Mason Greenwood has been left out of Manchester United's matchday squad to face Watford and is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.

Greenwood has played 799 minutes across 10 Premier League appearances for United so far this season, scoring four goals - level with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes as the club's top scorers in the competition.

The youngster also leads his club in the league for shots taken (31) and has scored his four goals despite recording an expected goals value of 2.06, with only Ronaldo (4.32) and Fernandes (2.36) managing higher figures.

United's head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed the reason for the youngster's absence before his side's clash with 17th-placed Watford.

"Mason has got COVID, unfortunately," Solskjaer told the club's official website ahead of the game. "He's tested positive, so we'll wait for him to get back."

In Greenwood's absence, fellow Englishmen Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have been handed starts as Solskjaer returns to a back four after losing 2-0 to rivals Manchester City in their last league outing.

Eric Bailly and Fred have also been dropped to the bench from that game, with Nemanja Matic taking the latter's place alongside Scott McTominay in midfield.

United have lost four of their last six leagues games, as many as they had in their last 40 matches in the competition, to leave them in sixth - 11 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Victor Lindelof and Mason Greenwood were recalled to Manchester United's starting line-up for Saturday's Premier League showdown with Manchester City.

Centre-back Lindelof missed Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Atalanta with a knock sustained in training and was considered doubtful for the Manchester derby.

However, the Sweden international returned for the clash at Old Trafford in place of Raphael Varane, who was injured in that midweek European match and faces a month out.

Lindelof started in a back three alongside Eric Bailly – making just a third start of the season – and Harry Maguire, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sticking to a 3-5-2 system employed in his side's last two games.

Unlike those previous two matches, there was a place in the starting line-up for Greenwood, who came in for Marcus Rashford. Edinson Cavani was not included in the squad due to injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo led United's attack as expected as he looked to build on a return of three goals in his past five Premier League meetings with City.

Fred was the other change made by Solskjaer from the Atalanta match, the Brazil international replacing Paul Pogba as he continues to serve a domestic suspension.

City also made three changes from their 4-1 win over Club Brugge in the week, with Jack Grealish's exclusion being the big talking point.

The British record signing's place in the starting line-up was taken by Kevin De Bruyne, who was expected to play through the middle of the forward line in the absence of a recognised striker.

Asked to explain the decision, City boss Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports: "We want a left foot on the left side and right foot on right side. That is the reason."

Aymeric Laporte also made way after being sent off in last week's 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace, with Ruben Dias getting the nod at the back alongside John Stones, while Gabriel Jesus came in for the benched Riyad Mahrez.

United were unbeaten in their last four league games against City heading into Saturday's meeting – their longest such run against their fierce rivals since a run of six between 2008 and 2011.

Victor Lindelof and Mason Greenwood were recalled to Manchester United's starting line-up for Saturday's Premier League showdown with Manchester City.

Centre-back Lindelof missed Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Atalanta with a knock sustained in training and was considered doubtful for the Manchester derby.

However, the Sweden international returned for the clash at Old Trafford in place of Raphael Varane, who was injured in that midweek European match and faces a month out.

Lindelof started in a back three alongside Eric Bailly – making just a third start of the season – and Harry Maguire, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sticking to a 3-5-2 system employed in his side's last two games.

Unlike those previous two matches, there was a place in the starting line-up for Greenwood, who came in for Marcus Rashford. Edinson Cavani was not included in the squad due to injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo led United's attack as expected as he looked to build on a return of three goals in his past five Premier League meetings with City.

Fred was the other change made by Solskjaer from the Atalanta match, the Brazil international replacing Paul Pogba as he continues to serve a domestic suspension.

City also made three changes from their 4-1 win over Club Brugge in the week, with Jack Grealish's exclusion being the big talking point.

The British record signing's place in the starting line-up was taken by Kevin De Bruyne, who was expected to play through the middle of the forward line in the absence of a recognised striker.

Asked to explain the decision, City boss Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports: "We want a left foot on the left side and right foot on right side. That is the reason."

Aymeric Laporte also made way after being sent off in last week's 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace, with Ruben Dias getting the nod at the back alongside John Stones, while Gabriel Jesus came in for the benched Riyad Mahrez.

United were unbeaten in their last four league games against City heading into Saturday's meeting – their longest such run against their fierce rivals since a run of six between 2008 and 2011.

