Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to see Manchester United go through the rest of the season unbeaten.

United are on a 14-match unbeaten run as they chase a top-four finish in the Premier League and remain alive in the Europa League and FA Cup.

Solskjaer's men, who are sixth in the Premier League, will face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals, while they are on track to reach the Europa League last eight.

And the United manager is challenging his side to go through the rest of the season without being beaten.

"Any Manchester United team should go into any game against any opposition believing they can win that game," Solskjaer told UK media.

"The short answer [if they can go unbeaten] is yes, but the long answer is that there's more to it than that. Of course, different things can play a part in this run, but we hope to extend it and want it for as long as possible.

"We're just going to take one game at a time. We know there's games every two or three days. We need a squad, everyone needs to play a part and we're delighted with the way things are going at the moment."

Sitting five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, United's bid for a top-four Premier League finish continues on Tuesday when they visit Brighton and Hove Albion.

They have been boosted by strong seasons from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who each have 14 league goals this campaign, and an improving Mason Greenwood (five).

Solskjaer wants greater depth at Old Trafford, saying: "You need competition for places at Man United.

"If you think you've got a divine right to be playing every game and are doing so well that we're not going to look for players to replace you, you're in the wrong place."

UEFA has called on all its member associations to adopt an October 5 deadline for the upcoming transfer window.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused mass disruption across the world of sport, and top-level football has been no different, with virtually all leagues shut down for at least three months and Euro 2020 pushed back a full year.

UEFA delayed the Euros in order to facilitate domestic leagues and the top-tier European competitions being concluded, but the three-month delay for most competitions has also impacted the transfer and registration windows.

Many leagues would usually allow for transfers to be completed in June, but due to the delay, those windows have had to be pushed back to avoid the 2019-20 season being further compromised.

UEFA wants all its leagues to implement a transfer deadline of October 5, with the governing body confirming it has set October 6 as the final opportunity to register players for next season's Champions League and Europa League.

Following a video conference of UEFA's executive committee, a statement read: "The deadline for player registration for the group stage of the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions has been set to October 6, 2020.

"As a result, the UEFA executive committee called on all member associations to adopt a harmonised end date to the upcoming summer transfer window, with this date set as October 5, 2020."

UEFA also revealed new temporary emergency Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, taking into account the adverse effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on economic stability in the sport.

Among the alterations, UEFA says it is "providing flexibility" by allowing clubs to adjust break-even calculations for revenue shortfalls in 2020 and 2021, ensuring "equal treatment" of clubs where the impact of COVID-19 may be felt in different reporting periods, and acknowledging revenue shortfalls will be due to the pandemic rather than financial mismanagement.

Nevertheless, it affirmed its commitment to FFP's main goal, as it will still ensure clubs are meeting transfer and salary obligations on time, while also protecting the system from "potential abuses".

There was plenty to digest following UEFA's Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday.

European football's governing body finalised decisions for the completion of its 2019-20 club competitions, as well as details for its international competitions.

With so much to take in, we have broken down the key outcomes for the Champions League, Women's Champions League, Europa League, Euro 2020 and the Nations League.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- Lisbon will host an eight-team tournament between August 12 and 23, with the final to take place at Benfica's Estadio da Luz.

- The remaining last-16 ties will take place at venues yet to be determined. If Portugal hosts these matches as well, Porto and Guimaraes will host games if necessary.

- Quarter-final and semi-final contests will be played as single-leg ties as opposed to the traditional two-leg showdowns.

- The draw for the quarters and semis will take place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon on July 10.

- Extra time and penalties will be used as deciders for matches ending in a draw and teams will be allowed to make five substitutions (as will those in the Europa League) in line with temporary changes to the Laws of the Game.

- Istanbul, which was supposed to host the showpiece game, will now be the final venue for 2021.

- Newly transferred players will not allowed to be registered for the remaining rounds.

- The group stages of the 2020-21 Champions League will be begin in October, with September traditionally the start date for the competition proper.

- Qualifying rounds for next season's Champions League and Europa League will be played as single-leg fixtures, bar the play-off round of the Champions League.

EUROPA LEAGUE:

- Europe's secondary competition will take place as a straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals onwards, with Germany to host matches between August 10 and 21.

- Matches will be played in Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen.

- The six last-16 ties that have a second leg to be played will take place a venue yet to be concerned. 

