Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted a lack of sharpness was the reason behind Manchester United conceding goals as he ruled out adding a centre-back in the transfer window.

United secured a 3-2 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday thanks to a last-gasp penalty from Bruno Fernandes, who converted from the spot in the 10th minute of additional time.

However, having conceded three times when losing their Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace, defensive deficiencies were again a topic of conversation after the final whistle on the south coast.

Neal Maupay and Solly March both scored for Brighton, the latter in the 95th minute to make it 2-2, while the home side were denied five times by the woodwork as they had 18 attempts at goal.

Leandro Trossard was particularly unlucky, becoming the first player to hit the woodwork on three occasions in a Premier League match since Cristiano Ronaldo in October 2006, as Solskjaer retained faith in Victor Lindelof despite his difficult outing against Palace.

"We've got many defenders here and I put Eric (Bailly) on to bolster the defence, following the runs of Trossard and Maupay," Solskjaer said in his media conference.

"For me, we've got enough good centre-backs here at the moment.

"When you concede chances and concede goals, there are two different things you can look at - it's either the team shape, or are there any individual mistakes.

"We're not in our best shape of form, our shape isn't there, we're not sharp enough to stop crosses or follow the runs.

"We're a little bit behind, that's more structural mistakes than individual mistakes. I thought Victor did well today."

United have been linked with a new defender, media reports suggesting they are interested in Porto left-back Alex Telles.

Solskjaer promised the players he currently has in his squad will improve as they play more matches after a shortened pre-season. They play Brighton again on Wednesday, this time in the EFL Cup. 

"We've got to be honest enough to say they created the most chances. Maybe 50-50 possession but they had loads of shots, big chances and that's not what we want. We need to improve a lot in the weeks coming forward," the Norwegian boss said.

"The spirit and character of the boys I don't question at all, the spirit is there. The sharpness and fitness might not be, but it is going to come.

"We've got three or four weeks to catch up and the more games we play, the more 90 minutes we get, we'll be sharper and sharper."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United "got away with one" after stealing a last-gasp 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in an instant Premier League classic.

Bruno Fernandes' stoppage-time penalty, awarded after the final whistle had initially been blown, was the last twist in an astonishing match at the Amex Stadium, where the hosts struck the woodwork five times.

Brighton had levelled with an injury-time goal of their own from Solly March to seemingly earn a richly deserved share of the spoils, but Neal Maupay – who had earlier netted a Panenka spot-kick – was penalised for a handball in the box and Fernandes sealed the points in dramatic fashion.

"We got away with one to be fair," United boss Solskjaer told BT Sport after a game in which Lewis Dunk scored an own goal and Marcus Rashford netted a superb solo strike.

"When they equalised you thought that's two points lost, or maybe one point was what we deserved.

"I don't think we deserved more, but the character they showed deserved more. The reaction to the first goal, we started playing, the reaction to the second goal as well, we went straight up the other end and created a corner. 

"That's a big thing for us compared to last season. We had too many draws; we were the team that had the least defeats, apart from Liverpool, but we had too many draws, so that's a big plus for us."

Solskjaer gave credit to Graham Potter's side, who will wonder how they emerged empty-handed from a contest in which they were the better side.

"They created too much for my liking, but they are a difficult team to play against," he said.

"We tried to press but they've got really good ball players at the back who played really well.

"We don't have the legs and sharpness still, but we will get there."

Bruno Fernandes has risked the wrath of Brighton and Hove Albion fans as he dismissed their misfortune in Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, during which Graham Potter's men hit the frame of the goal five times.

In a remarkable contest at the Amex Stadium, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men somehow came away with three points despite seemingly being second-best for the majority of the game.

Brighton had 18 shots in total, to United's seven, while the home side were incredibly denied by the post or crossbar on five separate occasions, with Leandro Trossard accounting for three of them.

Despite those issues, Brighton appeared to seal a deserved point when Solly March turned home in the fifth minute of stoppage time, but with the last kick of the game, Fernandes slotted in a penalty after Neal Maupay had handled in the area.

And Fernandes seemingly had little sympathy.

"Brighton did very well but maybe because we are not as aggressive as we want to be," Fernandes told BT Sport.