Mason Greenwood opted out of England selection until next year as Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate explained the Manchester United sensation's international absence.

Greenwood has not been included in England's squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania (November 12) and San Marino (November 15).

The 20-year-old forward has not played for England since his debut in September last year, which saw Greenwood sent home along with Phil Foden after the pair breached COVID-19 regulations by inviting two women to the team hotel.

Southgate told reporters Greenwood asked not to be considered for international selection during the first half of this season.

"We had a discussion before the camp in September and we came to an agreement," Southgate said. "John McDermott [the FA's technical director] and myself went to United and had a good chat with Mason and his family and we agreed we would park this until next year, basically. We would leave the autumn games.

"If he establishes himself in Manchester United's team then he is going to be very close to an England squad or an England team so he recognises that. He wants to play for England. He is clear about that.

"We are not not picking Mason because we don't think he's good enough or we are not happy with what he requested. We are totally understanding of that and we are happy to wait.

"Also we have seen lots of youth development and this is his and his family's one and only chance, so they are understandably more cautious than we might be. We believe these boys can be very big players for England in the long term and we don't want to get it wrong in the short term."

Greenwood has scored four goals in nine Premier League appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United this season.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists Jadon Sancho can prove himself as a "world-class talent" at Manchester United, despite a slow start to his Old Trafford career.

England international Sancho has been restricted to three Premier League starts since joining United from Borussia Dortmund in an €85million (£73m) deal ahead of this season.

The 21-year-old featured in all but one of the Red Devils' 12 games this term, starting half of those, but is so far without a goal or an assist for his new club.

That is in stark contrast to Sancho's form across his four seasons as part of Dortmund's first team when scoring 50 goals and assisting 57 more across 137 appearances.

Sancho has gone from averaging 2.59 chances per 90 minutes with the German side to 1.91 for United, leading to inevitable suggestions that he may be a flop signing.

But former Dortmund boss head coach Klopp has no doubt the Manchester City academy product will come good if given time to adapt on his return to English football.

"Jadon Sancho is a world-class talent, definitely," Klopp said ahead of Sunday's huge showdown between Liverpool and United.

"He has all the things you need to become really one of the best players in the world in the future, that's how it is. But he's still very young.

"At Dortmund they were full of praise about him and rightly so. I saw a lot of games of him playing outstandingly well.

"Some people lose patience a little bit quickly – and don't forget the options United have in this position."

Sancho will be pushing for a starting spot when United host Liverpool but faces competition from the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

In the Premier League era, only Wayne Rooney (six goals) has scored more times for United against Liverpool than Rashford, who has four goals in eight appearances.

Greenwood has impressed with four goals in eight league games this season, meanwhile, and Klopp was full of praise for the youngster.

"Wow! What a talent he is," the German said. "I think he has maybe pushed Jadon out of position. 

"Mason can play in the centre, but there is no space any more, so maybe they will share. It's a problem that you want to have as a manager, 100 per cent."

Manchester United suffered a torrid second-half spell to succumb to defeat against Leicester City in Saturday's headline Premier League clash.

Failure at the King Power Stadium places further questions over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tenure ahead of a daunting schedule but neighbours Manchester City did not experience similar problems as the defending champions cruised to yet another victory over Burnley.

City's fellow title contenders Chelsea made London derby history as they battled past Brentford after Liverpool's fearsome front three had comfortably dispatched Claudio Ranieri's new Watford side.

In the other fixtures, Wolves shocked Aston Villa to overturn a two-goal deficit and Norwich City fought for a goalless draw against Brighton and Hove Albion, while Southampton registered their first win over a depleted Leeds United.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform takes a look at the pick of the fixtures from the day.

Watford 0-5 Liverpool: Mane hits century as Salah continues scoring run

Roberto Firmino became the first Brazilian to score more than one hat-trick in the Premier League as Ranieri fell to defeat by the biggest margin of any manager in their first home game with a new club in the competition.

Firmino's first two goals followed Mane's opener as the Senegal international hit his 100th Premier League goal, without scoring a penalty, with only Les Ferdinand (149) and Emile Heskey (110) previously achieving such a feat.

Mohamed Salah played an exquisite pass for Mane's landmark goal but the Egypt forward also found the net as he danced through Watford's defence to become the joint-top scoring African – level with Didier Drogba (104) – in the history of the competition.