- The last-16 contests between Inter and Getafe, and Sevilla and Roma will be single-leg affairs.

- Gdansk will host the 2021 Europa League final, having been originally slated to put on this year's showpiece.

- The 2020 Super Cup will take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on September 24. Porto was originally supposed to have the game.

- As with the Champions League, the Europa League group phase starts in October.

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- Like the men's tournament, the Women's Champions League will be completed as a straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals.

- Matches will take place in Spain, with the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao and the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian putting on games between August 21 and 30.

- The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held in Nyon on June 26.

- Gothenburg will be the host venue for the 2021 final.

EURO 2020/NATIONS LEAGUE:

- All 12 original host cities for Euro 2020 will remain in place for the rescheduled tournament taking place next year.

- The updated match schedule was also approved by the ExCo and UEFA said all existing tickets purchased by supporters will remain valid.

 - International windows in October and November 2020 will feature triple-headers so that postponed Euro 2020 play-off qualifiers can be played at the beginning of the respective windows on October 8 and November 12.

- Group-stage games for the 2020-21 Nations League will take place on the following dates: September 3/4/5 and 6/7/8; October 10/11 and 13/14; November 14/15 and 17/18.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has not ruled out fans being able to attend the final stages of this season's Champions League and Europa League competitions.

European football's governing body confirmed on Wednesday that the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of both competitions will be staged as mini-tournaments in August.

The Champions League will conclude in Lisbon between August 12-23, with Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen to host the closing states of the Europa League from August 10-21.

At present, the plan is to hold all of the single-leg ties behind closed doors, although Ceferin told a virtual news conference that the situation remains fluid and an improvement in the coronavirus outlook across the continent could see games played in front of supporters.

"If I would answer today, then we don't think we can have spectators at the Europa League and Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals," he said.

"But things are changing. Theoretically, a month ago I couldn't even answer if we could play the competition. Now we will play it, hopefully.

"We haven't decided yet about no spectators or spectators because we will assess the situation at the beginning of July and then we will see what the situation will be.

"It would be incompetent for us if we were to decide in advance about a situation that is so unsure at this moment.

"We don't know if only the local fans, if no fans or even the fans from different clubs can travel to the venue.

"The beginning of the Champions League final eight is almost two months from now. Remember what the situation was in Europe two months ago. Things are changing, we have to wait but we will decide, of course, before the draw."

That draw will take place on July 10, by which time the clubs with last-16 ties to conclude in the Champions League and Europa League will know whether those matches are to be played at the originally intended venues or on neutral ground.

"We think there is still a bit of time to understand the situation about travelling, boarders and quarantine, etcetera before we need to know where they will be played," UEFA's deputy secretary general Giorgio Marchetti said.

"In principle, these are return matches – not like the quarters and semis, which have been decided to be played over one leg."

Juventus v Lyon, Manchester City v Real Madrid, Bayern Munich v Chelsea and Barcelona v Napoli are the outstanding Champions League matches in the first knockout round and will take place on August 7 and 8. RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have already secured their places in Lisbon.

In the Europa League, six second legs will be completed across August 5 and 6, with Inter v Getafe and Sevilla v Roma to be staged as one-off games.

Ceferin added: "For sure, the clubs would prefer to play at home but for now we don't have enough information to decide. For us, health and security is first.

"But when you speak to the clubs, of course clubs would prefer playing at home, even without spectators, rather than on a neutral ground."

The Champions League will be completed with an eight-team tournament hosted in Lisbon, UEFA has confirmed.

UEFA's Executive Committee gave the green light for Portugal's capital to host a condensed finish to Europe's premier club competition on Wednesday, with the tournament having been halted by the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Quarter-final matches will take place across four nights from August 12-16, with last-four games contested on August 18-19, and the showpiece to be held at Benfica's Estadio da Luz on August 23.

The quarter-final and semi-final ties will have just one leg as opposed to the traditional two, Sporting CP's Estadio Jose Alvalade also hosting fixtures.

The outstanding last-16 games will be completed on August 7-8, though a decision has not yet been taken on whether they will be played at the home stadiums without fans or in Portugal. The Estadio do Dragao in Porto and the Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes will be added as venues if need be.

