Jurgen Klopp insists he could not hold Pep Guardiola in higher esteem despite the Manchester City manager's recent comments about Liverpool "diving".

Mane scored a late winner for Liverpool in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa but was earlier shown a yellow card for simulation, having previously been criticised after winning a contentious late spot-kick against Leicester City.

Guardiola seemed to take a swipe at the Senegal forward by telling BBC Sport "sometimes he is diving", prompting Klopp to defend his player and hit back at City by accusing them of the "tactical fouls" the Catalan has often insisted he does not encourage.

The issue has dominated much of the build-up to Sunday's huge showdown between the top two at Anfield, but Klopp has sought to move on by underlining his respect for his opposite number, after Guardiola backtracked by saying he did not mean to accuse Mane of cheating.

"I am in the same situation as him: we constantly get asked questions and sometimes we say at that second what is in our minds without thinking about anything else," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"He explained it well, he said when he speaks to his kids it's like this, was it a penalty or not – that's a discussion they had at home.

"I am completely fine with that. I couldn't have more respect for Pep Guardiola, I've known him for so long. It's still a big thing to be his contender. To me, he's the best manager in the world and we have the chance to win against his team, which is very difficult but it's possible. We've had a few good results against them so from my side there is nothing but respect."

Klopp also admitted he would prefer to take back his comment on tactical fouls, saying: "I then said what I said but come on, I can't let it go completely without a comment! But I am really not interested. I think there's enough to write about, it's not necessary that we make it bigger.

"If I could do it again, I wouldn't say it [the line about the tactical fouls] because it's just not necessary. I know from the other side as well, there is a lot of respect there. Everything else will be decided on the pitch."

Liverpool, whose last Premier League defeat was away to City in January, are six points clear of the champions at the top of the table heading into the encounter on Merseyside.

Klopp certainly plans to go for the win rather than focus on avoiding defeat, but he does not think the match will prove decisive in the title race.

"We know about the situation last year and we only lost one game, against City, and that was decisive at the end, and that's how people maybe see it, but you have to play all the games. If we win against City and don't win another game after that, there's no use," said the Reds manager.

"There is so much still to come. November, December and January are coming.

"Maybe other people [who] are smarter than me can see it like this. For me it's a 100 per cent win game. This must-win thing I've never understood.

"For us to prepare for a game like this, you have to do the right things again and again.

"I can imagine people are saying we must not lose and they must win. I don't really care – we want to win. And then we will see what the situation is. It's a big one, we know that. The whole world will be watching and I'm looking forward to it.

"In the last couple of years, we've gained a lot of respect for each other, not that I didn't have respect for City and Pep Guardiola teams already. City's performance at Anfield last year was the biggest show of respect I ever got because they played differently to what they usually do.

"I like to think about what we can do. We play at home but the game there we lost by 11 millimetres because the ball was not in. Without that it would be another draw and it would be deserved. I expect a tight game."

City goalkeeper Ederson is a doubt after going off at half-time of the 1-1 Champions League draw at Atalanta on Wednesday, but Klopp expects the Brazil international to play.

"If he couldn't play it would change [things] because he's an important part of their game," he said. "[Claudio] Bravo can do certain things he can do but I expect him to play 100 per cent. Last night was precautionary."

Tottenham still expect Hugo Lloris to return to training early next year despite the goalkeeper having to undergo surgery on his left elbow.

Lloris, 32, suffered a dislocated elbow and damaged ligaments following an awkward fall in Spurs' 3-0 Premier League defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on October 5.

The club initially said an operation was not required, as a period of "rest and rehabilitation under the supervision of our medical staff" beckoned for the France international.

But in a statement released on Thursday, Spurs revealed surgery was "advised after further reviews by specialists found the elbow remained unstable".

Nevertheless, Lloris is still predicted to be back in training in early 2020.

Talk of diving and tactical fouls has only added fuel to the fire as Liverpool and Manchester City face off in a mouth-watering top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Anfield.

The unbeaten league-leading Reds needed an 87th-minute header from Andy Robertson and an injury-time winner from Sadio Mane to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 last time out and preserve a six-point cushion over City.

