Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful Angel Gomes will agree to a new contract at Manchester United.

The 19-year-old is approaching the end of his deal and United are trying to tie him down to fresh terms.

Talks with the midfielder have been going on for many months and Solskjaer believes a resolution is close, though he did not rule out losing the player.

"Angel is a top kid, we've had him here for so many years," said the United manager. 

"We've offered him a deal and hopefully he'll take that, if not I'll wish him all the best.

"From what I understand it's not too far away. If not, we'll wish him all the best."

Gomes made his United debut back in 2017 and has made two substitute appearances in the Premier League this season.

Solskjaer also offered a team news update ahead of Friday's match at Tottenham, which could have a significant bearing on both clubs' Champions League aspirations.

The Norwegian revealed Marcus Rashford (back) and Paul Pogba (ankle) were available for the club's first game back after the coronavirus-enforced shutdown, with Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe the only absentees.

"We have two players – Jones and Axel – who will miss this game and let's see how bad they are, " he said, without disclosing the nature of their injuries.

"Apart from that, the rest of the squad is fit and available. And of course, Marcus and Paul have been out a long period, but they're available. How long they play – let's see."

United sit fifth, three points behind fourth-place Chelsea and four ahead of Spurs in eighth.

Sheffield United and Manchester United are in talks over extending Dean Henderson's loan deal to cover next season.

The goalkeeper has excelled for Chris Wilder's side, both in the Championship last season and in the Premier League in 2019-20.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees Henderson as his side's future number one, but it appears David de Gea will remain first choice at Old Trafford for now.

Wilder confirmed on Monday that talks are underway and he hopes to have the 23-year-old at Bramall Lane for another year.

"I spoke to Ole yesterday [Sunday] morning and I thanked him for his cooperation with Dean," Wilder said. "We're in the process, in the next couple of days, of finalising Dean staying with us until the end of the season.

"I've got to say, the manager [Solskjaer] was brilliant and has been always with me and our football club. He was very pro Dean staying and delighted in terms of what Dean has produced for us and what we've done for Dean."

Wilder admits he would jump at the chance to sign Henderson on a permanent deal should the Red Devils become open to a permanent transfer.

"We've had initial conversations. We would be open to Dean coming back but I've got huge respect for Manchester United and he's their player and they'll make that decision, in conjunction with Dean," he said.

"From our point of view, obviously if there is an opportunity, we'd love to take that up."

The Blades resume their Premier League campaign away to Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Marcus Rashford has changed his attitude to become a "proper leader" for Manchester United, according to Louis Saha.

England striker Rashford was enjoying the most productive season of his career, with 14 goals and four assists in 22 Premier League appearances, prior to suffering a back injury in January.

It was feared he would miss the rest of the season and Euro 2020 but, with the football calendar having been largely suspended for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rashford is now fully fit to play as United prepare to return to action against Tottenham on June 19.

The 22-year-old has also spent the pause in the season championing charitable causes and engaging with fans on social media, with his most significant work seeing him help FareShare provide three million meals to vulnerable people in the United Kingdom.

Former Red Devils forward Saha thinks there has been a shift in the application of United's younger stars, with Rashford showing the qualities of a future captain.

"Yes, I think the attitude, the drive, the actual consistency, all those things are leadership qualities," Saha told Stats Perform News.

"You said that sometimes it's really hard for a striker to lead and, if you do, you need that. You need those three: consistency, drive, and, of course, talent.

"What is very important is having that dedication to actually look around and grab someone who needs to be grabbed and shout at them. All those things are essential.

"They don't have that platform as much as I had when I was playing. I had Roy Keane, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Rio [Ferdinand], Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, all those players. You could rely on those guys.

"There are definitely four or five players who are very important to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. I would say that, based on [his] record, he is not young anymore, almost because he started really young.

"He's one of the starters for England. And Rashford, as much as we can compare to Anthony [Martial] has done the same.

"The attitude... I'm not saying they had a bad attitude; they had the attitude that was in line with what Manchester United needed at the time.