"I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions. I am confident that we will not have to endure the fans' absence for long and that they will be allowed into stadiums sooner rather than later," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

"The football community has worked together and shown tremendous unity during this unprecedented crisis. I would like to thank FIFA, our sister confederations, national associations, clubs, leagues, players and the relevant authorities for their continuous support and commitment and I am convinced that we come out of this crisis stronger and with closer links than ever before."

Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium was originally scheduled to host the final in May but the outbreak of COVID-19 meant that was no longer a possibility.

UEFA confirmed Istanbul will now be the venue of the 2021 showpiece, with the three subsequent final hosts of St Petersburg, Munich and London (Wembley) all agreeing to move back by a year.

Spain, Germany and Russia were touted as potential replacements for this year, yet Lisbon's location coupled with the fact the Primeira Liga – which resumed behind closed doors this month and is yet to run into complications – has no teams remaining in the competition saw it favoured.

Reports suggest all teams will have hotels away from the public to maintain social distancing, with Portugal having an abundance of accommodation options and no quarantine rules in place.

It was also announced that Germany will be the venue to complete the Europa League from the quarter-finals onwards, with Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen the cities putting on games from August 10-21.

Six last-16 contests still have a second leg to be played, with UEFA yet to take a decision on where they will take place. Inter's tie with Getafe and Sevilla's against Roma will be played as one-off games at a venue yet to be determined.

Gdansk was meant to host the Europa League final, which will now take place in Cologne, and will instead do so in 2021, with Sevilla and Budapest moving to 2022 and 2023 respectively.

UEFA confirmed a couple of amendments to its club competition rules for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, including the use of five substitutes in accordance with the temporary change to the Laws of the Game. It will return to a maximum of three subs in 2020-21.

Teams remaining in competitions can register three new players to their List A, providing they were eligible at the previous deadline of February 3. Clubs will not be permitted to add newly transferred players to their squads.

The Champions League will be completed with an eight-team tournament hosted in Lisbon, UEFA has confirmed.

Lisbon is supposedly being considered as a potential location for all remaining 2019-20 Champions League matches and Portugal great Nuno Gomes believes the city would be a "good solution".

The coronavirus pandemic brought top-level sport in Europe to a halt, with the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League pushed back indefinitely.

UEFA wants to complete both competitions once domestic leagues have been concluded, meaning the remaining fixtures could potentially resume in August.

Last week, reports began to emerge suggesting Istanbul would be unable to cover the cost of hosting the Champions League final without supporters being allowed to attend, and now UEFA are said to be considering alternative plans.

One apparent idea is for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to be played at neutral venues in a single city and Lisbon is reportedly considered to be the strongest option, given Portugal's low coronavirus infection rate and the facilities of Benfica and Sporting CP.

Gomes agrees Lisbon would be an effective host, telling Stats Perform News: "For us Portuguese, I believe it is a good thing.

"After a lot of meetings they [UEFA] understood it's maybe better to do it in one place rather than everybody travelling around Europe.

"[Lisbon] is a good option, and I'm not sure if they already decided a final decision, but it's true a lot of views and conversations are being held in order to maybe give Lisbon the final eight of the Champions League.

"I think it's good for football to find a solution in order to finish the games that are missing because everybody is waiting for Champions League games."

Both the Europa League and Champions League were suspended in March during the round-of-16.

"When you play the first match in old San Mames, you can say that you can die, it's crazy."

Born in Eibar – around a 50km journey to Bilbao in the Basque Country – Markel Susaeta epitomised what it meant to play for Athletic Bilbao.

Susaeta spent the majority of his career at Athletic, where he made 507 appearances – only four players in the history of the club have managed more, Jose Angel Iribar (614), Jose Francisco Rojo (541), Joseba Etxeberria (514) and Andoni Iraola (510).

The Spanish winger even wore the captain's armband and won the Supercopa de Espana in 2015 before departing his beloved Athletic in 2019, having first donned the iconic red and white stripes in 2007.

Susaeta made his goalscoring senior debut away to Barcelona 13 years ago and stepped out onto Sam Mames for the first time a fortnight later, scoring a free-kick in a 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza.

"When you play the first match, you are in heaven. You never thought you could play in that stadium and the supporters are amazing – always helping the team," Susaeta told Stats Perform News.

Athletic are a team who continue to play by their own rules. The Basque-only policy has captivated football and the sporting world, with Los Leones only picking players from one region since 1912.

