English Premiership

Solskjaer aims to splash the cash in January

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Getty Images)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to bolster his squad with two new signings when the English transfer window reopens at the start of January.

The Norwegian spent the thick end of £150 million during the off-season, bolstering key deficiencies in his misfiring squad.

Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender in the world when the Red Devils agreed to pay £80 million to Leicester City to acquire his services.

And a further £70 million was invested in youth with right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka arriving from Crystal Palace and winger Daniel James from Championship side Swansea.

The early signs have been promising as Maguire has looked a rock in the backline, while Wan-Bissaka has also been strong on the right side of the defence which has conceded just one goal - an unstoppable Ruben Neves stunner on Monday night's 1-1 draw at Wolves - in their opening two games.

Wales international, James, has already opened his account for United in the opening 4-0 win against Chelsea and looks like being a lively addition to Solskjaer's attacking options.

However, it's understood Solskjaer was forced to wait on recruiting another forward, with Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic still an option.

A creative midfielder is also on the shopping list but the delays in selling striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan had the Manchester giants concerned about adding to their already high annual wage bill - the largest in the Premier League at more than £250 million.

United eventually received £75 million for Lukaku - removing £275 000-per-week from the wage bill - and Solskjaer has already been told he can have access to that if he needs it when the window reopens in January.

There are still question marks whether Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez will be at the Theatre of Dreams before the European window closes on September 2 - currently earning a combined £800 000-per-week between them.

The message coming out of United is clear, though, more cash is quickly being made available for Solskjaer to have the type of squad quality he craves.

The news will be music to the ears of former United right-back Gary Neville who earlier this week admitted United still have plenty of work to do to challenge for the title, adding that they are "a long way off where I think where Liverpool and [Manchester] City are".

Fixtures
Thu 16 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Everton
Aston Villa
Goodison Park
Thu 16 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Sheffield United
King Power Stadium
Thu 16 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Crystal Palace
Manchester United
Selhurst Park
Results
Wed 15 Jul 20
Arsenal 2
Liverpool 1
Wed 15 Jul 20
Burnley 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Wed 15 Jul 20
Manchester City 2
AFC Bournemouth 1
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
36
30
93
2. Manchester City
36
24
75
3. Chelsea
36
19
63
4. Leicester City
35
17
59