Champions City needed to rally themselves to overcome Southampton, after which manager Pep Guardiola stoked the fires by saying of Liverpool's star forward Mane: "Sometimes he [Mane] is diving. Sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He's a talent."

It was a suggestion Klopp bridled at and, although Guardiola later sought to clarify the meaning of his comments, Liverpool's German boss could not resist a cheeky jibe at past accusations his rival's side commit "tactical fouls".

It has undoubtedly added an intriguing sub-plot ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited Premier League matches in recent memory as Liverpool seek to significantly boost their bid to end a near 30-year wait for top-flight glory.

Last season, Liverpool lost just once in the league but still missed out by a solitary point to City, who it is fair to say have failed to excel when playing at Anfield.

 

PEP'S KLOPP HOODOO ENDING?

Guardiola's record would stand up against any coach he has faced, but in Klopp he undoubtedly has a genuine rival.

Since becoming Barcelona boss in 2008, Guardiola has lost more matches across all competitions against the former Borussia Dortmund coach than any other manager, with the German triumphing on seven occasions.

City's Catalan boss is unbeaten in his past three encounters with Klopp; however, never before has he gone four games without losing against him.

In the Premier League, there is no splitting the duo with Guardiola and Klopp holding two wins apiece and a couple of draws from the six times they have faced one another in the competition.

Klopp should take solace from some home comforts. Five of the seven wins he holds over Guardiola have come when his team have been at their own stadium, including three with Liverpool at Anfield.

Under Guardiola, City have failed to score in just six of 62 Premier League away games and three of those have come on Merseyside – two against Liverpool and once against Everton.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ALISSON V EDERSON

Alisson and Ederson are not just rivals for the gloves at international level with Brazil, they are also crucial to the way Liverpool and City play.

The Reds forked out a reported £66.8million to sign Alisson from Roma in July 2018 and that outlay was repaid during a fine Golden Glove-winning debut season that yielded 21 clean sheets and saw just 22 goals conceded.

Injury has restricted Liverpool's first-choice keeper to just four league outings this term, including the opener against Norwich when he was subbed off with a calf problem, and he has an impressive minutes-to-goals-conceded ratio of 103.

Crucial to modern-day goalkeeping is the ability to play out from the back and Alisson brings that to the Reds, boasting a passing accuracy of 83.9 per cent.

Ederson has been equally crucial to City's domestic dominance under Guardiola, winning the Premier League title in his first two campaigns at the Etihad Stadium, including a league, FA Cup and EFL Cup treble in 2018-19.

This term, he has kept five clean sheets in 11 league appearances, conceding 10 goals and possessing a save percentage of 74.4.

As expected, Ederson's passing accuracy is high – 90.1 per cent – and he will have to be typically quick with his feet against the brilliance of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

FORM GUIDE: ANFIELD A FORTRESS FOR LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are unbeaten in 28 consecutive Premier League games, which represents the eighth best streak in the competition's history.

At Anfield, Klopp's side are on an even more impressive run having not tasted defeat on home soil in 45 league games – only Chelsea's 86-game run that ended in October 2008 can beat that.

City will have to go some to prevent Liverpool from finding the back of the net, with the Merseysiders scoring in 20 straight league matches – the last time they failed to register was a goalless draw with Everton in March.

Guardiola's side have lost two of their last seven league games, having been beaten just once in 23 prior to that, but they have won 13 of their past 15 away matches.

Liverpool only have one win from their most recent five league encounters with City – a 4-3 triumph at Anfield in January 2018 – but have not lost at home against the Citizens since May 2003.

Impressively, Liverpool have taken a league-high 10 points from losing positions already this season, winning their last two Premier League games despite conceding first – they have never achieved the feat in three straight matches in the competition.

HISTORY SAYS...

Liverpool have a formidable home record against City, losing just one of their last 28 games at Anfield against this Sunday's visitors – the lone defeat being a 2-1 setback in May 2003.

Indeed, their most recent 16 encounters with City at Anfield have returned 11 wins and five draws.

However, Liverpool's only defeat in their past 50 Premier League games against all opposition came against Guardiola's side in January.

City should be wary of the fact Liverpool have won more Premier League games against reigning champions (21) than any other team in the competition's history, last losing a home match in such a circumstance against Manchester United in December 2007.