Despite football's transformation by globalisation, Athletic remain defiant to their roots – only those born or raised in the Basque Country, which is made up of four provinces in north-east Spain and three in south-west France, eligible to represent the club. Rivals Real Sociedad operated a similar policy until 1989.

While it may come across as a disadvantage, limiting Athletic in the transfer market, the Spanish team have never been relegated from LaLiga while adhering to the famed policy. They have lost stars over the years, but the region continues to be a breeding ground for talent.

"For the kids of Basque Country, Real Sociedad, Athletic, many, many kids… I think more kids want to play for Athletic Bilbao," Susaeta said. "When you go to the first division, all the players, it's difficult to keep all the players at Athletic because all the players aren't the same, different things for their future. Kepa [Arrizabalaga] went to Chelsea, [Ander] Herrera went to Manchester United, [Fernando] Llorente went to Juventus, Javi Martinez Bayern Munich.

"Many players they went to other big clubs but a lot of players, more than the players that go, they stay at Athletic. For that reason, Athletic in the last 12-13 years, play very good football, a very good level. One year we played in the Champions League, we won one Supercopa, we played in three, four finals for the Copa del Rey. It's very difficult but Athletic always does things well."

"Athletic are the most special team in the world for me, what can I say? The philosophy that the people that aren't from Basque Country, they love Athletic's philosophy because it's different to other teams from the world," Susaeta added. "The kids love Athletic, they only like Athletic Bilbao. They don't like Barcelona, Madrid, they like Athletic Bilbao. This love is different than the other clubs."

Susaeta is an example of Athletic's production line, which is now headlined by the likes of young stars Inaki Williams and Unai Nunez. The 32-year-old Susaeta came through the ranks, spending one season with farm team Basconia and another with the B team before being thrust into the first-team picture in 2007.

The one-time Spain international was a vital member of Athletic's stunning Supercopa de Espana triumph under former boss Ernesto Valverde five years ago – a 5-1 two-legged rout of Barca ending a 31-year wait for silverware.

A three-time Copa del Rey finalist, Susaeta also experienced Athletic's unforgettable journey to the 2012 Europa League final, with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm.

"With Marcelo, you play a very intense football. He always wants to play the ball, for example, he likes man-marking. It's a little bit crazy to keep the whole season with man-marking. We spent two years with him but with Marcelo, it was the best football I ever played," Susaeta said as he compared the two coaches.

"With Valverde, we played in the Champions League. It's more difficult because after Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid, it's a very crazy season. With Valverde, you're more regular in defending and attacking, all the team go together. It's different. But the best football, the more attractive football that I ever played was with Bielsa."

Athletic lost the all-Spanish Europa League decider in 2012, beaten 3-0 by Atletico Madrid in Bucharest. While Bielsa's men left Arena Nationala emptyhanded, their campaign was a memorable one, having outclassed Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the last 16 – a shock 3-2 victory at Old Trafford the highlight.

It was a famous win for Athletic, who came from behind to record a first win on English soil and Susaeta said: "It's the one of the most important matches in my life. We played at Old Trafford and we played amazing football. That morning, with Bielsa, we trained for two hours, doing sprints. It was crazy.

"In the evening, we won playing amazing football. It was a very good memories because that year we won against very good European clubs but in the final we were tired, I don't know what happened but we couldn't win the final."

Susaeta was also fortunate to play in both the old San Mames and new San Mames, which opened in 2013.

"In the old San Mames, I played my first match, in that stadium, we played very good football with Bielsa – a crazy year with two finals," he added. "In the other San Mames, we played in the Champions League. In the two stadiums, I have very good memories. They are two very special stadiums."

Susaeta now finds himself playing for Melbourne City in Australia after a difficult spell with Japanese giants Gamba Osaka.

A January arrival, Susaeta had scored two goals and set up another for City – part of the City Football Group (CFG) – before the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about a possible Athletic return after his unceremonious exit last year, Susaeta replied: "I don't want to see the future, I want to live the present. I'm very happy in Melbourne and Australia, it's a very good country and city. I'm very happy with my club and team-mates. My family is happy here and we want to stay here longer. Now it's very crazy the situation but I hope we can train again in a few weeks and finish the season in a few months.

