Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied Dean Henderson wants a move in January and revealed Paul Pogba could return against Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.

It was reported by The Sun at the weekend that goalkeeper Henderson is eager to make another loan switch to give himself every chance of being selected in the England squad for Euro 2020 next year.

Henderson was outstanding for Sheffield United in the Premier League last season but signed a new long-term deal with United after returning to Old Trafford.

The 23-year-old has been limited to two EFL Cup appearances and one Champions League outing in Istanbul in the 2019-20 campaign, with David de Gea Solskjaer's first-choice keeper.

Henderson is thought to be set to start when Group H leaders United go in search of revenge against the Turkish champions and Solskjaer says further opportunities will come his way.

He said in a press conference on Monday: "Dean wants to stay at Man United and play for Man United.

"I can't see the logic in [Henderson making] only one more appearance before Christmas. Do you know how many games we have?

"He is training well, he has potential to be one of the best. I don't buy the argument it is make or break for him [on Tuesday]."

There was further speculation over Pogba's future after the midfielder was not included in the squad for a 1-0 win over West Brom on Saturday, an absence Solskjaer revealed was due to a knock.

The France international may be back at Old Trafford for a crunch encounter with a side that beat them 2-1 earlier this month.

Jesse Lingard is unavailable as he has gone into self-isolation after coming into contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus.

Asked about Pogba's fitness, Solskjaer said: "We hope he is going to be available. We will see when we report tomorrow. [Luke] Shaw, [Phil] Jones out. Lingard is self-isolating after contact with a positive case."

Nemanja Matic wants Manchester United to kill opponents off when they have the chance after struggling West Brom made them work for a 1-0 victory on Saturday.

The win was United's first in the Premier League at Old Trafford since July and came with a slice of VAR fortune after an incident-packed start to the second half.

Bruno Fernandes was penalised for a foul on Conor Gallagher in the United box, only for the decision to be overturned when referee David Coote reviewed replays on the pitchside monitor.

Fernandes then had the chance to score from the spot himself, at which point the Portugal midfielder earned another reprieve.

Replays showed West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone came off his line to save Fernandes' initial effort and the United playmaker made no mistake from the retake.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were unable to build upon that slender advantage against an Albion side still without a win nine games into their top-flight return.

Johnstone was in inspired form against his former club, making six saves over the course of the 90 minutes, but Matic feels his team-mates could show more cutting edge.

"When we score first, we have to go on and kill the game as soon as possible, especially in the Premier League. We have to improve on that," he told MUTV.

"Every team has quality, every team is dangerous. One-nil is not enough. They almost scored, they had one [shot] hit the crossbar. So, they were always dangerous.

"We have to make sure that next time we have more concentration in attack and make sure we try to kill the game early."

On Opta's big chance conversion metric this season, United actually perform fairly well, converting 57.1 per cent – the seventh-best return in the Premier League and only half a percentage point shy of reigning champions Liverpool.

Leaders Tottenham have netted 62.1 per cent of their big chances, while out-of-sorts Manchester City, who United leapfrogged as they moved into the top half on Saturday, rank 19th with 26.7 per cent.

United's numbers suggest Matic might soon be more impressed by their efforts in front of goal, although the Serbia international insists there is only one statistic that truly interests him.

"Wins are the most important, of course, because at the end of the season nobody will ask you how you played, if you were amazing. The most important is you collect points," he added.

"Manchester United want to win titles and our aim is to be in first position and we will do everything for that. We can do that only as a team."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed referee David Coote for making "three right decisions" in Manchester United's controversial win over West Brom.

Bruno Fernandes' retaken 56th-minute penalty at Old Trafford proved to be enough for United, who claimed a first home win in the Premier League since July.

Fernandes retook his penalty after West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saved the first but came off his line, while the visitors thought they had a spot-kick of their own early in the second half, only to see Coote overturn his original decision following a VAR check.

Happy to end a wait for a first home league win this season, United manager Solskjaer also backed Coote's decisions.

"We're delighted to get three points of course, first [home] win in the league this season and a clean sheet, we're happy with that," he told a news conference.

"Very tight calls and I think probably made the two right decisions with the pens, even three right decisions because Sam was off the line."

United are ninth in the Premier League table, seven points behind leaders Tottenham, who have played one more game.

