With Gareth Bale seemingly on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid are ready to launch a fresh bid for Paul Pogba.

Bale is expected to join Chinese Super League (CSL) club Jiangsu Suning and, with the attacker's wages off the books, Madrid are again turning their attention to Manchester United star Pogba.

It has been a mixed pre-season for the LaLiga giants, but perhaps that could change if they land the man they have long been linked with.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID PREPARE £150M POGBA BID

Real Madrid will make a €166.6million (£150m) bid for Manchester United star Pogba, according to The Sun.

Madrid have rebuilt in the close season with the signings of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy, but Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants Pogba to increase his midfield options.

The France international would immediately add dynamism to a Madrid side that has been accused of being one-paced in recent years.

ROUND-UP

- Romelu Lukaku seems to be inching closer to a Manchester United exit. Linked with a move to Inter, the striker has asked the Premier League club to lower their £80m valuation, according to The Sun. However, Juventus are also apparently in the race. Sky Sports News say Juve will offer Paulo Dybala as part of a deal for the Belgium international, while the Daily Mail report United want Douglas Costa.

- Nicolas Pepe is set for a big-money move from Lille, and it seems Arsenal are close to winning the race for the forward. Arsenal have agreed a £72m (€80m) deal with Lille, according to The Sun. But the report says they still face plenty of competition to sign Pepe amid interest from five other clubs – Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Inter and Atletico Madrid.

- With the dominoes finally starting to fall, Manchester United have reached an agreement with Sporting CP for Bruno Fernandes, according to Sport. United will pay £63m (€70m) for the Portugal midfielder.

- Arsenal appear on track to strengthen further. They are increasingly confident of signing Celtic defender Kieran Tierney, according to Sky Sports News.

- Everton are continually linked with a move for a forward and they are in talks to sign Juventus striker Moise Kean, Sky Sports News say. The Serie A champions want £36m (€40m) for the teenager, along with a buy-back clause in the deal.

- Radja Nainggolan is unwanted at Inter, but the midfielder apparently wants to stay in Europe. According to Corriere dello Sport, Turkish giants Galatasaray are interested in the Belgian, but only on loan.

Antonio Conte indicate Romelu Lukaku is the missing piece of the jigsaw at Inter and expressed his confidence his wishes in the transfer market will be fulfilled.

Inter are reported to have had a €60million (£54m) bid for the Belgium international rejected by United but Conte insisted signing him remained his "will and hope".

Valentino Lazaro, Nicolo Barella and Matteo Politano have been the club's standout additions in the close season, but after his side's penalty shoot-out victory in a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday the Nerazzurri boss spoke about the outstanding piece of business facing them.

"As I've always said, we're talking about a player [Lukaku] who isn't ours," Conte told reporters. "Therefore, it's not right to talk about him because that would show a lack of respect towards the player and the club.

"Lukaku is a United player, we know that the transfer market is ongoing and the club is working to try and complete the squad, including both incomings and outgoings.

"As I've always said, I have a lot of confidence in the club. The most important thing for me at the moment is to stress that I'm happy with how my players are working.

"We're working to create something solid. It's inevitable that we'll then go on to complete the squad, but the important thing is that those who arrive integrate well and possess the mentality that this group of lads have."

With a deal for Lukaku yet to transpire, Samuele Longo took his opportunity against PSG by scoring in the 94th minute to make it 1-1.

The 27-year-old has made just two competitive appearances during eight years on the books at Inter, who have sent him on loan to nine different clubs.

Conte sung Longo's praises afterwards, hinting the 27-year-old forward may yet feature in his plans.

"We're talking about a player who has a decent career behind him," he said.

"He was in Spain, where he played for Espanyol. He then played in a number of leagues and was successful in Serie B.

"He's taking part in this tour with us and has joined up with the group. We're talking about a really good footballer.

"He's made an excellent impression and is putting in a lot of effort. I'm very happy for him because he's had a long time out with injury and now he's ready to play."

Romelu Lukaku appeared to hint he could be close to leaving Manchester United after posting a selfie with his agent.