"Japan was very difficult for me and my family because many things are different. Here we feel very good, we feel happy. My kids are happy in childcare. Here everything is perfect. I'm very happy in the football. For me, it's perfect. I'm very happy here and I hope I can stay here more years."

Serie A is ready to return, with Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora having confirmed the league will be able to resume from June 20.

There has been no action in Italy's top flight since March 9 and the league is delicately poised at both ends of the table.

Juventus and Lazio are embroiled in a fascinating title race and, though they are eight points adrift in third, Inter may not consider themselves out of the running just yet due to their game in hand.

There are up to six teams in realistic danger of relegation, while Atalanta and Roma are vying for a spot in the Champions League places.

Here are the key fixtures for each remaining matchday.

 

MD28: Brescia v Genoa

If Brescia, who sit nine points adrift of safety, are to pull off an incredible escape they will need to hit the ground running when play restarts. A home match against Genoa, who are only outside the bottom three on goal difference, is a great opportunity to do just that.

MD29: Atalanta v Napoli, Parma v Hellas Verona

Atalanta and Napoli both have to play five of the other six teams in the top seven before the end of the season, so their meeting could play a big role on their momentum in the final stretch. Parma or Hellas Verona – eighth and ninth respectively – could make a late bid for European football with three points here.

MD30: Juventus v Torino, Napoli v Roma

As Juve attempt to fend off Lazio, their first big fixture comes in the form of the Turin derby on matchday 30. This round of games also sees Champions League-chasing Napoli and Roma go head-to-head at the San Paolo.

MD32: Juventus v Atalanta, Napoli v Milan

Another huge match in Juve's title defence comes against Atalanta, who by this stage will be hoping their Champions League bid is still on. Gennaro Gattuso, meanwhile, will face his former club Milan, who will be looking to cement their place in the European qualification spots.

MD34: Juventus v Lazio

There will be only one place to be on matchday 34, as the two title contenders go head to head. With just four fixtures remaining afterwards, it could be the match that settles the title race.

MD35: Lecce v Brescia, Sampdoria v Genoa

The battle for top-flight survival could take some significant turns in this round of matches. The hopes of Lecce and Brescia, the latter of whom face fellow strugglers SPAL the matchday prior, could hinge on this match, while the Derby della Lanterna will take on greater significance if Samp and Genoa remain in precarious positions by this point.

MD37: Inter v Napoli

The success of Inter's season could well centre on a pair of tricky games to end the campaign. If they are able to mount a late charge for Scudetto glory they will certainly have to work hard to see it through, but if it goes the other way they could end up clinching onto a space in the top four.

MD38: Juventus v Roma, Napoli v Lazio, Atalanta v Inter

As fate would have it, the current top six all play each other on the final day of the season and plenty of drama will surely be on offer. The title, Champions League places and Europa League spots could all be decided on an incredible final day.

Manchester United have urged supporters to stay away from any stadiums that stage their games over the rest of the season.

If English football gets the go-ahead to resume its coronavirus-disrupted 2019-20 campaign, all fixtures appear certain to be staged behind closed doors.

United on Tuesday confirmed season ticket holders would be reimbursed for the games they will be forced to miss.

The club wrote to supporters to outline the refund pledge, stressing the importance of fans not gathering outside grounds when matches are taking place.

Season ticket holders were told: "We share your disappointment that you will not be able to watch United in person from within the stadium, but we would encourage you to give your continued loyal support from the comfort and safety of your home."

The message added: "We also ask for your co-operation not to travel to any stadiums at which we are playing on matchdays.

"By supporting from home and following government guidance, you will be playing your part to keep your friends, your family and all United fans safe."

The club described that as a "united effort" to protect the community.

United had four Premier League games remaining at Old Trafford when the season was suspended in March, with a Europa League match against LASK also due to be played at the stadium.

It has yet to be determined whether the fixtures will be able to go ahead, or whether they would be played in Manchester or at neutral venues.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expects the 2019-20 season to be concluded by August, including the Champions League and Europa League campaigns.

The majority of domestic leagues in Europe ground to a halt in March due to the outbreak of COVID-19, while UEFA's club competitions were also impacted.

Four ties are still active in the last 16 of the Champions League, while all eight in the Europa League at the same stage have yet to reach a conclusion. 