His left-footed curler also made him the first Liverpool player since Daniel Sturridge in 2014 to score in eight consecutive games in all competitions as Jurgen Klopp's side became the first top-flight side to ever score three-plus goals in seven consecutive away games across all competitions.

Leicester City 4-2 Manchester United: Foxes end Red Devils record away run

Mason Greenwood edged United ahead with his fifth strike from outside the box in 21 Premier League goals – only David Beckham and Nani have managed a higher share of goals for the club from in such a fashion of those to score 20 times.

However, just 54 seconds split Marcus Rashford's equaliser for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to make it 2-2 and Jamie Vardy putting the hosts 3-2 to the good.

Patson Daka then became the first Zambian scorer in the Premier League, with 105 different nations now having a goalscorer, as Leicester won three consecutive games in all competitions against the Red Devils for the first time since 1901.

Not only did the Foxes, who have conceded in seven straight top-flight games under Brendan Rodgers, make history they also ended the visitors' record run as 30 games without a loss on the road came to an abrupt end.

Brentford 0-1 Chelsea: Blues make history in the capital against unlucky Brentford

Ben Chilwell's third goal in three games – as many as in his last 33 appearances in the league – inspired Chelsea to a record-breaking seventh consecutive away win in London derbies.

Thomas Tuchel's men have conceded just three goals this term – the fewest they have conceded at this stage since 2010-11 (two) – as the Blues won their 15th game against new top-flight opposition in 16 attempts.

Meanwhile, Brentford – who were stifled by Edouard Mendy's 20th clean sheet in 38 games – remain winless in seven matches against Chelsea, losing each of their last three by an aggregate scoreline of 9-0.

Manchester City 2-0 Burnley: Guardiola's men maintain dominance over the Clarets 

City cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory at Etihad Stadium, meaning they now boast a 32-1 aggregate scoreline over Burnley in their last nine games across all competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side have now kept clean sheets in six of their eight league games this term – more than any other side – as Kevin de Bruyne netted for consecutive top-flight games for the first time since July 2020.

The Clarets, who are on the longest winless run in England's top four tiers (11), are Bernardo Silva's favourite opponent, the Portugal international directly involved in seven goals in eight games.

Leicester City came from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 in a thriller on Saturday and end the Red Devils' long unbeaten away run in the Premier League.

It looked as though United's English league record of 29 games without defeat on the road would continue when Mason Greenwood opened the scoring with a stunning strike.

However, Leicester levelled through Youri Tielemans following an error from the returning Harry Maguire, and Caglar Soyuncu prodded home to put the hosts ahead with 12 minutes to go.

In a frantic finale, Marcus Rashford marked his first appearance of the season with an equaliser before Leicester restored their lead from kick-off, Jamie Vardy blasting home from Ayoze Perez's cut-back.

Patson Daka added a fourth in injury time as United lost for the fourth time in seven matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dismissed Gareth Southgate's assessment of Jadon Sancho's form for Manchester United, insisting the winger was "electric" against Villarreal as he continues to settle in at Old Trafford.

Sancho has yet to either score a goal or provide an assist since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund, with his arrival somewhat overshadowed by the stunning return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the club.

The 21-year-old’s sedate start to life with United has not cost him his place in the England squad, though national boss Southgate admitted his form perhaps did not warrant selection for the upcoming fixtures against Andorra and Hungary.

"Does he deserve to be in on these performances over the last few weeks? Well, probably not," Southgate said on Thursday, though he did make clear England believe the player can reach a "high level".

Solskjaer, however, pointed to Sancho’s performance in the 2-1 Champions League win on Wednesday as an example of what he can produce, both for club and country.

"Was that interview done before Wednesday night?" Solskjaer said when Southgate's comments were raised during a media conference ahead of United’s home game against Everton in the Premier League.

"Jadon was exceptional, he was electric. The crowd loved him and I think he felt that connection.

"He was direct, positive, he went past the full-back numerous times. Yes, he's not scored yet, but I thought, 'that's Jadon and we're going to see lots of that'."

Sancho has created five chances in open play in his outings so far, while his dribble success rate in those appearances stands at 28.57 per cent.

He played 75 minutes against Villarreal, completing 90.7 per cent of his passes and managing one shot from his 59 touches. United grabbed a late winner after his departure from the pitch, Ronaldo scoring in the fifth additional minute.

Mason Greenwood also played in that game but will not be involved for England as the Three Lions continue their World Cup qualifying campaign, Southgate leaving him out due to concerns over the young forward’s heavy workload.

