Manchester United’s hopes of upsetting the odds against Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday suffered a fresh blow as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed both Paul Pogba and David de Gea will miss the clash at Old Trafford through injury.
De Gea pulled up with a muscle problem during Spain’s 1-1 draw away to Sweden in qualifying for Euro 2020 on Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for a few weeks.
“David needs a scan,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “I think he’ll be out.”
Pogba was absent for France during the international break due to the recurrence of an ankle problem that has seen him start just once in the Premier League since August.
The World Cup winner played 90 minutes against Rochdale in the League Cup and Arsenal last month, but missed United’s latest defeat at Newcastle just before the international break.
“He came back and played a couple of games, maybe played through the pain barrier,” added Solskjaer.
“He had a scan after the Arsenal game and maybe needed a few weeks’ rest in a boot, so hopefully he won’t be too long, but he won’t make this game, no.”
Solskjaer is, though, hopeful that Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial will make their return from injury against Liverpool, even if they are not yet fit enough to play 90 minutes.
“Hopefully Aaron and Anthony will last through the training this week and be available for selection. If it’s for half a game or 30 minutes, I don’t know, but let’s see where they’re at,” said Solskjaer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Tuesday he was optimistic that goalkeeper David De Gea would sign a new deal to remain at Old Trafford as Manchester United prepared to face old rivals Leeds in Perth.
United’s pre-season tour of Australia has been overshadowed speculation over the futures of several stars, including De Gea who is in the last year of his contract and has been linked with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The Spaniard is reportedly close to signing a new five-year deal with United worth in excess of £350,000 a week that would make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world.
De Gea was rested from United’s pre-season opener against Perth Glory on Saturday but will line up against Leeds on Wednesday to wrap up the Red Devils’ 10-day visit to the Western Australia city.
“He’ll play and hopefully we can agree (on a new deal) with David, as I’ve said a few times,” Solskjaer told reporters.
“That’ll be up to David to announce when that happens, if and when.”
The United boss refused to be drawn on whether Leicester City and England centre-back Harry Maguire was on his way to Old Trafford.
“There’s been loads of speculation but I can’t really say anything,” Solskjaer said.
“There’s a limit of players and whoever performs will be part of the team and whoever doesn’t they will have to fight to get back in.”
After an unconvincing 2-0 victory over a depleted Perth, United will be hoping for a better performance against one-time bitter enemy Leeds.
The rivalry has simmered since Leeds’ relegation from the English Premier League in 2004 but hostilities between the passionate fan bases are still evident with extra security measures being put in place by organisers at Perth Stadium.
Solskjaer said United were excited to renew the rivalry. “Of course you want to have games against the biggest clubs,” he said. “It’s a great occasion for both sets of supporters and the players because there were great games (in the past).”
Romelu Lukaku, who is reportedly looking to secure a move to Inter Milan, is set to play his first pre-season match against Leeds after recovering from a “niggle”. However, Luke Shaw is likely to miss out after suffering a hamstring injury in the match against Perth.
United will have further pre-season games against Inter Milan in Singapore on July 20 and Tottenham in Shanghai on July 25, while Leeds will head to Sydney to face Western Sydney Wanderers.
Manchester United’s solitary defeat 16 games into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s caretaker reign in charge against Paris Saint-Germain exposed the gulf the English giants still have to bridge to become a European powerhouse once more.
But that the Red Devils travel to Paris on Wednesday trailing only 2-0 from the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie is thanks to David de Gea.
The Spanish number one made two brilliant stops from Kylian Mbappe and Juan Bernat three weeks ago as PSG threatened to run riot to again underline his calibre as one of the best goalkeepers in the competition.
With Paul Pogba suspended for the return to his native city, De Gea is the one United player who could walk into a PSG side that has divided goalkeeping duties between 41-year-old Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon and Alphonse Areola this season.
Worryingly for United that prospect is all too real with De Gea so far holding out in contract negotiations to prolong his current deal beyond the summer of 2020.
According to reports, De Gea is seeking at least parity with Alexis Sanchez as the club’s highest earner.
