Manchester United are struggling to add more players to their squad because they have a smaller pool of footballers to pick from, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
United have signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax to add depth to their midfield options but efforts to sign Jadon Sancho have failed so far and with less than three weeks to go until the window closes Solskjaer only has one of the players he was after.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward warned it would not be ‘business as usual’ in the current window due to the financial impact of the pandemic and, while Solskjaer admitted it has had a bearing on negotiations, he believes there are other limitations which are making it difficult for the club to get more deals done.
“It's not as big a pool as for other clubs, because part of Man United and being good enough is one thing. Then you've got another club that probably want to keep that type of player of that quality. My focus is us, of course,” Solskjaer said.
The United manager, who outlined his transfer needs at the beginning of the year before the pandemic hit, pointed out that while he is happy with his squad he has made it clear to the board what he believes he needs for the team to push on.
“We sit down and we discuss and we have plans, sometimes it doesn't happen as planned. Life isn't a straight line here. Sometimes things happen,” Solskjaer explained
. “I've always said, these players, I'm very happy to work with them. Of course, I'm not going to take anything away from them either, because we have to go into this season confident with how we did towards the end of the season. We need that consistency, of course, to start with. That's key.
“And transfers, there's still a few weeks left on the transfer window. It might happen that we get someone in. I work with a club and they know what I feel this team and the squad needs.
"Let's see if we can add to what we have, but the ones who are here. They've really taken a step forward and done themselves good favours to be in the squad moving forward.”
But how will United compare against their rivals? Chelsea have spent the most this summer bringing in a number of high-profile signings while Manchester City and Liverpool have both bolstered their squads. Arsenal, too, are looking strong.
“You see other clubs and what they do, they put a challenge up for us. Our response has to be results. That's the response,” Solskjaer said.
“We can be best at the things that don't cost anything. The culture here the training the coaching, getting fitter.
"But yeah, we're looking at a small pool of players that can add to the quality of our team, and let's see what we can do. They are working hard and I understand that they are working hard.”