to do that at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Solskjaer expects Harry Maguire to be fit but Victor Lindelof, who has failed to train this week, is in doubt with a foot problem.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.