Sadio Mane has no plan to change his style of play after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola accused the Liverpool forward of diving ahead of their crunch clash this weekend.

Mane was shown a yellow card during Liverpool's 2-1 win at Aston Villa last weekend after referee Jon Moss adjudged him to have simulated contact under pressure from Frederic Guilbert.

Guardiola pointed the finger at Mane later that day, saying "sometimes he is diving" after being asked about the Reds' star man ahead of City's trip to Anfield this Sunday.

Although Guardiola clarified his comments on Tuesday, claiming it was not his intention to call Mane a diver, Jurgen Klopp defended his player by insisting there was contact in the incident against Villa.

Mane is not letting Guardiola's comments get to him.

"There was contact, for sure," Mane told reporters. "Maybe it was not a penalty and he [the referee] didn't give it, and he gave me a yellow card. To be honest I don't have any problem about it.

"For sure, it can happen in football and we have seen many people, some diving and get penalties, some got a penalty and the referee didn't give it. That's football. You have to deal with it.

"I think it's a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee, but I will just play my football like I'm always doing.

"I don't pay attention to what he's saying because it's part of football. Even though I saw him commenting about it, what he said, for me, I think it's positive.

"[I will keep playing] like I'm always doing. It's what I want to keep doing. If I get a penalty, yeah it's a penalty. If no penalty, no penalty, but [I will never] change the way I'm playing or the way I'm doing my things."

Liverpool head into Sunday's match six points clear of the defending champions after only failing to win one of their first 11 matches this term and it was put to Mane that Guardiola's comments came from a position of fear.

"Maybe, I don't know, you guys [reporters] know more than me," he said. "The only thing I can say I will be for sure ready for the team, to give everything possible, and to help my team.

"If it could be a penalty for sure I will 'dive' again. If the dive will give me a penalty, then I will do it to get it back. Why not? But what Jurgen said is correct; I do not dive."

Kylian Mbappe continues to be linked with a move away from Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool are seemingly well in the race.

Mbappe, 20, has starred for PSG since arriving in 2017, but is reportedly a target for LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

However, Champions League winners Liverpool could also make a move for the France international forward.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL INTERESTED IN MBAPPE

Liverpool are set to battle Real Madrid for Mbappe, according to El Desmarque.

The report says the Premier League leaders have the funds to sign Mbappe after a quiet transfer window ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Mbappe remains the main target for Madrid despite being contracted at PSG until 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich are looking for a coach to replace Niko Kovac and Arsene Wenger may, or may not, be a target. Bild reports the Bundesliga giants have spoken to the former Arsenal manager, while The Athletic says Bayern do not want Wenger.

- There could also be a coaching change coming at Barcelona. LaLiga's champions look set to part ways with Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season, with Marca reporting Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is the top target to take over at Camp Nou.

- Back at Anfield and Liverpool could be lining up a move for Genk midfielder Sander Berge. Norwegian newspaper VG claims Jurgen Klopp told Berge he was a "very interesting player" after Liverpool's 2-1 Champions League win over Genk on Tuesday.

- Napoli are well off the pace in Serie A and it could see Carlo Ancelotti make a January exit. FOX Sports reports Boca Juniors are interested in the Italian tactician.

- Chelsea look set to make changes to their squad in January. The Premier League side are open to listening to offers for Olivier Giroud and Pedro in early 2020, according to The Telegraph.

- Amid a lack of playing time, Nemanja Matic is considering a Manchester United exit in January, according to the Manchester Evening News. Matic has made just two Premier League starts for United this season.

Pep Guardiola has been known to readily remind journalists in his news conferences that he understands how to cope with an injury crisis.

The Manchester City manager likes to recall his first Champions League final, when Barcelona faced a rampant Manchester United in Rome with Yaya Toure at centre-back, Carles Puyol shunted out to right-back and veteran Sylvinho in the other wide defensive position.

Barca dazzled during a 2-0 win that sent one of the greatest club teams in history on their way into the stratosphere.

So, when all Guardiola's senior City centre-backs were injured this season, no problem. Defensive midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri could play there - and they did exactly that during back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Atalanta.

It was the same when Benjamin Mendy missed the bulk of the past two seasons, as career midfielders Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko simply became very passable left-backs. Zinchenko still is one.