"We need to recover more balls, press better, lose less possession. They had a lot of chances too, maybe Brighton deserved more, I don't know – but the point is score goals not hit the bar or post. Sometimes it happens to us – you see the game against Sevilla in the Europa League. We shoot I think 40 times at the goal and score once with the penalty only.

"Sometimes you have to have some luck, some defenders defending well and also the goalkeeper, because David did very well today, and also all the defence.

"Okay, in the goals we can do better, we can all agree, but we will work on that."

Victory sees United kick-start their season after beginning it with a 3-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace last time out, but once again Solskjaer's shaky defence has given the Norwegian plenty to think about.

Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty with the last kick of an astonishing game as Manchester United stole a 3-2 win over a Brighton and Hove Albion side who struck the woodwork five times.

The Portuguese kept his cool to settle matters at the end of a dramatic encounter at the Amex Stadium in which United rode their luck to the extreme.

Brighton, showing no signs of fatigue despite facing a fifth game in 13 days, hit both posts and the crossbar in the first half before breaking the deadlock via Neal Maupay's nerveless Panenka penalty.

United – needing a response to their limp opening-game loss to Crystal Palace – levelled within 187 seconds, though, Lewis Dunk unfortunate to divert past Mat Ryan from close range after Fernandes' set-piece caused problems.

Referee Chris Kavanagh chalked off a penalty he had awarded early in the second half after reviewing the incident himself, allowing Paul Pogba to breathe a sigh of relief after Aaron Connolly took a tumble.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men made full use of the reprieve as Marcus Rashford, having just seen a goal disallowed, brilliantly danced his way into the box and fired home via a deflection off Dunk.

Graham Potter was cursing his luck when Solly March and Leandro Trossard hit the post and crossbar respectively, before jumping for joy when the former headed in a stoppage-time equaliser.

But the drama was not over and Maupay handled Harry Maguire's header, which was cleared off the line by March, allowing Fernandes to wrap up the points from the spot in a game that will live long in the memory.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give Eric Bailly the chance to show he can provide the solution to Manchester United's defensive problems. 

United manager Solskjaer was urged to dive into the transfer market after last weekend's season-opening defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. 

Former Red Devils captain Gary Neville said the centre-back partnership between Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire was not good enough for a team with Premier League title pretensions. 

Lindelof, particularly poor against Palace, could lose his Premier League starting place as Solskjaer puts his trust in an axis formed by captain Maguire and ex-Villarreal man Bailly. 

They were paired together in the 3-0 EFL Cup win at Luton Town on Tuesday and could again be in tandem for the league clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. 

The 3-1 loss to Palace may have been grim for United, but Solskjaer sees better times ahead. 

He said: “I think last season proved to us how we can defend at our best. Last week wasn’t fantastic, we conceded sloppy goals, but I think our defensive record from last season with Eric and Harry, [we saw] how good a partnership they were. 

"Eric is fit again which is a big bonus for us. I'm looking forward to seeing him develop. We've been waiting for him to be fit and playing more regularly.” 

Bailly started only one Premier League match in 2019-20, so Solskjaer's perception of Maguire and the Ivory Coast international having been a force as a unit last season comes only from minimal evidence. 

Solskjaer wants more from United as a whole after the harrowing defeat to a Palace side who were inspired by Wilfried Zaha, a player who was briefly in the Old Trafford ranks but allowed to get away. 

"We're a week further down the line," said Solskjaer. "It's been a good week, some players have been training well and the work on the training ground has been good. 

"We played well against Luton. We needed to be further down the line because last week was disappointing." 

The Norwegian added: "After the restart in June and July we took big, big strides. Palace was a very disappointing one, but I am still confident. We need more imagination, that is for sure." 

He skirted around a question on whether Chris Smalling could stay at United to add extra defensive depth, after a successful loan at Roma last season. 

And regarding the possibility of incoming transfers, with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho again linked to United amid reports of a take-it-or-leave-it £90million offer, Solskjaer played a straight bat. 

He said: "I’m very confident in my players and if and when something happens with ins and outs we'll update you." 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts Mason Greenwood is likely to become Manchester United's number nine in the future, but says the teenager must learn how to head the ball first.

