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Solskjaer accepts Man Utd need Champions League to attract top stars in summer

7:19 AM EST 3/2/19
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United
The Red Devils have dragged themselves into top-four contention in the Premier League after a dismal start to the season

Manchester United need Champions League football in order to attract a calibre of player that befits the history of the club, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United currently sit fifth in the Premier League, one place and one point behind fourth-place Arsenal.

The team have dragged themselves into contention for a top-four place after recovering from the disastrous start to the season they suffered under former boss Jose Mourinho.

But interim manager Solskjaer feels they will need to overcome the Gunners and fellow challengers Chelsea and nab the final spot in Europe’s top competition if they are to continue their re-building job and sustain the club’s legend.

“To play in the Champions League for Man Utd, there aren't many bigger things,” he told United’s official website.

“We know that we cannot just live off our name and tradition and history. We want to attract good players that want to improve the players that we've got here.

“All these top players that we have, they need players to challenge them, because no one should feel 100 per cent secure to be in the starting XI in the next game.

“Every game is a big chance for the players to say that we want to stay and it's the same for everyone in and around the coaching staff.

“We want to just improve everyone, because that's our job and the better we do, the bigger chance there is for us to be here.”

United face Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday looking to turn around a 2-0 deficit from the first leg at Old Trafford.

Should the team defy the odds and win the competition, they would automatically claim a place in next season’s group stage regardless of their league finish.

But Solskjaer is prepared for the challenge of overcoming the club’s Premier League rivals and securing a Champions League place via the regular route.

“I'm not a very nervous guy,” said Solskjaer. “I need to relax and I need to enjoy it and I think my players can see as well that I do enjoy this and they've got to understand that it's the best time of their lives playing here and these are the times that Man Utd players step up - when the going gets tough. 

”You sign up for challenges, you sign up to rise to those challenges when you're at Man Utd and we've got Arsenal coming up, we've got PSG away coming up. These are the games that might make the players stay in the history of the club.“