David Silva's addition to a weighty Etihad Stadium injury list last weekend meant namesake Bernardo starting in a central attacking midfield position alongside Kevin De Bruyne for Wednesday's 1-1 draw against Atalanta at San Siro.

What glorious riches, and they were cashed in as the Portugal playmaker arrowed a pass for a first-time backheel by Gabriel Jesus that fell into Raheem Sterling's stride for a first-time finish. Sterling, one of the outstanding attackers in world football, was darting in off a left flank that Leroy Sane will be unable to occupy until he recovers from cruciate ligament damage.

There are answers to most conundrums Guardiola has to address and the impression is he often revels in doing so. But the scene that unfolded from half-time onwards at San Siro will have done nothing to whet his appetite ahead of City's crunch trip to Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend.

Claudio Bravo was warming up. Fairly extensively. He was coming on.

Ederson made way as a precaution, with a thigh injury to shake off before Sunday. Guardiola will hope the injury is as minor as a miner driving a Morris Minor. And maybe a little more minor than that.

For all the exquisite talents in his outfield array, no Guardiola signing has been more pivotal to his back-to-back Premier League titles in England than his Brazil international between the posts.

It should be added that the first trophy the Spaniard won with his current employers, the 2018 EFL Cup, arrived with Bravo in goal having been a penalty shoot-out hero against Wolves and Leicester City in the earlier rounds. But what came before in his debut campaign marks the former Barcelona man's standing with the City faithful.

If Wednesday at one of European football's most famous arenas represented a fresh page for Bravo, he promptly poured some of that oil Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have been talking about this week and set it on fire.

He could do little about Mario Pasalic powering home a 49th-minute equaliser, but his first act was still to pick the ball out of the net. It recalled that mid-season spell during his nightmare 2016-17 when every shot on target seemed to herald an opposition goal. Willy Caballero was eventually called up to spare him.

There were plenty of other things Bravo might have done in the 81st minute instead of belying the experience of his 36 years and a career that has yielded two Copas America and LaLiga titles, among multiple honours.

His rash challenge on Josip Ilicic was a clear red card. Bravo became the first substitute goalkeeper in Champions League history to be sent off.

When emergency keeper Kyle Walker - apparently an enthusiast in the role during training ground penalty contests - nervously kept out the resulting free-kick from Ruslan Malinovskiy to earn harrumphing chants of "England's number one" from the City faithful, he had made more saves in the game than Bravo. It was not a statistically strong few minutes for the veteran.

The stats that loom largest over this pivotal week are Liverpool's six-point lead over the champions at the Premier League summit and the 16-and-a-half years that have passed since City last won at Anfield.

Guardiola can take heart from the resilience his depleted team showed before a baying crowd as opponents in Atalanta had the bit between their teeth.

However, if he is to be without Ederson, the inimitable thread who brought his whole tapestry together, the chances of overturning those numbers on Merseyside have shifted uncomfortably close to improbable.

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has apologised for his involvement in Andre Gomes' horrific injury and says the last few days have been "really tough".

Son was left visibly distraught after his tackle on Gomes in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Everton contributed to the midfielder colliding horribly with Serge Aurier and suffering a fracture dislocation to his right ankle.

The South Korea international, who received a red card that was later rescinded, was named in Tottenham's line-up for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade and scored twice in a 4-0 win.

After making it five goals in four European outings this term, Son thanked his Tottenham team-mates and supporters for helping him through a difficult week.

"Of course it has been a really tough few days but I have realised how lucky I am with all the support I have had from the fans and my team-mates," he told BT Sport.

"I can say I'm really sorry for the accident and the situation but I had to focus for the team and I had to keep going and it was the right response to all the people who have supported me."

Son scored either side of goals from full debutant Giovani Lo Celso and second-half substitute Christian Eriksen as Tottenham made it back-to-back wins in Group B.

Victory for Tottenham was their first away from home since May 8 and moves them to within one win of a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"It was so important to win this game, especially against a team that are unbeaten at home," Son said. "We had a good attitude and we scored the goals in the first half. 

"It is massive for our confidence. It is a really difficult place to come and we know we can play well in the away games, so we can take these positives forward."