Greenwood, who superbly broke into the United first team last season, opened his goalscoring account for the new season with a late strike as a substitute in Tuesday's 3-0 away win over Luton Town in the EFL Cup.

The England international formed a potent front three with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford towards the end of last season and there have been calls for the 18-year-old to be given a chance down the middle, rather than playing in a wide role.

United boss Solskjaer does see that happening in the years ahead, but feels there are some adjustments for Greenwood still to make before he takes the central role currently held by Martial.

"He had a fantastic season last season and to get his goal now was important to him," Solskjaer said to the club's website. 

"Marcus too. It always is with strikers, to get that confidence and feeling of scoring, to get that hunger again. 

"So I'm very happy with that, he [Greenwood] just needs to work to get his fitness and sharpness back."

When asked about Greenwood's position, Solskjaer added: "He can play through the middle as well.

"I think, as a young boy, not physically grown yet, it is nice to be facing forward rather than being the number nine, the foil; being the battering ram if you like.

"So I think he will end up as a number nine in the end, probably. But he's so good with his right and left [foot], so he can come in off his right and left, or through the middle. 

"I scored most of my goals from just outside the post as well, I wasn't like in the middle.

"For him to be a number nine, though, he needs to learn how to head the ball. I keep telling him that and, if he wants to do that, he's welcome to come and practice with me."

United are back in action away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday in the Premier League on Saturday as they look to bounce back from their opening defeat to Crystal Palace.

Manchester United have been negligent in the transfer market and rival clubs will relax knowing they will now rush to pay high prices, according to Gary Neville.

Former United captain Neville was dismayed by United's performance as they lost 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace in their Premier League season opener on Saturday.

Donny van de Beek – the club's only signing in the transfer window – got the only goal for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

Neville cannot believe the Netherlands international is the only recruit at this stage of the window, which closes on October 5, given plans could have been in place from March when lockdown began.

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has repeatedly been linked with a big-money move, as have defensive reinforcements.

Neville told Sky Sports: "You see Liverpool getting a player for £40million, £25million. [Timo] Werner [at Chelsea] is quite cheap compared to some of the prices of players you see in the market.

"United always seem to have to pay top dollar, almost as though they are easy pickings. The problem is, they have to find a way to get deals done and they can't get deals done efficiently.

"And it is negligence not to get the squad in place, they have had six months since March when lockdown was on being able to deliberate, do zoom calls, connect with agents, move things into place.

"There is no excuse really for not getting your transfers done before the start of the season. They need four or five players, so to only get one done… 

"United have got to see the danger signs here - they could end up in fourth or fifth again if they are not careful and last season was a step forward.

"That should have been the moment, COVID coming, economic uncertainty, United step up and drive the market forward, get the squad in place and send a message to Man City and Liverpool that we are coming for you.

"Now they are on the back foot and they have to do their business in the next couple of weeks."

Neville added: "United have got the money - if they can spend £90million-£100million on Sancho, they have got the money to do the deals. 

"They have not got the quality or experience of football people within that club, it looks like a convoluted and complex structure, I'm not quite sure where the decisions lie.

"Other [top clubs] are definite, they are precise. You sense they are in control.

"Then you end up with that on Saturday and what that does is make [United] weaker, because now clubs who they are wanting players off will be looking it and thinking, 'We will relax because they are going to come and knock on my door, they are going to have to.'

"The people in the stands whose job is to put that team on the pitch have been there for eight years now and they have not had the ability to build a football team that can win the league. 

"They have to find a way of doing it quickly as these years are going to drag on."

Gary Neville has warned Manchester United they need a new centre-back more than they need Jadon Sancho after a horror show in their opening Premier League game.

The former United captain said the current side stand no chance of winning the Premier League with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at the heart of their defence.

His brutal verdict was delivered as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.

After finishing third in the Premier League last season following a 14-match unbeaten run in the competition, United began 2020-21 with high hopes of another lofty finish.

They want to bring Borussia Dortmund's exciting England winger Sancho to the club, but Neville says their priority should lie elsewhere.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said: "You can talk about Jadon Sancho all you like, but until they get a centre-back in that can run and defend one on one, you're never going to win the league.

