Former Ireland striker Niall Quinn has questioned Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s pre-match comments ahead of their Europa League clash against Real Sociedad.
United are playing in UEFA’s second tier competition after finishing third in their Champions League group in December and they have been handed a tricky draw as they take on their Spanish opponents in Italy.
United are heading to Turin rather than San Sebastian for the last-32 first leg due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions in Spain, with Solskjaer suggesting his side were unlucky to get drawn against Sociedad.
“When the draw was made, probably the hardest you could pick from the unseeded group,” said Solskjaer. “They were top of LaLiga for a while and are still in the hunt for a Champions League place. We have to play at the highest level to get a result.”
Those comments did not impress former Manchester City striker Quinn, who suggested Solskjaer needs to show more ambition.
“Is he complaining the way they ended up in that competition,” began Quinn. “It’s a real shame for Manchester United that they are not playing in the bigger one. How they managed to know themselves out of that competition, I don’t know.
“It is a tough game. Real Sociedad are decent, there is no doubt about that, but I don’t think making excuses before you play in the second competition is a good start. He should be saying we are Man Utd, this our competition for the taking. We are better than anyone here.
“He should be saying ‘we’re Man United, this is our competition for the taking.'”
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 17, 2021
Meanwhile, Solskjaer has confirmed Paul Pogba will miss the rest of the month through injury, with Donny Van De Beek and Edinson Cavani also sidelined for Manchester United’s Europa League match against Real Sociedad.
“He’s recovering well, he’s starting the treatment,” United boss Solskjaer said of Pogba.
“It’ll still be a good few weeks, so he won’t be playing in February, that’s for sure. Still a few weeks until we see Paul, definitely.”
PSG TARGET €90M KOUNDE BID
Meanwhile, Manchester United could be outbid for Sevilla star Jules Kounde and an alternative defensive signing could arrive at the top of their agenda, claims a report.
Kounde has emerged as a top target for United this summer, with La Razon claiming this week that United were in pole position for the centre-back.
Kounde was in action on Wednesday night, but his performance will not have had scouts scurrying to file their reports. The 22-year-old defender was given a rough night by Erling Haaland.
The Norwegians powerful running had Kounde in trouble all evening and the forward ended with two goals in a 3-2 win for Borussia Dortmund.
United’s interest emerged a while before his showing against Haaland, with Old Trafford officials believed to be willing to splash around €70m on Kounde.
La Razon though now state that PSG are willing to pay €90m to get hold of Kounde if they fail to lure Sergio Ramos to Paris.