Pep Guardiola is uncertain if he will have goalkeeper Ederson available for selection when Manchester City face Liverpool in Sunday's crunch Premier League encounter.

Ederson was taken off at half-time with a "muscular problem" in City's chaotic 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Having not had to make a save in the first half, Ederson was replaced by Claudio Bravo, whose first act was to pick the ball out of his net after Mario Pasalic's brilliant header cancelled out Raheem Sterling's early opener.

Matters were made worse for City late on as Bravo saw red for a reckless lunge on Josip Ilicic, meaning right-back Kyle Walker was called upon from the bench to play the closing stages in goal.

City's focus now turns to Anfield, where Premier League leaders Liverpool would extend the gap at the top to nine points with a victory, and Guardiola acknowledged Ederson may be unable to feature.

"I don't know right now. It is a muscular problem. It was not big but [we replaced him] to avoid more risk," Guardiola told reporters when asked for an update on Ederson during a news conference.

"He did not feel comfortable in the last minutes of the first half. That's why we decided to make a substitution. But for now we don't know."

Pointing at his thigh, Guardiola added: "It was muscular, in front of here. He is strong. We want to try with him, but we are not going to take a risk."

Bravo never looked settled after coming on for the second period and failed to make a save before he became the first substitute goalkeeper in Champions League history to receive a red card.

However, Guardiola has no concerns over starting Bravo, who protested his red card before the decision was eventually upheld by VAR, at Anfield if Ederson is not fit.

"It's a red card – it was given so it's a red card," Guardiola said. "He's ready. He's an incredible, experienced professional. He's ready.

"It is what it is. If Ederson is ready, he is gong to play. If not we will play Claudio. We trust him. Why should I doubt any players I have in my squad?"

Guardiola also hailed the mentality of Walker, who was immediately called into action to keep out Ruslan Malinovskiy's free-kick.

"Xavi Mancisidor, our goalkeeper coach, suggested him for his courage, because he is quick," Guardiola said of the England defender. 

"We are lucky we only conceded one shot on target when he was in goal but congratulations for the courage and desire to help the team in this position."

Andre Gomes has thanked people for their "positive energy" in the wake of a fracture dislocation to his right ankle against Tottenham on Sunday.

Gomes was taken off on a stretcher in the second half at Goodison Park following a challenge from Son Heung-min, which led to the Everton player colliding with Serge Aurier. 

Spurs forward Son, who was sent off by referee Martin Atkinson, was visibly distraught before being led down the tunnel, while several other players from both teams were clearly distressed by the seriousness of the incident.

Everton announced their midfielder is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery on Monday, and Gomes has taken to social media to thank people from across football for their support.

In a video shared on Twitter, he said: "As you already know, everything went well [with my operation]. I'm already at home with my family and I would like to thank you all for the support, the messages and the positive energy. Thank you."

Marco Silva, meanwhile, has called on Toffees forward Richarlison to stop going down easily.

While the Everton boss believes the Brazil international does not receive fair treatment from officials, he does think Richarlison needs to stand firm in the face of robust defending more often than he does.

"Of course, we are working with him because the Premier League is really tough and the message and feedback to him is to always to stand as much as he can," Silva told EvertonTV.

"Don’t fall down, even if it looks in many, many moments that the decisions are not fair with him. What I am saying to Richarlison, and our staff as well, is for him to keep standing as much as he can and in the right moments the referee will be fair with him because we feel that it is not so fair.

"But it's what we are working on with him, to keep standing and be strong because the contact in the Premier League is really strong as well. And, for sure, after [you remain strong], football and the decisions will be fair with you. But he has the quality and never gives up."

Unai Emery had little interest in considering the possibility of Jose Mourinho replacing him as Arsenal manager following a disappointing draw at Vitoria SC.

Pressure has been building on Gunners boss Emery following a string of underwhelming results, with Arsenal winless in three in all competitions coming into Wednesday's Europa League clash.

That unwanted streak was extended to a fourth match as Bruno Duarte's stoppage-time strike cancelled out Shkodran Mustafi's 80th-minute opener.

In the lead-up to the contest in Portugal, the name of former rival Mourinho was linked with Emirates Stadium.