"They're not going to win the league with that centre-back pairing. They have to get a mobile, quick, dominant centre-back in alongside Lindelof or Maguire."

United were back on domestic duty five weeks after their 2019-20 Europa League trophy hopes were ended by a semi-final defeat to Sevilla.

Neville said United looked "knackered", "so leggy it's untrue" and "well short of Crystal Palace" in the fitness stakes.

Lindelof, the Sweden defender who is in his fourth season at United, was picked apart by Neville for his part in allowing Wilfried Zaha to scythe through and score his second goal and Palace's third.

"He's just not strong enough there, Lindelof," said Neville. "It's a 50-50; he's weak."

Neville questioned what United's response would be to their slow start, in light of many of their rivals making statement signings.

"The usual thing for Manchester United, on the back of something like this, is to react - go and sign a player or two to quell the Twitter and social media voice that will absolutely simmer and boil," Neville said.

"It's been simmering all week I think, particularly with Liverpool doing business today, Chelsea's done it in the last few weeks, [Gareth] Bale's going to Tottenham.

"Why are Manchester United not signing the players they need to bolster this squad - a talented squad?"

David de Gea got the nod over Dean Henderson for Manchester United's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed his regular number one goalkeeper.

The battle to start in goal for United intensified when Henderson returned from a successful loan spell at Sheffield United.

His form for the Blades earned Henderson an England call-up and cast doubt on whether De Gea, after a number of costly errors, should remain as Solskjaer's first choice this season.

The 29-year-old De Gea, who joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, has been given the chance to show he deserves to keep the starting role.

United's paucity of close-season signings was reflected in their starting XI for the clash with Roy Hodgson's Palace.

There were no new faces in the home XI, although midfielder recruit Donny van de Beek was a substitute after his arrival from Ajax.

Mason Greenwood was also a substitute, with Daniel James surprisingly chosen ahead of the 18-year-old England international, whose off-field behaviour has faced scrutiny in the past fortnight.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka began on the bench too, last season's regular right-back lacking in match fitness as his slot went to Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial started, while Harry Maguire captained the Red Devils, keeping the role despite his arrest and court case in Greece during the between-season break.

Wilfried Zaha was selected as captain for Palace against his former club.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded the transfer window has not gone according to plan, but the Premier League giants are still hopeful of adding to their squad.

Despite the signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, there is growing frustration among United supporters as they struggle to sign new players before the transfer window closes next month.

United continue to be linked with Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho but both clubs remain apart on the €120million (£108m) asking price amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While United try to bolster their team after finishing third to qualify for the Champions League last season, Premier League holders Liverpool, rivals Chelsea and neighbours Manchester City have been active in the market.

United had been linked to Real Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon but he is set for Jose Mourinho's Tottenham, while Thiago Alcantara joined Liverpool from Bayern Munich following talks among his agent and the Red Devils.

Explaining United's transfer efforts ahead of Saturday's opener at home to Crystal Palace, Solskjaer told reporters: "We're looking at a small pool of players who can add to the quality of our team and let's see what we can do. The club's working hard and I understand that they're working hard.

"When we sit down and we discuss, sometimes it doesn't happen as planned. Life isn't a straight line here, sometimes things happen and I've always said it - I'm very happy to work with these players.

"There's still a few weeks left of the transfer window, it might happen that we get someone in. I've worked with the club and they know what I feel the team and the squad needs and let's see if we can add to what we have."

Solskjaer added: "I want players in the building that we want to work with and who wants to be a part of it and who wants to be here.

"You need the quality on the pitch, you also need the personal qualities but you must also really want to be here and you need to show that you want to be here - that's really important for us as a group that we move forward.

It's not as big a pool as for other clubs because being part of Manchester United and being good enough for Manchester United is one thing, but then you've got another club who probably they want to keep that type of player who has that quality.

"Of course, you see other clubs and what they do, they put a challenge up for us and our response has to be results, that's the response. We can be best at the things that don't cost anything - the culture here, the training, the coaching, getting fitter."