Solskjaer has backed the decision as Greenwood has already made eight appearances in the campaign, scoring three times.

"Gareth is understanding that the boy is only 20 - he turned 20 today (Friday). He's going to be a top player for England and for Manchester United, but he has to be managed in the right way,” Solskjaer said.

"It gives us a chance to work on his fitness but also to give him a rest because he has been playing in many, many games at a high intensity."

Gareth Southgate is cautious of overusing Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood and has left the young pair out of England's squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Bellingham and Greenwood were high-profile omissions from the 23-man group named by Southgate on Thursday, along with injured defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Maguire.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham has started all 10 games at club level this season and played an hour for England in their 4-0 win over Andorra earlier this month.

Greenwood has been used regularly by Manchester United this term, meanwhile, starting seven times and featuring from the bench on one occasion.

Bellingham's 802 minutes of playing time this term is the most of any England-qualified player in Europe's top five leagues when taking all competitions into account, while Greenwood's 634 minutes is the fourth-most of any United player.

Speaking at a news conference after announcing his squad on Thursday, Southgate said: "They're both in similar situations, young players with heavy workloads at the moment.

"I've spoken to both of them. Jude at the moment is playing a high level of matches with Champions League games, league games. As an 18-year-old he had a full season last season and then into the Euros with no break.

"We have to remember these lads are still physically growing, so when we talk about young player development we have to be really careful in how we handle them.

"These are two players we think can be really exciting for England's future. We don't want to overload them, we want to make sure we are making the right decisions with them."

With Maguire missing out through injury, Milan centre-back Fikayo Tomori has been called up nearly two years since earning his one and only cap against Kosovo.

Tomori has helped Milan to nine clean sheets in Serie A since arriving at San Siro from Chelsea in January on an initial loan deal that has since been made permanent, a tally that has been bettered by only three others.

He also ranks 11th for successful passes among defenders in the Italian top flight over that period, which played a part in Southgate's decision to recall the 23-year-old.

"I like Fikayo in terms of his aggressiveness of defending," Southgate said. "Because he's got speed he's confident enough to defend on the front foot and he's improving on the ball as well.

"I have been very impressed. I thought he finished last season well. We were tracking him well last season and he is playing well this season. 

"He is at a club that's expected to win every week. I thought he did well against Liverpool and Juventus recently."

Reece James and Mason Mount have also been selected for the games with Andorra and Hungary over the next fortnight, despite missing Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday as they continue to recover from injury.

Southgate explained: "They're clearly still to have appeared for their clubs so there's an unknown, but our understanding is Mason and Reece have a good chance for the weekend."

 

The other big news to come out of Southgate's penultimate squad selection of a memorable 2021 was the inclusion of Ollie Watkins and Aaron Ramsdale, the pair replacing Patrick Bamford and Nick Pope, respectively.

Ramsdale has made a positive start to life at Arsenal since ousting Bernd Leno as number one, his save percentage of 91.67 the second-best return of any keeper to have played at least three times for a team in Europe's top five leagues this term.

"Aaron was with us all summer and we had the opportunity to work with him for a long time and get to understand his strengths," Southgate said.

"Nick is still I think coming back from injury a little bit, but I think Aaron is just in a better vein of form at the moment.

"From Aaron's perspective, the move to a bigger club with higher expectations and a style of play where he is asked to build with his feet from the back, he's coping really well.

"I think that's an important factor for us when looking at the biggest matches, having a goalkeeper who has really adapted well to a move and is full of confidence."

 

England squad:

Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal); Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (Milan), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City); Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham); Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Teddy Sheringham is not concerned Mason Greenwood is merely playing a supporting role to Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, believing it is better to play out of position than watch from the sidelines.

Greenwood broke into the United team as a winger but has long been considered their future at centre-forward.

The 19-year-old started in that position against Leeds United on the opening day of the Premier League season and scored in a 5-1 win.

However, five of his subsequent six starts in all competitions have seen Greenwood stationed on the right wing, while he also occupied the flank after coming off the bench in the EFL Cup defeat to West Ham.

Greenwood has not added to his tally of three goals this term since Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo is not the only player standing in Greenwood's way either, with Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial also getting opportunities up front, while Marcus Rashford will soon return from injury.