Mourinho, an Arsenal nemesis in his time at Chelsea, has been out of work since his sacking at Manchester United late last year and speculation is building about his next job, prompting talk of the Gunners swooping as Emery toils.

Asked if he was concerned by mention of Mourinho on Wednesday, Emery simply replied: "I am the coach."

The defiant Arsenal boss offered no further comment on his future as he prepared to turn his focus towards Saturday's trip to high-flying Leicester City.

Arsenal suffered a late-season slump in 2018-19 - Emery's first campaign - to finish fifth in the Premier League, the same position they now occupy, six points behind Chelsea in fourth.

This season, in addition to difficulties on the pitch, Emery has regularly had to field questions on Mesut Ozil, who has struggled to get a run in the team despite an infamously huge contract.

Emery also removed Granit Xhaka as club captain ahead of the Vitoria game, following a high-profile clash between the midfielder and Arsenal fans when he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month.

Romelu Lukaku's two-goal showing for Inter at Bologna has earned him a place in the FUT Team of the Week, though Timo Werner's inclusion is arguably the most deserved of this week's selection.

Werner lit up the Bundesliga at the weekend with a hat-trick and a treble of assists in RB Leipzig's 8-0 demolition of Mainz, having a hand in all but two of Leipzig's goals in a remarkable win.

The Germany international became only the second player to be involved in six goals in a single Bundesliga match since detailed Opta data collection began in 2004-05 – the first being Claudio Pizarro with four goals and two assists in May 2013.

He is partnered in attack by Lukaku after his goals secured 2-1 comeback win on the road, while a forward-thinking back three includes Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt and Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker.

Below, we examine the entire squad that is set to be up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 86

RB: Kyle Walker (Manchester City) – 86

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) – 86

LB: Alex Grimaldo (Benfica) – 85

LM: Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 84

CAM: Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao) – 84

CM: Luis Alberto (Lazio) – 86

LM: Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund) – 84

CAM: Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) – 86

ST: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – 85

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Walter Benitez (Nice) – 83

CB: Chris Smalling (Roma) – 83

LB: Frank Fabra (Boca Juniors/Buenos Aires) – 82

RM: Fabian Orellana (Eibar) – 82

CAM: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders) – 82

ST: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – 84

ST: Joao Pedro (Cagliari) – 81

RESERVES

CB: Harry Ashcroft (Finn Harps) – 69

ST: Camillo Ciano (Frosinone) – 80

CM: John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – 76

ST: Mohamed Buya Turay (Djurgardens) – 77

ST: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Tranmere Rovers) – 71

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed "it won't be too long" before Paul Pogba is available again as the France international nears a return from his ankle injury.

World Cup winner Pogba has missed United's past seven games with an injury he suffered back in September.

The France midfielder said last week that he would need another "two weeks of rehabilitation" after the plaster comes off his leg.

However, the timeframe given by Solskjaer would still see Pogba miss the Premier League trip to Sheffield United and the Europa League visit to Astana at the end of November.

"I think he said it himself, didn't he?" Solskjaer told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

"He won't be too long before he's out of his cast, he's going to work through the international break and hopefully we'll have him back in early December."

Pogba will definitely be absent for Thursday's Europa League game against Partizan Belgrade, a fixture that defender Victor Lindelof will also miss.

The centre-back suffered a back injury against Chelsea in the EFL Cup last week and although he completed 90 minutes against Bournemouth on Saturday, Solskjaer has ruled Lindelof out of Thursday's fixture at Old Trafford.

"He won't be fit for tomorrow, no," the Norwegian added.

"He got a knock against Chelsea and he didn't come through the game against Bournemouth without the reaction, so he'll be out tomorrow."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United might not make any signings in the January transfer window, despite their poor start to the season.

Saturday's defeat to Bournemouth left United with 13 points from 11 Premier League games - their worst total at that stage of a top-flight campaign since 1986-87.

Solskjaer's side are 10th in the table, 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, and have scored fewer goals than Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley and Bournemouth having not directly replaced Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the close season.

However, it appears unlikely that Solskjaer will look to bring in attacking reinforcements in January.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie with Partizan Belgrade, Solskjaer told reporters: "The priority now is to get players fit and get through to the next round.

