Solskjaer dismisses Kane links as Van der Sar distances himself from Man United role

By Sports Desk October 23, 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Manchester United's striking options following Roy Keane's suggestion the club should sign Harry Kane, while former team-mate Edwin van der Sar has distanced himself from the vacant director of football role.

Following United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, ex-captain Keane – working as a pundit for Sky Sports – stated United should purchase England forward Kane from Tottenham to solve their issues up front.

Marcus Rashford scored in the stalemate at Old Trafford, taking his tally of league goals for the season to four, but Solskjaer's options up front have been diminished by Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leaving for Inter, while Anthony Martial is only just returning from injury.

Solskjaer insists he is satisfied with his current pool of strikers, although acknowledged having a player of Kane's quality would always be a bonus.

"Roy's quite straightforward, isn't he," Solskjaer told a news conference when asked about his former team-mate's comments ahead of United's Europa League meeting with Partizan Belgrade.

"For us it's [about] working hard. Getting Anthony back is going to be a massive boost for us and I'm sure, when he comes back, that'll help Marcus as well. 

"With the forwards we've got and the pace, I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.

"There aren't many [Robert] Lewandowskis and Harry Kanes - they're like [Alan] Shearer, [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, fantastic players.

"Ours are different types of players but I like someone who can finish half a chance and Harry does that, but Harry's a Tottenham player."

With United's transfer dealings having come under scrutiny in previous seasons, the club are reportedly still in search of a director of football.

One name consistently linked with taking up the position has been former United goalkeeper Van der Sar, who has enjoyed success as Ajax's chief executive officer. 

However, Van der Sar says he is not considering leaving the Eredivisie champions at the moment, telling BT Sport: "I've said before, I want to make this a success at Ajax.

"As a player, you always needed to build up qualities and your strengths. Now I'm trying it out and experiencing a lot of different things here, I've still some unfinished business here.

"If we could have taken it one step further last year [getting to the Champions League final], it could have been a step already, but at the moment I'm concentrating on Ajax."

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    United claimed their second successive victory as they secured a 2-1 derby victory over Manchester City on Saturday, three days after defeating Tottenham - managed by former boss Jose Mourinho - by the same scoreline.

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    With Marcus Rashford having already matched his total tally of league goals from last season and Anthony Martial having netted what proved to be the winner against City, Maguire believes United's frontline has the quality to push them towards Champions League qualification.

    However, the England centre-back is adamant United's squad will stay grounded, with the league outside of the top four still heavily congested.

    "I think you need to look after your own results, don't look elsewhere, keep winning games," Maguire told Sky Sports. "We've won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We've got another big game next week now.

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    - A 1-1 draw at Udinese on Saturday left Napoli winless in nine matches, further increasing the pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti. CalcioMercato reports a lack of good options to replace Ancelotti have bought the Italian more time, but Napoli must beat Genk in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    - At Everton, Shanghai SIPG coach Vitor Pereira is the favourite to be named Marco Silva's successor, according to the Daily Mail. David Moyes and Eddie Howe are reportedly the other leading candidates.

    - Chris Smalling has impressed while on loan at Roma. Now, Inter and Juventus have joined Roma in wanting to sign the defender permanently from Manchester United, according to Sport Witness.

    - Seemingly no longer in Chelsea's plans, Pedro could be set to leave Stamford Bridge. The Daily Mail reports Aston Villa are ready to offer the Spanish forward a way out of the club.

    - Inter are interested in Parma midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, who is on loan from Atalanta, according to CalcioMercato.

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    The versatile 34-year-old announced his decision on Monday, Football Federation Australia (FFA) confirmed in a statement.

    Part of the 2015 Asian Cup-winning squad, Milligan also captained the Socceroos and his 80 caps are the equal eighth most in the nation's history.

    "It has been a privilege to be involved with the Socceroos over the last 14-odd years. To be able to represent my country over that time is above and beyond anything I could have dreamed of," the Southend United man said.

    "It hasn't always been smooth sailing – it was always going to be difficult to try and break into a squad full of Australian superstars. But I was given a chance, and just to be involved with players from Australia's 'golden generation' and learn my trade from them was an absolute gift that I will be forever grateful for.

    "I was lucky to work under some wonderful coaches in my international career. Thank you to Guus Hiddink for first bringing me into the Socceroos' setup, and the late Pim Verbeek for keeping my dream alive. Thank you to Holger Osieck for handing me the captain's armband for the first time.

    "A special thank you to Ange Postecoglou who showed great faith in me and gave me my first start at a World Cup, and a chance to play in the Asian Cup final. Ange taught me so much both in club and international football.

    "Thank you to Bert van Marwijk and Mark van Bommel who put a lot of trust in me over the short time that they were in charge, and thank you to Graham Arnold who had a massive hand in me being called into the national setup way back when and named me captain over the last year. Being able to lead this team as captain over that time has been an absolute honour and something I will treasure forever.

    "I wish the boys the best of luck going forward, knowing with Arnie in charge and a wonderful leadership group in place that the future is bright. There are exciting times ahead and I look forward to supporting the team along with the rest of the country."

    Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold hailed Milligan's contribution in Australia colours.

    "I am so proud of Mark and the career that he has had. Mark's commitment and desire for Australian football is up there with the best and I feel privileged to have been involved with him at the start and end of his international career," he said.

    "Not many players can claim to have represented Australia at four World Cups, three Asian Cups, a Confederations Cup, as well as an Olympic Games. When you add in his tremendous club career, which includes two Hyundai A-League championships, a premiership, and a Joe Marston Medal, it is clear that Mark's contribution to Australian football over a long period has been significant."

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