Man Utd’s summer business to define Solskjaer’s reign with proven winners wanted

The inquest in the red half of Manchester continues to be long and loud.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's voice needs to be heard above all the noise, in the wake of United's dismal Europa League defeat to Villarreal in Poland.

The "baby faced assassin" looked like an old man as he struggled to deal with the aftershock of losing to a Villarreal side that finished seventh in La Liga this season – and is now managed by someone deemed not good enough for Arsenal.

The Spanish club have revenue streams less than Southampton, who finished 15th in the Premier League.

As Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said, "football eh, bloody hell".

I'd imagine Fergie's language was more colourful and less flippant on the sombre flight home from Gdansk with United, after seeing the club he turned into winners travel back as losers.

But if he leant his ear to Solskjaer, he would have wanted to listen to the current United boss insisting he wants to go on and sign the sort of player who can turn the team into champions again.

Marcus Rashford's emotional words minutes after the final whistle in Gdansk were heartfelt and heartbreaking in equal measure.

"People say a lot about Manchester United going downhill, blah, blah, blah," he said, "but for me, the club, desire, hunger, talent, ability, the squad, we have everything to compete at the highest level.

"We just have to show it to the world and ourselves, show why we belong in the top places and why we need to win finals like this.

"Second doesn't count for nothing. Manchester City win the league, we finished second. Doesn't mean nothing. Villarreal won the Europa League, we finished second. For us it's nothing. I don't want to hear 'they were so close' because it means nothing. We have to find out why and make sure next time we don't lose."

Here's the answer, Marcus.

United's recruitment has not been good enough. Not even close.

Across town, Pep Guardiola has two teams capable of winning things, while Solskjaer has a squad capable of winning nothing.

Last summer United made Donny van de Beek on of their marquee signings. He cost £35m from Ajax, but Solskjaer didn't even trust him to come off the bench ahead of Dan James and Juan Mata in a major final. Go figure?

In the end Solskjaer looked on helpless as his goalkeeper provided a masterclass in failing to both save and score penalties.

United have finished the season 12 points behind title winners Manchester City and potless again, but winning the Europa League would have only papered over cracks in a squad that are bigger than those in the leaking roof at Old Trafford.

The fallen giants lack proven winners and the summer transfer window promises to define how Solskjaer will go on to be remembered as United boss.

But will owners the Glazers care enough to address the issues and listen to what Solskjaer wants?

If the billionaires do, then the future might still be bright, because Solskjaer has the potential to succeed. But if the Glazers are not willing to change, then nothing else will.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Tottenham fans have started to think Christmas has come early following the news Mauricio Pochettino might be coming back.

After just one season of failure with Paris Saint Germain, it appears the Argentine is considering returning to the club that so brutally sacked him in 2019, just six months after leading them to the Champions League final.

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It would be a stunning development that would also leave most neutrals questioning the sanity of the likeable Pochettino.

Word has it that luring Pochettino back to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is some part of masterplan to keep Harry Kane.

But if Pochettino is mad to even think about going back to north London, then Kane would be diagnosed clinically insane to change his mind about heading in the opposite direction.

The England captain will be 28 this summer, approaching his peak and has a choice of huge clubs capable of helping his fulfil all his footballing ambitions.

Ambitions he won't come close to achieving at Spurs – without or without Pochettino.

Kane has to ruthless and not let his heart rule his head, otherwise he will live to regret it for the rest of his career.

GOOD WEEK FOR

Haseeb Hameed – Became a teenage sensation when picked for England at just 19, then disappeared. Now he's back after reviving his career with Nottinghamshire and fully deserves his international recall.

Unai Emery – He was sent packing by Arsenal but has bounced back to prove his qualities by landing the fourth Europa League crown of his managerial career.

Aaron Ramsdale – The goalkeeper might have got relegated with Sheffield United, but he's found himself promoted to England's provisional 33-man squad ahead of the Euros. Funny old game, isn't it?

BAD WEEK FOR

Naomi Osaka – The Japanese tennis star has refused to give press conferences during the French Open to protect her mental health, but reporters should have the right to ask difficult questions. Fronting up is part of the responsibility of those charged with growing the sport.

Greg Inglis – The Aussie legend came out of retirement to join Warrington on a big bucks deal, but has now suffered a big injury after being ruled out for two months with a torn hamstring.

Tiger Woods – Revealed in his first interview since surviving a near fatal car crash that walking on his own remains his immediate goal, which doesn't sound promising when it comes to him playing golf again.

READ MORE: Ex-Man Utd star Robin van Persie aims dig at Chelsea with reason he wants Man City win

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