EPL

I've got seven centre-backs – Solskjaer dismisses Ake to Man Utd speculation

By Sports Desk July 08, 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed the idea of signing Bournemouth's Nathan Ake after a video appearing to show the Manchester United manager suggesting he wanted to do a deal for the centre-back went viral.

United crushed Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday, with Ake featuring for the visitors at Old Trafford.

At full-time, Solskjaer greeted Ake and briefly exchanged words, and a clip of that moment was shared on social media with subtitles suggesting the Norwegian told the Netherlands international he was hoping to buy a left-footed centre-back.

Unsurprisingly it led to considerable debate and interest on social channels, though Solskjaer has distanced himself from his alleged comments.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday's Premier League trip to Aston Villa, Solskjaer said: "I've got seven centre-backs.

"I don't know where that's come from. We're fine."

Another player who has been strongly linked with a switch to Old Trafford this season is Jack Grealish, who will be hoping to impress at Villa Park on Thursday.

The attacking midfielder caught the eye and scored a spectacular goal when the two teams played out a 2-2 draw in December, though Solskjaer would not be lured into a trap by lavishing him with praise, adamant United cannot afford to just concentrate on the playmaker.

"I think in the last game they caused us some problems, both Grealish off left and [Anwar] El Ghazi on right," he said.  

"He [Grealish] scored a fantastic goal. There's been loads said about him and we need to be aware of him, if he's off the left, middle or right.

"He attracts players to him but there's not just one player in that Villa team, there are a lot of them."

United go to Villa Park 16 matches unbeaten across all competitions and, following Leicester City's 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Tuesday, know victory will leave them just a point off fourth.

Solskjaer still feels United need to win their remaining five matches to secure a top-four finish, however, with their final game a potentially vital showdown with Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

"I think so, yes, you never know what's going to happen but it looks like teams around are playing well," he added.

"There are so many games, if you win every single one, we're in the top four. We cannot rely on help from anyone else, have to do it ourselves and go into next season we can put other challenges into teams."

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