"Maybe this attitude was okay when you had leaders around like proper players who win trophies and all that, and it was fine. Maybe I was like this at the time, but I had players to do what I can't do. I had to actually evolve and be a leader.

"When I spoke to Scott McTominay, he was young as well, he had to do it. All those players who made that improvement process for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were very important, and I think for Rashford, the introduction of [Harry] Maguire was important to give that kind of confidence aspect.

"That's why you give the platform for Rashford to make the difference all the time because he can do it because his work rate is amazing and that thing he maybe missed in one year because maybe he thought 'I've got my position, I'm respected, I've got my status so I don't need to do this or that'.

"Those things can be a bad sign for those playing behind you. Now you can see he is a proper leader."

Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford featured in a training match at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The duo had been sidelined with long-term injuries before the Premier League campaign was halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic.

Having come through some non-contact sessions unscathed, Pogba (ankle) and Rashford (back) took part in an intra-squad contest at the weekend.

For the Frenchman it was a first outing on home soil since December 26, while Rashford last played at the stadium on January 15.

The friendly kick-about pitted Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes as opposing captains under the watchful eye of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United's previous competitive fixture at the so-called 'Theatre of Dreams' was a 2-0 win over rivals Manchester City on March 8.

Solskjaer's side, who sit just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, face a trip to Tottenham in their first game back.

All remaining games will be played behind closed doors. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been implementing "new ideas" in Manchester United's training and the manager is impressed with the team's spirit as training intensity is ramped up ahead of the Premier League's resumption.

United will get their 2019-20 campaign back underway in two weeks' time at Tottenham, more than three months after their most recent match – the 5-0 Europa League win at LASK on March 12.

Prior to the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, United had hit a strong run of form, enjoying an 11-match unbeaten streak across all competitions, including Premier League wins over Chelsea and Manchester City.  

That resurgence was in spite of injuries to key players Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, both of whom are expected to be available again when the season recommences.

And with Pogba yet to play alongside new signing Bruno Fernandes, United fans are understandably excited at the prospect, and Solskjaer confirmed the team has been working on fresh "ideas" in training.

"Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas," he told United's official website. "But hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown.

"We've got games coming weekend, midweek, weekend for a spell, so you have to focus on ourselves and not just on that one, first game.

"We've been looking forward to these games for ages really. It does make it feel like, 'Yes, we're here soon'. The first game is two weeks from today [Friday], so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again.

"Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused [against Tottenham]. We know it's a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season, so I'm confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football."

While the coronavirus suspension prevented players from training together for nearly three months, Solskjaer was thrilled to see they have managed to keep themselves fit, and he believes the competitive edge is beginning to shine through now contact training is allowed.

"In any interview, I'd say, 'Yes the mood is great and the spirit's good' but it has been really good," Solskjaer continued.

"I think everyone can see over the last few months how the players have behaved and dealt with the situation and how we as a club have dealt with it. The players have kept themselves fit as well, which has been great.

"The weather was fantastic when they got going in small groups and gradually now, as we've got into contact training, you can see a little bit more of the edge but also the camaraderie and team bonding.

"That's vital for me in a team. That's one of the main things, that we are a team and the team goes before anything else."

United are fifth in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two ahead of Wolves and Sheffield United, as the tussle for the final Champions League spot looks set to go to the wire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his Manchester United players he wants them to match the desire and verve of the 1999 treble winners.

The United manager was a Champions League final hero at Camp Nou on May 26, 1999, when his last-gasp strike secured a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich.

It sealed a spectacular season for Alex Ferguson's United, who also won the Premier League and FA Cup.

"It's a day that you'll never, ever, ever forget - the celebration at the end and all the build-up to the game and its history and we're proud of it. It was an amazing day for the club," Solskjaer told MUTV when speaking on the 21st anniversary of the match.

"It has been [life-changing] of course. It didn't make me a better player, for sure, but of course I'll always be remembered for scoring that winning goal. And it's just down to luck, but still I'll never get tired of talking about that night.

"The harder you work, the more lucky you get, and as a striker I've never, ever practised that type of finish. That was just instinct, it just happened."