Since the start of last season, 16 per cent of United's Premier League goals have been penalties – 13 of 79 – the highest ratio of any team to have played in both campaigns.

While pleased with the win, Solskjaer said his team's performance was below where he wanted it to be.

"It's definitely not a step forward performance-wise," he said.

"We played really well against Everton last time, that's a performance I was really happy with. This one is way below par, but we got the first win and sometimes three points are more important than the performance, even though we know to get points and to move up the table we have to play better."

Solskjaer added: "We know we can play better than this and we certainly could've made it more comfortable if we'd taken our chances earlier on.

"Towards the end when you don't do that, there's always an edge to the game and we seemed edgy towards the end and it was important for us to get that win of course. You can see that and we never got that composure or quality to get the second goal that would have made it more comfortable."

United continue their Champions League campaign at home to Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged Paul Pogba is unhappy but insisted the midfielder has all the "qualities" to deliver for the struggling Premier League side.

Pogba's future has made headlines again following comments made by France head coach Didier Deschamps, who suggested the star midfielder was not satisfied with his "situation" at Old Trafford after struggling to find his best form.

The Frenchman, who started all three of Les Bleus' internationals over the past fortnight, has started four of United's seven Premier League fixtures this season.

Through three Champions League matchdays, Pogba has only been named in Solskjaer's starting line-up once.

Pogba has created two chances in the Premier League and his passing accuracy stands at 79.9 per cent, while he has three chances created and two assists in the Champions League.

Asked about Pogba amid links with former club Juventus and LaLiga champions Real Madrid, Solskjaer – speaking ahead of Saturday's visit of lowly West Brom – Solskjaer told reporters: "We always get questions and we try to answer as well as we can.

"I think the press sometimes makes more of it and people maybe at home not having the whole interview make more of it. We're all experienced enough to try to avoid big massive headlines.

"I spoke to Paul today about it. Of course he's not been happy when he's not playing, and not playing really well. He's not been happy with his performances. He plays in the same position for France and he does for us, so that's not a different scenario.

"It's about getting momentum and rhythm and, as I said earlier, he felt really strong towards the end against Portugal and towards the end of the game with Sweden which is natural because he had COVID and he needed time. That's the same with all of our players, they look stronger and fitter and he's the same.

"There are always discussions about players who can play in different positions because they have the quality to do so many things and they can play in different positions.

"Paul is the same, he can do the role and he has the qualities to do many things, it's about the balance of the team, that's on the XI you pick that day, that's the key.

"Sometimes it's an eight, sometimes a 10, sometimes in off the left in a diamond, sometimes one of the two, he can do everything. And now, the fitter he gets the more he can do."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says people need to "step back" and appreciate the progress Mason Greenwood has made at Manchester United amid ongoing reports about his poor application in training. 

The 19-year-old enjoyed a stunning breakout season for the Red Devils last term, scoring 17 goals across all competitions. 

He has struggled on and off the pitch so far this campaign, though, scoring just twice in eight appearances and suffering the indignity of being sent home from England duty following a 1-0 win over Iceland in September for breaching coronavirus protocols. 

Greenwood was absent for United's 3-1 Premier League win over Everton a fortnight ago, while he was not selected by Gareth Southgate for England's recent internationals.

Reports have surfaced suggesting Red Devils boss Solskjaer has grown frustrated with the teenage academy product and warned the youngster about his punctuality. 

Speaking ahead of United's top-flight clash with West Brom on Saturday, Solskjaer revealed Greenwood has not been feeling well and wants people to recognise the strides he has made over the past 12 months.

"You have to take a step back sometimes," he told a media conference. "The boy's only 19 and he's had a fantastic year. 

"If we go a year back, I left him out of the EFL Cup against Chelsea. Mason stayed back and played against Doncaster Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy to get game time, that's how far he's come. 

"Now he's got lots of goals, made his England debut, scored in his first Under-21s game and, of course, the headlines are going to be about when he scores and doesn't play.

"Everyone's allowed to not be well. If you're not well you can't train. He's been away eight or nine days from training so we're just building him up again and I have no doubts about him.

"He has a very good head on him and the talent is there for all to see."

Another United player to have struggled this season is Paul Pogba, who has failed to score or create an assist in his seven Premier League appearances. 