"You can't ignore the impact of coronavirus," Solskjaer continued. "I think that's really changed the market and it happened more or less in that period when maybe negotiations would happen. Of course, the financial uncertainty of that has added on the difficulty of predicting where we're at.

"You want always to have as long as possible with players. I think last season though shows that good players can adapt and grow into a group very quickly. Harry (Maguire) came in very late in the transfer window and he had a great impact on the performances in the team."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United are still looking to bring new players in as transfer talk swirls around Old Trafford.

United have been heavily linked with a mega money move for Borussia Dortmund's England winger Jadon Sancho.

Reports this week suggest United are ready to test the resolve of the Bundesliga club once more, with Dortmund having remained unmoved on a €120million (£108m) asking price.

"You know I can't say anything about other club's players out of respect for them. I can't speculate," Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of United's first game of their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"We understand that to get even further, one, we need to develop what we have, two, we're also looking to strengthen the team. Let's just wait and see if we manage to bring anyone in.

"I've been in dialogue with the club. We're always discussing and hopefully, let's see if we can bring anyone in."

A report by ESPN published on Friday claimed United are frustrated by the negativity that the "social media frenzy" around their transfer activity is causing.

"Fans will always want the best possible team to watch, the best possible Man United team, and that's the passion we want and the history we have," Solskjaer said.

"We can look back 10 or 20 years and you look back at the great players we have and, for me, going forward, since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left we've been averaging fifth.

"Last season we got third, which was a big step forward. Everyone saw development - Bruno [Fernandes] coming in, Harry [Maguire] being captain and showing leadership skills, Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] did well.

"We want to take a step forward and we can go into the new season with confidence, but we're looking to give the group a boot and we're working on it."

One player Solskjaer has managed to get in the building is Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek, a £35.7m signing from Ajax

"He's a smashing boy, great personality, coming in with loads of energy and a big smile every day," he added.

"He played well against Aston Villa [a 1-0 friendly defeat last Saturday], so you're likely to see him [against Palace].

"But, of course, I'm not going to name the team here. 'll have to do that to the boys after training."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United are still looking to bring new players in as transfer talk swirls around Old Trafford.

United have been heavily linked with a mega money move for Borussia Dortmund's England winger Jadon Sancho.

Reports this week suggest United are ready to test the resolve of the Bundesliga club once more, with Dortmund having remained unmoved on a €120million (£108m) asking price.

"You know I can't say anything about other club's players out of respect for them. I can't speculate," Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of United's first game of their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"We understand that to get even further, one, we need to develop what we have, two, we're also looking to strengthen the team. Let's just wait and see if we manage to bring anyone in.

"I've been in dialogue with the club. We're always discussing and hopefully, let's see if we can bring anyone in."

A report by ESPN published on Friday claimed United are frustrated by the negativity that the "social media frenzy" around their transfer activity is causing.

"Fans will always want the best possible team to watch, the best possible Man United team, and that's the passion we want and the history we have," Solskjaer said.

"We can look back 10 or 20 years and you look back at the great players we have and, for me, going forward, since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left we've been averaging fifth.

"Last season we got third, which was a big step forward. Everyone saw development - Bruno [Fernandes] coming in, Harry [Maguire] being captain and showing leadership skills, Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] did well.

"We want to take a step forward and we can go into the new season with confidence, but we're looking to give the group a boot and we're working on it."

One player Solskjaer has managed to get in the building is Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek, a £35.7m signing from Ajax

"He's a smashing boy, great personality, coming in with loads of energy and a big smile every day," he added.

"He played well against Aston Villa [a 1-0 friendly defeat last Saturday], so you're likely to see him [against Palace].

"But, of course, I'm not going to name the team here. 'll have to do that to the boys after training."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows there are no guarantees over Harry Maguire's form after a tumultuous close-season for the Manchester United captain.

Maguire was arrested after an incident with police while on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos last month.

At a trial on the neighbouring island of Syros, the 27-year-old was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.

He was handed a suspended prison sentence but maintains his innocence and Maguire's pending appeal nullifies the conviction under Greek law.

"The process will keep on going," Solskjaer said ahead of United's Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"Knowing Harry, he's a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart but naturally, as a human being, it will be in the back of your mind what's happened this summer, and apart from that you have just got to see how it develops with Harry.