He recalled the moment Teddy Sheringham equalised for United in the first minute of stoppage time, which barely left any time for a winner, yet United found one to break Bayern hearts.

"I thought, 'Fantastic, I’m going to play 30 minutes of extra-time in a Champions League final, I'm going to get a fantastic experience'," Solskjaer, who had come off the bench late in the game, added.

"But then Denis [Irwin] plays a ball in behind, I make a run, and we get a corner, and anything can happen with this bunch of players. They were unbelievable.

"That group and camaraderie and their winning mentality - never give up - that's for me Man United, and that's what we're trying to get back in."

United last won the Premier League in 2013 and they sat fifth in the table when the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

Anniversaries can feel more poignant when a team might be struggling to match previous levels of success.

The winning goal in 1999 still resonates with Solskjaer, but the Norwegian was fearing a linesman's flag when he prodded home after Sheringham flicked on David Beckham's corner from the left.

“I remember the touch, but more so not being sure if I was offside or onside," he said. "So before I really wanted to celebrate, I needed to check if the flag was up.

"It was an amazing feeling and I clearly remember all the subs coming in and celebrating. Where did they come from? They were quicker than lightning to get there."

Recalling the celebrations when United went on a bus tour of Manchester to mark their success, Solskjaer said: "There was no social distancing, that's for sure."

Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford will be available for selection if the green light is given for the Premier League season to resume next month.

The pair had been long-term absentees prior to the campaign being brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic in March, but both players returned to small group training last week.

Competitive action could restart in England's top flight in mid-to-late June and United boss Solskjaer revealed Pogba and Rashford came through their first few non-contact training sessions unscathed.

"They're looking good. They've joined training now and they've done everything the other boys have been doing. There's been no reaction so far, touch wood," Solskjaer told MUTV.

"When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from."

United's players had spent the previous two months training alone, but Solskjaer has no complaints about their fitness and is hopeful he can take the next step to full-contact training.

"The players have been looking after themselves," he said. "They've done well. Charlie [Owen] the fitness coach, Kieran [McKenna], Michael [Carrick] and Martyn [Pert] have been on to them all the time. They've not had many days off!

"There have been video calls and of course the last couple of weeks they’ve been stepping it up.

"The boys have been fantastic, the weather's been good and they've enjoyed it.

"Hopefully now we've proved we can do this safely and we can move to the next step. It's been really enjoyable being on the training ground again.

"Everyone's looking sharp, everyone's been in with a good mood and we've been splitting up in groups so [working in] fours and fives together and they've really done well. 

"Hopefully, they can as I said, step up and go to bigger training groups but so far it's been good."

Alex Ferguson was joined by coaching staff at Manchester United's training base, The Cliff, as normal at 9am on Friday May 28, 1999.

It was like any other pre-season planning meeting, as the men looked ahead to the 1999-2000 campaign over bacon sandwiches and cups of tea.

But, really, it wasn't like any of the planning sessions to have come before for Ferguson and his staff.

Less than 24 hours earlier they had all been on an open-top bus parade around Manchester, showing off an unprecedented treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League to an estimated 700,000 supporters.

The crowning achievement of that treble came the night before the parade, on May 26, 1999 in Barcelona – it was Ferguson's masterpiece, the iconic victory of his association with United.

The Road to Barcelona

United's route to the 1999 Champions League final was by no means straightforward – they were grouped with eventual runners-up Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Brondby, with the Catalans ultimately the one of the three giants to fall before the knockout phase.

A 3-1 aggregate win over Inter followed in the quarter-finals, helped massively by Dwight Yorke's brace in the 2-0 home-leg triumph, before a chaotic showdown with Juventus in the semis.

Ryan Giggs salvaged United a 1-1 draw with an emphatic late strike at Old Trafford in their first meeting, but United appeared to be crashing out in comprehensive fashion when Filippo Inzaghi netted a brace inside the first 11 minutes in Turin – his second taking a wicked deflection off Jaap Stam and looping over Peter Schmeichel.

But a satisfying glancing header from Roy Keane put United back in it, before Yorke's diving header levelled it on the night and gave them the away-goals advantage.