Greenwood has taken 11.87 per cent of his 337 touches in 2021-22 in the opposition box, ranking fifth for United in this regard behind Martial, Cavani, Ronaldo and the now departed Daniel James.

But the England international's 24 shots are only bettered by Bruno Fernandes (29), also the sole United player to make more than his eight appearances.

Indeed, having featured in 634 minutes, trailing only David de Gea, Fernandes and Paul Pogba, former United forward Sheringham feels Greenwood will benefit from being in the thick of the action.

"I think he's a fantastic player," Sheringham told Stats Perform. "He's obviously not being played in his natural position as a number nine or number 10 at the moment, but he's still a young man.

"He's still learning his trade, and you would rather learn your trade on the pitch but not in your position, rather than being off the pitch watching the game as a sub waiting to get in that position.

"He's still learning the game, he's still involved in these big games, and that experience can can be great for him."

Greenwood played 89 minutes on the right against Villarreal on Wednesday, in which time he had one attempt and created two chances.

He was then replaced by Jesse Lingard, who assisted Ronaldo's vital winner in a last-gasp 2-1 victory in the Champions League group stage.

Patrick Bamford scored a late equaliser to salvage a point for Leeds United against his former club Burnley on Sunday, having gone through a proper tussle at Turf Moor.

Burnley – accused of "wrestling" last week by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – were full-blooded once again as they fell just short of securing a first Premier League win of the season.

"It's always tough coming here because, you don’t want to be disrespectful, but you know what you're going to get when you play against Burnley and they do make it difficult," Bamford, who had an ongoing skirmish with centre-back James Tarkowski, told Sky Sports.

"I was a little bit annoyed at [James] Tarkowski because it was just that tussle on the floor when he tried to do some weird jiu-jitsu thing on me. I don't know what he's doing!"

A Premier League landmark was also reached at Turf Moor, while Arsenal might just have a different kind of fight on their hands after suffering a third successive defeat.

Here are some of the more curious Opta facts from the latest round of games.


Turf Moor tussle sees Premier League milestone

The new initiative for referees to be somewhat more lenient seems to be paying dividends, although Wolves fans will argue otherwise after their late defeat to Manchester United.

Before what unfolded at Molineux, however, Leeds were also on the receiving end of some rather tough treatment at Turf Moor, with the game seeing seven bookings.

There was a Premier League landmark set in the Lancashire sunshine too, as Chris Wood opened the scoring.

Eric Cantona (100), Alan Shearer (4,000), Dennis Bergkamp (7,000) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25,000) are some of the names to have previously hit the milestone goals in the competition's history, and now New Zealand forward Wood has cemented his name into the record books.

It was not exactly one to remember, Wood just managing to get a toe onto Matthew Lowton's low shot, with the ball rolling off Illan Meslier's shins and trickling over the line for the competition's 30,000th goal. 

Strangely enough, it was just a third assist for Lowton in his last 84 Premier League matches, but all three have set up goals for Wood, who scored for the first time against former club Leeds for Burnley.

Yet Burnley could not hold on, with the Clarets now on a 12-game winless run at Turf Moor in the league, their longest such streak.

Mikel's misery compounded as Arsenal's lack of fight is shown up once more

It has been a humbling start to the season for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, who is sure to be under plenty of pressure heading into a fixture with Norwich City – one of the other two teams without a point so far – after the international break.

Arsenal ended the weekend at the bottom of the top-flight table having played at least three league matches for the first time since October 25 in 1974, having suffered a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the champions – Manchester City's third successive 5-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

The Gunners are only the second team in Premier League history to lose their first three matches in a season and have a goal difference of -9, after Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2003-04, who went on to finish bottom of the table, while Tottenham's win on Sunday means Spurs top the table and Arsenal sit bottom for the first time in top-flight history.

Arsenal's cause was hardly helped by Granit Xhaka's sending off in the first half on Saturday – the 10th time the Gunners have had a player dismissed in the league under Arteta. In fact, since the Spaniard took over in December 2019, that is four more than any other club.

Xhaka has picked up two of those dismissals, with David Luiz leading the way on three. In those fixtures where they have had a player sent off, Arsenal have failed to win a single one, collecting just five points in total and losing the last three league matches in which they were reduced to 10 men.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus has not lost any of the 43 Premier League games he has scored in, a record bettered only by James Milner (54) and Darius Vassell (46).