"Transfers, we always look at the long term.

"It might be none, might be one, might be two in January, but it's always the summer window that's the big one.

"You can't really do too many good deals in January."

United have taken seven points from their three Europa League games so far in a competition that could provide them with their most realistic route back into the Champions League.

Three seasons ago Jose Mourinho led United to glory in the Europa League which meant they still qualified for the Champions League despite a sixth-place finish domestically.

However, Solskjaer has not given up hope of reaching the Champions League via the top-four in the Premier League.

"It's one route - it's one of the two," Solskjaer said of returning to Europe's premier club competition via a Europa League triumph.

"It's just turned November, you're not going to talk about the end league table in November. I don't think anyone can predict that already.

"We haven't got as many points as we would like, but we'll challenge to get to the top four."

In-demand Salzburg striker Erling Haaland has ambitions to play in the Premier League, according to his father.

Former Leeds United and Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Haaland confirmed his teenage son, one of Europe's most sought-after young players, would like to play in England at some point in his career.

Serie A champions Juventus have been linked to the 19-year-old, as have LaLiga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The younger Haaland has scored seven goals in four Champions League appearances in what is his first full season with Salzburg.

While expecting his Leeds-born son to follow in his Premier League footsteps, Alf-Inge suggested the path he took would have no sway over Erling's potential destination.

"He was a Leeds fan and a [Manchester] City fan and a Nottingham Forest fan. He followed me but that's what you do in your youth," Haaland senior told talkSPORT.

"There's a difference between being a supporter and having it as a job.

"I think at one stage he would like to play in the Premier League. When that's going to happen, I don't know. It's a very tough league.

"Up to now he's ahead of the stage we thought he would be at. He's built for the Premier League at one stage, I think. Whether that happens now or at a later stage, we don't know."

Recent reports have suggested Salzburg could ask for up to €100million for the impressive centre-forward, already a two-cap Norway international

Alf-Inge doubts the club would demand such an exorbitant fee, however.

"There are always stories," he said.

"He's at Salzburg and he's at a fantastic club and playing in the Champions League, so in a way there's no hurry.

"But Salzburg have shown in the past they're sort of a middle-step club and if they're going to recruit players in the future they can't put a stupid price tag on the players, otherwise nobody would like to go there."

Manchester United great Gary Neville admits modern footballers are "perceived differently" to their predecessors but says Granit Xhaka must be willing to accept fan criticism.

Arsenal stripped Xhaka of the captaincy following his angry response to being jeered by his own supporters in the recent Premier League match against Crystal Palace.

The much-maligned Switzerland midfielder cupped his hear, removed his shirt and appeared to swear at a section of spectators as he was substituted in the second half of the 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium.

Xhaka said he had "reached boiling point" after receiving abusive comments at matches and over social media, part of the growing "anything goes" culture Neville condemned. 

But the ex-England international insisted players must also have a thick skin.

"All's fair in love and war," Neville, who was speaking at the launch of the eToro Fan Financial Statement, told Omnisport.

"[In games] against Liverpool they were singing about my mum. I wasn't happy but it didn't bother me. I was booed for 12 months for England as a Manchester United player, but you just accept it as part of the game.

"Look at what's happened with the targeting of black players, people think that anything goes. We have to stop that. The fines for Bulgaria were unacceptable.

"There is change happening. Football should be a pioneer for change, but overall football is a safer place to watch, there are more families.

"The games are fantastic football matches. We have the best football in Europe at the moment. There are so many positives."

Xhaka's situation has prompted debate about whether fans paying steep fees for tickets are entitled to direct vitriol at their own club's players.

The eToro Fan Financial Statement, a study into the monetary commitment of British football supporters, found match-going Premier League fans are, in total, spending an estimated £1.3billion a season following their club, an increase of 31 per cent since 2014/15.

Arsenal were revealed to be charging the highest prices for adult season tickets among the 20 top-flight clubs.

Neville, co-owner of League Two side Salford City, thinks the eye-watering figures have contributed to fans feeling disenfranchised.

"Football players are perceived differently now," he said.

"[The treatment of] Xhaka was not down to cost or rising prices, that's always happened, but it doesn't get away from the fact that fans are being left behind."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.