Andy Cole rounded things off late on, tucking in from an acute angle after Yorke had been felled by Angelo Peruzzi. United were in the final for the first time in 31 years.

'That night in Barcelona'

Ferguson stood on the Camp Nou touchline in the build-up to kick-off. He turned back towards the crowd and just stared as a mass of photographers swarmed in front of him.

He was a picture of calm, pure zen, as he gazed into the seemingly endless maw of seats in Barcelona's gigantic stadium. What was going through his mind? Who knows, but the idea of what would unravel before his eyes was surely not in his wildest dreams.

"My lack of vanity precludes me from being gutted about it," Ferguson had said in his pre-match news conference, as he was reminded of the fact rivals and detractors used his previous lack of Champions League success as a stick to beat him with. "I think what I've achieved stands for itself, and I'm lucky to be able to do that. What I've won as a manager – I'm blessed, so why should I look upon failure to win a European Cup as a tragedy for me?"

Anyone suggesting United were already at a disadvantage at kick-off might've had a point, as they were without the suspended Keane and Paul Scholes, and within six minutes Mario Basler's free-kick found its way into the bottom-right corner.

The many chances continued to come and go for a dominant Bayern, who had Samuel Kuffour marshalling Cole expertly. United were fortunate to be only 1-0 down at the break.

"[Ferguson] then said to us, 'This is the European Cup final - some of you may never get here again - make sure when you come in at full-time knowing that you have given your all and left nothing on the pitch'," Cole recalled of his manager's half-time team talk years later.

The Bayern onslaught continued. Mehmet Scholl's delicate chip hit the post and fell into Schmeichel's arms, before a Carsten Jancker overhead kick came back off the crossbar.

"When the chip hit the post, I didn't turn around at first because I knew that was 2-0 – when I saw it hit the post and come straight back to me, I knew we'd win," Schmeichel told UEFA in 2018.

And United duly rallied.

'Football. Bloody hell.'

Teddy Sheringham had been introduced from the bench for Jesper Blomqvist, leaving United with a single central midfielder – Nicky Butt – as David Beckham moved back towards the right and Giggs to the left.

Lothar Matthaus' withdrawal 10 minutes from time, he felt, emboldened United. Soon after, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Cole, leaving Ferguson's men with three up top – they were not about to give up without a final push.

"On the bench, we all thought we'd won. There was nothing to suggest United would score. What followed was unbelievable – it was like watching a horror film," Matthaus reflected.

As United enjoyed a late flurry, a Denis Irwin cross in the 90th minute was deflected behind. The corner could only be cleared as far as Giggs on the edge of the box, and his scuffed shot was turned in by Sheringham in similarly scruffy fashion, sparking scenes of disbelief on both benches – Oliver Kahn's half-hearted offside appeal falling on deaf ears.

Another attack up the left, this time led by Solskjaer, brought a second corner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Another tantalising Beckham delivery was this time met cleanly by a United head, Sheringham glancing it on, and before anyone could work out whether it was heading wide or not, the now iconic sentence was uttered on British commentary: "And Solskjaer has won it!"

With Kuffour getting drawn towards the centre of the box, Solskjaer was left in space and he stuck out his right foot to divert Sheringham's flick-on into the roof of the net.

Even in a match as unpredictable as this, United knew there was no way back for the German champions after two goals in 103 seconds. "All the Bayern players were on the floor - they didn't even want to kick off again. We knew we'd won it," Ferguson's assistant at the time, Steve McLaren, once said to the Daily Mail.

Bayern players, officials and sympathisers weren't shy in their lambasting of United and their luck afterwards – though Ferguson's succinct appraisal of the situation summed it up a little better in a post-match interview with ITV: "Football, bloody hell."

Ferguson's career with United was a truly remarkable success – the longevity, the trophies, the 'Fergie time'.

They all sum up this incredible era for United, and that night in Barcelona will be remembered as Ferguson's magnum opus.

But the defining moment? That came 36 hours later, as Ferguson's unrivalled work ethic had him already planning his next successes when anyone else would have surely been nursing the mother of all hangovers.