The Belgium international uploaded a photograph to Twitter on Saturday showing him alongside Federico Pastorello, captioned: "Soon to be continued."

The post has fuelled speculation the striker could be closing in on a move away from Old Trafford, with Serie A considered his most likely destination.

Inter boss Antonio Conte has confirmed he would like to sign the former Chelsea and Everton forward, but reports suggest United have rejected the Nerazzurri's advances until now as they are holding out for a fee in the region of £75million.

Juventus are also said to be interested in the 26-year-old and it was reported in England and Italy on Friday that they could offer Paulo Dybala in exchange as part of any deal.

Lukaku admitted in April he wanted to play in Italy's top flight "sooner or later" and described Conte as the best coach in the world last month.

Lukaku has scored 28 Premier League goals in 66 appearances for United since joining from Everton two years ago, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to prefer Marcus Rashford as first-choice central striker.

Last week, Solskjaer described Lukaku as one of the "top, top strikers in the world" but felt United had coped well without him during pre-season, with the forward unable to play due to injury.

United have beaten Perth Glory, Leeds United, Inter and Tottenham in pre-season, with Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Rashford among their goalscorers.

They face Kristiansund in a friendly on Tuesday before meeting AC Milan in their final International Champions Cup fixture in Cardiff on August 3.

Their Premier League campaign begins at home to Chelsea eight days later.

Gareth Bale appears to be on the brink of leaving Real Madrid for the Chinese Super League.

It is reported the Wales star has agreed a deal with Jiangsu Suning, who must now finalise matters with Madrid.

Bale will apparently double his salary by swapping LaLiga for the CSL.

 

TOP STORY - BALE ON BRINK OF CHINA MOVE

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is close to moving to Jiangsu Suning of the Chinese Super League, according to Marca and AS.

The Wales international will reportedly earn €22million a season if he completes a move to the club, which is owned by Inter majority shareholders Suning Holdings Group.

Jiangsu must now finalise terms with Madrid before they can announce Bale as the biggest star yet to head to the CSL.

ROUND-UP

- James Rodriguez will now stay at Real Madrid as the LaLiga giants want cover for the injured Marco Asensio, reports El Chiringuito. Asensio suffered a serious knee injury in the International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal, while James has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Napoli.

Manchester United have agreed a fee in the region of €70million with Sporting CP for midfielder Bruno Fernandes, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Fernandes could end up replacing Paul Pogba, with ESPN claiming Real Madrid are confident they will strike a deal to sign the France star from Manchester United.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha could be tempted to join Everton, who are ready to offer £60m for the player, Sky Sports claim. Zaha has also been linked to Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.

- AC Milan are to sign Rafael Leao from Lille for €35m, with Tiago Djalo heading the other way for €5m, RMC Sport believe.

Dani Alves, who has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester City, called Barcelona to discuss a return to the club, according to Sport.

Tottenham's hopes of a stunning deal for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala could hinge on the departures of Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen, Sky Sports News say. Rose has been linked to Juve, while Eriksen is reportedly a target for Manchester United and Real Madrid.

- However, Sky also say Dybala could be offered to Manchester United as part of a Juventus bid to sign Romelu Lukaku, who is also wanted by Inter.

Manchester United may have identified a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter, although progress on the striker's potential move from Old Trafford has been slow.

However, United are preparing if the Belgium international does depart, with Moussa Dembele reportedly on their shortlist.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UNITED EYE DEMBELE AS LUKAKU REPLACEMENT

Lyon striker Dembele will be on Manchester United's shortlist if they sell Lukaku to Inter, according to Sky Sports News.

The former Fulham and Celtic striker enjoyed a fine first season with the Ligue 1 giants, scoring 20 goals in all competitions.

United have also been linked to Lille's Nicolas Pepe, but the report says they see Dembele as a better replacement for Lukaku.

ROUND-UP

- Mauro Icardi is almost certain to leave Inter and the forward was contacted by Boca Juniors, according to Fox Sports Argentina. However, they say Icardi will not make the move to his homeland.

- Another forward set for a possible move is Radamel Falcao. According to Soccer Link, Valencia have expressed an interest in the Monaco star.