He has also created just two chances for his team-mates. By comparison, Bruno Fernandes has laid on 10 times as many, just one shy of Mohamed Salah's league-high 21.

France coach Didier Deschamps recently suggested Pogba is not satisfied with his "situation" at United after struggling to find his best form.

Solskjaer, however, believes Pogba will be rejuvenated after starting all three of Les Bleus' internationals over the past fortnight and expects the 27-year-old to be an integral player for United as the season progresses. 

"Paul had a difficult season last season and had COVID-19 in this one, but those three games he played for France helped," he added.

"I spoke to Paul and he felt towards the end of the Portugal and Sweden games he felt stronger. He played well and I think he's only going to improve.

"Paul is a very important player and very important person for us and to have him in form and happy is going be important."

Manchester United remain "absolutely committed" to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club's manager, says executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Solskjaer's future was once again called into question following recent back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir.

However, last weekend's 3-1 win over Everton - a result that lifted United up to 14th place in the Premier League - has eased some of the pressure on the Norwegian.

And while acknowledging there is room for improvement, Woodward has publicly backed Solskjaer to get United firmly back on track.

"On the pitch, while there is still hard work ahead to achieve greater consistency, we remain absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole as the team continues to develop," he said.

Woodward's comments were made in a statement released alongside the club's financial results for the first quarter, which were published a day early in error.

United's revenues are down 20 per cent for the three months ending September 30 - from £135.4million to £109m when compared to the same period last year.

A large part of that was down to matchday revenue slumping to £1.7m, but Woodward is hopeful supporters will soon be allowed to return to Old Trafford.

"We miss playing in front of our fans and we are working hard together with our governing bodies and relevant authorities to ensure that fans can safely return as soon as possible," he said.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption, we are optimistic that the recovery and normalisation phase is gradually coming into view.

"The club's resilience and our strong commercial business continue to provide a solid foundation and gives us confidence in our long-term outlook beyond the pandemic, both on and off the pitch."

Frank de Boer "said bad words" upon seeing Virgil van Dijk suffer a serious injury in action for Liverpool, though he is far more relaxed about Donny van de Beek's situation at Manchester United.

Van Dijk is likely to be out for the rest of the season after sustaining significant damage to his anterior cruciate ligament in last month's Merseyside derby.

The 29-year-old centre-back was on the wrong end of a dreadful challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who remarkably avoided a red card.

Of course, Van Dijk's absence does not only impact Liverpool, it also affects the Netherlands, who could ultimately be without him for next year's delayed European Championship.

"I saw it live. I was shocked. I said some bad words," De Boer said on Tuesday ahead of a friendly against Spain on Wednesday.

"It was a shock, because he's such an important player, our captain, and he's so important in our squad. We will miss him."

De Boer was less concerned about the position Van de Beek finds himself in at United, however.

The midfielder, a pre-season arrival from Ajax, has been a bit-part player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this term, making only four starts across all competitions – none of those have been in the Premier League, in which he has seen just 75 minutes of action.

De Boer acknowledged that the player has reason for frustration but urged patience.

When asked if he wanted to give the 23-year-old a sympathetic hug, De Boer said: "I can't hug him right now of course! I try to give him as much confidence as possible, which I showed by starting him against Italy.

"I think he did well in the games he played, I saw him a few times at United. He's doing well, but they have a great midfield with [Bruno] Fernandes, [Paul] Pogba, Fred, [Scott] McTominay and [Nemanja] Matic.

"It's difficult, but I'm sure he will play his minutes. I can understand he wants to feature more frequently, but on the other hand, it's always normal that you have to adapt when you go to a new league.

"Let's hope he will get his playing time. I am happy that he's well-rested. We can use him here."

After the international break, Van de Beek will likely target Pogba's position in the United team.

The Frenchman has created just two goalscoring chances in the Premier League this term, only one more than Van de Beek despite playing 298 more minutes than him.

Pogba also has no goals in the top flight – Van de Beek netted his first for the club against Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Trent Alexander-Arnold will not be available for England as he once again bemoaned the decision not to allow five substitutions in the Premier League.

Alexander-Arnold had to be substituted during the second half of Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday, having suffered an apparent calf injury.

The full-back was due to be part of Gareth Southgate's England squad for games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland during the November international break.

