Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Alexis Sanchez could still have a future at Manchester United despite rumours linking him with a summer exit from Old Trafford.
United have been linked with a whole host of players this summer as they look to get back to challenging for top honours but Solskjaer insists there is still a place in his squad for forgotten flop Sanchez.
Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish and James Maddison are just some of the names that have been suggested the Red Devils will go for this summer, although finishing in the top four might be crucial to their hopes of signing the players they most want (United – 7/4 Top 4 Finish).
There already appears to be an established forward force in the squad with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James demonstrating Solskjaer’s preferred profile of young, fast and fresh players, but the Norwegian insists there will always be a place for quality in his squad.
“Of course there’s a place for good players and good people in this environment,” Solskjaer told The Star.
“Let’s see where we get to after the season, because we do feel this squad is exciting. We do feel we’re on the way to something.
“It’s up to all the players when they’re here to do well, because there’s always talk of people coming in and out, and it’s about gelling this group together.”
Solskjaer may well be keeping his options open because of the quality Sanchez has demonstrated in the past at the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal, while he may be adopting a diplomatic route as there do not appear many options to get the Chilean off the payroll.
Sanchez’s huge wages are proving a problem for both a sale or even a temporary loan spell, particularly in the current climate.
His age of 31 is also a major obstacle to him moving on, with the perception that he is possibly past his best, given how he has flopped at Old Trafford and struggled at Inter Milan on loan – with United essentially paying him not to be at the club.
Time will tell on the future of Sanchez, but he will obviously play no part in United’s Premier League run-in as they look to secure a Champion League place.
First up for Solskjaer’s side is a massive clash against European-chasing rivals Tottenham – managed by former boss Jose Mourinho – on Friday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with both sides able to welcome back some key players.
The enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic means Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn should be available for the remaining games, while Solskjaer has Rashford and Paul Pogba both back fit.
Despite their struggles on the road this season, United are 29/20 favourites to win, with the draw at 12/5, while Spurs – who will be without Dele Alli through suspension – are priced at 9/5.