Manchester United completed an unprecedented treble in Barcelona and NBA legend Vince Carter was also celebrating on this day 21 years ago.

Bayern Munich were on the brink of winning the Champions League at Camp Nou, but late goals from Teddy Sheringham and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for Alex Ferguson's men.

May 26, 1999 is also a date for Carter to reflect on with great memories, as he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, while history was made by India batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly on the same day.

A decade earlier Arsenal snatched the First Division title from Liverpool at Anfield with a last-gasp strike from Michael Thomas.

 

1989 - Thomas fires Gunners to title

It came down to the final match of the season to decide who would be crowned champions of England 31 years ago.

Liverpool had overtaken the wobbling Gunners to take a three-point lead, but a victory by a margin of two goals or more would be enough for George Graham's side to take the title.

Alan Smith put the London club in front seven minutes into the second half to get the nerves jangling even more on such a tense evening on Merseyside.

Arsenal looked to have fallen just short of winning the First Division for the first time in 18 years, but Thomas surged through from midfield to win it right at the end and Arsenal took the title on goals scored with a stunning 2-0 victory.

 

1999 - Solskjaer leaves Bayern crestfallen in Barcelona

Bayern appeared to have dashed United's hopes of becoming the first team to win the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season.

Mario Basler's early strike put the Bavarian giants in front and that looked to be enough for Ottmar Hitzfeld's well-drilled side to lift the trophy at Camp Nou.

United had almost run out of ideas but with three minutes of added time shown on the fourth official's board, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel came up for a corner that eventually resulted in Sheringham sweeping home following a scuffed shot from Ryan Giggs.

There was one final twist as Bayern were hit with the sucker punch, Sheringham nodding on another corner and Solskjaer prodding in from close range to spark wild celebrations.

 

1999 - Carter 'not surprised' by Rookie MVP gong

Carter was a revelation in his debut NBA season for the Toronto Raptors.

He averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game, subsequently securing 113 of the 118 first-placed votes to be named the best rookie in the league.

Carter said after learning he had landed the award: "I can't say I'm surprised. But I'm overjoyed."

The Raptors missed out on the playoffs, but Carter gave them plenty of grounds for optimism and he has gone on to become an eight-time NBA All-Star.

 

1999 - Ganguly and Dravid slay Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka bowlers who faced India in a Cricket World Cup contest in Taunton must have had nightmares over this day in Taunton 21 years ago.

It was Dravid and Ganguly who might have given them sleepless nights as they piled on 318 for the second wicket - an ODI record at the time.

The magnificent partnership, now the third-highest for the second wicket in the 50-over format at international level, enabled India to post 373-6 and go on to win by 157 runs.

Ganguly made a sublime 183 off 158 balls and the classy Dravid 145 from 129 deliveries on a painful May day for Sri Lanka.

Luke Shaw has got his self-belief back and credits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with providing the spark that reignited his Manchester United career.

The left-back faced public criticism at times from previous boss Jose Mourinho, whose tough-love approach failed to bring the best out of the former Southampton player.

But Solskjaer has adopted different tactics in working with the United squad to his Portuguese predecessor.

Shaw, for one, is feeling the benefit of Solskjaer's support, and he says there is "massive respect" for the Norwegian throughout the dressing room.

"He's helped me a lot on the pitch, but more so he's been one of the biggest influences off the pitch too, with the way he handles players," Shaw said.

"He knows what players need. I had a difficult couple of years before he came in; I think maybe he realised that and knew what I needed. He's really helped me off the pitch. He obviously believes in me, he tells me that. That's the confidence you need as a player: to have the manager believe in you."

Speaking on the United website, Shaw said Solskjaer has allowed the kinship between himself and his players to blossom.

"We also get on really well, and that's a key thing: your relationship off the pitch," Shaw said.

"I know he's the manager, and we all have massive respect for him, but it's also important to have a nice relationship off the pitch too sometimes, when things aren't too serious."

Shaw was brought to Old Trafford by Louis van Gaal in 2014, establishing himself in the first team under the Dutchman, who was succeeded by Mourinho.