However, Klopp has said Alexander-Arnold will not be available for those upcoming fixtures during a hectic schedule in a 2020-21 season that will climax with the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Premier League clubs voted down the use of five subs for this term, a rule that was utilised when the previous campaign resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break, much to the disappointment of the Reds boss.

"It's a lack of leadership," Klopp said in his post-match media conference. "[Premier League CEO] Richard Masters sold it completely wrong.

"It's not an advantage [to be able to use five substitutes], it's a necessity. It happens in other countries, it was sold completely wrong and now you have this situation.

"Trent will be out for England, will not be the last or only one Gareth will have to deal with either."

City counterpart Pep Guardiola echoed Klopp's views on the decision to revert back to three changes per team in the top tier, as taken at a shareholders meeting in September.

Asked about what he had discussed with the Liverpool manager at full-time, Guardiola – who used just one change during Sunday's clash – told Sky Sports: "We did not speak about the result. We spoke about how we have to fight again about five substitutions.

"Look, an international England player – Trent Alexander-Arnold – is injured. All around the world, five substitutions. Here, we believe we are more special and have only three.

"We don't protect the players. That's why it is a disaster. I will demand that we come back with five substitutions to help the players, the managers everywhere. If not, it is difficult to sustain it." 

Klopp also backed up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's criticism of the schedule, the Manchester United boss having hit out at his side being made to feature in the early kick-off on Saturday just over 48 hours after returning from a Champions League fixture in Istanbul.

"We have to find solutions, it’s so tough and we need to play football but Wednesday night and 12:30pm (Saturday) must not be allowed," Klopp said.

"If the Tuesday teams are in contention for Saturday that's okay, but the Wednesday [teams] should not be in contention for those games.

"Tonight we lost Trent and I'm pretty sure Gareth is not fine. If we play the Euros, we will see who is involved in that."

Harry Maguire's dominant display in Manchester United's 3-1 win over Everton drew praise from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who also lauded Fred and Scott McTominay's midfield partnership.

United bounced back from successive defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir by claiming a vital win at Goodison Park, relieving some of the mounting pressure on Solskjaer.

Bernard put Everton ahead, but a quickfire double from Bruno Fernandes turned matters around before the break.

Everton toiled for an equaliser in the second half, but the contest was settled in added time when Fernandes, who has now been involved in a Premier League record 15 goals (10 scored, five assisted) in his first 10 away games in the competition, teed up Edinson Cavani for his maiden United goal.

MAGUIRE LEADS UNITED DEFENCE

While Fernandes made United's attack tick, captain Maguire put in an excellent performance at the other end, standing firm against the league's joint-leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Maguire was dominant in the air as Everton – still shorn of the suspended Richarlison – attempted to pick out their often-isolated forward, with the England defender making one tackle, one interception and seven clearances, the most he has managed in a league match this term.

After a difficult start to the season for Maguire, it was a display which delighted Solskjaer, who told a news conference: "I thought Harry's performance was top, of course.

"Against for me one of the best in the world for aerial play – Calvert-Lewin, with his timing in the air, his jump, his spring, his athleticism.

"I thought we defended very well against him. Really pleased with Harry, and the rest of them back there." 

Having used a midfield diamond in United's defeat to Arsenal last Sunday, Solskjaer switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Fred and McTominay in a double-pivot.

The duo excelled, attempting a combined 112 passes and making three tackles between them, with McTominay also intercepting two passes – a game-high.

Fred had the most passing attempts (63) and completed passes (57) of any United player, with his 90.5 per cent success rate the best among their starters.

"Scott and Fred have done brilliant together, they're a great partnership," said Solskjaer, who left Paul Pogba on the bench until the 82nd minute.

"Of course, they didn't play during the week, Scott played 45 minutes in Turkey, but you can see they had fresh legs. 

"We had Bruno and he scored his goals, but Scott and Fred, with that energy, in that engine room, they're always key for us so our creative players can go on and create chances, show their magic.

"They're so disciplined and I'm very pleased with the two of them."

TOFFEES COME UNSTUCK YET AGAIN

While Solskjaer revelled in a much-improved performance, Ancelotti was left to reflect on a third straight league reverse.

November 2006, at Milan, was the last time Ancelotti endured such a run, while Everton have conceded at least two goals in each of their last five league games.