The Bundesliga became the first of the major domestic top flights in Europe to resume on Saturday, while the Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga have all signalled their intent to return behind closed doors.

Leagues in France, the Netherlands and Belgium have all cancelled the remainder of their respective campaigns, but Ceferin told beIN SPORTS he expects 80 per cent to reach a conclusion.

"We have an idea but we have to wait for the executive committee of UEFA to confirm the dates. I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August," Ceferin said.

"As things look now, I'm sure that we can finish the European season and this means UEFA competition.

"I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it's their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European UEFA competition."

The matter is further complicated by the fact Ligue 1 still has representation in the Champions League in the form of Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon.

With the French government having put a ban on professional sports until September it leaves both clubs facing a dilemma about where to host matches.

Ceferin added: "If you cannot play in your country, then you have to organise it at a neutral ground. 

"I don't see the reason why French authorities would not allow them to organise a match without spectators, but let's see. It's out of my power."

Another issue UEFA is facing is the hosting of matches for the rescheduled Euro 2020 next year, which is due to take place across 12 different locations.

Ceferin said nine cities have plans set in stone but issues remain with a further three.

"We've had conversations with nine cities and everything is set," he said. 

"With three cities, we have some issues. So we will discuss further. In principle, we will do it in 12 cities but if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight."

UEFA has clarified it is not planning to make changes to its club competitions access list for next season.

Earlier this week, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told beIN SPORT he thought the decision to cancel the remainder of the season in Ligue 1 and 2 was "premature".

It was suggested that clubs from leagues who have taken the decision to end the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Eredivisie and Belgian Pro League having also taken such a step, would have to take part in preliminary qualifying rounds for UEFA competitions next term.

But Europe's governing body has moved to clear up the confusion, insisting only teams who have finished in positions whereby they enter at that stage will need to do so.

A UEFA statement on Twitter read: "With regard to the way some quotes in an interview with beIN have been reported, UEFA wishes to make clear that President Ceferin said that clubs from leagues which were abandoned in this season would still need to be ready to play qualification rounds for next season according to the current access list. 

"He did not mention or hint at any change to the UEFA club competitions access list."

Speaking this week, Ceferin said he felt more time should have been taken before ending leagues.

"For us, the important thing is that we know who is the champion, who is second, who is third, and fourth," he said.

"My personal opinion is that you cancel a season super early, it's not an ideal thing because things can improve a lot and everybody can play except a few leagues.

"But if it's the decision of the government, what can the clubs do? Or the league? They cannot do anything. But for me the decision was premature. But it doesn't affect UEFA, so it's their decision."

The outbreak of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with the calendar in European football.

This weekend, the Bundesliga will be the first of the major UEFA leagues to return to action.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been key to most of the improvements that have been made at Manchester United since Jose Mourinho left, according to Luke Shaw.

Solskjaer was brought in as Mourinho's replacement on a temporary basis in December 2018, but after inspiring a significant upturn in form, he was given a full-time contract in March.

Performances and results dipped dramatically from then until the end of last season and issues seemed to remain at the start of 2019-20, but United had hit their best run of form since Solskjaer's appointment before the coronavirus pandemic led to a suspension in March.

United were unbeaten in 11 matches across all competitions, a run that included two wins over Manchester City, a 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and back-to-back 5-0 triumphs in the Europa League against Club Brugge and LASK.

Shaw – who has been at Old Trafford since 2014 – highlighted the unity that has developed in the squad, suggesting it has been even more evident during the lockdown.

"It's great to see everyone helping each other out," he said in a diary entry on United's official website. "Carras [Michael Carrick, first-team coach] was on the group call the other day, praising us for looking after ourselves because everybody looks the same [in terms of physical assessments] as before lockdown, so he's happy.

"Everyone's working hard, we're pushing each other with our runs and helping each other out. Hopefully everyone can be back working together at the training ground soon.

"There really is a great feel about this group of lads now, and that has been the case for a while. I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place.

"When he came in, he knew what was needed, what had to change to get things up and running again. He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well. They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group."

Harry Maguire has been credited with having a particularly impressive impact off the pitch, with the pre-season signing from Leicester City already becoming club captain following Ashley Young's move to Inter in January.

Shaw feels Maguire's efforts have been focused on creating a better mentality in the group, with players agreeing to a code of conduct that sees them accept a fine if they miss bonding activities.

