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Solskjaer won't tolerate Manchester United players 'driven by money or fame'

By Opta
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester, April 28: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he will not tolerate players at Manchester United who are "driven by money or fame".

The United manager is expected to lead an overhaul of the squad in the wake of another disappointing campaign in which the Red Devils have been left well off the pace set by Premier League title challengers Manchester City and Liverpool, and have lost seven of their past nine games in all competitions.

There is speculation that a significant part of the first-team squad could be moved on in the transfer window, with Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Antonio Valencia likely to depart on free transfers and the futures of Paul Pogba, David de Gea, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian unclear.

Sanchez in particular has proved a costly problem for the club, the former Arsenal star contributing only three league goals since joining in January 2018 on a contract reportedly worth a basic wage of £395,000 per week.

And Solskjaer has warned his priority will be to form a group of players whose main concern is footballing success, rather than the possible contract riches on offer at Old Trafford.

"We want the player with the right quality and the right personality. That's it," he said ahead of Sunday's showdown with Chelsea, which United realistically need to win to keep their top-four hopes alive.

"All my life, I've believed in human beings and what drives people and what makes you successful in the end. Driven by money or fame, they are not right for Man United – or my team.

"It was the same when I was in Molde, Cardiff [City]... I need players who reflect me as a person and my values. We don't want them if they are only coming because they were ­offered 20 per cent more.

"You can't say that we haven't invested enough money. If you look at the money that's been spent, the owners have invested loads of cash, and will continue that.

"I've been in meetings and we've had discussions about that. But you can't change the team in one transfer window. It isn't going to happen overnight, but we have the time frame and we have the backing."

Solskjaer has been criticised by former United midfielder Paul Ince for a perceived fixation on trying to replicate the methods of ex-manager Alex Ferguson, who retired six years ago.

But the Norwegian insists he is not trying to copy the style of his old boss, saying: "We are doing things differently to all the previous managers.

"We can't try to copy Sir Alex and be successful, because he was unique. We have to do our own way. We have a different generation of players. Maybe some of them could not have handled the Sir Alex way of managing but that doesn't matter.

"We look to do it our way. They know the history of the club and what he achieved, and it means a lot for everyone but it can't linger on.

"I speak to the players all the time, they know my expectations and standards. I have got three years here now and I am going to do whatever I can to make this club successful.

"We do that together, it is not players against managers here. Supporters know, we know, we are doing this together and working together to improve. We are all in this together."

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Story first published: Sunday, April 28, 2019, 4:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 28, 2019
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