"The problem was that after we scored we were not able to defend well, and they took advantage," Ancelotti told BT Sport.

"They were able to score easily. We said before the game we had to defend better and we did not defend good enough. We were slow at the back, we have to improve.

"I hope that after the international break we will back in a different shape. It is not only a problem of the defenders, it is all of the team.

"I know how to manage difficulties, every year you have them. We can start again after the break, we are really bad at the moment but we started well."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer raged against the Premier League schedule after Manchester United's win at Everton, claiming: "They set us up to fail." 

United won 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday thanks to two goals from Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani's first for the club, after Bernard had put the Toffees ahead in the first half. 

The match kicked off just over 48 hours after the United squad had arrived back in England from Turkey, where they had lost 2-1 to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League. 

Solskjaer said on Friday that a request to move the Everton game to a later time had been turned down as he described concerns for the welfare of players during a packed schedule made worse by the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Red Devils manager seemed determined to keep all focus on the "absolute shambles" of the fixture pile-up after beating Carlo Ancelotti's side, rather than discuss the positives of a performance that will ease some of the pressure on his shoulders. 

Indeed, Solskjaer confirmed Luke Shaw suffered a hamstring injury and Marcus Rashford was left struggling towards the end of the match, issues he blamed on the quick turnaround. 

"We were set up to fail," he told BT Sport. "I said to you before, when I talked to you about the kick-off time, it's set up the boys to fail. 

"We got Luke Shaw injured today because we've been to Turkey, we've played loads of games this season already, and we've been to Turkey Wednesday night, [and] come Thursday morning we're back in, we're playing Saturday lunchtime kick-off. It's an absolute shambles and I can't praise the boys enough for that character they've shown. 

"That's all I want to talk about today. Those boys deserve better than being thrown out here to fail today. 

"Authorities set us up to fail. How can they set us up, after a Champions League game, Wednesday night, in Turkey, and set us a Saturday 12.30 kick-off? 

"You've got Liverpool and [Manchester] City – fair play, they play against each other – played on Tuesday and they play on Sunday. Who's responsible? We've had enough of that. I've had enough. 

"Players, this season, I said it yesterday, you have to understand how these players, in these times, how mentally draining, physically draining this is, and you set them up like this? We've lost Luke Shaw because of that. 

"Set us up on a Sunday. There's absolutely no problem, there's an international break after. No argument whatsoever [about a Sunday match]. It's just a joke." 

Asked about the performance of Fernandes, who scored twice and set up Cavani's goal, Solskjaer said: "Brilliant. Absolutely top, fantastic, after Thursday morning coming back. They're not gonna have the pleasure of seeing us lose again.

"[Cavani] is getting better and better, sharper and sharper, today was just trying to finish the game off, because we did well."

Solskjaer confirmed Shaw's injury could be a lengthy one, while he said Mason Greenwood did not travel with the squad after reporting that he felt unwell.

Barcelona's finances are reportedly precarious amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wage cuts have been flagged, but the LaLiga powerhouse are also eyeing further sales.

Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti could be among the players to depart Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE AND CO. HEADING FOR EXIT

Barcelona are ready to sell five players during the January transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Carles Alena, Martin Braithwaite and Junior Firpo are the quintet up for sale as embattled LaLiga giants Barca look to raise funds.

Dembele was linked with Manchester United before the previous window closed.

 

ROUND-UP

- Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has twice snubbed Barca as he eyes the United job amid speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future, says the Daily Star.

Barcelona have been linked with a move for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, according to Bild. Thuram's father, Lilian, played for Barca and Juventus, who are believed to be eyeing the Frenchman. Real Madrid have also been linked.

- OK Diario claims Madrid are interested in Rennes teenager Jeremy Doku. The 18-year-old has caught the eye of Madrid, who have also made Eduardo Camavinga one of their top targets.

- Staying at the Santiago Bernabeu and OK Diario says soon-to-be free agent and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba must lower his wage demands if he wants to play for Madrid. The Austria international has also been linked with PSGManchester City and Barca.

- Tuttosport says Antonio Conte wants Chelsea trio Olivier Giroud, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso at Inter.