"He [Maguire] is really trying to make sure we get more things done together as a group going forward," Shaw continued. "Young was brilliant, really tried his hardest, but sometimes it was difficult to get things done as a group.

"Now we've made a pact that whenever a team bonding thing happens, we all have to do it or we get fined. It's great for the team to be together and do things together.

"In some groups, sometimes, there are people who just don't get on, which is natural when you've got big groups, but I honestly believe that in our squad everyone gets on really well.

"We all love each other, we all want to push each other to be the best and, of course, to get United as a club back to where it needs to be."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has Manchester United "on their way back" and their future appears very encouraging, according to former Red Devils and Liverpool striker Michael Owen.

Solskjaer had become a much-maligned figure at Old Trafford earlier this season, with the Norwegian seemingly unable to inspire much of an improvement in their fortunes despite significant investment in the squad in pre-season.

The signings of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, although effective in their own right, had been unable to help United bridge the gap to the top of the table, with Liverpool and Manchester City far ahead and Solskjaer's men in a struggle just to finish fourth.

But prior to the suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic, United had been on their best run of form across all competitions since Solskjaer's full-time appointment last March, enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run.

That included two wins over City, a 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and back-to-back 5-0 triumphs in the Europa League against Club Brugge and LASK, and Owen feels Solskjaer had them looking closer to the United of more successful eras.

"I think with this current stop [for coronavirus], Manchester United might be the one team that wanted to continue playing, they were starting to get into a real good run of form," Owen told ESPN.

"[Bruno] Fernandes had signed, he is a fantastic signing; [Paul] Pogba will be back soon; this break has been good for [Marcus] Rashford as well, he'll be back fit.

"All of a sudden, you're looking at Manchester United - and I haven't been able to say this for years - but you're looking at that squad thinking, 'wow, they're on their way back'.

"They spent lots of money on their defence, they've still got one of the best goalkeepers in the world – it's starting to look very promising for Manchester United. I haven't been able to say that for a long time."

Owen applauded United for appearing to turn their fortunes around, as he acknowledged he had reservations over Solskjaer earlier in the season.

"I must admit, right at the start [of the season] you'd have to question [hiring Solskjaer], because they were looking like there was no improvement," he added.

"But just in the last month or two before the season stopped, I was starting to think he was doing the right thing and building a certain type of team that they didn't have in the last few years."

Should the 2019-20 season be able to resume, United look destined to reach the Europa League quarter-finals, they are already into the last eight of the FA Cup and find themselves just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.

David de Gea described his almost decade-long attachment to Manchester United as a "dream" and plans to remain at Old Trafford for a long time.

De Gea, 29, joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for a reported £19million, a British record fee for a goalkeeper at the time.

After an initially tricky settling-in period, De Gea established himself as an indispensable part of the team and one of the world's best at his position.

A move to Real Madrid fell through in August 2015, but the Spaniard swiftly signed a new contract after that and then agreed an extension last September, keeping him at the club until 2023.

But De Gea's form over the past few years has not been as consistent as some might expect, giving rise to suggestions from a section of supporters that United might be better off giving Dean Henderson – on loan at Sheffield United – a chance next season.

De Gea does not seem concerned about his future with the club, however.

"Just to be a part of this club is amazing. So, imagine, [nearly] 10 years, it's like a dream," De Gea said in a United Hangout.

"It's great to play games with this club, so I hope I can be here more years, many years."

Before European football came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, United had hit their best run of form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed manager on a full-time basis last March.

A 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup at the end of January began an 11-match unbeaten run across all competitions, including a pair of wins over Manchester City, an away triumph at Chelsea and 5-0 Europa League wins against Club Brugge and LASK.

Bruno Fernandes' arrival has made a telling difference and De Gea acknowledged the Portugal midfielder's influence, also pointing out United still have key players in Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba to return from injury when they return to action.

"I think the whole team improved a lot," De Gea added of United, who sit just three points adrift of the top four. "We were in a good moment. I think we were in very good, top form.

"We didn't concede many goals, and of course with Bruno he brings a lot of quality. He's a clever player, a top midfielder, the team improves with him and it was a pity that everything stopped because we were in a good moment.

"But hopefully with some players that were injured will be fit when it all starts again, so it will be a good challenge for everyone."

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