- Barcelona have continually been linked with a move for Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo and, according to Sport, the defender is their priority. The Spain Under-21 international is seen as a possible future replacement for Jordi Alba, but Barca reportedly do not want to pay more than €20million, even though Junior's release clause is said to be closer to €50m.

- Wilfried Zaha is a reported target for Arsenal, but it seems Everton could be ready to pounce to sign the Crystal Palace star. The Daily Mail says Everton are prepared to make an opening offer of £55m.

- Rafinha has options should he want to move from Barcelona. According to Sport, the midfielder has offers from Valencia and Serie A clubs Atalanta and Fiorentina.

- Borussia Dortmund want to land Barcelona attacker Malcom. According to Goal, Dortmund could pay €42m for Malcom, just a year after the 22-year-old made the move from Bordeaux for the same fee.

After two consecutive windows without a signing, Tottenham are keen to make a splash in the transfer market.

Tottenham purchased Tanguy Ndombele in a club-record deal, while Spurs are also reportedly interested in Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso.

Now Tottenham could break the bank to prise an Argentina forward from Turin…

 

TOP STORY – SPURS EYE DYBALA

Tottenham have approached Juventus over the possibility of signing star Paulo Dybala.

That is according to the Evening Standard and reports in United Kingdom as Dybala faces an uncertain future at the Serie A champions.

Spurs have already spent £55million on Ndombele and the Champions League runners-up would need to break their transfer record again to sign the £80m (€90m)-rated Dybala, who has also been linked to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are eyeing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as part of a possible exchange deal involving striker Moise Kean, says Sky Sport Italia. Wolves are also reportedly in talks for Juve veteran Sami Khedira, who is not wanted by Maurizio Sarri.

- According to the Daily Mail, Everton are ready to hijack Arsenal's move for Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. The Toffees are reportedly ready to offer £50m.

- Sportitalia claims Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez has been offered to AC Milan for €42m. Napoli only want to sign James on an initial loan deal, with Atletico Madrid now favourites to sign the Colombia international. However, agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly proposed James to Milan.

Manchester United have been asked to be kept updated on Christian Eriksen's future as they eye a move for the Tottenham midfielder, reports the Daily Mail. Eriksen – who is out of contract at the end of 2019-20 – has been linked to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

- Staying at Old Trafford and as Manchester United reportedly pursue Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, Red Devils centre-back Eric Bailly fears for his future. The Metro claims Bailly feels he could be sacrificed should United sign Maguire.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Inter have reopened talks with Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Manchester United fans to give their full backing to Paul Pogba next season, saying the France international has "never ever been a problem" during his time at the club.

Pogba came in for heavy criticism from United supporters during a tumultuous 2018-19 campaign and was seen receiving verbal abuse on the Old Trafford pitch at the end of the club's 2-0 home defeat to Cardiff City on the last day of the season.

He has since been the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from United, telling reporters in Tokyo in June that next season "could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else".

The comments incensed sections of United's support, but Solskjaer said Pogba, who featured in the club's pre-season friendly victories over Perth Glory, Leeds United and Inter, will have the backing of the fans next season.

"I think our fans know what Paul has given the club and what he can give us," Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of United's International Champions Cup clash with Tottenham on Thursday.

"Of course there is a loud small minority.

"Paul has been absolute top in the group. Me and the players will testify to that.

"He's never ever been a problem. We’re just grateful when he performs as well as he does."

Solskjaer provided updates on the fitness of defender Victor Lindelof, who was substituted in the second half of United's 1-0 win over Inter, and Romelu Lukaku, who has yet to feature in pre-season despite joining the tour squad amid interest from the Nerazzurri.

"Lindelof is fine and Lukaku won't be fit, no," said Solskjaer, ruling the Belgium forward out of the clash with Spurs.

"He [Lukaku] has been working with a physio the last few days so I don't think he will make this one, no.

"He got injured in training. It is not too bad, if it was worse we would have sent him home.

"Of course it's never nice to be a player who misses out on important fitness work but also team building work, understanding, tactical approach.

"He'll just have to make that up later on."

With Paul Pogba's future far from certain, Manchester United are determined to boost their midfield.

Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has emerged as a transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United.

And a move to Old Trafford could be imminent for the Serbia international…

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC SET FOR UNITED

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, reports La Repubblica.

According to the Italian newspaper, a deal is practically done for €75million plus various add-ons, with Milinkovic-Savic to sign a five-year contract.

The report comes as Real Madrid apparently accelerate their effort to prise Pogba from United.

ROUND-UP

- According to Le Parisien, Paris Saint-Germain have made a €32m (£28.7m) offer for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. The Senegal international is tipped to become PSG's sixth signing of the off-season.

- Lille have rejected an offer from Manchester United for star forward Nicolas Pepe, according to Yahoo Sports France. With United's Romelu Lukaku keen to join Inter, Pepe has been linked to the Premier League giants and he is reportedly open to moving to Old Trafford.

- According to ElDesmarque, Roma and Everton are vying to sign Malcom from Barcelona. Roma thought they had signed Malcom last season but the Brazilian sensationally opted for the LaLiga giants at the last minute.

Inter are ready to renew their pursuit of Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Calciomercato. It comes as the Serie A side struggle to reach a deal with United for Lukaku.

- According to reports in United Kingdom, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to sign a lucrative five-year deal worth £100,000-a-week.

- Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has emerged as a possible target for AC Milan, says Calciomercato. Milan have reportedly failed in their attempts to sign Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani from Juventus.

- According to widespread reports, Andre Silva's move from AC Milan to Monaco has collapsed. RMC Sport in France says the deal is definitely off, while La Repubblica claims the Portugal international failed to agree personal terms. Milan, however, are reportedly still confident of signing Angel Correa from Atletico Madrid.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is an "ideal" signing for Antonio Conte's Inter, according to Gianfranco Zola.

Inter head coach Conte has made no secret of his desire to sign Lukaku, who is at the centre of ongoing and, so far, fruitless negotiations between the Serie A side and United.

Lukaku – contracted to the Red Devils until 2022 with the option of a further year after joining from Everton in a £75million deal in 2017 – has not played for United during their pre-season tour.

Zola witnessed Lukaku firsthand during his time as Chelsea assistant last season and the Italian great talked up the Belgium striker's potential move to Milan.

"Lukaku would make a big impact at Inter, as he has the ideal characteristics for Conte's football and has the kind of physicality from the Premier League that puts him a step above the rest in Serie A," he told FCInterNews.

"Having said that, I believe the real strength at Inter will be Conte himself. He's really fired up after the Chelsea experience and then taking a year off. He'll want to transmit that determination to the squad.

"We know how good Antonio is at transmitting grit, intensity and sporting aggression. I am sure Inter will be one of the principle antagonists to Juventus this season."

Lukaku, who has acknowledged a desire to play in Italy and hinted his future could be away from Old Trafford with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring Marcus Rashford up front, scored 12 Premier League goals last season.

The 26-year-old scored 15 goals across all competitions as United finished sixth in the Premier League and lost to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Antonio Conte insists he never came close to making a dramatic return to Juventus before his appointment as Inter head coach.

Conte signed a three-year contract to replace Luciano Spalletti at San Siro but had been linked with a return to Juve – who he guided to three titles during his time in charge - following Massimiliano Allegri's departure at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Maurizio Sarri was eventually appointed by the Serie A champions and prior to facing his former club in the International Champions Cup, Conte revealed he did not even speak to Juventus.

"No, I have never been close to becoming Juventus coach again," he told a media conference. "I never received any phone call.

"It was always Inter that showed great affection and great interest in me. I feel great responsibility towards my new club and want to build something that at the moment is not there."

Asked is Sarri was the right man for the job, Conte replied: "If Juve has taken this decision they will have had good reasons. It is not for me to judge."

Wednesday's game in Nanjing will be the first time Conte has faced his former club since his departure and says there will be no love lost once the game kicks off.

"There will be excitement on my part," he said. "It is the first time I have met the Bianconeri as an opponent since my relationship with them ended.

"Seeing so many friends will be exciting but when the whistle goes it will all be over. Juve is an opponent for me and they consider me the same way."