- Lille star Renato Sanches is wanted in Italy. Calciomercato reports Serie A champions Juventus, Milan, Inter, Napoli and Roma are monitoring the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

- Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai is a serious January target for Arsenal, according to Index. The Hungarian has emerged as an alternative to Lyon star Houssem Aouar.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he has no concerns over his position amid speculation, claiming he is working on a long-term plan with the struggling Premier League club.

Solskjaer has overseen United's worst start to a season at home of any manager since 1972-73 following last week's 1-0 loss to rivals Arsenal in the Premier League.

United followed up that defeat with an insipid 2-1 defeat away against Turkish hosts Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League, heaping further pressure on Solskjaer.

While United have upstaged Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain and humbled RB Leipzig, the Red Devils have lost to Crystal Palace and Tottenham – who humiliated the English giants 6-1.

Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but speaking ahead of Saturday's crucial trip to Everton, Solskjaer said: "I am going to say all my conversations with the club have been planning long term.

"Of course we want results short term but I've had positive good dialogue with the plans we have put in place.

"We have planted a seed, the tree is growing. Some clubs just rip up that tree and see if it is still growing and see if it is still getting water underneath.

"For me I have had a backing all the way since I've come in on the bigger picture. And the club needs to look at the bigger picture, we can't go thinking and reacting to one or two results, we have got to look further back and [ask] what is the direction we are going."

United languish 15th in the Premier League with just two wins from six games, nine points adrift of leaders Southampton.

Solskjaer's United have won more Premier League games against Everton than any side has won against another in the competition's history (36), per Opta.

Meanwhile, their 16 wins at Goodison Park is the joint-most away wins for a club at a specific venue in the competition (United also 16 at Villa Park).

United have also won each of their last six Premier League away games – only between April-August 1993 (seven) have they won more consecutively on the road in the competition.

Solskjaer, who replaced Jose Mourinho on an interim basis in December 2018 before being permanently appointed in March last year, added: "The culture and the mentality in the group has improved immensely. They do really have the mindset of improving all the time and winning. 

"Yes, every time you lose a game there are critics out there everywhere. I have no complaints about the mentality."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he is the right man for the club despite pressure building on him ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton.

United were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal at Old Trafford in the Premier League last weekend before Wednesday's humbling 2-1 reverse to Istanbul Basaksehir.

The nature of that performance in Turkey in particular has prompted further scrutiny over Solskjaer, who has overseen the worst start to a season at home of any United manager since 1972-73.

Impressive performances, such as victories over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, have been undermined by embarrassing losses at home to Crystal Palace and Tottenham, and they have not scored in their previous two league matches.

Another defeat at Goodison Park, where they have not won since January 2018, would cast further doubt on Solskjaer's future as speculation builds around the club having sounded out Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann as possible replacements.

But Solskjaer, who had overseen a club-record 10 consecutive away wins in all competitions before the Basaksehir loss, says he has no reason not to be confident in his own strengths.

"Why shouldn't I be?" he said on Friday. "If I don't trust my beliefs and values and my staff's quality and players' quality, who else should? I don't look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards. 

"I think there's been too much made of, say, not scoring against Arsenal and Chelsea because there was more or less nothing in those two games and it's not long ago we were the best things since sliced bread when we beat RB Leipzig and PSG. 

"There's ups and downs in football and you have to have belief in yourself and the players the club has been very positive and they've shown strong character and leadership. 

"I've always had a very good, open, honest, positive dialogue with the club and they've shown strong leadership. I don't expect the wind to turn. Of course, there is always pressure and expectations on us, but I've grown up here or became a man at Manchester United and learned how to deal with good and bad times."

Solskjaer believes the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including matches being held behind closed doors, is not helping players when it comes to recovering from defeats.

"Every game lives its own life and it's fine margins," he said. "Results create the headlines and the backdrop and in games that you win at times you're praised and 'that was a fantastic performance' and sometimes you lose, and you're criticised and it's not that black and white.

"No-one has been in the situation the players are in now. They've had months and months of playing with the uncertainty of the virus and the pandemic and sometimes it's easy to sit at home and think football is the same. We have to look after them, both physically and mentally, and these are things I think about a lot. 

"I'm a definite believer in these boys and they will come back and show that they care.

"You have to be mentally strong, of course, there are demands on a Man United player and coach and manager and an expectation because we're at the best and biggest club in the world and you don't expect to have anything but criticism. It's how you deal with that setback and the boys have been very focused since we came back and ready to give a response. 