A long shot for Son as Lage matches De Boer

Son Heung-min's free-kick handed Spurs a 1-0 win over Watford. It did not look intentional, but the South Korean forward's delivery nevertheless curled into the far corner.

Three of Son's last four goals for Tottenham in all competitions have come from outside the box, as many as his previous 43 for the club, while Sunday's effort was his first Spurs goal from a direct free-kick.

Sunday's headline fixture saw Manchester United – buoyed by the impending return of Cristiano Ronaldo – defeat Wolves thanks to Mason Greenwood's late winner.

Referee Mike Dean chose not to award what looked to be a clear foul from Paul Pogba in the build-up, as Greenwood became only the second teenager in Premier League history to score in each of his side's first three games of a season, after Robbie Fowler for Liverpool in 1994-95.

It was a tight game, with Wolves creating plenty without converting the chances, and new boss Bruno Lage is the first manager to lose his first three Premier League games without his side scoring a goal since Crystal Palace's Frank de Boer in August 2017.

Known for his creativity and goalscoring, United playmaker Bruno Fernandes often cut a frustrated figure, and he was booked for dissent. He has now been cautioned for questioning the referee in each of his last two games – in fact, the Portugal midfielder is responsible for a third of the six yellow cards handed out for dissent so far this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not rule out Manchester United players leaving following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, saying the Portugal star was "not signed to sit on the bench".

The Red Devils announced on Friday that they had agreed a deal with Juventus, reportedly worth an initial £12.8million (€15m), to bring the 36-year-old back to Old Trafford subject to personal terms, a visa and a medical.

The signing could not be completed in time for United's Premier League clash with Wolves on Sunday, which was settled by a Mason Greenwood strike in the 80th minute as Solskjaer's men set a new English league record of 28 away games unbeaten.

With an international break now coming up, Ronaldo's first chance to turn out for the club he left in 2009 is likely to be against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on September 11.

Solskjaer, who confirmed on Sky Sports that he intends to deploy Ronaldo more as a centre-forward than a wide player, hopes the new addition will be ready as soon as possible once the deal is concluded and he returns from Portugal duties.

"We need to get all the paperwork done. Hopefully we can get that sorted and announce it 100 per cent," Solskjaer said.

"He's away with Portugal, I think they've got three games, his last game is on the Tuesday, so get him back to Manchester with Bruno [Fernandes] and hopefully he'll be involved as soon as possible."

Ronaldo's comeback means United are stocked in attack and could look to offload some players before the transfer window closes.

Amad Diallo had been close to joining Feyenoord on loan, although an injury could reportedly scupper that move, while Jesse Lingard and Dan James have also been linked with departures.

"Of course, he [Ronaldo] was not signed to sit on the bench," said Solskjaer. "He's going to make us a better team, of course.

"There have been a couple of enquiries for some of our players and with the signing of Cristiano, we might give less playing time to a few.

"Dan is a Man United player at the moment."

United laboured for much of the first hour at Molineux and were indebted to a stunning double save from David de Gea to deny Romain Saiss shortly before Greenwood's winner.

"We got three points, get a clean sheet, on another day they might score one in the first half when Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] saves one off the line, or when David saves those two chances second half," Solskjaer said.

"With Mason, he's a special kid.  The boy is unique at hitting the target quickly: right foot, left foot, it doesn't matter to him.

"We've played better, definitely, but sometimes you've got to earn your luck and I thought we did."

Solskjaer was delighted with the performance of defender Raphael Varane, who was largely impeccable at the back and even earned an assist on his United debut.

"Top, top performance," Solskjaer said. "This was 'welcome to the Premier League': tempo, hustle-bustle, tackle, have to defend counter-attacks. He's good in the air, so composed on the ball and he's so experienced, nothing fazes him, and he was good in the dressing room before the game and at half-time.

"I'm delighted for him. I thought he showed his class."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident "special" Mason Greenwood will go on to become a top player for club and country following his winning goal against Wolves.

Greenwood scored the only goal of Sunday's game in the 80th minute as United made it a record-breaking 28 successive unbeaten away matches in the English top flight.

In doing so, the 19-year-old became only the second teenager to find the net in the opening three matches of a Premier League season after Robbie Fowler for Liverpool in 1994-95.

Despite his promising start to the campaign, Greenwood was left out for the England squad ahead of the upcoming international break.

Although following discussions with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, Solskjaer admitted the decision was the right one for the youngster's development.