"Personally, I think he will be able to focus on his football but then who am I to … you can't predict how people will react, but so far he's trained well, he's been focused.

"Hopefully that process will just go on and, of course, we know it's something that will go on in the legal department over there."

Solskjaer announced earlier this month that Maguire would remain his captain after England boss Gareth Southgate removed him from the national squad to face Iceland and Denmark in the wake of his conviction.

Maguire joined United for £80million from Leicester City last year, a world-record fee for a defender, and went on to make 55 appearances in all competitions in 2019-20, scoring three goals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims England boss Gareth Southgate went against his wishes by calling up Mason Greenwood after the teenager's maiden senior international experience ended in disgrace.

Greenwood, 18, was selected for the Three Lions squad to face Iceland and Denmark in the Nations League at the start of this month.

He made his debut from the bench as England won the former game 1-0 but was then sent home along with Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden after the duo breached strict coronavirus protocols by entertaining women at the team hotel.

Speaking ahead of United's first Premier League game of the 2020-21 season at home to Crystal Palace, Solskjaer questioned England's approach to Greenwood's welfare and suggested he needed a mental break after the rigours of a superb breakthrough campaign, which continued deep into August as United reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

"Yeah, of course I've spoken to Mason," Solskjaer said. "What we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us.

"The kid had a fantastic season, he's just come through. I've worked and the club has worked and all the staff here have worked really hard - when we gave Mason enough time on the pitch, when we gave him exposure in the media.

"Then you come to the end of the season and we've had less than two weeks off and he's called up to the national team."

Solskjaer seemed to take particular exception to Greenwood being assigned media conference duties ahead of his England debut.

"I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer, at the club we asked specifically and pointed out he should have had a rest," he added.

"He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had and the first thing that happens is one, he's called up and two, he's right there in the press.

"We've done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him he'll be fine."

Greenwood scored 17 goals in all competitions last season, matching the best return for a teenager in United colours - a distinction he now shares with club greats George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney.

Harry Maguire will remain Manchester United captain for the coming season despite his legal case in Greece, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

Maguire was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts at bribery at a misdemeanours court in Syros last month.

The 27-year-old, who denied all charges against him, was tried alongside two other defendants after an alleged incident involving police while he was on holiday on the nearby island of Mykonos.

Maguire's legal representatives lodged an appeal, meaning the court's initial verdict was nullified and a full retrial will now take place at a more senior court.

The England international, who was dropped from Gareth Southgate's Nations League squad after the guilty verdict, told the BBC he feared for his life during an apparent altercation with plain-clothed officers, saying: "I thought there was no chance these were police."

"The retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather the evidence, allow witnesses into the court. I'm really confident that the truth will be told and come out," he said.

Speaking ahead of United's pre-season friendly with Aston Villa on Saturday, Solskjaer confirmed he is standing by his skipper.

"Of course, Harry, as you said, had a difficult summer," the United manager told MUTV. "He didn't have a long break. His break was different to others as we gave him a few more days and, after, he's come back and looked fine.

"He's handled it really well and, of course, I'll be here to support him. He is going to be our captain. We'll just leave Harry and his people and the process to run.

"For me, he is a top, an absolute top human being and has always been a positive guy with the right values. So I really hope we can see Harry performing at his best."

The game with Villa will be United's first since they signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax for a fee that could rise to £39.1million (€44m) - their only transfer of the window to date.

Solskjaer has been delighted with the midfielder's first few days of training and made it clear United are still scouring the market for potential deals, although the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made spending difficult for most clubs.

"He's been training only a couple of days but he's a bright, bubbly character," Solskjaer said. "He wants to learn and the first few signs are positive, not that I doubted that one because I've followed him for a few years, of course.

"He's been a talented youngster and now we felt he was ready to come here. He felt it was the best place to come so, for us, it's a good transfer.

"It's been a strange time and a strange world. Financially, I'm sure loads of clubs have suffered. It looks like it as there has not been a lot of activity in the window.

"We're always looking to improve the squad, scouting players and, if something fits, both the financial bit and the football bit, of course we'll try to make some business. But we can't know how the markets and how other clubs have been affected either."

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