Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has bemoaned the “difficult” nature of the January transfer window and hinted at a possible Manchester United return for Alexis Sanchez.
Solskjaer could not provide an update on the pursuit of Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes, and while there is still a chance the Portugal international can arrive at Old Trafford with a deal still to be done within the two clubs, United have less time to complete a move before Friday’s deadline.
United remain some way apart on what they are willing to pay and what Sporting want for the 27-year-old – but Old Trafford chiefs are keen not to repeat the mistakes of previous windows and will not panic buy, fuelling a chance they will not make a signing before Friday’s deadline, reports NobleSport
“I haven’t got any updates for you on transfers,” Solskjaer said. “I haven’t got anything to say now.
“If there is something out there, then the club are pursuing that and looking at it. It is difficult this window – it’s always been. I can’t remember how many good deals that we’ve brought in in January.
“Henrik (Larsson)… Nemanja (Vidic) and Patrice (Evra) – they were two good ones.
It’s hard, it’s very hard because the clubs don’t want to lose their best players.”
‘Sanchez will prove you wrong’
Two years ago United made a major swoop in January by signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, but the Chile forward struggled at Old Trafford, scoring just five goals in 45 appearances before joining Inter Milan on loan last summer.
Despite allowing him to leave the club, Solskjaer suggested the former Barcelona forward could still make a success of his United career when his loan to Serie A finishes at the end of the season.
“Alexis will come back in the summer and prove you all wrong,” Solskjaer said following a question from the media.
After watching his side produce one of their most disappointing displays of the season in a 2-0 loss at home to Burnley last week, Solskjaer insisted the club needed “quality” signings.
However, with just three days until the January transfer window closes, United’s only reinforcements look set to come in the form of players returning from injury.
Key midfielders Scott McTominay (knee) and Paul Pogba (ankle) have both been out since December, but could be in line for February returns.
“It’s hard to put timescales on long-term injuries because they also need the training before they’re injury free,” Solskjaer said.
“Paul’s had his cast off and Scott’s took his braces off, so at least now they can start doing some work on the grass soon.”
‘Perfect performance needed at City’
The midfield duo’s absence adds to the already-difficult task United face as they travel to local rivals Manchester City on Wednesday for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final trailing 3-1.
City led 3-0 after a dominant first half at Old Trafford, but United produced a stronger display after the break to keep the tie alive going to the Etihad.
United overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in last season’s Champions League round of 16, and Solskjaer has urged his players to call upon that experience.
“It looked like it was over at half-time [of the first leg] because the second part of that first half they outplayed us for a while,” Solskjaer said.
“Now we’ve got to go into memory bank and think PSG, because we’ve done it against good teams before and it gives us some hope, and the game in December of course gives us hope that we can do something there.
“It has to be a perfect performance to win by two goals against such a good team away from home.”