"The boy is special. Mason's a player we [Southgate and himself] can both see being a top player for Manchester United and England," he told Sky Sports.

"Of course, he wants to play for his country but at the moment, I think the best for him is to just focus on his everyday football. 

"I'm sure he'll come good for England in the end."

Solskjaer also heaped praise on David de Gea, who made five saves at Molineux to keep the hosts at bay.

Among them was a superb double-save from close range to deny Romain Saiss the opening goal in the 69th minute.

"David's found his determination and desire. He's come back with loads of energy,” added Solskjaer, who was taking charge of his 100th league match for the Red Devils. 

"You can see that in the work he's doing every single day. 

"The second save from that corner is special. That's not just hit him; that's reaction and he's got a strong arm to it."

Mason Greenwood struck a late goal to give Manchester United a 1-0 Premier League win at Wolves on Sunday and ensure the Red Devils set a record for matches unbeaten away from home.

The teenager's right-foot finish settled a tight contest in which Wolves had looked the more dangerous for much of the first hour, David de Gea making one incredible save to keep the scores level in the second half.

United, who handed first starts to Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, grew into the game after toiling early on and eventually took maximum points while making English football league history with a 28th league game without defeat on their travels.

It capped a memorable week for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, who are set to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club from Juventus in the coming days.

Adama Traore, starting despite speculation linking him with Tottenham, set up Francisco Trincao for the best of the early chances only for De Gea to save well with his feet.

Wolves looked deadly on the break and only a superb goal-line block from Aaron Wan-Bissaka stopped Trincao from rolling in the opening goal, Fred having failed to halt his advances after blocking the ball into his path.

Bruno Fernandes fired the ball into the net from Paul Pogba's ball over the top but the offside flag was raised, as United ended the half without a shot on target.

They finally tested Jose Sa just before the hour mark, Fred's volley kept out after Fernandes had just failed to tee up Greenwood.

United were all over the place when Greenwood lost the ball in attack, Traore rolled it to Trincao 12 yards out, but he miscued his finish and could not even find the target. The United forward then set himself up for a run into the Wolves box with a brilliant touch only for his control to let him down and let the hosts off the hook.

After Traore forced another Wolves corner, De Gea made a remarkable double save to keep out Romain Saiss' header and then stop the defender smashing home the rebound from point-blank range.

It proved a pivotal moment. With 10 minutes remaining, Ruben Neves gave the ball away near his own box and Mike Dean waved away free-kick appeals, Varane fed Greenwood, and the teenager's strike was too powerful for Sa to keep out.

 

What does it mean? Record for United but little to impress Ronaldo

Away fans held aloft a cardboard cut-out of Ronaldo in the first half. There was little to suggest the real-life United attackers on the pitch were posing any more of a goal threat early on.

Seven points from three games is a big improvement on the three they managed last season, but they were given serious tests by Southampton and Wolves and rarely looked in control of either match.

The pressure is on Ronaldo to make a real difference when he returns.

Traore torments United

Whether he will still be a Wolves player after the international break remains to be seen, but fans will certainly hope to see Traore in black and gold again.

He was a menace to United throughout, creating more chances (four) than any other player on the pitch and running the backline ragged.

Sorry Sancho

Sancho's full debut was far from the one he and United fans would have envisaged.

The England winger spent 72 minutes on the pitch, during which time he failed to have a shot or create a chance, while he also lost all six of his contested duels.

What's next?

Following the international break, United will hope to have Ronaldo available for the home game with Newcastle United on September 11. Wolves head to Watford on the same day.

Mason Greenwood felt Southampton's goal should not have been allowed to stand as Manchester United had to settle for a 1-1 draw at St Mary's.

Saints took the lead with what went down as a Fred own goal after Che Adams' shot deflected off the midfielder before flashing into the corner of the net on the half-hour mark.

Greenwood equalised with his second Premier League goal in many games, but the Red Devils were unable to fashion a winner.

Bruno Fernandes was furious he was not awarded a free-kick for a challenge from Jack Stephens prior to Saints' opening goal, but referee Craig Pawson and the VAR saw nothing untoward.

Greenwood felt United had been hard done by.

The forward told BBC's Match of the Day: "I think it's come through the back of him. I thought it was a foul but it's the referee's decision at the end of the day and we can't dwell on it.

"I understand they're going to let more challenges go so the game keeps flowing which is a good idea, but if there's a foul there's a foul."

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