"You don't have to be happy to stay positive. You know that, on difficult days, in life, there will be better ones coming and I know these players well enough and I trust them enough to have a response, going out there enjoying wearing the shirt and playing a good team, which is always another personal pride as well."

David Moyes has warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he will need to improve results soon if he is to remain Manchester United manager.

Scrutiny on Solskjaer has been building in the wake of back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir.

United were particularly poor in the Champions League loss in Turkey, with Demba Ba's opening goal – in which he was given a free run from inside his own half following a clearance from a corner – leading club great Paul Scholes to compare the Red Devils' defending to that of an under-10s team.

Solskjaer has overseen impressive victories over Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig this season, and United had been on a club-record 10-match winning run away from home prior to the visit to Istanbul, but inconsistent performances continue to undermine his position.

They were fortunate to win 3-2 at Brighton and Hove Albion – a match in which the hosts hit the woodwork five times, a record in a Premier League match since at least 2003-04 – and they have lost three and drawn one of their four home league games, marking their worst start to a season at Old Trafford since 1972-73.

Moyes was sacked eight months after replacing Alex Ferguson in 2013, with his final match a 2-0 defeat at Everton, the team United face next at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The West Ham manager knows only too well that pressure on Solskjaer will continue to build if United do not start winning games.

"All managers are under pressure," he said on Friday.

"At Manchester United there is more pressure than any club in the world. It comes with the job.

"We know what happens if you don't win enough games."

Everton are unbeaten in three league games against United, but Carlo Ancelotti's side are on a three-match winless streak, while they have lost 36 Premier League games against the Red Devils, a record in the competition.

Goalkeeper David de Gea, who had a kick blocked into the net by Dominic Calvert-Lewin in last season's 1-1 draw on Merseyside, expects a tough encounter on his birthday.

"To be honest, [a win] would be the best present for me if we beat Everton on my 30th birthday," he told United's website.

"It will be a tough game for sure. They have a good manager and good players and they are playing very well. We need to be ready for the game.

"They are playing very well, like l said. They have signed some very good players and they are scoring a lot of goals.

"It's a very good team and it's always difficult to play against Everton away to be honest, so we need to be very focused, train well and be 100 per cent ready to play against them."

Erling Haaland is reportedly being lined up as a target for Real Madrid in 2022, while Manchester United are eyeing Mauricio Pochettino.

Haaland, 20, is widely regarded as one of the best forwards in Europe as he continues to star for Borussia Dortmund.

Madrid have plans for the Norway international.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYE HAALAND IN 2022

Real Madrid are convinced Dortmund star Haaland is their man in 2022, according to AS.

Haaland has scored 10 goals in 10 games in all competitions for Dortmund this season.

The former Salzburg talent, Mino Raiola - his agent - and Dortmund reportedly have an agreement that a transfer away from BVB will be facilitated in 2022, though there is not thought to be a specific fee in mind yet.

Haaland has begun 2020-21 in fine form having netted five goals in as many Bundesliga games, picking up where he left off last term as he scored 13 in 15 league matches for Dortmund.

While early in the campaign, Haaland's shot conversion rate – excluding blocks – in the league this season (31.3 per cent) is lower than last term (52), but his big chance conversion is slightly higher (from 62.5 per cent to 66.7).

Seemingly flowing with confidence from last season, Haaland is averaging more shots in 2020-21 as well. Per 90 minutes, the striker is attempting 3.7 attempts from inside the box (including blocks) compared to 2.8 in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under pressure, Manchester United have approached former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to potentially become manager, according to the Manchester Evening News. United are 15th in the Premier League ahead of visiting Everton on Saturday.

- In good news for Barcelona, Sport reports goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is completely committed to the Spanish giants amid links to Bayern Munich. Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, says Barca could sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon star Memphis Depay for free next year, allowing them to potentially negotiate lower fees in January.

- Amid expectations he will leave Bayern Munich, David Alaba has been offered to Real Madrid, according to Marca. The defender is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying with Madrid – full-back Dani Carvajal is close to agreeing to a new contract until 2024, according to Marca.

- While he is contracted at Liverpool until 2023, Fabinho could be set for a renewal. Fabrizio Romano reports the midfielder is in talks to extend his deal through to 2025.

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