The Chilean joined United on a contract worth up to £500,000 ($660,000) a week including bonuses last January, but has not had anywhere near the desired impact, scoring just five goals in 41 appearances.
By contrast, De Gea has won United’s player of the year for four of the past five seasons and believes his consistency should be rewarded.
But for a matter of minutes on the final day of August in 2015, De Gea’s career could have been very different. A similar contract standoff between the player and club seemed to pave the way for a move to Real Madrid only for the fax confirming the transfer to miss the deadline.
Madrid have since gone onto win the Champions League for the past three seasons with Keylor Navas in goal. The Costa Rican has performed well, but is not seen as being in De Gea’s class, as evidenced by the fact Real pounced to sign Thibaut Courtois earlier this season when the Belgian also refused to extend his contract at Chelsea.
– PSG, Juventus interested –
As Real have reigned in Europe, United have faded. In the four seasons, before De Gea signed, Alex Ferguson’s side reached three Champions League finals. In the seven seasons since, United have made the quarter-finals just once and look likely to fall short of the last eight once more.
Courtois’s arrival appears to have closed the door to a move to Madrid.
However, PSG and Italian champions Juventus are reportedly interested and could offer De Gea the guarantee of Champions League football — while United battle just to make the Premier League’s top four once more — as well as a better chance to compete in the latter stages unless big changes are made at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer hailed De Gea as “the best goalkeeper in the world” this week as he pleaded with him to commit his future to the club.
The Norwegian has lifted the mood of players, staff and fans with is affable nature off the field and much-improved results on it, making him the front runner for the manager’s job on a full-time basis.
A huge task remains ahead for whoever is in charge, though, not just to recruit the right players to make United contenders for titles at home and on the continent once more, but to convince one of their few truly world-class talents United’s new project is worth hanging around for.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident that Manchester United will be able to retain the services of David de Gea, the man he rates as the best goalkeeper in the world.
But the future of captain Antonio Valencia is less clear with the club apparently poised not to trigger a contract extension for the long-serving Ecuadorian.
United did take up an option to extend De Gea’s current deal to 2020 this season.
However, reports suggest the Spaniard is holding out for an offer at least on a par with Alexis Sanchez as United’s highest paid player having won the club’s player of the year for four of the past five seasons.
Solskjaer is optimistic that United will take care of the business before running the risk of losing De Gea for a cut-price at the end of the season or on a free transfer next summer.
“There are no updates from me, the club and David are in dialogue, hopefully, they’ll agree, it’s out of my hands but I’m sure we’ll do what we can,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s been player of the year I don’t know how many years, four or five, we’re grateful to have him.”
Solskjaer would not be drawn on ranking De Gea alongside his former teammates Edwin van der Sar or Peter Schmeichel from his playing days but clearly feels that United’s number one is worthy of comparison with the club’s best ever.
“It’s difficult to compare them but Edwin and Peter were never player of the year,” he said.
“David’s meant so many points for us over the years and I would say he’s the best goalkeeper in the world, Peter was at the time and Edwin at the time as well.
“I’m delighted with David and his personality is fantastic. Such a humble and confident boy.”
The future looks less rosy for Valencia, currently struggling with a debilitating calf injury, the latest in a long list of fitness problems that have limited him to one league start in the past five months.
The 33-year-old full-back, who will have been a United player for 10 years this June, is out of contract this summer and it appears that the club will not activate the one-year option that could keep him at Old Trafford for an additional 12 months.
That deadline was due to expire at 5pm on Friday, but Solskjaer has not ruled out Valencia remaining at Old Trafford if he can prove his fitness over the final weeks of the season.
“He’s still not 100 percent fit, he is still working to get back fit and he’s had a fantastic career here at Man United and in England,” said the manager.
“He is one of the Premier League winners left in the dressing room, but at the moment I’m not sure if Man United and Antonio will agree on the next year. It depends if he gets back on the pitch as well in the next few months.
“But he’s the captain, a great servant to the club so hopefully I can get him on the pitch and show what he can do, or he can get himself 100 percent fit and back on the pitch.”