Inter have been heavily linked with a move for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku during the close season, with Conte already revealing that it is his "will and hope" that a deal is struck for the Belgium international.

When asked if a potential move was any closer, Conte said: "I think that some reflections will be made then decisions will be taken for the good of Inter.

"We will take everything into account. Not only on the field but also in terms of financial fair play. Certainly, decisions can shift the balance and also expectations."

Arsenal's quiet transfer window seems to be about to spark into life.

Widespread reports on Monday claimed Dani Ceballos is on the verge of joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

William Saliba could follow him to Emirates Stadium by the end of the week, too.

 

TOP STORY - CEBALLOS BOUND FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal are close to completing the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

AS report the midfielder could head to London on Tuesday for a medical, with Marca saying the 21-year-old is excited about the prospect of spending a season under Unai Emery.

Various UK media outlets have also stated Ceballos is not far from finalising a deal, while the BBC's David Ornstein says Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba could follow him to north London before the week is out.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Barcelona are to open talks with Lionel Messi to try to extend his contract beyond 2021, according to ESPN.

Jiangsu Suning have joined Chinese rivals Beijing Guoan in the race for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale but must offer wages of £1million per week, reports the Telegraph.

- Fotosport in Turkey say Galatasaray have made an approach to sign Fred on loan from Manchester United.

- Inter are still eager to sign Romelu Lukaku and have offered Manchester United a choice of €78m or €55m plus winger Ivan Perisic, FCInternews.it suggests.

Ademola Lookman is expected to arrive in Germany in the next 36 hours to finalise a transfer from Everton to RB Leipzig, say Sky Sports.

- Marca claim Atletico Madrid would prefer to sign Real Madrid's James Rodriguez than Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

- Atletico Madrid are likely to earn a total of €57m when Angel Correa finalises his move to AC Milan, Sky Sport Italia say.

- Corriere dello Sport claim Napoli are pushing to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter, with James Rodriguez poised for Atletico Madrid.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing the Serie A champions to sign Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, according to the Daily Mail.

Gareth Bale's long goodbye to Real Madrid is edging closer after head coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed the club is actively working to sell the Wales international.

A move to either Paris Saint-Germain or the Chinese Super League looks most likely for a player who cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the 2018-19 season.

Bale is poised to be forced out at the behest of Zidane and there are a host of significant players across Europe who have yet to negotiate an exit despite expressing a desire to move on.

Here, we look at the players who are stuck in limbo with the start of the 2019-20 season just weeks away.

 

Neymar

Neymar has not publicly stated he wants to leave the Ligue 1 champions but the club's sporting director, Leonardo, has said he can move on if the price is right.

The Brazilian superstar has yet to feature for PSG so far during pre-season and was again absent as Thomas Tuchel's side laboured to a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg on Saturday.

A possible swap deal involving Bale could be a possibility, although a move back to his former club Barcelona looks more likely. Will the Catalan giants stump up the money, though, and end the impasse?

Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku joined United from Everton in a £75million deal in 2017, scoring 28 goals in 66 Premier League games since then, but his performances have been much maligned.

He fell out of favour towards the end of last season and has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes up his United squad ahead of the new campaign.

The two clubs appear to be some way apart in their valuation of the Belgium international – who has yet to feature in pre-season – and, for now, he remains a United player.

Philippe Coutinho

Things have not gone according to plan at Barcelona for Coutinho following his January 2018 move from Liverpool, with the Brazilian admitting last month he does not know what his future holds.

Coutinho only managed five LaLiga goals in 34 appearances as Barca retained their crown in 2018-19, with 12 of his league outings coming from the bench.

With Antoine Griezmann now on board at Camp Nou, Coutinho's playing time is likely to be reduced even further and a move might suit both parties.

Paul Pogba

The French World Cup winner hinted at being unsettled at Manchester United last month, telling reporters he was interested in a new challenge three years after returning to Old Trafford from Juventus.

His agent, Mino Raiola, doubled down on that recently, telling The Times: "Everyone within the club, from the manager to the owner, knows Paul's wishes."

