Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job at Manchester United is the subject of ongoing speculation.
He has not helped himself with some of his team selections, while this season has also seen several of his stars let him down.
With the MEN reporting Mauricio Pochettino is being lined up as a replacement and contact has already taken place, it does appear like the writing is on the wall for Solskjaer and it is only a matter of time.
Solskjaer may be able to salvage his job with a good run of results. It’s possible. But it is going to be tough.
If the axe does fall, Solskjaer’s spell will be remembered with a big ‘what if’, regarding the players he wanted to sign – but couldn’t.
None more so than Erling Haaland. United tried to sign the Norwegian, and could not get the job done.
Haaland signed with Borussia Dortmund in January. Since then he has scored a staggering 26 goals in 28 games.
His form is not surprising considering the prolific form he had for Red Bull Salzburg last season.
The Evening Standard reported that Solskjaer held talks with Haaland before negotiations broke down.
The club blamed everything from agent Mino Raiola to pressure to include a release clause. United did not want to deal with either.
While understandable to an extent, Manchester United in 2020 with Haaland in the team would be a totally different proposition.
You would fancy United to have got through at least one of the three semi-finals the team lost, and then go on to perhaps even win a trophy.
Haaland looks to be a really special talent, and United missed out, big time.
Solskjaer should blame himself to an extent too. He managed Haaland at Molde and gave him his debut.
Why did he not recommend and urge United to buy him when he joined as interim boss, on a low fee, or even in the summer of 2019 when he was permanent manager?
United were reactive to his Red Bull Salzburg form, rather than proactive – and ended up missing out on his signing as a result.
Haaland continues to bang in the goals, with two more in the Champions League in midweek.
The Norwegian striker far from the only player Solskjaer missed out on – but he was the biggest difference maker, and available at a bargain price.
Solskjaer ended up with Odion Ighalo instead, who this week was not even one of the five substitutes brought off the bench with United chasing a goal.
The board have a lot to answer for. You can only hope that if Solskjaer is fired, then his replacement is given a chance to sign his first choice targets.
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