Solskjaer is aiming to stretch his unbeaten run in domestic games to 15 matches when Southampton visit Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Norwegian is still without a host of first team regulars through injury, but Marcus Rashford has shaken off the effects of an ankle injury and is set to start.
Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, got the better part of Jose Mourinho for the second time this season, as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1- 0 at Stamford Bridge to qualify in the FA Cup semi-finals on Monday.
N’Golo Kante’s 51st minutes goal was enough for Conte’s double chasing side to break United’s resistance after the visitors had Ander Herrera sent off after 35 minutes for a second yellow card.
Mourinho’s frustration boiled over and both managers had to be separated after an angry exchange shortly after Herrera’s send off.
United, were missing the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic and injured Wayne Rooney and offered little threat once Kante had beaten David de Gea with a precise low shot.
Chelsea could have won by more, although United did have their moments and came close to an equaliser in the second half, when Marcus Rashford was foiled by keeper Thibaut Courtois.
The Blues would now face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals at Wembley.
Former Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho was humiliated on his return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the Blues thrashed Manchester United 4-0.
The Blues led after just 30 seconds when Pedro capitalised on slack defending. Smalling hesitated as a long ball flew in, De Gea charged out and Pedro stole in to whip the ball round the ‘keeper into an empty net for what is now the fastest goal of the season.
The evening got worse for Jose Mourinho 20 minutes later. From a corner, the ball broke to Gary Cahill six yards out and he volleyed high into the net past De Gea.
United offered little sign of making a comeback after failing to capitalise on their good spell in the second half and they fell further behind when Eden Hazard drilled in a precise 15-yard strike to make it 3-0.
It was no way back at this point for the Reds. N’golo Kante sealed victory with a stunning goal; his first for Chelsea.
He took the ball after a clever flick from Pedro, brilliantly dribling past Chris Smalling and then rolled sublimely into the corner past David de Gea.
Chelsea with the victory, moved within a point of English Premier League leaders Manchester City who had earlier played a 1-1 draw with Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.
A united Italy team on Monday night dented Belgium’s chances of glory at the Euro 2016 with a clinical 2-0 victory in Lyon.
Emanuele Giaccherini scored the opening goal in the 31st minute, while Graziano Pelle scored sealed the victory through a classic counter attack in the 91st minute.
After going one goal down, the Belgians missed several chances as they chased the equalizer all through the second half but Italy defended well.
Romelu Lukaku would be one of the guilty players, wasting one of the best goal scoring chances on the night as Marc Wilmots’ men failed to make it 1-1.
Pellè settled Italy’s nerves with a second after one of Belgium’s desperate attacking forays went bad and resulted in a counterattack.
Belgium, ranked number two in the world and rated as one of the pre-tournament favourites, are now bottom of Group E with Ireland and Sweden in second and third after drawing 1-1.
Earlier in the day, reigning champions Spain left it late as Gerard Pique’s 87th-minute header earned them a deserved 1-0 victory over a dogged Czech Republic in their Group D opener.
Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque selected under-pressure goalkeeper, David De Gea for the starting line-up.
In the most one-sided game of the tournament so far, Vicente Del Bosque’s side looked like they would not get any reward for their possession until the Barcelona defender headed in Andres Iniesta’s cross.
An injury-time goal by Anthony Martial in a game against Everton at Wembley was enough for Manchester United to go through into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final.
Martial ensured Louis van Gaal’s side will face either Crystal Palace or Watford with a composed finish in the dying seconds of the semi-final.
Marouane Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range – but they were then indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea as he brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty, the BBC reports.
After a passive first 45 minutes that saw Everton jeered off at half-time, they drew level with 15 minutes left when Chris Smalling deflected Gerard Deulofeu’s cross into his own net.
As the game looked destined for extra-time, Ander Herrera’s poked pass sent Martial clear and the striker showed great composure to drill a low finish past Everton keeper Joel Robles.
England’s international captain, Wayne Rooney, showed his class in a deep-lying role behind United’s attack.
In the opening half especially, afforded time and space by a timid Everton, Rooney not only showed his full range of passes to create chances and dictate the game, he even showed the energy to get back and clear Lukaku’s early goalbound effort off the line.