Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned his attention to Manchester United’s important Premier League match against West Ham on Sunday, with a press conference to preview the 19:15 GMT kick-off.
The manager sat down with reporters following Thursday night’s Europa League match with AC Milan and revealed plenty of news, including contract negotiations with Eric Bailly, David De Gea’s return to Manchester and injury updates on three midfield players.
As you can read in the transcript below, or watch in the video, Solskjaer begins by praising the performances of Academy graduate Jesse Lingard as part of his loan spell in east London…
You can’t face Jesse Lingard on Sunday, but is it proving a good loan deal for you?
“Yes for Jesse it has really worked out. For David (Moyes) it has really worked out and for us as a club as well because we know that Jesse’s position is a 10 and we have got Bruno there so for me it was a no-brainer to get Jesse a chance to prove himself and to play some football again and he has been really bright for them and he’s finally back to himself.”
United v West Ham: Watch Ole’s press conferenceVideo
Eric Bailly made his 100th appearance but he is out of contract at the end of next year. Are you hoping he will stay beyond then and do you want him on a new contract?
“Yes we are talking to Eric and Eric’s representatives. He is keeping fitter for longer and you can see his performances as well and I have been very happy with him. His playing style has sometimes made him lose too many games because 100 games that is not enough for the period he has been here. He is getting more and more robust so yes he is one we are talking to.”
West Ham are unusual contenders for the top four, so how crucial is this match to keep distance between them? And what have you made of what David Moyes has done for them this season?
“They have been brilliant. We played them in the FA Cup not long ago as well and we went to extra time. It was a tight even game. He has got players who score goals, creative, they defend really well and are really difficult on set plays. David has done a tremendous job that we know he is capable of. I’m very happy for him and we know this is a big game for us. Maybe it is too far ahead to City so we have to consolidate our place in the top two or three hopefully.”
Is David De Gea back in Manchester yet and, if not, do you know when he is returning and when he will be available for selection again?
“David is back in Manchester. So he is quarantining or self-isolating. He is touch and go for Sunday I think because I can’t really know when he came back so I am not really sure if it was Monday or Tuesday that he arrived back in Manchester.”
Will Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek or Juan Mata be available?
“No I don’t think any of those will be available. We hope maybe before the International break. Maybe, but I m not sure. It is taking a little bit longer than we expected but we have three games now and then the international break and after that they will all be available for us.”
Is De Gea allowed to train and then go home to isolate. I thought the rules had changed?
“No, I think he has got to stay at home. I think so, he is not training with us anyway. It is different if you travel away and compete so no he has not been training since he came back.”
How has Amad adapted to his new life?
“It is a big change for him. He has come over here by himself but he is coming into training every day and he is working really hard. He know he has a lot to learn. He is an exciting talent but he’ll have to get used to the tempo and the quality and the level he is playing at now. He didn’t play too much for Atalanta either so we are gradually giving him more and more but he has been hungry to learn and his appetite in training has been spot on.”
In January you said United doesn’t do too many offsides. Are United beginning to put that defensive line a bit higher up?
“Of course you do want to press high. We want to press high but it is about finding the right moment. We don’t really have too much time on the training field to work on little details but we are trying to drip feed them in.”