When Mourinho's tenure ran its course by December 2018, after two and a half years, Solskjaer was the surprise choice to step in, initially as an interim boss.

There have been struggles along the way, but United have looked a markedly sharper team since late January.

Solskjaer has brought the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes to the club.

"I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place," Shaw said.

Chief among those improvements, according to Shaw, has been signing players not only with the technical capabilities to play for United, but the human qualities that improve a squad.

"He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well," Shaw said. "They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he would "rather have a hole in the squad than an a*****e" as he praised the improved mentality at the club.

After an impressive start to life in the Old Trafford dugout, initially as interim boss in December 2018, Solskjaer endured a miserable end to last season, with two wins in their final 12 games in all competitions.

A humiliating 4-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park prompted Solskjaer to state that certain players would not be a part of his planned rebuild of the squad.

In the next transfer window, the United boss allowed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave for Inter without signing a replacement forward, while the loaning of Chris Smalling to Roma was also sanctioned.

United spent big on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James before landing Bruno Fernandes in January for an initial fee of close to £47million.

The Red Devils have endured mixed form this term but seemed to be back on track before the season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, with United on an 11-game unbeaten run that included a 2-0 derby win over Manchester City.

Solskjaer says the mental fortitude of his squad is far more positive now that there are no more "personal agendas" among the players.

Speaking to the United We Stand fanzine, he said: "I'd rather have a hole in the squad than an a******e. Personality is so important. We're a team in a team environment.

"You want players to have a bit of ego and edge, but they have to be able to adapt.

"In March 2019, players were physically tired, mentally tired and we had injuries. The players started with negative thinking, whereas now it's positive thinking.

"There were other things I didn't like last year, some personal agendas which couldn't be sorted out until the summer.

"There will always be players who want to play more in football, but if a team is to be successful then players have to be available at different times. I feel in this group we don't have one bad apple."

United's poor form at the end of 2018-19 came after their shock 3-1 win away to Paris Saint-Germain that saw them reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

"When you win, everything is easy. It's when you hit difficult times that you can see who you want and who has the right mentality," said Solskjaer.

"We didn't see that until after Paris, when we went into a bad run. That's when I saw who I could build a long-term, successful squad around. You need some egos in football, but it has to be team first.

"I could see more and more at the end of the season what needed improving."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to thrust Paul Pogba back into Premier League action alongside Bruno Fernandes at the heart of Manchester United's midfield.

Ankle and foot woes have kept World Cup winner Pogba sidelined for large parts of the season and he has yet to feature alongside January recruit Fernandes.

In Pogba's absence, playmaker Fernandes made an eye-catching start to life in the Premier League after joining from Sporting CP for £67.6million (€80m).

There is persistent speculation that Pogba could leave Old Trafford at the end of the campaign, but Solskjaer will want to see how he and Fernandes function together beforehand.

Asked whether the star duo could be paired up, Solskjaer said: "Good players can always play together, so definitely it's a big yes.

"But then I've got Scott [McTominay], Fred, I've got Nemanja [Matic], so I've got three players there as well.

"You can't just play with midfielders either. There's many games coming up and I'm sure we'll find a good connection between them."

Manager Solskjaer said he "definitely" thinks Pogba will be ready for the resumption of the Premier League season, potentially just weeks away having been on hold since March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The same applies to United's England striker Marcus Rashford, who sustained a back injury in January.

"Paul's had a difficult season with injuries, he's said that himself. Of course Marcus [Rashford] as well is getting back," Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

"So for us, or for them two, this gives them a chance to start on a par with, or even ahead of, other players if and when we get going.

"They've been focused. Mentally it's maybe easier for them to train harder now because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Asked about his burgeoning ranks of midfield talent, a beaming Solskjaer said: "I think it's exciting. We do have an exciting squad.

"Of course, Bruno coming in, making the impact he made, has been great for everyone. It was a boost for the club, for the supporters, for the players, and getting Paul and Marcus back would be fantastic.

"We're in really good shape fitness-wise, Marcus being out for four months and now getting back. We're positive, we're looking forward to starting when and if that will be."

Solskjaer hopes football in England will be back sooner rather than later.