A move back to Juve has been mooted for the 26-year-old, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested in the playmaker. United are standing firm, though, and it is looking increasingly likely that he will spend at least another season in the Premier League.

Mauro Icardi

Icardi endured a controversial 2018-19 campaign with Inter, the Argentina international stripped of the captaincy amid conflicting views of an apparent knee injury and internal disagreements with the club's hierarchy.

The club's chief executive, Giuseppe Marotta, recently told the striker he was no longer wanted and both parties mutually agreed he would withdraw from their pre-season tour of Asia.

That has not hastened his departure from the club, though, with potential suitors perhaps wary of signing a player who will bring plenty of baggage.

Christian Eriksen 

The Denmark international stunned Tottenham supporters last month when he declared he wanted to "try something new".

Eriksen arrived from Eredivisie giants Ajax in 2013 and the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the Premier League and Europe's best midfielders.

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been linked with the playmaker but no firm offers appear to have been tabled yet.

Antonio Conte says it is his "will and hope" that Inter sign Romelu Lukaku but concedes a potential transfer is out of his hands.

Lukaku missed Manchester United's 1-0 win over Inter on Saturday, just hours after widespread reports that the Red Devils had turned down a £54million bid from the Serie A side for the Belgium international.

Inter look set to sell Mauro Icardi during the close season and Conte has made no secret of his desire to bring Lukaku to San Siro.

Speaking after the defeat to United in Singapore, Conte again revealed his desire to link up with the 26-year-old.

"He is a United player and for this reason we must show great respect for the club, for the player and also for my own players," he told a media conference.

"Lukaku is a player that I like because I consider him a player that could improve our team. On one side is my hope and my will and on the other side we will see what we find with the club."

Conte, meanwhile, has suggested that Ivan Perisic does not fit into the system that he wants to play at Inter.

The Croatia star was introduced as a half-time substitute against United but Conte was not impressed with his contribution, believing it fell short of the standard set by Dalbert on the left flank.

"We are working but the answers are not positive," the Inter boss said of Perisic. "I don't think he is adapting to the role that I asked him to do.

"The only place he can play right now is as a striker. On the other hand, I saw Dalbert applying himself greatly in this match.

"We have to improve so much from all points of view. We have a lot of work to do and we will do it."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is impressed with how Manchester United are performing without the injured Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium international is yet to feature for United in pre-season, with Solskjaer citing fitness issues for his continued absence from the team.

Lukaku missed United's 1-0 International Champions Cup win over Inter on Saturday, with reports circulating before kick-off that the Serie A side had seen a £54million bid turned down for the 26-year-old.

Young striker Mason Greenwood scored the decisive goal against Antonio Conte's men and Solskjaer says he is pleased with how his side is shaping up ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

"I think we have done really well without Romelu, but we all know he is one of the top, top strikers in the world," he told a media conference.

"We played a different way, maybe, with Anthony [Martial], Marcus [Rashford] and Mason.

"As a coach you adapt to the players that are available. We're looking forward to the game against Tottenham [on Thursday] and let's see who is available for that game."

Solskjaer was unable to put a timescale on Lukaku's return to fitness and says the striker will be "concerned" about his lack of time on the pitch.

"If you're a player and you don't manage to train for a week, and he's missed three games now, I think he'll be concerned," the manager added.

"He's working to get back on the pitch and we'll see how long that takes."

Dimitar Berbatov feels criticism of Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku is unfair and hopes the Belgian stays at Old Trafford.

Lukaku joined United from Everton in a £75million deal in 2017, scoring 28 goals in 66 Premier League games since then, but his performances have been much maligned.

The former Chelsea man has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes up his United squad ahead of the new season.

But Berbatov, who played under Alex Ferguson for four years at United, would prefer to see Lukaku remain at the club.

"I hope Lukaku is staying because he's a good player and the criticism he's facing is not fair," he told the Straits Times.

However, Berbatov believes United would have the firepower to cope with Lukaku's departure, backing Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford for big seasons.

"I am calm because I like Martial a lot," he said. "I used to play with him in Monaco a lot and I know that he is really good and that he can be even better.

"I like Rashford as well; he can develop and become even better."

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