"You do have that little bit of feeling and definitely hope that we'll be back soon," he said.

"It's been so long, but then then if you go a month back you think, 'We'll be there soon,' and that's been one of the most difficult things for players and for myself: the unknown, the uncertainty of when are we going to get back training, when are we going to get back playing."

He said United's players were either already at home in the Manchester area or would have returned from foreign bases by the end of Friday, insisting the squad could "turn around quickly if something happens".

Marcus Rashford can be one of the best attackers in the world, according to Manchester United team-mate Nemanja Matic.

England international Rashford has scored 19 goals and supplied five assists in 31 appearances for United this season, making it the most prolific campaign of his career.

The 22-year-old has not featured since the 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolves in January, having sustained a double stress fracture in his back.

With the Premier League not expected to restart until mid-June due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rashford may be fit enough to help United push for Champions League qualification.

Asked to name United's best player by the Guardian, Matic said: "We have a lot of young players, but they have maybe not reached their top yet, but Marcus Rashford has the ability to be one of the best players in the world in his position.

"He's still improving, but he has everything to reach that top level."

The stoppage in global football came as United were enjoying an 11-game unbeaten run that saw them keep nine clean sheets.

Their upturn in form came shortly after the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in a deal potentially worth £67.6million (€80m).

Fernandes has been involved in seven goals (three scored, four assisted) in his nine appearances and Matic was not expecting the Portugal international to have such an immediate impact.

"Because I follow the Portuguese league, I knew he was good – even though he played for Sporting!" said former Benfica midfielder Matic.

"But I'm very surprised he adapted so quickly to the Premier League. He brings us a lot of qualities, like the confidence he has on the pitch – he always knows what he wants to do with the ball."

Matic is confident United are heading in the right direction under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He said: "Ole is a great manager. I think he has improved a lot since he came to United, and he is different now. I'm sure he has a great future here, and he will win us trophies."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been key to most of the improvements that have been made at Manchester United since Jose Mourinho left, according to Luke Shaw.

Solskjaer was brought in as Mourinho's replacement on a temporary basis in December 2018, but after inspiring a significant upturn in form, he was given a full-time contract in March.

Performances and results dipped dramatically from then until the end of last season and issues seemed to remain at the start of 2019-20, but United had hit their best run of form since Solskjaer's appointment before the coronavirus pandemic led to a suspension in March.

United were unbeaten in 11 matches across all competitions, a run that included two wins over Manchester City, a 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and back-to-back 5-0 triumphs in the Europa League against Club Brugge and LASK.

Shaw – who has been at Old Trafford since 2014 – highlighted the unity that has developed in the squad, suggesting it has been even more evident during the lockdown.

"It's great to see everyone helping each other out," he said in a diary entry on United's official website. "Carras [Michael Carrick, first-team coach] was on the group call the other day, praising us for looking after ourselves because everybody looks the same [in terms of physical assessments] as before lockdown, so he's happy.

"Everyone's working hard, we're pushing each other with our runs and helping each other out. Hopefully everyone can be back working together at the training ground soon.

"There really is a great feel about this group of lads now, and that has been the case for a while. I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place.

"When he came in, he knew what was needed, what had to change to get things up and running again. He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well. They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group."

Harry Maguire has been credited with having a particularly impressive impact off the pitch, with the pre-season signing from Leicester City already becoming club captain following Ashley Young's move to Inter in January.

Shaw feels Maguire's efforts have been focused on creating a better mentality in the group, with players agreeing to a code of conduct that sees them accept a fine if they miss bonding activities.

"He [Maguire] is really trying to make sure we get more things done together as a group going forward," Shaw continued. "Young was brilliant, really tried his hardest, but sometimes it was difficult to get things done as a group.

"Now we've made a pact that whenever a team bonding thing happens, we all have to do it or we get fined. It's great for the team to be together and do things together.

"In some groups, sometimes, there are people who just don't get on, which is natural when you've got big groups, but I honestly believe that in our squad everyone gets on really well.

"We all love each other, we all want to push each other to be the best and, of course, to get United as a club back to where it needs to be."

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